It has become increasingly popular to train in a group or at a club. You see more and more of these “community-based” gyms popping up like CrossFit boxes, Bootcamps and martial arts schools. And they tend to do very well in their communities.
Today’s tip is in favor of this movement. If you are a person that prefers to train alone, and you are getting where you want to on your own, that’s awesome, keep at it! But, if you find yourself falling out of an exercise program before you even get started, or need someone to hold you accountable, then this tip will be a possible solution to your problem.
What are my options?
There are so many sports clubs, gyms and personal trainers out there than ever before. And this demand will continue to increase because us humans are becoming more conscious of our health. I will give you my top 3 suggestions that I feel work the best.
Get a Training Buddy
Finding a training partner, especially one that has similar goals, can be super advantageous to your overall health because you are building on relationships, you’re getting physical activity and you are de-stressing. If you find the right partner, you cannot go wrong. (Little tip on finding a buddy: Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and ask someone you barely know to train with, then you can add networking to that list of benefits.) The same holds true to rehabilitation programs or programs that require compliance for progress.
Have a discussion with each other as to how you guys will hold each other accountable. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, your partner needs to carry you to the gym and make sure you get the work done… and vice versa!
If however you do not find a buddy, and group classes aren’t for you, you next best is a Personal trainer (or a physical therapist in the case of rehab).
Things to consider when finding a buddy or coach:
- Either must be a peoples person who knows their stuff
- They need to have the same or similar goals or the trainer needs to align with yours (And not make you do what he/she likes only)
- Make sure you have set mutual-times scheduled
Sign-up at a Community-Based/Class-Based Gym
Signing up at a class-based gym adds a completely unique social dynamic that keeps you coming back for more punishment. This model was really popularised by the CrossFit community. Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something. This sense of community is a great way to stay motivated. Everyone suffers together, and everyone keeps each other accountable. More great opportunities to form relationships, network and have a great workout.
When choosing a gym, or club, take into consideration the following:
- How well-trained are the instructors? (make sure they have worked with people for at least 2 years)
- Did the coaches make you feel welcome in your trial? If not, don’t go back. (I would even say after a 3rd attempt if the first 1 or 2 were successful)
- How were the participants with you during your class? Did anyone come to talk to you? Or did it feel like you were being judged?
- Do not be fooled by appearance of the gym. Some of the most tacky looking gyms were some of the best I have ever been to in terms of overall experience. And have some really well trained coaches. Often, the gyms with the state of the art equipment almost lose that community feel (this is just me). If you’re into the latest tech, or most aesthetically pleasing gyms, as long as you stay motivated, go get it!
Try out a Martial Art or Sports Club
Just recently I have started my Jiu Jitsu journey again. It was probably one of the best decisions I have made for my health as a whole. Much like the Community-Based gyms, there is a sense of camaraderie among your peers. Everyone supports each other at competitions and relationships are founded. From a psychological perspective, it requires you to think, which is great because it takes your mind off everything else (if you’re having a high gravity day). Another benefit is that often there is a ranking system. It is always motivating to know you are progressing at something. It also may help you in a self-defense situation if you are ever in trouble.
Things to consider when finding a martial arts gym:
- Make sure that they have good coaching/respected instructors
- Keep it close to home so that it is not a possible excuse when you do not feel like going
- Try out different arts before staying with one, you might not have found what you like yet.
Apart from martial arts, you also have general sports clubs like running, cycling, hockey, football and rugby to name a few. Now these are sports you may likely have been involved in during your school days, so you would probably gravitate toward what you’re good at or familiar with. But I would challenge you to try something different, expose yourself to a new crowd or learn a new skill set.
So to conclude, find something that you actually get a kick out of…like Muay Thai…LOL that was a joke if you didn’t notice. But seriously, find a sport or a movement-based activity that you enjoy participating in. And just enjoy the process. Do not put too much pressure on yourself, this will not be sustainable.
I would just like to note that the above is not for everyone. There are many people who are really good at self-motivating. But if you are stuck and have not tried any of the above options, give it a go. And if you fall in love with any one of those, you don’t have to thank me, just drop us a comment on this blog to let us know that you found your thing! 🙂