Father Christmas in gym lifting weights
How to make the most of your gym membership

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou don’t need me to tell you that January is the busiest time for any gym. We have the post-Christmas and New Year over-indulgence to thank for that sudden influx of new faces.

[pull_quote_center]If you are reading this, I guess that you are a new gym member who is determined to sculpt that perfect beach body in time for the summer holiday (yes, my middle name is indeed Sherlock lol).[/pull_quote_center]

Joke aside, congratulations on joining the gym. The best present you can give to your body is exercise. Becoming a gym member is not enough to give you that six pack you always wanted though. You need to work for it and you need to eat right.

Gym membership could be an expensive fad if you don’t find the time (and the will) to go and workout. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your gym membership:

JOIN THE RIGHT GYM FOR YOU

The most important thing is to join a gym that’s right for you. There are plenty of gyms out there and they all offer different things at different prices to suit different people.

Do your research and make sure you pick a gym that meets your needs. The last thing you want is to sign a contract and then discover that the gym doesn’t offer the things you need or you don’t feel comfortable working out there.

See how to pick the right gym for you here.

HAVE A PLAN AND A SCHEDULE

Just like everything else in life, you need a plan. Before you join the gym, you need to know what you want to get out of it. Be it improving your fitness, increasing your strength, gaining muscle mass or anything else.

You need a goal to work towards and a reason to keep going to the gym. Make sure your goal is realistic. It takes time to see any real results and you need to be patient.

You also need to schedule your visits to the gym. Look at your diary and see when you can make time to go to the gym. Schedule your sessions and stick to that schedule.

See how to set your goals here.

HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER

I joined my gym last summer and the first (and best) thing I did was to hire a personal trainer. He keeps me motivated and he makes sure I am on the right track. I have a session with my personal trainer once a week (on a Monday) and then I workout on my own for two more sessions (Wednesday and Friday).

See how to choose the right personal trainer here.

JOIN A GYM CLASS

If you can’t afford a personal trainer, then look at the classes on offer. Every gym has them and some of them may be already included in your package. Pick a class that’s going to help you achieve your goals.

MAKE USE OF ALL FACILITIES

Most gyms have saunas, steam rooms and/or swimming pools. My gym has all of them and an indoor tennis court. It’s also on a (beautiful) golf course and I could play golf if I wanted to. See what extra facilities your gym offers and use them.

Go for a swim once a week, use the sauna and steam room after your last session (or after every session if you have the time for it). You are already paying for them, so use them.

We all have lives to live outside the gym. It’s OK to miss a session or to give yourself a break from the gym. The important thing is to go back. The longer breaks you take, the more difficult it will be to get back to your routine.

You can make the most of your membership and achieve the body you always wanted. Just remember to:

  • Be realistic in your expectations.
  • Have an achievable goal.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it.
  • Ask for help if/when you need it.

[quote_box_center]Enjoy your gym time and make the most of the facilities on offer.[/quote_box_center]