The January Gym Rush Has Begun!

TreadmillAs I pulled into the gym parking lot this morning, the full impact of the power of the new year’s resolutions truly hit me. There were too many people jammed into that tiny little parking lot, a sure sign of a new year of gym goers. Luckily I was able to snag a spot pretty quickly but that’s exactly where my luck would end. A mere three minutes later I was walking out of the gym figuring out where I was going to go to get my morning cup of coffee.

Being six and half months prego, my spin classes are like gold to me. They’re low impact yet tough enough to get my heart rate up a bit and the sweat glands producing. I always feel great afterwards and after the long weekend, I was so looking forward to a class this morning. But when I got there, the nice girl with the sign-in sheet told me the class was already full.

January, was all she said.

Upset with myself for not getting there earlier because I knew this was going to be the case, I was happy that I at least packed my nano so I could jump on the elliptical, another great low impact, heart rate pumping piece of equipment.

Taken. All of them.

Next, the treadmills.

Taken.

I stood there, looking all around and I couldn’t believe how there was not one piece of cardio equipment available for me to use. Bummed out is not even close to how I felt. This was my gym… my spin class… all of it being used up by new members.

Now I’m not coming down on the new members, I really do commend all those people who are out there, the first week of the new year, ready to start the year off right. Good for you! I really hope you all stick it out and keep at it well into the new year. However, many of you will be filtering out slowly by the end of the month. It’s just a plain old fact. But if you really want to give it the old college try and are determined to keep at it for the coming months, here are some tips that if you listen to and try to abide by, this just may be your year!

1 – Don’t overdo it. Don’t sign up for a class everyday, or feel that you have to go to the gym everyday in order to be successful. If this is your first time joining a gym, ease into it. By doing too much too soon, you’re most likely to crash and burn. And then you’ll be paying for a membership to gym you don’t even go to anymore.

2 – Don’t be intimidated. If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment or you want some suggestions on proper form, ask! The floor trainers are there to help you, that’s their job. So many people learn how to use one piece of equipment and because they’re intimidated or whatever by the crowds, choose to stick with that one piece of equipment for each and every workout. Not good. If you want results, you need to always be challenging your body by changing things up. Even sign up for a personal trainer for a few sessions to help you get acclimated to your new gym, it’s worth the investment. (As long as they’re good trainers. Ask plenty of questions before hiring one.)

3 – Let go. Please! I have seen it over and over and over again and I still don’t understand it. WHY do people hold onto the control panel of the treadmill when walking, jogging or running? This makes absolutely no sense to me, unless of course you want to potentially injure yourself or make your cardio session less effective. Let go! Swing your arms and burn more calories! Have you ever walked or ran up a hill while holding onto something in front of you? I didn’t think so.

And while we’re at it, for the love of fat loss, don’t read a magazine or book while on the treadmill/elliptical/bike. I have never seen a person step off the treadmill covered in sweat who was reading a book or magazine. NEVER. They have libraries in every town for you to sit and read in a nice quiet space. Why in the world are you doing that while on a treadmill in an apparent effort to burn calories? It ain’t happening and you’re eventually going to get frustrated because you’ll soon discover that you’re not losing weight or building any muscle. Ditch the reading material and the holding onto, it’s an ineffective use of your time. (And you’ll ultimately end up pissing off other patrons who end up waiting for you to get off the treadmill/elliptical/bike because all the machines are being used because it’s January!)

There are more little tidbits I could shower you with but I really feel that these are the core points you should be familiar with as you start your new journey into the gym-unknown. Don’t get frustrated and don’t be one of the many who lose their momentum and end up ditching the gym for the sofa. Stay strong, get fit and keep the motivation going all year-long!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at am@littleblackdresspt.com or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo