January is the busiest time of the year for gyms across the UK. Your regular machines are crowded, and if you're a new joiner it can be a pretty intimidating place to be. So, to help you work around a busy gym, we spoke with fitness instructor Josi of Just Josi Health for 3 methods to help you carry on with your workout as normal.
Happy new year to all! The last year for me was definitely one of those 'blink and you’ll miss it' ones, I can’t believe how fast it went.
While I absolutely needed the break that the Christmas holidays gave me, by the end I was craving a routine including plenty of vegetables and a good sweat to stop me feeling so lethargic.
The 1st of January is a really key day for so many people and, rightly or wrongly, people use it as the motivation they need to make a change in their lives in terms of their fitness and health. It seems to be THE day to start new diets and fitness plans, especially given how much everyone’s eaten in the few weeks prior. However, I’ve noticed this seems to be a real bone of contention for existing gym users who don’t like their space being invaded with a bunch of newbies. Of course, it would be lovely if we could all get the gym to ourselves, but I think this negative attitude towards the newbies is what can cause them to fail by the second week of February as the gym is intimidating enough as it is, let alone if the members are unwelcoming!
To combat this I’ve had a think and below are a few ways to deal with the influx of new members. Remember there is positive in everything, you just have to look for it.
1. Allow Yourself to be a Beginner
Everyone has to start somewhere right? Everyone has to learn and practice in order to become fitter and stronger and I truly believe there is no ultimate goal here. As soon as you hit a PB you’ll be looking for your next and that is great, so all you have to remember is that you and the gym newbie are the same, both looking for progress and to constantly improve yourself… it’s just that your journey started before theirs.
It also helps to remember how intimidating it was for you stepping foot into a gym for the first time. If your first experience of the gym environment is feeling totally unwelcome then chances are that burst of motivation won’t be lasting too long and soon enough you’ll give up. This intimidating nature is what results in the cycle of people losing motivation then starting again in early January every year, if we made the gym a more inclusive environment we could combat this cycle altogether.
2. Buddy Up with a New Training Partner
Nobody has an unlimited reserve of motivation and everyone has days when they just don’t feel like it, which is where having a training partner is perfect. The hardest bit of a workout is getting yourself there in the first place so if you’re meeting someone there it will be much harder to cancel because you just can’t be bothered. The newbies are just a brand new set of training partners and you never know you may make some great new friends! Embrace that and help them involve themselves in the community.
3. Mix Up Your Routine
So the squat rack is now taken 90% of the time? Maybe that is a sign that you need to mix it up yourself. Try something new like a new class (which often have limits on participation numbers anyway so they can’t be overcrowded), machines you normally avoid, or just be more inventive with a single piece of equipment in a small space in the gym. You may find your body reacts well to the change and it reduces the risk of you getting bored from always training the same way.
I hope I’ve convinced you to embrace the busier January gyms, as I said there is positive in everything you just have to look for it!