Manage your gym investment

by 19 Aug 2008

Gym memberships aren’t cheap. So, when you make the commitment to pay their fees, you also need to make a commitment to yourself to get something out of it. Think of this not as an expense, but as an investment in your health and, ultimately, your life. As with any investment, how well you manage it will determine the outcome. Here are some suggestions to help get the most from your fitness investment:

1 Have a workout plan. Don’t just wing it. A good workout plan details which days you’re going to exercise, what exercises you’re going to do and how hard you’re going to work. You should even plan for rest and recovery time. It all matters.

2 Show up as per your plan. Even if you’re not 100 per cent on a given day, make sure you at least do something. Once your gym schedule becomes part of your daily routine, and not something that needs to be squeezed in, you’ll start to plan life around your workouts, and not the other way around.

3 Take a partner. A training partner can encourage, help you with difficult exercises and give you the confidence to try new things. Having someone rely on you is also a good motivator to show up each time!

4 Beware of posers. Some people go to the gym to get fit, while others go to socialise and flex in front of the mirrors. Learn to spot the difference, and avoid the latter. They’ll just waste your time and teach you bad habits.

5 Leave the phone at home. The world won’t end if you’re off the grid for an hour. A phone on the gym floor is a distraction for yourself and others, and can be a safety issue. Just leave it behind.

You’d be mad to spend large amounts of money on something without expecting a return. In the same way, it’d be a waste to not benefit from an investment in which your effort directly determined the outcome. Your health is the most important investment you can make, and if managed wisely, the returns will be very promising.

By Brian Merrill, certified fitness trainer. Email: b.e.merrill@gmail.com