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90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

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90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

I manage a fitness center for one of the biggest brands in Switzerland. My prediction for January: We will have more than 130 new members that will join our facility. This is nearly 100.000 dollar revenue – in a single month.

January is the most lucrative month for fitness centers. A lot of the people start a gym membership, because they want to completely redefine themselves. “New Year – New Me!”, they will post on social media. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. More than 90% of these people will quit after three months of going to the gym. We call them the no-shows.

This is not the ideal situation, neither for the person that is going to the gym or the gym itself. I remember my previous boss telling me: “Florian, the no-shows are not your ideal customers. Gyms will always need them to make money. But the people that are training frequently, reach success and then enthusiastically tell their friends about it – these are our true value customers!

My previous boss had many flaws, but in this aspect he was right. Here are 3 tips that will help you stay training, for months to come.

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1. Set Good Goals

Most of the time when clients come into our facility, they haven’t set proper goals. Whenever we fill out the evaluation-form, they write down that they simply want to “lose weight” or “gain muscle”. These two statements are wishes, not goals.

Realistic goals follow the SMART-rule. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Losing weight is not a goal, losing 5 kilograms of body weight in the next two months is.

I want to stress out the realistic aspect of the goal-setting. Start really small. Having big goals will only frustrate you in the long run. Read about it on forums and then determine what is reasonable. Change one behaviour at a time. Make it sustainable.

Also make sure that you will write your goal down. There’s magic behind a written goal. You will be far more likely to stick to it, if your goal is engrained in paper. Remind yourself of your goals daily – write them on a post-it note and put them on your fridge.

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2. Find Accountability

Writing your goals down and putting them on your fridge also have the benefits of creating accountability within your family. Your family will support you and ask you how your journey is going. This makes you more likely to stick to your goals.

Have you ever wondered why gyms have group fitness classes? It’s because having a Group Fitness class helps people foster personal relationships. And relationships within the gym increase the chances of the person renewing his membership. The people that train with a friend will generally train more often and harder. They are more likely to reach their goals.

Ask a friend to go with you on this fitness journey. Post your goal on Facebook and create accountability. Use accountability to your advantage.

3. Learn To Deal With Setbacks

The line to your goals won’t be straight. The sooner you accept this and learn to deal with it – the better.

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The diet that you will start doing will not always be clean. The workouts that you will be doing are not always amazing. Don’t beat yourself up about it. These setbacks are simply one of the keys of the game that we all have to play. Accept the setback and immediately move on.

Ten years from now, the people that have learned to deal with setbacks will be the people that are blessed with amazing lives. Angela Duckworth wrote a book on perseverance called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Regarding the 770-5 star reviews, it’s definitely a book worth reading.

Focus on progression and not perfection.

Quitting Makes Nothing Better

I am not a believer in the never quit – mentality. Sometimes it definitely is a reasonable choice to do so. No one would argue, that quitting smoking is a bad thing to do. Quitting can be a reasonable thing – but not in the gym.

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Remember that you’ve started going to the gym because you had a big need to fill. You wanted to get in better shape or get healthier. Let me tell you two things: 1. The gym works and 2. Getting in shape is definitely worth it.

It’s a good thing to be able to go to the beach, shirtless, with a chiseled midsection. Smiling, when your friends ask you: “How did you do this?”.

It feels amazing to wake up with energy and walk with confidence through life. These are feelings worth fighting – or should I say: training – for. Stick to your new years resolutions, a great life is waiting for you.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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More by this author

Florian Wüest

Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

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7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

Stretching is one of the most essential aspects of a healthy fitness routine. It’s also one of the most overlooked. Instead of thinking of this activity as a separate entity, consider stretching as a continuation of your exercise routine. By making stretching tips a part of your workout, you won’t neglect the attention your muscles and joints require to perform effectively.

Whether using stretching as a way to wake up, get your mind in the game, or recover from strenuous activity, your body will reap its short-term and long-term benefits. In the moment, stretching is a great way to warm up the body and prevent yourself from overextension and injury. In the long run, stretching daily can help loosen your tendons and muscles, and ultimately help you maintain a full range of motion later in life.

