One of the most common misperceptions I encounter as an instructor at Crunch Fitness is that most people believe these sweat and muscle temples are only for “fitness models” and “workout warriors”.
Let me tell you why they got it wrong.
- The health club is yours just like anyone else’s. Clients say, when I take them to the “hardcore” area of the gym, “I can’t go there, that area is only for people who look perfect.” No one is perfect and, how do you think they got to where they are now? By going there… We all start somewhere.
- “Everyone was staring at me and my uncool clothes.” I call it the “kids pose” in the health club, because of the look on their faces when they say this. No one is judging you. Remember, this club is full of narcissistic people who only focus on themselves. This isn’t an elementary school where kids are running around making fun of other kids.
- I’ve coached people without limbs, burn victims and people with MS. These are inspirational people whose least concern is how they perceive other people.
- Asking questions doesn’t make you look like an idiot. My pet peeve is seeing people doing exercises wrong in ways that potentially put themselves at high risk of injury. When approached, they are too cool to admit they might not know something, and they ignore you with their hand. Remember, whether it’s fitness or anything else in life, you can always learn from others.
- Injury: I’ve seen so many people end up hurting themselves, because they were too embarrassed to ask how to use the machine. You wouldn’t walk into a construction site without knowing the machines around you, would you? The gym can be just as dangerous. This type of person is different from the overbearing protectors I talked about above (4) who don’t want to take advice because they know everything. The people I’m talking about here are too shy and embarrassed to bother someone. As coaches, we are paid to do that, but we can’t see everything, so it’s your job to ask us; we want to help. Always remember that what you don’t know can hurt you. (like a tuna sandwich that has been sitting in the glass for 2 weeks– J)
- As important as physical growth, as important as mental growth. When you’re at the club, relax and enjoy it all – the sights, sounds and the way people interact with each other. Open your mind to new experiences, ask questions and understand that no one is perfect… mistakes will be made. You paid your dues and your money is as good as anyone else’s money.
There are many reasons to join a health club, and there are many types of clubs that cater to people’s particular personalities. Someone just starting out may not want to join a heavy metal club, where groans and groans are free, whereas a man who has been lifting weights for years may not want to join a club like “Curves” which caters more to women. .
When looking for a gym, you want to find a place where you feel comfortable, and that’s not necessarily the closest neighborhood club. Well-known chains can offer lots of perks and classes, but large spaces can be overwhelming for newbies and pushy sales staff can make them hugely uncomfortable.
It also helps to team up with friends or hire a personal trainer who can help make the health club experience fun (and lighter on your wallet, of course). There are many options to choose from, so take your time and find what suits you best.