Hi Y’allses! Did you enjoy your holidays? I did–had a wonderful time in Oregon with my little Oregon family. However, with a few exceptions (like my little Oregon family), I can say with sincere LAWDYNESS that I am sick of traveling. Enough. Yup, good to be home now, and after extensive travel over the past 14 months, I am ready to spend quite a long time in my little Smoky Mountain cove finishing up my new novel The Lightning Charmer, rocking on the porch (less’n it’s too cold, which it is right now), taking mountain walks, and kickin up my heels on the gym’s treadmill. Yup, y’all, I am one of those people who love love love to exercise–it was part of what made me a good trainer. Same as I love love love to write, which makes me a pretty good book writer, too, I think!
Gyms make money on Sales, so they want to impress/entice you in–but be sure to look in the nooks and crannies of the gym and the contract: When I worked as a personal trainer at a gym, January/February were our busiest months, and so sometimes we trainers had to help with “sales.” I hated “sales” because, as many of you may know, I have a hard time “selling” things, even if I believe in them!—e-yup, I also sucketh at promo and marketing and salesmanship of my novels. Lawdy.
So, during those busy “sales days,” we trainers, and other gym staff, would tour unsuspecting prospective victims clients about the gym while touting the wonderful exceptional qualities of gym and staff–some things we were told to say bordered on “not quite as wonderful as said.” Well, I was always honest/truthful, even if it meant I would not make that sale and would not make any extra money, but that’s just how I rawk-n-roll. Listen to the “spiel” but look carefully about the gym and ask as many questions as you need to: Is the gym clean, and do they regularly clean the equipment? Is the whirlpool/jacuzzi cleaned properly, drained, sanitized, and re-filled regularly, etc.? Is the equipment in good shape? Do the staff seem upbeat, excited to have you there? Is the contract easy to understand? Do they offer a few free weeks you can take advantage of? What kind of classes are offered and are they included in the contract? Etc etc!
Gyms take in monthly contract sales whether you and you and you and you attend the gym or not, and even sometimes over-book because of the “donations” concept, so why just “give” them your money? GO!: Sometimes I’d hear the salespeople talk about “donations/donators.” Yeah. Those are the people who are all gungo-ho’d to join a gym and work they’s asses off after the holidays (or before a wedding, or a reunion, or whatever the event may be), and after about a month, or when the event is over, their happy asses quit going to the gym—and since they signed a contract for a year, la tee dah, all they’s butts are doing is making a donation every month. It’s difficult to worm your way out of a contract, folkses, so think twice before signing your name to a binding document.
Most Gyms will work with you, for they want/need your business: What I would suggest to potential clients of the gym was to sign up for a shorter contract—say three months. Yes, it was not as good of a deal, but three months was, and is, a good amount of time to see if you’ll be consistent in your gym-going. Then, if you are consistent and want to continue, work with the gym for a better contract–believe me, folks, all gyms WANT and many NEED your business, so you can ask them to give you a good deal or you walk–just be reasonable, for after all, it is a business where people/bills have to be paid, too.
Ask about free personal trainers, and use them, but ask about their experience: When you sign up at a gym, take advantage of the (usually a few sessions only) free personal training service, if it is offered. Do, however, ask them what kind of experience the gym trainers have. More education does not necessarily mean a great trainer, but they should be certified by a reputable agency (you can do your research), and what they say to you when you talk with them should make sense to you, and fit your personal goals. Of course, if your personal goal is to sit on your ass, well, no reputable trainer would say, “Sure dude! I can work you out on your couch! Just show me the money.” Haw. Lawd no.
Gyms should offer, at the least, a trainer/staff to show you how to use the equipment properly: You simply must know how to work that gym equipment properly, with proper form, to effectively, and safely, work out. Don’t think you are “bothering” the trainers, for that’s what they are there for. And, if they are worth a dang, they will enjoy showing you what to do—I used to love the busy times, because I hated standing around twiddling my thumbs. I loved training, and when someone wanted me to help them, I did it gladly and with passion, and for free. I had clients who paid me to work with them, but that was separate from the help I gave to clients on the gym floor. Take advantage of trainers who are walking about the gym. If they do not have trainers on the floor, then ask a staff person to provide someone to answer questions/help you with equipment. If there is no one available, maybe another gym is in order? However, don’t try to wheedle free hour-long sessions from a trainer, y’all, now! Dang!
Don’t burn up and burn out: One of the worst things you can do is to go in that gym all fired up and jumping around and slamming your fist in the air and Doing Too Much until you burn out and drop out. I saw it, and I see it, time and time again. That fired up WANT to be in shape and/or lose weight. The person will go to the gym every day, stay for far longer than they should, eating little food and/or foods that have
no taste because they think that’s the best way to lose weight. Dial it back a little and give yourself time to be used to the new load you are placing on your body with exercise—if you are too sore to work out, or have a stress-injury, you will not be able to continue your work out safely and effectively until you feel better. If you eat foods you hate, you won’t keep up with your new eating plan. Take time to think things through with a well-thought out plan for a reasonable exercise routine that you can slowly build on. Take time to think about meals that are tasty but healthy that you will reasonably fit into your daily meal-times. Don’t be unrealistic, but DO challenge yourself to try new foods/workouts!
Do your research to find a gym/trainer that/who fits: Now, get out there and do some research. Find a gym that fits you. If you hate gyms, then I’m not talking to you in this post—although, I will say to you who hate gyms: Why? If it’s the money, fine, I can understand that, and perhaps you can talk to a gym about some kind of reasonable contract. But if it’s because you become a “donator,” then consider altering your thoughts and routines at the gym—and consider trying out the gym for a shorter contract time, or a gym that offers month-to-month without contracts–although, you could use that contract as a motivator–“I’m going because I simply will not throw away my money for nothing!” YEAH!