Enrolling at a gym is a tough decision to make. If you don’t do your research, you can easily get distracted by the beauty of the facilities, the intensity of the workouts, and the persuading words of the instructor. Remember, you are in the gym for a purpose. You need to ask your gym instructor questions that will help you discern whether the program you are joining will help you reach your goal or not. Here are some suggestions:
1. Are you a certified trainer?
You want to see whether your instructor has the license and education to back up his position. Follow-up questions would include his credentials, where he/she studied, and if he/she is still studying. It would also be great if he/she were part of an organization like the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association, or studied in a school like the ACPE Academy (Australian College of Physical Education). You should also ask about his/her experience in training: what the customers were like, and whether they reached their fitness goals or not.
2. Can I reach my goal without this program or without a gym membership?
Of course you want to see the extent of the program’s value for money. If you can be as efficient without having to enroll in the program or with the instructor, then you’re probably better off at home. Unless investing in the program is the push you need to become motivated. But more often than not gym instructors will just tickle your ears until you get convinced to enroll, and you want to get past that level and see what the gym really has to offer. You should also take note of the significance of the different equipment that the gym has in connection with your goal.
3. How vital is it that I sign up for one-on-one training instead of just joining a group class?
Depending on your goal and how disciplined you want to be in training, you want to see whether a personal trainer is needed or mere dance classes or group workouts will do. The biggest benefit of having a personal trainer is that he/she can formulate a unique program suited to your needs—your age, body built, accommodation towards medication and past injuries, if any, and other issues you might have. Another benefit would be the schedule and the pace, as you can show up at the gym anytime you and your trainer are both free, and you can also train as fast or as slowly as you want, whereas the group classes are standardized.
4. Will you give me a diet plan?
They say that most of the weight loss is attributed to a balanced diet instead of exercise. Exercise mainly helps you tone your muscles and improve strength and endurance, but if weight loss is one of your main goals for exercising, then you must watch what you eat. Ask your gym instructor for the ideal diet plan that will complement your exercise routine (and your well-being in general), and make sure you stick to it.
5. Do you offer a free trial?
This is helpful, because you don’t want to be paying when you have no idea what you are getting into. Also, you want to gauge the performance of your potential gym instructor to see if he/she is worth your money. Take maybe a week up to a month of free training to help you decide whether you should go through with the program or not. A lot of gyms won’t hesitate to give you that free trial since they know that if it goes well, you are more likely to enroll with them.
It is essential to have a critical mind just so you’re sure of what you’re getting into. You want to be certain that your investment will be for the improvement of your body first and foremost. You can also ask further questions with regards to the contract, if anyone has been injured within their facilities, and if they seek to constantly improve their equipment. You don’t want to be working with age-old equipment, as their efficiency decreases over time. Simply take note of these things and you should be on your way to getting that perfect built. Happy training!
Adeline Erwin is a budding lifestyle writer based in Sydney, Australia. As a part-time fitness instructor, she motivates people to get back into shape, using only the most natural means possible. She is also a strong advocate of eliminating junk food from the typical school child’s diet. On her spare time, she loves doing arts and crafts projects with her 2 adorable daughters, ages 6 and 8.