It’s simple enough. What do you like to do in the gym or studio? Some like classes, some not! Some want to freestyle, but lack experience or confidence to step into the Gym (or Studio).
Traditionally the iron was the guys domain and the studio classes was for the ladies. These boundaries have definitely shifted towards the gym by women, less so for the guys going the other way?
Where do you see yourself and more importantly what do you want from your fitness experience? It’s important to understand what you want out of it, because you’re paying for it right! You are doing it for a reason too. You’ve been told exercise is good for you and that being inactive is unhealthy. So, you’re here to be healthier? For some this will be the only reason why they go to the gym or be active, for others it’s far more compelling.
But let’s be honest here, both are absolutely fine. We want everyone to be fit and taking responsibility for their own health. If it’s doctor’s orders (advice, this day and age!) or fun or for performance, it’s all good!
So what do you want out of your gym experience? If you like to move a lot and get sweaty and feel you’ve had a blast? Then it’s likely you’ll enjoy the high intensity type classes like HIIT, circuits, spinning, Pump and Combat. Yoga and Pilates remain popular for those who like to focus on control and balance, not forgetting some of us like both.
What all these classes have in common is the social element. We are social animals and meeting in class is a great way to meet your friends and meet people while mutually enjoying an activity. For others it will be the ability to hide in the crowd and enjoy their class knowing they don’t have to think about their workout and don’t stand out like they might in the gym.
Training in the gym can be far more lonely and if you like to train alone then this is where we will find you! But some of us are very social in this environment, but both generally want to be more precise about our training goals. It’s a fact that we tend to gain more out of our training if we train with a partner. It can keep us on track through our workouts as well as our main goals. We tend to agree a way forward and while a strict programme isn’t always adhered to, we do tend to follow a loose training plan. For those more serious about their training a strict programme with trainer input is often used as well.
So how do you learn to be safe and use your time in the gym effectively? There are a number of ways we can learn how to be more comfortable in the gym. Firstly, a good gym induction with an instructor or PT that listens to you and understands what you are looking for and what your level is. You should be getting a bit more than this is how the machine works! Most facilities will offer a free consult with a PT and an induction. So don’t be afraid to ask for some general advice.
Circuits is a great way to have that social team effort on the gym floor. A lot of the activities in circuits are directly transferable in terms of technique and muscular endurance training efforts. So, if your routine doesn’t allow you to hit the Circuit class, you can usually come in and mimic a session you like.
Crossfit has taken this concept to another level with Workouts of the Day (WOD). They have standard workouts like the Girls and Hero WODs. Everyone can then test themselves against a standard to see how they progress.
Personal Training is another way to gain knowledge and learn from a qualified individual who will set up a session directly to your requirements. These sessions can be workout based or technical. A good trainer will always try to impart knowledge to a client regardless. Understanding a training method and using it for a specific goal will allow you to train more independently and safely.
Safety is also a big consideration when using a trainer. They should tailor each session to you directly and help keep you focused and adjust each movement to your ability, build and movement patterns. This way you learn where your weaknesses are and how to adjust to help improve a technique as well as reach your goals. Having this level of supervision will also take out all the guess work and get you results efficiently.
Lastly, if you wish to learn about being in the gym or have specific goals, programming could be a great way forward. Caution here though! There are a lot of online experts that tout training programmes as the latest thing. Sadly while they may ‘look’ good, they are not there with you or even in the building if you need help.
The programming we offer at Forty-Four we introduce you to every session in the programme. We then have two touch points a week (often more) to help you develop and become truly confident with the sessions. We are in the building! If you need help, we are on hand to help you adjust and learn as you go. What has also been helpful is having a continual conversation as to how you are getting on with it. We have changed approaches if something is proving difficult or inappropriate to a given client.
The real bonus with programming is that it will have a long-term goal in mind, it’s a lot easier to monitor progress and you get a sense of achievement as you progress through it and complete it and reach that goal. PTs should also be doing this, but programmes can be more cost effective in the long run.
If you would like any advice with selecting a class or help in the gym please ask at reception. We are here to help you maximise your enjoyment and use of all our services.
Forty Four, Lossiemouth, Moray.