So, let’s say you have never exercised in your life. Sure, you played sports in high school and maybe a couple club leagues in college, who didnt?
Now you’re in your mid 40′s, you have two kids, a 9-5 job and the only thing fitness related you’ve done is stretching your stomach with quick-ready, preservative-infused minute meals so that you can get to work (or sleep) at a decent time.
One day, you wake up and decide ‘this is no way to live, I need to make a change in my life.
Congrats! You just took the first step towards reinventing yourself. Now, the next step is where to do it.
There are so many fitness centers out there that it can be an overwhelming nightmare to know where to start. Here is a short list of gym types to avoid when you first starting out.
BIG BOX GYMS
What’s a box gym?
A box gym is the stereotypical gym that you think about whenever someone mentions the word ‘gym.’ These essentially are a wide space floor plan that consists of rows and rows of cardio machines, cable and tension machines, free-weight dumbbells going all the way up to 150lbs, and barbell benches and racks.
So? What’s wrong with that?
Box gyms run on the linear business model of ‘the more people who sign up, the more money they make.’
The average membership of a box gym is only 3-5 months. They take full advantage of the fact that you have no idea what you are doing and will soon leave. They are in the acquisition business, not the retention business.
Take the example of a mother just trying to get fit again from GPP Fitness:
She’s not terribly comfortable in her own skin right now and would like nothing more than to come to the gym, get a workout and go home. She would like to do this as anonymously as possible. Invisibly even. However, unfortunately she has been thrust into the same room to achieve these objectives as those 20 something [people] who view the gym as more of a night club.
This is a fend-for-yourself environment, which is not conducive to someone who needs direction and motivation.
96% of big box gym-ers receive no individual attention or even a head nod in their direction.
That’s why new fitness trends and systems are so sought-after: people need guidance, assistance, or to be shown that their struggles matter.
Ah the studio. Where a bunch of people collectively follow an instructor who is deaf to the individual’s goals.
Studios center around one type of exercise or physical activity and turn it into an hour long big room class. The issue with these is that they do no provide you with any lasting skills in terms of form, technique, or noticeable strength gains.
The motto is, burn as many calories as possible and try and keep up. Classes like hot yoga, tae bo, tabata, and zumba don’t do much to pander to a new beginner. Moms, dads, newly weds, people who work difficult jobs, or people who are otherwise indisposed by the responsibilities of every day life don’t have th ability to set aside a full hour of doing something somewhat correctly.
Especially when there are far better systems out there that can optimize your results in half that time!
When you’re first starting out, you need a guide. A studio class does not guide you on a personalized path to success, they pull you along a static path with 40 other individuals.
Hair bands, parachute pants, mullets…
We are all familiar with fads. But what are fitness fads?
Essentially, they are the same as fashion fads. They’re popular for a bit and then die out. Normally, because they simply don’t work.
Tae Bo, aerobics, the ab roller, and boot camps. There have been many, many more throughout the years.
They promise fast results with ease and people purchase memberships by the thousands! But when it comes to creating a foundation and setting yourself up for success, you fall slightly short every time because you are following someone else’s plan.
You’re also spending more money for less benefit.
The bottom line is, each one of these systems has its merits. Some fads are still popular and for good reason!
However, none of them involve personal 1:1 coaching, which is truly what an individual needs when first starting out.
Instead of walking around a box gym for an hour, not knowing what to do, you could spend 30 minutes with a coach, doing exactly what you need to do. Everyone is different, which means everyone has different needs and goals. Lumping yourself in with 40 other individuals in a group class does nothing for personal development. It just makes you one of the pack.
To make sure you get the best return and results from a new fitness program, play it safe and seek out a coach who can work with you to figure out a well-tailored plan that helps you reach your goals. This is our approach at Koko FitClub (in fact, our name is a Japanese word that means one to one), and the basis for our Smartraining methodology, and it helps our clients build both strength and confidence progressively, for longer lasting results and better adherence to their fitness program.
Stay Koko Fit!
Interested in Koko?
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.