January 19 is an important day in the world of health and fitness. According to research conducted by Strava, who looked at the data from over 800 million user-logged activities from 2019, it’s the day that most people’s new year’s resolution for a fitter, healthier body and lifestyle is abandoned. They named it Quitter’s Day.
The fact that over 10 per cent of all gym memberships are purchased in January is not a coincidence either. But if people are abandoning their goals within weeks, it is not ideal for getting the most value out of their memberships, and it doesn’t bode well for your New Year’s resolution as well.
Could your choice of facility be influencing your decision to turn up? The answer is a resounding yes. One key to forming any habit is your ability to remove roadblocks.
In behavioural terms, roadblocks are the things that we allow to stand in our way, or prevent us from following through. There are a number of features of a gym facility that could become a roadblock. Your gym should motivate you to train. It should create an enticing environment that draws you there, rather than help give you reasons to skip workouts. With that in mind, here are our top four things to think about before signing up for your new gym membership.
Where your gym is located is an important factor and it’s not as simple as you might think. Proximity matters — it needs to be close by, because as far as roadblocks go, a long drive will definitely be a nail in the coffin when your motivation is low.
But the question is, close by to where? Depending on your circumstances, it might make more sense to purchase a gym membership at a facility close to your work instead of close to your home. You might be more likely to squeeze in a workout at lunchtime than early in the morning or in the evening when you get home tired after a long day. For the early morning trainees, you will feel less time pressure if you know your gym is only a short distance from work as opposed to being on the other side of a long commute and traffic.
The other potential benefit to a gym close to work is, you might find a work colleague that could turn into a reliable gym partner. The benefit of a training partner that you work with is they’re in the same place as you every day anyway, so you can motivate each other to stick to that lunch-time regime, or the post-work cycling class.
Another key point to a gym’s location is whether there is good access to parking or public transport, which matters closer to the city. Is the gym on a main road without onsite parking, is the facility easy to get to, is the drive a little awkward, is parking going to be challenging? Picking a gym in a location like this will give you plenty of excuses not to go, or to post-pone your workout for a time where there are fewer roadblocks. Again, we need to avoid these. Pick a gym that is easy to get to, where the trip is not going to lose you time or motivation.
Every gym has a certain personality and we at Life Fitness know this better than most. We provide state of the art equipment for a range of facilities, from small group training-style of venues to expansive, bodybuilding gyms and everything in between. We know that there are many different tastes and preferences in the health and fitness world.
If you’re on the look-out for a new gym, think about what your preference is going to be. Do you want lots of variety and big workout spaces or do you want a smaller and more private type of facility? Visit a variety of gyms. Take all the tours, get a feel for the ambience, observe the PTs and the other members. Get a sense for whether the venue will be a place you will want to go to, that will inspire you, that will draw you in, and pick the one that you connect with most. Ask about their group fitness and variety of classes if that’s important to you, and conversely, if you have no interest in classes, you won’t want a membership with all of those elements built in, if you’re never going to use them.
A massive part of how you will feel about a gym — possibly the most important part — is the equipment. Is the equipment new? Is there variety? Do they have the right pieces? But the most important part of that is, is the equipment quality and do you trust the brand that is in there? When you’re loading the machine with weight, stepping into the squat rack with a loaded barbell, or cranking the treadmill up to high speeds, are you confident about your safety? If it’s a Life Fitness or Hammer Strength piece, we know you are. Look for the Hammer Strength and Life Fitness brands before signing up to a new gym. That’s the only way you’ll know they have the best quality gym equipment and the best servicing in the market.