I am one of the millions of people who want to get into good shape but just can’t (or won’t, depending on my mood). I am of average weight, of average height, and my diet is consistently inconsistent. One day I’d be gobbling up veggies and fruits as if there’s no tomorrow and the next you’d find me eating up a cheeseburger, onion rings, and a slice of pizza in one sitting.
I’ve never had body image issues but just like any other person on the planet I dream once in a while of a body worthy of a Sports Illustrated cover photo. To get that dream body of mine, not only should I be cleaning up my diet and eating more healthily, I should be hitting the gym. If you’re like me, I can get pretty nervous about working out in public. There’s something about going to the gym that makes me nervous and jittery.
Before we can sign up for that gym membership, let’s take a step back and see if we’re prepared to be going to the gym. I’m not talking about gym clothes here. It matters that we are emotionally and mentally prepared to be working out in a public place. Let me elaborate:
- Everyone around you is just as self-conscious, or even more so, than you are. Notice all those mirrors you see placed in every wall and corner? Those are not just to let the light in or make the gym look more spacious. It’s because most people go to the gym to look and feel good (with emphasis on the look part.) That weightlifting dude at the corner or the model-thin girl at the treadmill are just having the same thoughts as you. Am I doing things the right way? How do I look? Is she smaller than me? Do his arms look bigger than mine? While these thoughts are harmless and shouldn’t be your main focus at the gym, it helps to realize that you’re not alone.
- Back to that weightlifting dude. Do you think he started off looking the way he does now? Keep in mind that every single person in the gym is going through some sort of journey of their own. They started working out for a reason: to look and feel great. Your day 1 isn’t the same as their day 376. If you feel like you’re being judged, don’t worry. Those who are judging you are judging everyone at the gym. There will always be people who are insecure about their progress and they find it comforting when they find someone who is less “fit” than they are. Now isn’t the time to be thinking of others. You’re doing this for yourself, remember?
- Expect some support. A gym is typically a place of support, friendship, and constant motivation. The more experienced gym-goers would be more than happy to lend a helping hand to newbies at the gym. These people recognize that you’re all on a journey to good health so they find the time and energy to help those around them. Be thankful for any support you get and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Get To Know The Gym
Now, with the mental preparations all set, comes the task of getting familiar with the gym itself. A commercial gym comes in all forms and sizes with very different features which you could spend your time in. Ever-present would be the metal and iron equipment, usually consisting of free weights, or weights which are attached to cables and pulleys which you would exert pressure to lift on. This is a bare-bones feature present in almost all gyms, and one would find all levels of people working out here – ranging from the newbies with the 2.5 or 5 pound dumbbells, to the pro lifters with their 100 pound and more weights, crashing the floorboards after each lift of theirs.
Next comes the cardiovascular (or cardio) part of the gym consisting mostly of treadmills (in all forms and fashions), exercise bikes, and stairmaster machines. People would either use these machines for a majority of their gym time, or just a small fraction of it. Depending on the workout plan which you would follow, or whether you just want to loosen or limber up a bit in the gym, affects how long you’d want to spend at a machine and which particular machine would be the best fit for you. Spending a few minutes on any of these machines would make you work up a slight sweat, elevate your heart rate, and get you in the mood for more serious exercises. Even at the gym everything should be done in moderation: spending too much time doing cardio could potentially lead to loss of muscle mass or getting fatigued enough not to do any other
In most gyms, there are wide open spaces provided for both aerobic exercises, group classes, and for personal bodyweight exercise. Depending on the program or enrollment you’ve paid for, you can have several or an unlimited number of group classes you could join in ranging from yoga, zoomba, cycling classes, aerobics, or even dance. These are fun ways to surpass the boredom of doing the same workout routine each day or week, and is also a good opportunity to get to know other gym goers personally. There are also spaces where you could do personal workouts. With many personal trainers and bodybuilders posting their workouts on Youtube, you
can easily follow their routine at the gym.
