To sign up or not to sign up… that is the question.
You might have heard of the saying, ‘New Year, New You’. For many people, a ‘new you’ equals to a new look and this often translates to a weight-related New Year resolution. If this sounds like you, you’ve probably thought about joining a gym but for some reason, you can’t bring yourself to take the plunge.
True Fitness Malaysia’s Group Fitness Training (GX) and Development Manager, Jon Chew, and Assistant Fitness Manager and personal trainer, Mohd Alfreedy Azman (Freddie), help you decide whether or not to sign up for that gym membership.
- Crossfit™ Level 1 coach (CF-L1)
- Les Mills BODYCOMBAT™ Trainer & Presenter
- Certified NASM™ personal trainer
- Reebok sponsor athlete
Mohd Alfreedy Azman (Freddie)
- Diploma in health & fitness
- Degree in sports science
- CPR certification
- IKF certification
The Problem: “The gym sounds so boring because all I can do is walk or run on the treadmill”
The Solution: Freddie points out that there are many activities one can do in a gym. “With various machines such as the free motion machine, plate loaded machines, free weights and cardio machines like treadmills and ellipticals, a gym can offer so much for people who are beginners all the way to advanced users.” Freddie emphasises, that depending on your fitness goals, there are personal training packages which offer classes such as kickboxing, agility circuit training and some gyms also have swimming pool facilities.
Other than the usual cardio exercises if you prefer working out with friends or like making new ones, there are also group exercises you can consider. Chew says that there are aerobics classes inspired by martial arts such as BODYCOMBAT™, GRIT™, BODYPUMP™ and BODYATTACK™. “There are also dance and yoga classes offered which cater to different needs,” he elaborates. Other than that, there are freestyle classes such as ‘fit camp’ which is for gym members who want to participate in freestyle high intensity training with a smaller group of 10 people or less.
The Problem: “I’m afraid everyone will stare at me and laugh because I’m new and don’t know what I’m doing”
The Solution: Many gyms offer an ‘orientation phase’ when you first sign up gym so you won’t be too overwhelmed. “Upon signing up, new members can go through a few trial personal training sessions with our trainers. Members will have their body weight, fat and muscles checked. Our personal trainers will advise members on diet, nutrition and specific exercises they can do in order to achieve their goal safely,” said Freddie. Other than that, variations of classes and exercises will be advised so the members won’t feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over again.
Chew adds that new members will be taught how to operate each fitness machine plus explain the function of the control panels. “We also host group exercise induction classes in order to welcome all the new members and make everyone comfortable with working out in a new environment,” he says.
The Problem: “My friend recommended her gym but I’m not sure about signing up because it’s expensive and far away from my home and office!”
The Solution: When considering a gym, it is very important to think about a few issues. “The price of the membership must be competitive depending the facilities provided. Location is also important to encourage the member to turn up as frequently as possible,” advises Freddie. Additionally, opening and closing times are important too, he adds. Some gyms have long business hours from early morning until almost midnight so their members can choose to come in before work or after.
The Problem: “What’s the point… I’ll get bored and give up after a short while”
The Solution: Quitting before you even try isn’t the path to successful weight management. “People stop going to the gym because they think it is no longer fun. Gyms that organise a variety of group fitness events, gym floor activities and make their members feel included are more fun and so members keep coming back,” observes Chew.
Freddie says that it’s important to assess your short and long term goals. “Whether it’s health or aesthetics, you need a plan. A plan will put you on the right track which gives you the drive to do well when you come in to train. Personal trainers are here to help by monitoring your progress, motivating you and also to remind you of your goals.”
If you’re the shy and self-conscious, Chew says it’s good to try working out or joining group exercises during off-peak hours when there are fewer people at the gym. “Signing up for a personal trainer to do a one-on-one workout or yoga session, is great for people who are a bit shy about working out with others. They get the bonus of having all of the personal trainer’s attention and also being able to work out comfortably,” adds Freddie.
The Problem: “I’m 50 years old. I’m too old and unfit to go to the gym”
The Solution: Freddie says that if you’re 50 and above, the most important point to think about is whether or not you have a medical condition that might limit your workout options. Speak to your medical provider to have your doubts laid to rest. Tell your personal trainer what your doctor told you so he or she can also advise you on the best approach that will help you achieve a trim, fit and healthy body.