Ready to get into shape, but don’t have a clue where to start? First I beg you to not walk into the first gym you tour, buy a year of personal training that was so expensive that you can only afford to eat top ramen for the next 12 months, and decide that you really don’t like working out with a trainer anyways so you become a cardio drone that walks in, hops on with your drop 10 lbs fast magazine and scoots your legs for 60 minutes before heading home to make your ramen instead of a healthy breakfast…
[OUCH!] Brutal honesty right there…Did I hit home for anyone, I apologize if I did, but the above story is something that I hear way too often. First and foremost, 80% of the result that you get is because of what you put into your body, only 20% is because of what you do to be active. So make sure you set a budget before you do anything else, if you can’t afford quality nutrition, you won’t be seeing any result! Example: If your typical monthly spending is $900 for entertainment, groceries, restaurants, your ladies nights, and your drive thru coffee; figure out what you can change around to get the best out of everything. Put your priorities first…FOOOOOOOD, the good for you, came from a store, or it’s your vitamins kind, easy for a couple to spend $500 a month on that, still leaving us $500 for other things. 2 quality dates a month will run you $200. A gym will run you $65-150 depending on where you go. So that leaves us $50-135 left in our spending – this gives a cushion for the sign up fee, or in later months, use this for 2 coffees and a ladies night, plus a new shirt for your guy.
Now that we have a budget, GO EXPLORE! Fitness doesn’t have to be at a gym, with a trainer or on the cardio machines. Find something that you love to do, and that way you want to do it! Whether its yoga, zumba, barre, hiking, running, plyometrics, weight lifting, crossfit, swimming, dancing…try it all until you find what you love! This is true for gyms as well. You’re going to be spending time here, make sure you love it. Pay attention to what’s important to you…is it clean? do the hours fit your schedule? Do you need a shower there? Childcare? Is it safe – well lit parking lots, video cameras, etc [super important for ladies who go in the dark]! Most places will offer a FREE introductory class [pass at a gym] or two to see if you like it before you invest.
Now that you found what you love and you’re ready to commit, DON’T FORGET YOUR BUDGET! I can speak about this because I used to be a general manager for a gym, so here’s my behind the scenes advice. Most gyms will run specials at the end of each month to get their sales numbers in. You can either take the offer, or realize you have the upper hand because they want your business. Give them your exact budget, and stand your ground. Gyms will always give you the highest offer first to see if you’d take it. It’s ok to say “that’s not in my budget.” Just be polite – remember, they need a paycheck too and they get it by selling to you. Options to ask for to help with the price:
- Single gym [home gym] only price – make big chains will offer you the gym that you are in only at a lower price than buying the national price
- State or Regional Options
- End of Year / New Year Options – November is a good time to let them know you’re looking and sometimes they can extend that sale price to you now, especially if you tell them that you will wait to sign up otherwise – remember they want your business and that sales person wants your business NOW.
- Pay the year in cash on the spot
Once price becomes established, they will without a doubt open up many options of upgrades to you – don’t buy childcare if you don’t have a child just because it was a good price for “later” [You’re laughing at this, but it’s because you have done this, or know someone that will, ha!] You can always add things on later as you really feel apart of everything.
Welcome to being the newest member of the fitness community! But please never forget, that you don’t need lulu lemon, or brand new Nikes to get started. You don’t need to over spend. And you sure should never feel embarrassed about getting started. It’s an amazing step and joining the right community will provide an environment that is positive, and ready to help you tackle any challenge.
If you’re not quite ready to sign a dotted line and pay a monthly fee yet, that are so many fee options now a days! Many communities are now offering FitCamps hosted at Nutrition Clubs – these are usually free and there’s an option for every fitness level. There are tons of apps too [I’ll share my favorite one next week]. And there’s always the trusted DVD that you can use in your own living room – I recommend 24Fit, which is taught by Olympic athlete Samantha Clayton. You can order it from the link below after you submit your email!
Have FUN finding your FIT and now, Go get active!