A Workout Program
You would also notice that a person doesn’t just spend his or her time in a certain section of the gym. This is due to a workout being composed mainly of different exercises targeting different parts of the body which switches mostly every day. The reason for this is rest is needed by your body, especially the muscles, just as much as using or straining them does.
It’s actually during the rest periods where we grow muscles, and lose the most fat. Someone who is active and goes to the gym has the added effect of having an increased metabolism, which burns calories and fat more than a regular person would. This means that you could actually be burning all those unwanted love handles and flabby arms even if you’re sleeping or at work.
In order to maximize your gym time, a good workout program is a big help in reaching your fitness goals. These usually consist of several different stages such as starting off with a 15-minute cardio workout on the treadmill, keeping your heart rate between 50% to 60%. After this comes either group classes or hitting the weights which would include a mix of free weights such as dumbbells and barbells. This would stimulate the muscles to be used and broken down, later to be repaired so it can be in a larger or better state. After these would come stationary workouts such as working the abs and core muscle groups, stretching, and various forms of cooling down like walking or breathing exercises. Some gyms also provide saunas, showers, and pools to relax after a rigorous workout program.
There’s nothing that a little research can’t do. With information so widely available because of the internet, there are so many sites, texts, and videos to go through to help you come up with a workout program that best fits your fitness goals.
Another option would be to hire a personal trainer to create a workout program tailored to your liking, to your body type, and to keep you interested in going to the gym. The personal trainer would also be by your side during your entire time at the gym to teach you the correct technique, posture, and to keep you motivated. He or she would also assist you in stretching before and after your workout to minimize injury and pain. Getting a personal trainer might be costly but if this is your first time engaging in a serious workout program, it’s best to invest.
The Best Gym For You
Now that you’ve read all this and have finally pumped yourself up to actually get your gym time started, the next choice would be to find out which would be the best gym for you. If there was only one gym near your work or household, then this would be a no brainer decision. However,
with many commercial gyms popping up in every corner or every mall, you would have to weigh each gym’s options and pricing to come up with the best experience that’s bang for your buck.
Aside from checking out each gym’s facilities, you should also look for those which have good ventilation, good lighting, and allows for a wide area to move in. There’s nothing worse than having to work out in a gym with poor ventilation; you wouldn’t want to sniff another person’s body odour now would you? Availability is also an important factor. Most people prefer going to the gym before or after work, or during the wee hours of the night. A gym that’s open 24/7 is your best bet to avoid the place being overcrowded.
Rec Xpress is a relatively new gym brand which is one of the fastest growing in the area. It is a
family owned business, and this allows members to enjoy many benefits, including:
- 24/7 availability
- No Lock-in Contracts
- Low cost membership – $11 per week
- No lock-in contracts
- No joining fees
- No transaction fees
- Access to all five great locations
- An online special – 2 Weeks Free Online Signup
- Equipment and facilities in each gym location includes:
- Cardio machines, areas, and equipment
- Pin-loaded weights
- Free weights
- Coaches and training programs
- Toilets and Showers
All ages and fitness levels are welcome in Rec Xpress gyms. Rec Xpress gyms are open 24/7 and provide you with the flexibility of choosing when to go to the gym, catering to people of all lifestyles and levels of activity. You don’t even have to change your daily schedule in order to hit the gym; just go whenever you’re free. Each location hosts the very latest cardio, pin loaded and free weight equipment.
There are also facilities and amenities present such as toilets and showers for each client. The entire area is kept organized and the premises are professionally cleaned every day, including Sunday. Rec Xpress promotes a welcoming culture for all ages and fitness levels, and place a huge emphasis on member safety and comfort. All locations have friendly staff members who can answer any of your questions, and there are also personal training services available if you’re in need of advice or motivation.
Become Rich With Wellness
As I sign up with Rec Xpress, I am much more excited to invest in something that is more valuable than gold. My health is definitely my wealth. Are you ready to get rich with me?