10 Signs Your Gym is Holding You Back
It's official, I'm a gym snob.
I'm not going to be sorry about it, but I will explain why.
I have recently joined a commercial gym (I won't name names) so I can be a 'gym buddy' for my housemate and good friend.
After all, I'm lucky enough to work for Ultimate Performance and have my training done and dusted before she's even made it home - so I feel for her when I'm done for the evening and she still has to venture out in the cold when the only reason she's going is because she feels she has to.
Before I get stuck into this article I want to point out that in no way do I think I'm an expert in this field, not even close. However, I have been trained and educated by the best in the world over the last year so I've managed to learn a trick or two and quickly realised that a gym is not 'just a gym'.
Until now, I've been training in what feels like the comfort of my own home (UP Manchester), so to venture out to another gym surrounded by strangers is quite daunting, even for me.
I've only had three sessions at this gym and although the way it looks is quite impressive, there are plenty of things I can't help but notice.
1. The Staff Don't Care
This is the part where I get all soppy and say how much of a family UP has become for me. And that's not just the Manchester lot either, the whole global world of UP were behind me and egging me on throughout my own transformation.
I also know I can speak on behalf of our clients when I say this - the gym floor is always full of motivation and every trainer has a genuine passion for you to succeed.
So when I go to another gym and see every trainer they have, sat on their arses, paying no attention whatsoever to anything going on in the gym; it doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.
I could have set my hair on fire and they wouldn't have even flinched.
Now you might not want a personal trainer and after seeing that for myself, I could understand why but that's certainly not how a good personal trainer would act.
2. They'll Also Watch You Do It All Wrong
One of the main reasons I never used to go to the gym was because I had no idea what I was doing and I'd rather avoid the embarrassment.
Having a UP personal trainer means not only do they train you hard, they train you the right way. One of the most vital lessons I have learnt is 'form' and how to exercise properly and that's great for two things -
1. You're actually working your muscles, as in, really working them and 2. You're not going to ruin your chances of being able to walk when you're older.
Something I couldn't quite understand was that even though I have very basic training knowledge, compared to that of a 'so called trainer', they would happily walk by people who are doing it so very wrong and not say a thing.
Now, I don't care whether they only get paid by their own clients, but if I was in their position I would feel it in my bones, as an expert in the field, that it's my duty to correct those people.
You'd also think from a business point of view that by caring enough to give a little advice, that person might then think 'god you were helpful, can I hire you?' and Bob's your Uncle, new client, new business.
Exercising the wrong way is not only bad for your body but it's a complete waste of your time in the gym.
3. It's a Social Ground
Ask yourself why you go to the gym.
If your answer is 'to make new friends', I'll leave you be.
If your answer is that you're trying to get in shape, you need to focus on your training.
I'm not saying you need to unsociable. Do what you want before and after your session but if you want results, if you really want to see a change in your body you HAVE to work hard.
I was in the gym watching people having a full on conversation on their mobile whilst leg pressing, or literally just wandering around the gym having a bitch about their friend. It baffles me.
I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but it's just not the time or place for it and it's not the kind of atmosphere you should surround yourself with if the reason you're in the gym is to make a real difference.
4. Equipment Hoggers
I've already lost count of the number of gym-goers who would literally have their rest on a machine.
IF YOU'RE NOT USING IT, GET OFF IT.
Now I'm not exactly afraid to tell someone to get off a machine they're not using, but for those who aren't that confident around a gym, it's not a nice thing to have to do.
Especially when said person feels they own the gym (you usually get a vibe).
You will never see this in a UP gym - ever.
5. It's a Mess
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the tidiest of people, so when I say 'it's a mess' what I really mean is that it's just not organised and I'll tell you why that's a problem when you're training.
Imagine you're on a mission, you're training hard, you've just finished your first exercise and you've got 60 seconds before you need to start the next one...but you can't for the life of you find the dumbbell you need.
It's not about being tidy for the sake of it looking 'pretty', it's about not wasting your gym session by wandering around trying to locate the equipment you need - it sucks.
You may still be wondering why I still care about this, but once you've had a training session with a UP personal trainer, in a UP gym, where everything is specifically designed to make sure you get the maximum out of your '1 hour'...then you'll know.
6. It's Driven By Money, Not Results
Let's face it - those commercial gyms you train in are all about the dollar.
You may ask why that would even matter, so I'll tell you.
The equipment, the staff, the advertisements, the merchandise - it's all there to keep everyone happy so they keep paying.
They've got loads of treadmills, they've got a fancy spa and a steam room - hell, they've even got a cafe.
Yes, that might all look great and give you more value for your money, but what it doesn't do is take away the fact that none of those things will help change your body shape.
Those things are all materialistic 'things' that will give you more of a reason to pay to go to their gym and no one else's but how often do you see those gyms promote how anyone that goes to their gym, has actually seen a difference in their health and physique?
Just take a look.
7. There's No Care for One Another
I'll be the first to admit that I love a good headphones-in-ears-being-in-my-own-zone type of training session, but the problem with these type of sessions, unless you're an absolute beast, is that will soon get boring.
Boring sessions will not inspire you and they'll not make you want to keep going back either.
When I had my first UP experience with a personal trainer it made me realise just how much passion and care they had for you to achieve something - and that wasn't just my personal trainer, it was all of them.
And then there are all the other clients. Everyone is on a mission and a serious mission too, so everyone is on the same wavelength and the great thing about this is the incredible atmosphere it creates.
One of my favourite things about the job is literally watching our clients change, every time you see them and I'll not hold back in telling them how awesome they're looking.
You won't get that anywhere else, I promise you that.
8. Everyone's Afraid to Train
I mean really train.
Another thing I've learnt thanks to UP is that it's okay to get aggressive in the gym.
It doesn't matter if you're swearing your head off, grunting or simply yelling at your trainer. In fact, it's encouraged because what it does mean is that you're having a cracking good session.
If your gym makes you feel like you can't do any of those things, it also means you're holding back when you train, which is the last thing you want to be doing. After all, you're there to train aren't you?
You wouldn't go to the hairdressers and get half a hair cut, would you? You wouldn't go to the tailors and get just the one leg fitted? Going to the gym and having a half-hearted session is not only a waste of your time, it's not going to bring you the results you want from it.
9. Most Have No Clue
Once again, I'd like to point out that I do not know everything - I'm fully aware of that, believe me.
I would, however, like to point something out that I think will benefit many of you next time you go into a gym.
Think about all of the 'gym-goers' who intimidate you because you feel they know way more than you about training.
Think about those who are lifting a ridiculous amount of weight, performing the fastest reps of all time or maybe even exercising the most complicated move you've ever seen.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that almost 90% of the time, those people have NO IDEA what they're doing, so you really don't need to worry about them.
Just crack on and do your own thing, that's all you need to focus on.
10. You Don't Enjoy It
Do you want to know the key ingredient to staying in shape?
Do you want to know how to stay consistent?
Enjoy what you do.
How do you enjoy going to the gym?
By achieving something, by pushing yourself and realising that actually 'yeah, I'm getting stronger, I'm noticing muscles I didn't know existed and it's awesome'.
That's when you will start to want to go to the gym because you're enjoying what you're getting out of it.
If you're not seeing improvements, if you don't know what you're doing or if you've got no one (even yourself) pushing you to do better, then it's safe to say you will eventually despise it.
If you can relate to any of these things, the likelihood is you're not getting what you need out of your gym and maybe, just maybe it's worth thinking about really investing in yourself and think about changing.