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Should I join a gym? Do you belong to one?

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Old 05-14-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Should I join a gym? Do you belong to one?

My current 4 month goal ends on June 19th, the farmers almanac says rain for most of may, june and july (they haven't posted the rest yet) and I wanted to start running on june 19th. I feel like with two jobs and my bf working, we'll never be able to coordinate runs together to do c25k this summer, especially if we have to work around rain. So, we're thinking of joining a gym. They're running a special, it's a local place, not a big box gym, no contracts, no 'hard sell', no auto debit. It also has some of the best reviews of gyms in my area I've seen.

Anyhow, how many of you belong to a gym? What do you do? Machines? Classes? This gym has no pool, but I'll live. Everyone we know who goes there loves it and have gone for a long time.

I have a lot of stuff at home, videos, balance balls, stationary bike, cords, small weights, but I am more interested in strength training. Part of the special they are running is a free personal training session too.

Have you guys found it worth it?
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #2
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I currently belong to a Pilates studio. It's pricey, but completely worth if for me for the personal attention and wonderful support I get. I wasn't really much of a commited exerciser before. But I have worked up to five times a week plus a private session with the trainer and have been going for over a year.

I've belonged to gyms before, the kind that offer classes and private trainers, the big box ones and a couple small gyms in very small towns. I'd listen to the people who go to the gym and give the reviews of the gym to which you intend to go. They must have a trial period too.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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I have belonged to a lot of "normal" gyms and now I belong to one that just does small group personal training. If you like to go, you should definitely join! I consider it an important investment in my plan & health. My current gym is great because you make an apt. to go online, and then they lock you out of the system 3 hours before your apt. so you can't cancel it online, you have to call. This really helps me to motivate to go.

I do a mix of weight training and cardio.

I would try the gym a few times at different times of the day, and if you like it, join.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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I belong to the ymca which has a great gym and a pool and a track and I like that better than the pure "gyms" because it is not all bodybuilding types there 24/7. Also I like the classes that they offer.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
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Some years ago I read that the greatest predictor of success using a gym is the gym's convenience to your home or office. I have to agree.

I belong to a gym and although it isn't really convenient, I go a couple of times a week because my husband is going and I feel guilty if he goes and I don't. I can't help but think that I should be motivated to go on my own and if it was closer, I might be more inclined to jump in the car and go "for an hour or so". Once I'm in the door, I usually do a good job of cardio or strength training.

I have some equipment at home and it gathers dust. For me, a gym works better.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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I have belonged to a few gyms in my day, but don't belong now. Before you decide, shop around. There are lots of articles online showing you what to look for in a gym that will meet your personal needs. Realize that there are lots of much smaller gyms that you may not be aware of that may work better for you than a large national gym. Then, if at the end of the day, you still aren't sure if the gym is for you, see if you can get a trial membership from the gym or gyms of your choice. One day will tell you if it's the right vibe, but if you can manage to get a month long contract or membership (rather than year long), you'll see for sure if it's something you'll utilize or something you'll regret purchasing.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #7
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I went to a smaller gym a long time ago, it was a "Pay as you go" type place, $5 a time. It was what I wanted, as I needed to learn proper form etc, and what pace to go at. But after that, i did everything at home. I'd giggle at people who drove 5 miles to get on a treadmill to walk...5 miles LOL I realize not everyone can walk outside, but it still struck me as kind of weird.

Now I "make an appointment" for myself every day, usually right after work from 5 to 6 p.m., where I can work out or just do Wii if I'm stressed. Believe it or not, I do old fashioned calisthenics, like the Army used to do back in the 50s lol but it WORKED like crazy, and not a machine in sight! My own body weight (heh there used to be a lot) was more than enough resistance.

But it all depends on YOU, what type of person you are, if you need the social aspect of it, the 'going out' part, maybe that'll be more incentive for you, especially with a partner. Whatever will make you STICK TO IT is the key!!

