I love the gym. I mean I really LOVE the gym. Joining my gym was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life! Right before I enrolled, I had been attending an exercise class for moms called “Strollerfit”. It was a good little setup, but it was entirely too hot here in Texas at 9:00am in June. Fortunately for me, they opened an LA Fitness a few miles from my house.
One Non-Fitness Reason to Join a Gym.
The new gym had not been open long and were really trying to build their customer base, so I was able to get a good monthly rate for the payment and the child care for 3 kids added on for an additional 10.00 per month. Unlimited trips to kid care (within their operating hours of course) for up to 2 hours gave me a real incentive to go to the gym. Just for the break for my mental health. When I first joined I would often tell myself “Just bring them in the kid care and then if you just absolutely cannot get into exercising you can just sit in the sauna and zone out”. Well I’m pretty sure that I never actually did that. I always ended up exercising and feeling all the better for it at the end.
Should You Sign Up for Personal Training at the Gym?
Anytime I pay for something related to fitness, I am ever so more inclined to stick with it, making sure not to waste my money. With that theory in mind, I decided to sign up for personal training about a month into my gym journey. Depending on the employees at any given gym, they training pitch can be pretty pushy, and the sessions can be pricey. I took advantage of the free session and fitness evaluation offered whenI joined the gym. After going through that and sitting down one on one with a trainer to listen to all of my stats and their recommend plan of action, I opted to sign up for 1 session per month of personal training. My thought process was that I could carve the money from my budget by cutting my spending on fast food and 1 session per month would give me the knowledge of different equipment and routines to start enhancing my independent workouts.
I was presented with information about how to plan my workouts that I still refer to presently. I will try to concisely relay it to you.
What I Learned from my Personal Trainer
I recall my then trainer telling me that I needed to start my workout focusing on the biggest muscles within any given group (well of course you need to do a whole body light cardio for a 5-7min warm up) for the first few exercises and then moving to exercises that isolate the smaller muscles in the group. For example, if I were having a back/bicep/pull muscles day, I would focus on my back with pull-ups, lat pulls, rows, and then move into some bicep curls and shoulder specific moves. Core can be an entire day of it’s own, but ideally is worked into every muscle group you focus on. My plyometric exercises utilize your core and build a strong one. Contracting your core during any exercise is always a good idea.
- Chest/Triceps/Shoulders*—- Push muscles!
- Back/Bicep/Shoulders*—— Pull muscles!
- Quads/Hamstring/Glutes/Calves—- Lower Body Muscles (Leg Day!)
- Core Muscles
Beyond the Personal Trainer and Gym Experience–
I stuck with my once a month training and after a year I signed up for more sessions per month after they offered me a pretty sweet deal. For a while I was meeting with my trainer regularly then life became more complicated to schedule and sticking with my appointments was harder to do. I still came to the gym but I never really knew what time of the day I was going to be able to get there. Living day by day became my norm. My sessions started racking up and at that point I decided to cancel the training, but not the gym.
At home workouts like Insanity and Focus T25 became my preference for a while, at which time I wasn’t attending the gym very regularly. The fall that I was training for the Houston Marathon I don’t think I stepped foot in my gym for nearly 3 months straight since I was running 6 days a week to prepare. During this time I didn’t cancel my membership because I needed that child care option to remain a “just in case” in my mind. Do you need a gym to live a fit life? Absolutely not. Like I said about, I love my gym. It is my refuge. It is one of my happy places (right up there with Target). I don’t think the gym and I will ever break up.
I am a runner and fitness fanatic who is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. I live in Texas and divide my time between raising 3 children, teaching, and living a fit life.