Are you getting maximum value from your health club membership?

Following on from last month’s post, and the arrival of Spring heralding a desire to get into shape for the end of year beach holiday, many people head to their local health club determined that this time results will be different. There’s a reorganised schedule to free up time to hit the gym, a revised eating plan to keep the hunger pangs at bay, and an energy boost brought on by the impending holiday.

So day one arrives and you step into the shiny health club and head straight for this:

And according to the rules of the club, to prevent any one person monopolizing a piece of equipment, you spend your allocated 30 minutes on the treadmill, the stationary bike, the elliptical walker, or the rowing ergo. And then rotate through these machines for the remainder of your hour’s workout.

Or you may have a go on a couple of these:

But because you don’t really know what you’re doing you may feel that you could have done a little more. Perhaps worked a little harder. You could have possibly asked the fitness instructor for some help if he or she wasn’t busy (and even if they weren’t, would you have the confidence to ask for help?). But never mind, day one of beach body plan complete.

On your way to the showers, you spy out of the corner of your eye something that looks a little like this;

with racks of these;

Some of these:

And maybe a couple of these:

And while you are curious about what goes on in this part of the gym, you’re not quite sure if you are allowed in there (which you are), and, what would you do there? Besides, it’s generally populated with people who look a little bit like this:

And this:

And that, if you’re a regular-sized person can be quite intimidating.

So you do your hour in the gym, religiously, three or four times a week, for the three months leading up to the holiday, but you somehow can’t help but feel disappointed. While the workouts are no longer as difficult as they first were – a sure sign that you are getting fitter – you’re not seeing the love handles disappearing, to be replaced by toned muscle. That sleek beach body is just as far away from you now, as it was when you first started.


Well no, not quite. But in order to get it, you are going to have to adjust the way you view the weight room. In this corner of the gym lies the key. But you are right to approach it with a little trepidation. Without adequate knowledge of how best to use the array of equipment presented to you, you are exposed to a reasonably high level of risk to both body and ego.

So get the knowledge to reduce the risk. Have a reputable professional train you. Using the weight room will make a tremendous difference to your training regime, and you will see results. Following a programme, designed by an expert with your particular goals in mind, who has taught you correct form, will have you looking ready for the beach in no time (not like the girls and guys in the picture above, unless of course that is the look you’re going for).

And the results are not just in the aesthetics – the strength gains you make will have you feeling better, more capable and more confident, not just in the gym, but in everything you do.

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