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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Join a Gym This New Year

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Join a Gym This New Year

Starting January 1st, formerly empty gyms all over the country will suddenly become overflowing with people set on making this year the year they finally get in shape.

And whether their reason is to lose weight, gain muscle, improve overall health or something else entirely, New Years resolutions are the number one reason people of all fitness levels pony up the cash and decide to finally join their nearby gym.

But as a former personal trainer and gym-addict, I’d urge you to save your money and take a different—and more successful—approach and not get a gym membership this year.

Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t join a gym this New Year:

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You probably won’t even use it

When I used to work at a gym, I’d see a flood of people join in January. They’d act really enthusiastic about getting in shape, and often make it in two or three times a week, diligently doing their treadmill workout or trying a new class or two. But after about a few weeks, they’d start coming in less and less until finally after a month or two, they’d stop showing up altogether.

In fact, nearly 4 out of 5 Americans don’t even use their gym membership—except maybe at the beginning of the year.

And whether it’s because you’re intimidated by the (unnecessary) machines in the gym, you hate the commute or you just don’t know what workouts to do, save your money and work out at home or outside instead.

The equipment sucks anyway

I’m always shocked when I go into a gym I’ve never been in before and there’s not even a basic pull up bar, a jump rope or a few kettlebells for people to use.

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In fact, most standard gyms (not including CrossFit gyms) are overflowing with fancy machines and may only offer a few piddly free weights. You’re better off buying a few basic pieces of equipment for your own home, and focusing mostly on bodyweight exercises instead.

It costs too much money

Depending on where you live (gyms in cities are more expensive), a gym membership can cost anywhere from $30 a month to $200 a month, and that’s not even counting the initiation fees. That means you’re spending $360 to $2,400 on a membership to something you might only use once or twice a month (or, not at all if you’re like most gym members).

Want a better way to use your money? Get a few trusty pieces of home workout equipment like a doorway pull up bar, jump rope, even some parallettes or a kettlebell or two. Not only will these be one time expenses that will more likely than not last through a lifetime of workouts, you’re also more likely to actually use them since they’ll never be too far away.

It takes too much time

For most people, a trip to the gym consists of the time it takes to drive there, changing in the locker room, a 45 minute or so slow paced workout or a class, a shower and maybe a trip to the smoothie bar—altogether taking anywhere from an hour or two every single time they go.

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So it’s no wonder many people have trouble finding the time to work out—an hour or two of your day is a lot to commit to 3-6 days a week!

Working out at home will not only save you money, it’ll also cut the time you spend getting to and from exercise by more than half—especially if you do more efficient forms of exercise like HIIT.

Bodyweight training is better anyway

You’ve probably noticed that most gyms don’t prioritize bodyweight training, focusing instead on shiny equipment to lure in members. But most machines are mimicking bodyweight exercises anyway—just in less efficient, less beneficial way.

For example, when you sit at a biceps curl machine to bust out a few sets of curls, you end up only using your biceps muscles. On the other hand, if you were to stand up straight and do biceps curls using a pair of dumbbells—or better yet, just do some pull ups—you’ll not only work your biceps, but also your core muscles as well.

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And since bodyweight training helps our body work like it’s supposed to work, you’re better off skipping the gym altogether and just doing your workout at home instead.

Skip the gym this New Year

So this year, rather than forking over the initiation fee and monthly membership costs, consider skipping the gym altogether.

You’ll not only save money and time, you’ll also be more efficient and more likely to keep up a consistent workout schedule throughout the entire year rather than just the first few weeks.

Image credit: deanetr

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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