getting buff

Monday, July 03, 2006

To gym or not to gym

A couple of years ago, I had my last fitness kick (before the current one). I knew that I needed to lose weight and get fit but had never quite figured out how to manage it with working full time. When I saw the box seeking business cards from those interested in foundation memberships, I threw mine in. When the call came I went in to see a gym which wasn't yet open and, thinking that any exercise was better than none, I didn't allow myself to question whether this was worth it. In the space of half an hour, I had a 12 month commitment, a new backpack and drink bottle.

It soon became clear that this gym was different to my previous experiences. I asked about fitness assessments and programs and was referred to a deal to pay for personal trainer sessions. For my exhorbitant monthly fee, I might have had access to the DVD libary (!!) but I didn't get a fitness assessment, guidance with a program or anything else that might assist me to reach my goals. I could get access to these things, but only if I were willing to pay another $50 on top of my membership fee - something that I was not willing to do.

The result was that my enthusiasm for the gym quickly waned. It doesn't take long before getting up early (already against my natural instinct) merely in order to go and walk on a treadmill begins to get old. My membership allowed me to go to any of the gyms in the franchise, but at the time I joined, there were all of two of them.

Ultimately, I was utterly demotivated. There were lots of classes which never particularly enthused me. There were weights but I didn't really know what to do with them. There was a whole communal shower thing that made me feel absolutely terrible. In total, I went for about 6 months (if that) before losing my enthusiasm totally.

My current gym costs about half the price per month, and includes bimonthly fitness assessments and programs. Sure, it doesn't have a sauna, solarium, dvd library, headphones built into cardio equipment, multiple classes, barcoded entry or any of the other perks that are offered by one of the foremost fitness franchises in Melbourne.

But it does have one thing that FFF doesn't (or at least didn't for me) - people who actually want to help me get fit and lose weight. They remember my name and they are interested in my progress. I have already achieved better results at my gym (plus running) than I did for almost the whole time I was a member of FFF. And don't even start me on how difficult it was to bloody well quit the gym.


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