What a business expense a gym membership is
Fitness studios: useful or pointless?
When I moved to Leipzig almost nine years ago, I signed up for a gym shortly afterwards. It felt like something I should be doing. I had moved out with my parents, stood on my own two feet, made money, and was not in good shape. I even put on weight continuously during this time. Since I was otherwise not physically active at all and didn't know what else I could have done, it made sense to sign up for a gym.
The studio had just reopened weeks before. It was cheap too. Only 17 euros a month - plus the hidden costs. I went twice a week, often with a friend. We spent most of our time on the machines and strained our muscles. He knew the equipment, planned the exercises, and pulled me along. After a few months, I felt the muscles slowly grow. Motivation wasn't a problem at this point - except when I had to go alone. All in all, it was the only good phase I've ever had in a gym.
After a year the friend left town and the cheap studio found more and more members. It got busier every week. People waited at the devices, many of which were broken and had not been repaired. The pungent smell of sweat wasn't motivating either.
When I moved within Leipzig, I changed studio and was now ready to pay more. I hoped this wouldn't be so full and the devices would work. That was also the case. I was then registered in this gym for about five years. With the monthly fee and the “beverage flat rate” I left 60 euros a month there. So in five years I paid around 3,600 euros to train there.
My fitness is worth it to me! However, I didn't get fit during that time, but always thicker and less sporty. I only went to the gym sporadically. Sometimes I was motivated and went up to three times a week. Then again I didn't go there for half a year. When I was there, I tried a mixture of weight training and fitness training. For the strength, I just did what I felt like doing. I read the newspaper between exercises - just like others. For my fitness I used treadmills, bicycles and cross trainers. It was incredibly boring. So it never took long before I lost interest again. That was still the case after I lost 60 kilograms (the gym has little to do with that, though).
Before going around the world, I finally signed off. It was the Opportunity, to draw a line under this chapter. After that, I didn't log back in. Today I have my alternatives, which I will present to you in this article.
What speaks against gyms
At this point you can already imagine that I'm not a big fan of gyms. For me, they just didn't work. And now I'll show you why.
1. A contract doesn't make you fit
The contract is concluded quickly and gives you the good feeling that you have already done something. You took the first step. But strictly speaking, you are not! Getting a contract is the easiest part. The hard work only starts after that. It's like with any good resolution: Everything feels very easy in our minds. We are euphoric and believe that from January 1st we will become a whole new person. But whether you can keep it up will not be seen until you start. A few weeks later, the bill will be settled. Then the expensive contract is already running, from which you can no longer get out for at least 12 months.
This problem does not only exist with gyms, but with all sporting alternatives for which you have made a longer commitment. With others, however, you may find it easier to truly meet the obligation.
2. The solution is not sustainable
We know we should exercise somehow, but we have no idea how. So we register in a gym, then everything will take care of itself. That's how I felt then! But today I no longer believe that this is a sustainable answer to our problems.
A healthy lifestyle starts in the head. If you unhealthy If you eat and somehow bring yourself to go to the gym every now and then, you won't have any effect with it - especially not in the long term. You will quickly lose interest in it. You remember that I got bigger and bigger and less athletic although I was enrolled in a gym.
So you need a lot more than a contract. You have to start rethinking. I succeeded at some point. I went on a dramatic diet (can't recommend anymore today) and had a real run! In the wintertime, I also went to the gym more often. I still didn't enjoy the exercises at all, however I was on a weight loss frenzy, so it went fine for a while. When I got my weight down, my motivation dropped a lot. It was just too boring.
3. You always pay - whether you go or not
Fitness studios live from the members who rarely or rarely go there. The studio is not interested in you coming regularly. That's what happened to me. I didn't go there for months, sometimes for half a year at a time. After all, there are plenty of excuses! That was then a membership fee of 300 euros for the weak hope in which next week finally to go training again.
I often hear the argument that you are motivated because you have already paid and want something in return for the money. Maybe that will encourage you to go back again. But that doesn't last long. Once you've skipped a few days, you break your habit and then it doesn't matter if you've already paid. You even keep paying for a clear conscience.