Try it for a few weeks and count how many times you go and see if it's worth it!
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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I want to join a gym, but I'm moving cities this summer, so for where I live now I've gotten a trial membership at a local gym. It's great. I can go to the classes and I've been trying out zumba, step, spin, etc. so that when I do join one in the fall, I'll know what I like and what I don't. Then after class, I spend time weight training and doing a little extra cardio on machines I don't have.

I do have exercise equipment and a balance ball at home, which I use, but I like the gym environment, I admit. The pressure of having other people around helps keep me focused and moving, whereas at home I'm sometimes tempted to quit after 20 minutes and don't have anyone around me to say me nay.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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I've had gym memberships on and off for years. Right now I'm on -- I belong to my local Y which is like 4 seconds away from my house. I do cardio and strength training there, and on Tuesday nights they have the absolute best, most kilerl and challenging water aerobics class I've ever taken.

I find that actually going to the gym is better for me than trying to work out from home. To have a place specifically dedicated to clearing my mind of everything else and just exercising really helps. When I stay here I get distracted and find other things to do, no matter how well intentioned I may be.

Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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Excellent Question!!! I think it depends on your personality and what you are looking for. For me personally, I have had a gym membership (on and off) since I was about 16 (now 25). The gym has a lot of benefits for me.

1. Its open 24hours-I am a nurse and work some really strange shifts so having a gym that is always open helps me stay active and committed to losing weight.
2. Variety. Depending on my work schedule I usually go to cycling, kickboxing, or yoga class and mix in cardio machines. My gym also has flyers for upcoming 5k runs and sometimes there are training sessions for it where gym members get together to run (these classes are included in the membership).
3. When I signed up I got 3 personal training sessions, which really helped me out in the weight room area (I was really intimated to be in the midst of the 'meat-heads')
4. Since my friends already went to the gym I had gym buddies : ) This helps me stay committed to going. It is also helps with working out because there is some friendly competition in the air making the works out a little more intense.

Random Thought: Some gyms have VIP week passes where you try the gym out for free for a week. Perhaps try that to see if you like it.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #11
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I agree that it depends on the person, type of exercise he/she likes, lifestyle, and budget. I have a membership at the local Y, it's a 10 minute walk from where I live. I also exercise at home. I really enjoy getting out and being at the gym. They have several types of machines, so I can mix it up when I want, and resistance machines, as well as balls and free weights, stretching areas. Stuff I use from time to time that I don't have at home. I haven't taken any classes there yet, but I worked with a personal trainer for a bunch of sessions and I liked that (was a bit grueling, ha, but I learned a lot).
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:42 PM   #12
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I <3 my gym membership so much. So many different machines, Always learning new way to work my body.

No classes at my gym, but there is a personal trainer. I just haven't taken that leap yet.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:59 PM   #13
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I love going to the gym! I go at least four times a week. Treadmill, then circuit training, swimming and the most fun of all ZUMBA! I feel so much better when I go, my body is harder and more toned. If I don't go I really get stiff and just don't feel good. Join!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:01 PM   #14
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I just joined a gym (our local Y) about a month ago and have been going 5x/week. The best part, and most of the reason I'm so consistent, is that it has free childcare every morning so I get to exercise without worrying about my kiddos. I generally only use the cardio equipment and the weight machines, but DH and I play racquetball every Friday, too.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #15
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I am not an 'exercise at home' person. I have to go to the gym and I have to take classes so I have an 'appointment'.

My gym offers a free day (3rd Sat of month) and I can get a guest pass for free that's good for three days. Also my membership is month to month with no contract. For my convenience, I signed up for debit. See if any (or all) of your friends can get a free pass for you. The gym sounds good since they don't require a contract.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gloo View Post
... and on Tuesday nights they have the absolute best, most kilerl and challenging water aerobics class I've ever taken.
Not to side track the thread but what is it that makes the water aerobics killer and challenging?
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