Each year thousands of gyms see an increase in their membership enrollment between January 1st and January 15th. By the end of February more than 3/4 of those new members have stopped going on a regular basis. As a certified personal trainer here in LA, part of my job in the fitness industry is to help clients identify potential hurdles they may face on their fitness journey and how best to overcome them.
There are a couple of key reasons why new members who don't work with a personal trainer may stop going on a regular basis. In no particular order they are "intimidation, lack of know how, boredom and lack of results."
Let's look at these and talk about where they come from and how they can be avoided.
First off simply seeing them in this post will now give you a visual association so when you feel one of these 4 things you can hopefully refer back to this post.
Let's start with gym or fitness intimidation. I find that gym or fitness intimidation can be attributed to either being afraid of others judging you and your current fitness level or being overwhelmed by the amount of equipment suddenly at your disposal. Let me start by assuring you that NO ONE at the gym is there to judge you. That really hot guy or gal who looks like they are chiseled out of marble is focused on what they are doing. They are so focused on their technique that they may not even notice you or anyone else is even in the gym. IF, they so happen to look up and see you working out, I promise you that they are impressed and happy that you came. No matter how little weight you can push or how slow you are walking on the treadmill you need to understand that you are still working circles around the folks who decided NOT to show up that day. As for being overwhelmed by the amount of options at your gym don't worry. When in doubt, go back to the basics. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: click on the workouts and guides section of my site and pick up the beginners gym guide. There are 25 workouts in there that will show you what to do and how to do them)
Lack of know how is another reason people stop going to the gym. I see this all the time as a personal trainer here in LA. I'll see folks come in for a few weeks straight. They kind of hop from machine to machine with a sort of perplexed look and after about a month I never see them again. Look, you need to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that this isn't your specialty in life. (and that's ok) The best thing you can do to overcome this is hire a certified personal trainer who can show the correct way to approach everything. Understandably I know this isn't always financially an option for everyone but I urge you to get creative. (Check Groupon for deals) Also don't forget that my Beginners Gym Guide, shows you how to do 25 unique exercises that are personal trainer approved.
Lastly let's look at boredom and lack of results. I feel like these two go hand in hand. You often get bored when you feel like you aren't seeing the results you desire. It's super important to set attainable goals at various points so that your enthusiasm doesn't diminish. Often we are too hard on ourselves or ask too much of our body. Look if you spent all of the previous year on the sofa eating ruffles chips and drinking coke, you can't reasonably expect to look like a Bond, character in 2 weeks. I find that time is the cause for most things. Let me explain. Your body needs TIME to establish it's new norms. The longer (TIME) you put off starting your fitness journey the longer (TIME) it will take you to reach your goals. Conversely, the more TIME you devote to your fitness goals the less TIME it will take you to reach them.
(Make sure you check out our youtube channel for more tips and advice on health and fitness)