21 Reasons Not to Join a Gym
Yes, that’s right. Here are 21 reasons not to get off the treadmill, office chair, or sofa and join your local strength and conditioning facility.
I mean, you’re not fit or strong enough yet, right? You’d better sort that our first before joining a gym. And that stuff they do is pretty difficult isn’t it? What’s the point in putting yourself through that? Life is hard enough without adding to it. Plus the fact that you’re tired all the time. Speaking of which, you haven’t really got the time anyway, not to mention the money. Let’s face it - you’re not cut out for this functional stuff, and anyway, you just want to tone up a bit.
I’m sorry. You’re right. Here’s a list of 21 reasons not to join the gym (along with considered responses) that you can pick and choose from next time your fitness-mad friend or family member is asking you to come to the next open day or foundations class:
1. I’m not fit/strong/good enough yet.
I get it. You’re not there yet. Neither am I! But where is there, exactly? When will you deem yourself good enough? It’s likely that when you join a gym, your whole perspective on what is fit and strong will be redefined anyway. There’s no avoiding that you’re going to be the newbie here, and no-one will think less of you for being so. They have all been there.
2. It’s intimidating.
Yes, it is. But isn’t that the case with most new things? I remember, fairly vividly, being petrified for the first week of pre-school (but it was worth it for the milk and biscuits at break time.) Go at your own pace, scale to your own abilities, no one is rushing you.
3. I’m too old.
Please watch this.
4. It’s too hard.
Yes, it’s hard. Isn’t everything in life that is worth having? Bringing up kids is hard (and there’s no coach to help you there). So if you are telling me you’re not doing this because it’s too hard, you better not ever have any kids. Too hard? What kind of attitude is that? If it’s because the rest of your life is hard and you don’t need another hard thing to cope with, think about this - overcoming small challenges daily in the gym (yes, they are small compared to the rest of life) builds strength not just in the body but also in the mind. Strength to deal with the real hard stuff in life.
5. I haven’t got the time.
I disagree. No matter how busy you are, you have the time. Everyone can get up that little bit earlier, cut out something unnecessary (television?) or find a way (lunchtime?). Don’t get me wrong, I’m also guilty of saying this, but what I actually meant was I haven’t got the inclination, or motivation, to make the time for this. Not having any time is actually a choice you made to do something else with that time.
6. I need to sort out my nutrition/life/work first.
I am sure you do need to sort out those things. But why first? If you haven’t done so by now, what is going to change to enable you to do so? There’s never a perfect time. Take the first step. Make a change that will give you more energy and inspiration to make the other changes.
7. It’s not in the budget.
Try taking out the take out meals. Or cut out a night out. That will help you get on track with your nutrition and give you enough cash for your gym membership for a month. Double winner.
8. It’s not safe.
That is your perception, not fact. The fact is that most other sports (including most of those sports you played at school) have far worse injury rates than strength training in terms of injuries per hours of participation.
9. That stuff’s not for me.
When “that stuff” is basic physical movement, and strength enough to manage at least your own bodyweight effectively, then “it’s not for me” doesn’t cut it. It’s for everyone. It’s for life. It’s for those times when you really need it. You don’t want to be the weakest when the zombies come, do you? Everyone knows the weakest get eaten first.
10. I don’t need to be that fit/strong.
Who’s saying you need to take it to the highest levels? You owe it to yourself to be the best version of you that you can be. You owe it to your partner, your children, and your grandchildren too.
11. I’m already fit/strong.
Then you have nothing to worry about. Step outside your own definitions of fit and strong and into the definitions of those who are better placed to define these terms than you are.
12. I’m happy with what I’m doing now.
Most of the time when I hear this it’s from people who have been doing the same thing for a long time, because they are happy doing it. Read that again - doing the same thing for a long time, each and every week. Your body cannot adapt and improve through being subjected to exactly the same stimulus over and over again.
13. I have a chronic bad back/shoulder/knee.
All the more reason why you should train with professionals who have experience in helping you to work with your injury and improve your movement, performance, and perhaps even the injury itself. This is infinitely better than avoiding it or working around it.
14. I don’t need a coach.
Are you kidding me? Everyone needs a coach. Even the best coaches need a coach. Feedback from a good coach improves performance - fact. Unless you don’t want to improve?
15. I am not built for that.
We are all built to push, pull, squat, hinge, run, carry, jump, throw, and crawl. If you have lost those abilities then it’s you who has let it slide. You are built for them. Rebuild yourself to be able to perform these movements if you need to.
16. I already do all that.
Excellent. Then learn to do it better. Be stronger. Be fitter. Be better.
17. I do it for the social aspect.
I agree, socializing with the gym crew is good fun. Some of my best friends are from the gym. Anyone who has experienced the social aspect of a community that trains together, and works against the common enemy of difficult physical endeavour knows that this fosters a community spirit like no other. Work hard. Play harder.
18. I hate (insert fundamental movement of choice here).
All the more reason why you need to do it. Work the things you are worst at for the best and quickest progress.
19. I just want to tone up.
Cool. Toning up is losing fat and gaining muscle. Come along and do that and get fitter and stronger in the process.
20. My friend says (insert pessimistic feedback here).
Word of mouth and recommendation from those whom you trust is powerful. It’s what social media is built on. However, nothing beats doing it yourself. Especially if your friend has never done it themselves before and is just going off what they have read from their friends on social media!
21. But (insert other reason here).
If after reading this your next
excuse sentence starts with “but” then stop reading this article now. You need to be more honest with yourself.
However, if you are beginning to think that I, and the friend or family member through which you read this article, have a point or two worth thinking about, then do yourself (not them) a favor and email your local training facility now. Make a commitment to attending at the next suitable time and be proud and accountable enough that you have done so to post a comment below.
Good luck and have fun. See you under (or at) the bar!
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.