Personal trainers are supposed to be the cheerleaders of the gym. Their role is to guide us through our weight loss journey by challenging us to work harder, demonstrating proper technique, answering questions, and giving the all-important pep talk. Unfortunately, they can also be overzealous, insensitive, inappropriate, and downright rude.
If you have a bad experience with a personal trainer but love your gym, it can seem like an inequitable fitness divorce. The personal trainer gets to keep the house (gym) with the pool while you sulk away with your bag of funky sweaty towels and workout clothes.
The Bored Trainer
After the birth of my second daughter I joined a local YMCA to get back in shape and eliminate my “bingo wings.” I was a tired mama looking for a beacon of weight loss hope. Instead, I was introduced to my personal trainer, the apathetic chubby lady babysitter. I talked about my goals. He yawned. I didn’t know how to turn on a stair climbing machine. He told me to get on, pushed all the buttons for me, and then watched Judge Judy on the gym TV while I tried not to pass out.
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If you have the time, money, and access to a convenient gym, it’s a great place to get in shape and stay that way. However, with a relatively small investment, you can create your own gym environment at home and ultimately save time, money, and accessibility. All you really need are a few basic pieces of equipment that will focus on cardio and strength training.
Having a home gym filled with the right equipment can save you hundreds of dollars a year in gym fees, babysitting services, and even cute gym clothes! Let’s face it ladies, most of us have the gym outfit and then the home gym outfit and I’m guessing the home gym outfit is way more comfy.
Clear the ping pong table out of the way and declare that corner of the basement yours. Add the following gym staples and you’ve got your own circuit training course that can be done any time of day, in any weather. Bonus reason for the home gym? If your exercise playlist includes a heavy metal, smooth jazz, country music shuffle, you just take out the headphones and crank it right up.
Must-Have Home Gym Equipment List
Elliptical: Easy on the joints and limbs, this home cross trainer mimics stair-climbing, walking and running. With the touch of a button you can go from slow crawl to an intense workout. You have the power to challenge yourself every time you step on.
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Whether you cycle at the gym or at a cycling specific studio like Soul Cycle or Flywheel Sports, there’s a good chance you’ll go from amateur to addict after a few short sessions. Here are the telltale signs you’ve already made the transition:
- You carry cycling shoes in your purse. Just in case your dinner date cancels/your lunch hour frees up/your favorite instructor announces he’s subbing that afternoon.
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If you’ve decided that working out on your old elliptical machine while re-watching Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix isn’t helping you achieve maximum weight loss results, maybe it’s time to get out of the basement and join a gym. While some fitness centers offer bare-bones equipment for an affordable price, others offer a wide variety of amenities, but you’ll definitely pay to play.
Before you get out your wallet, decide what’s important to you in a fitness center and what you’re willing to pay for, then choose a gym accordingly. Below is a brief overview to help you make your decision. From Mild-Mannered to Big and Fancy, what do you need for your workout experience in 2014?
Mild Mannered $ – Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Curves, Blink
- Low membership fees and no-hassle contracts mean you can get in shape without taking out a 2nd mortgage
- Often cater to first-time gym members by discouraging intimidating behavior like grunting, growling and gun-showing in the weight room
- Easy-to-use cardio and strength equipment, so you actually spend your time working out, not punching buttons and reading the user’s guide
- No children allowed and no child care. Is that necessarily a bad thing, though? Time away from the kids is OK, especially if you’re getting healthy
- No high-end amenities like juice bars, tanning beds, steam rooms, or swimming pools
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There seems to be a great chasm between those who workout and those who do not. But does anyone really know why that is?
Often surrounded by people who don’t love working out as much as I do (admittedly, I’m an enthusiast), I’ve asked myself this question many times but to no avail. It seems that the path to fitness is narrow and few find it, but I wish that wasn’t so as exercise is such an essential part of a long, healthy life. Not to mention it can be a blast once you find your groove!
Perhaps there are some insider secrets that ‘insiders’ wrongly assume ‘outsiders’ already know. This slideshow is my humble attempt to “crack the code” and unveil those tips, tricks and secrets so that everyone can find their way to fitness and establish a routine that truly sticks.