1. Locking someone into a yearly contract for a cheap rate and banking on them not showing up.
A lot of the big gyms will “cut a deal” if you sign up for a longer period of time like a one or two year contract. Most gyms will offer you the deal because they figure you won’t show up, so why not sell a cheap membership and pack the place? They might offer a deal like 200 dollars for a year opposed to $200 a month (what you might pay at a more specialized studio where there is a level of accountability). But where is the value if you are not showing up? Do not sign up for a long term contract if you do not have a solid plan in place to for attendance. If you find it difficult to find the motivation to go to the gym do not sign up at a place where they don’t care if you come in or not. Find a studio where the trainers and staff will hold you accountable for your actions, don’t settle for the cheapest, and demand the best service.
2. Hiring a personal trainer who is unqualified.
Hiring a trainer can change your life. Having a great coach to teach you how to design a program to maximize your results, make sure you are doing things correctly, and support and motivate you when you need it the most is priceless. However a lot of big gyms will hire trainers with lack of qualifications and experience, and give them minimal training, just to increase personal training sales. These practices are dangerous and absurd. If someone has a bad experience they may never want to hire a trainer again. Find out what the trainers qualifications are before hiring them and ask if they have worked with someone like you before. Also make sure they will set realistic expectations with you and are able to break down a plan of how they will get you the results you desire. Not all trainers are the same, don’t let a bad experience steer you away from achieving your goals.
3. Buying a product on TV that doesn’t do what it says it will.
Turn on any channel and you will see no shortage of trainers screaming at clients to go harder and faster. What they don’t show is the amount of recovery time that needs to take place with this extra effort. People see these video products and assume this is a healthy way to workout all the time. No emphasis is placed on planning the entire workout scheme and what that entails. Worse even yet are these apparatus that claim to give you six pack abs. Don’t waste money on these gimmicky products. Invest in your education. Hire a reputable trainer or seek education from a reputable source that focuses on safety.
“Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better.”
4. Gyms that could double as circus arenas.
Have you ever walked into a gym with twenty people doing barbell snatches with one coach spotting and correcting form? It might sound ridiculous but they do exist. Some gyms pride themselves on that “elite” mentality and like to tout, “my workout is your warmup” meanwhile half of them are tearing their ACL or rotator cuffs performing circus stunts. Steer clear from these types of places and find a place that focuses on building people up and not tearing them down. Great gyms and coaches will have a screening process to help select what exercises are right for you and progressions and regressions to keep you progressing toward your goal.
It can be intimidating walking into a studio where everyone looks uber fit and pumping out reps with perfect form. What you must realize is everyone has to start somewhere. I’ve trained former pro athletes and former coach potatoes. Each one of them is capable of working as hard as the other. The only difference could be the exercises each is able to perform. At the gym, or anywhere for that matter, most people are too concerned with their own business and appearance to take the time to make judgments about someone else. Most people in the fitness industry are pretty helpful to motivate someone or offer advice to someone just starting out. Don’t let the fear of being judged limit you from accomplishing your goal.
“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”