Taking these ideas into consideration, follow these 7 simple tips for stretching to add stretches back into your workout vocabulary.

1. Stretch and Stretch Often

Ultimately, your body can benefit from stretching daily. Many of us experience a somewhat stationary lifestyle at work, so we naturally need to warm up our bodies after remaining immobile for long periods of time.

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With only ten minutes of stretching, you can increase your strength, balance and flexibility. From working out to waking up in the morning, slow, easy movements can warm up the body. Just remember to be gentle; any jarring movements can cause injury and muscle tear.

For the best results, hold each stretch for at least sixty seconds[1].

2. Warm up Before a Workout

Similar to establishing a daily stretching routine, warming up the body pre-workout is vital for having a successful session and one of the most important stretching tips. Just grabbing your foot to stretch your calf for a couple seconds could actually harm your body, so make sure you begin slowly and take your time.

Attempting any exercise with “cold muscles” or without “waking up the body” will also hurt your body and cause muscle pulls and tendon tears. Try taking a short walk or elongating your stretches for optimal results.

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3. Gauge Your Tension

Stretching should never be painful. Monitor how your muscles feel as you stretch. Naturally, you should feel some mild tension, but don’t push yourself past the edge of discomfort.

If you’re starting to experience sharp pain or sensations that gradually get more severe, you are doing something wrong. Try to focus on one area at a time so you are only pushing yourself so far. When you begin to feel comfortable stretching, deepen your stretch, but don’t over-exert yourself.

4. Avoid Bouncing

Stretching tips don’t often mention this, but bouncing can be one of the most detrimental things you can do to your body while stretching. When your body constantly shifts, your muscles can tighten, and you can increase the risk of pulling or tearing a tendon. Find your balance or focal point, and remain steady.

When in doubt, try using a mirror to watch yourself stretch to improve your form. Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor or trainer for someone to monitor your posture and stance[2].

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5. Just Breathe

One of the main benefits of stretching is its ability to help the mind and body relax. Therefore, try to breathe normally and make sure you don’t hold your breath[3].

As you deepen your stretch, make sure to inhale and exhale slowly. Any abrupt, fast breathing or lack of breathing can cause tension in your body and increase your risk of injury. Make sure you are comfortable so that your mind focuses on the task at hand.

6. Vary Your Routine

While stretching, don’t forget to work on opposing muscles and incorporate as many muscle groups as possible in your routine for a holistic workout. Also, one of the most important stretching tips I can offer is to change your routine often so you don’t get bored.

Often, boredom can cause carelessness and a loss of focus, which, in turn, can cause injuries. Look to Yoga workouts[4] or Pilates classes, as they are great resources for finding new stretches.

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7. Always Remember to Cool Down

Stretching is also an excellent form of recovery to avoid muscle soreness. Don’t overlook this part of a workout, as it releases the tension in your body and increases blood flow to muscles that are warm and worked. Cooling down can prevent injury and decrease your heart rate after an intense workout. Do what you can to help your body quickly recover from your daily exercise routine.

Final Thoughts

Stretching tips are vital when participating in an active lifestyle. However, your body needs fuel to assist you through these daily routines. Therefore, don’t forget to eat the right foods and stay hydrated. Not only do you replenish your body with fluids and nutrients lost, but you can keep your muscles strong and ready for the next routine.

If you struggle with stress and anxiety, stretching can help you move into a calmer headspace and find both mental and physical balance. Furthermore, stretching can help you and your body focus on something else, which will help you move past the stress.

As you plan your next workout, incorporate time for pre and post-workout stretches to see how it improves your exercise experience.

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More Stretching Tips

Featured photo credit: Oksana Taran via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: The ideal stretching routine
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: Six tips for safe stretches
[3] Penn State: Balance, Breathing and Flexibility
[4] Health: Best Yoga Poses for Your Trouble Spots

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