Especially when considering my current income, my gym membership does tip over into the pricey side of thing: £43 a month. *Breathes slowly to compose self.* It includes, however, unlimited gym use, pool use and classes, as well as a free badminton court if I turn up and one is available. For a lot of our gym memberships to be as sparkly and magical as they sound, it requires our squat-ready butts to be very much in gear (as in, Nike pros on). I am really quite nervous about not – at the very least – getting my money back; mostly, though, gaining something from £43 coming out of my bank once a month with a cringe. Here’s how you can get the most out of your gym membership!
ONE – Plan: Use the “notes” section of your phone and get planning. Not only can you have a visual idea of when you’ll have your trainers on and when you won’t, you can look back at the end of the week and decipher whether you’re, so far, making a profit this month. If you’re a student, consider your lectures and work out when you’re prepared to peel yourself out of bed early, and when you have the whole day to get a few lengths or a workout class in. If you’re working 9-5 consider the weekends a gym-friendly couple of days; schedule a couple of evenings immediately after work at a class. If you’re working different kind of hours, like me, be prepared to not have a routine, but a weekly idea of what’s going on.
TWO – Prep: If you’re spending a bit more on your membership like me then you have to, like Troy, keep your head in the game. For me, when it comes to swimming I have to have my swimming bag and costume ready the night before to encourage me to stop my alarm and get rolling. If I’m popping to the gym after work, I need a gym-friendly snack ready and waiting so I can’t have any excuses about being “too hungry” (anyone else?) to workout.
THREE – Recruit friends: As much as I’d like to, I don’t go overboard on the classes but I do make my one a week a bit more social. I’m currently going to Aquafit with my mum (which would cost me £6.10 without the membership) and playing one badminton match a week with Aaron. Making at least a couple of workouts a week a social activity takes away any “I can’t be bothered with the gym today” because you have your pal with you, keeping you on track.
FOUR – Endorphins. Just remembering the endorphins post-workout that tell you you can never regret a work out gets me pumped to get to the gym. Or at the very least, in the mindset that I am definitely going to be working out the next morning or later on that day. Even if you’re just starting out at the gym and still feeling as if it’s all alien, I think endorphins are our biggest cheerleader. You go into a workout feeling deflated and rubbish; you end the workout with a smile, feeling pumped.
FIVE – Variation. I wouldn’t make the most out of my gym membership if I didn’t have a really varied week- a week that could easily change if my mum or friend fancied trying a different kind of class! I never risk tiring out any kind of activity because every day at the gym is a different kind of day! Going from strength training to cardio to feeling the polite struggle swimming brings means means I don’t get bored.
My Timetable for this week (prices without membership):
Sunday: Arm workout in the gym £6.65
Tuesday: Aquafit (with mum) £6.10
Wednesday: Arm workout in the gym £6.65
Evening badminton with Aaron £3 (Couldn’t get a court)
Friday: Morning swim £3.50
Saturday: Early morning arm workout in the gym £6.65
What this week would have cost without membership: £29.55 (x4 = £118.20)
As well as ensuring you’re not tiring your body out and instead having enough rest days (or you’ll hate the gym), definitely make sure you exercise outside of the gym. Run, walk or play tennis and you won’t feel restricted by your gym card, believing it’s the only place you can exercise. What are your tips? What’s your week looked like so far?
~ Kat ~