Naturally would have to you don't pay to exercise at all. You can have it all for free. Maybe you can do something better with the money and still move. Today I play sports for free, but I pay for some alternatives because they give me a lot of fun.
4. The time required is high
Going to the studio several times a week takes a lot of time. The further the road to the gym, the more often you will skip training, because in everyday life there is always something in between that prevents you from making long journeys. This effort is ultimately a high resistance. There are ways to reduce this resistance (pack your bag beforehand, go straight from work, choose a gym within walking distance), but you can avoid it completely if you do your exercises at home.
Back then, my studio was very close to my apartment. I could go there in a few minutes. Still, all in all, I had to allow two hours for a training session.
The training itself can also be time-consuming, as you have to switch from device to device. Sometimes you have to wait for a device to become free - especially in January, when everyone is still living out their good resolutions. A self-created circuit training that you do at home with your own weight is more efficient.
5. You don't need any devices
Many people think they need equipment to be able to exercise. I believed that too. That's why I went to the gym and that's why I bought dumbbells that I never really used. However, this thinking keeps us from exercising. Instead of starting, we still have to buy a pull-up bar or a rubber ball, a fitness band, dumbbells or even an exercise bike. When we have all of this, we can at last Do sports!
Or we just go to the gym. A gym feels like taking the responsibility off planning your workout. After all, there are so many alternatives on so many devices. Yet if you're only there to anything to do, it probably doesn't get much out of it. I was always haphazardly at the gym, had few successes and quickly lost interest.
It doesn't have to be against Talk to a gym, but you can't get by there without a plan. In any case, you have to think for yourself about what you want to achieve and which exercises you want to use to pursue this goal.
However, if you make this plan anyway, devices will be superfluous. They may be useful when you have big goals in mind and want to pump up your arms, but you don't need any equipment for a basic workout. You can only do strength exercises with your own weight. If you add a fitness band, the number of possible exercises increases again significantly. You don't need any equipment for jogging, cycling or climbing stairs. Not even in winter. Of course, when there is snow, cycling becomes difficult. But to sign an annual contract because of two weeks of snow?
6. The environment is not motivating
During my time at the gym, a large proportion of the people were made up of people like me who had little plan or motivation. They rode their bikes bored or sat even more bored with the devices. In between they lifted a few weights. I never felt inspired there.
Of course did not sit everyone just limp around. There were also a lot of people who were serious and really pumped. But I couldn't identify with them either. I didn't have muscles to show, nor did I aim to get big arms. I basically wanted to be fit and leaner.
These arguments against Fitness studios do not have to be exclusion criteria. you are my Empirical valuesthat prevent myself from continuing to visit such studios. Make up your own mind, but be aware of these arguments before you put a contract on your leg.
When gyms can be useful
I don't want to paint the world just in black and white. Even if gyms weren't working for me, I have friends for whom it's just right. They each have at least one of the following situations.
1. You don't go alone
I had my best time in the gym going out with a friend who had a plan and had a goal in mind. He was self motivated and pulled me along. We had set days when we went to the gym. I never had to motivate myself to do it. If you know someone like that by your side, the chances are that you will go there permanently and that you will use your time there efficiently.
2. You have a plan
You don't necessarily need a friend to work out. But you need a plan. Before every workout - or at least once a month - create a training plan that you can follow very closely. Set goals and document your progress. If you also allow yourself fixed dates in your calendar that are binding for you, then it can work for you!
3. You take courses
I don't currently have a friend who could take me to the gym and I know from myself that I don't feel like thinking about my training plan all the time. The only argument that me still drifting to a gym are the courses offered there. In good studios there is a large selection of courses from yoga to spinning to Zumba. Since you have to register for appointments there, the liability increases to you. In addition, the appointments are used efficiently and under the supervision of trainers you can't go wrong.
If any of these situations apply to you, a gym may work. But if you just pedal listlessly on your own and without a plan or lift weights, I fear that you will soon lose motivation and get stuck in your contract. However, I would not write so negatively here if I had no alternatives. After all, I don't want to advise against exercising, just dreaming of actually getting fit in a gym. I'll show you my experiences with alternatives in the next article.
What is your experience with gyms like?
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