How to Choose a New Gym

Ten year ago if you wanted to find a new gym or trainer, you’d pop up google and do a we search or flick open the yellow pages. For younger readers, thats a big floppy book – ah… a book is a collection of paper containing information, bound together for convenience… sigh!

Getting back on topic, if you wanted to find a gym years ago you searched for it but these days with social media holding such a powerful networking capacity, you have only got to ask however!

A couple of observations:

  1. People are asking for specific solutions from an audience they don’t know, yet somewhat trust.
  2. Those who answer rarely read the full question and reply with their personal preference, often totally missing the actual question details

Quick example I see often is: ‘Hi, I am looking for personal trainer to work with at their studio’. And what do the most replies suggest? Try _____ bootcamp, or buy this App, or my powerlifting club is great. I am sure all of these are great but just not what the person asking was looking for.

An Idea

The following is something of a checklist I like to share for people when they start to consider personal training or group exercise etc.

My intention is not to sell my business because indeed, what I do and what my clients do may not actually be what everyone is looking for.

That’s actually where you should start – know what it is you want to achieve and what you have to give to achieve it.

Consider the following:

  1. What’s your exercise history? Are you experienced, a beginner?
  2. How much time per day/week/month can you allocate to your exercise?
  3. What’s your $$$ budget per week or month?
  4. Know your goals and ask yourself why they are your goals to fully understand your reasoning when it comes to aligning with a prospective trainer or gym.
  5. Make a point to contact the head trainer of each and every gym you look at to check off how their clients train to see if it matches what you are prepared to do. If high intensity interval training isn’t your thing, don’t join a HIIT gym. If you need to get stronger, try a strength focused gym. See below.
  6. How hard or intense is the gyms training system? It does vary. Some gyms focus on high intensity interval training while others train at sustainable strength efforts or focus on ‘core training’, or cardio… know what you like to do. Does the gym even have a system or is it random???
  7. Don’t weigh up the gyms superhero members and their results as it may not reflect your path and or background or the vast majority of that gyms or trainers clientele.
  8. Ask yourself if you actually need to hire a trainer – can you train at home following an online program for a fraction of the cost of a gym or trainer?
  9. As you measure up different gyms and PTs, don’t weigh up or value in price alone.
  10. The gist of this is this: know what you want and really know what the trainers and gyms do with their clients and did I say really know what you want vs what others tell you is awesome for them. Be you. Got it?

I’m just trying to help you think about your decisions yourself rather than relying on the deluge of individual responses on social media.

If you have any questions about this or other matters please do ask.

Jamie

Squat Challenge

Whilst western society has evolved somewhat in some areas, it has definitely declined in others.

What’s declined? Specifically I’m referring to strength, agility, mobility and how we interact poorly with our environments compared to history and indeed, other cultures.

Posture in particular has slid downwards… like the chins of many an iPad addicted child!

Humans were never meant to sit for hours a day, were never meant to sit on a chair and where never meant to spend countless hours with a forward hanging head. We were made to move and when we were to rest, sitting in a deep squat is our design.

Now, whilst modern ‘progress’ has given us chairs to sit and rest, it isn’t the same. More clearly, it’s not the same physiologically. The evidence is clear. Knee, ankle, hip and back pain is rife today with an unbalanced number of people.

posture evolution

So what are the benefits of sitting in a Squat?

  • Improved Ankle mobility and stability
  • Improved Knee stability
  • Improved hip mobility and stability
  • Improved thoracic spine mobility
  • Improved intestinal health and bowel movements
  • Improved capacity to undertake everyday activities
  • Improved ability to get to the floor (and up again) as you age

The Challenge

This challenge is simple, yet may prove testing. The goal each day is to spend time in a deep, rested squat position. The time per day is be accumulated and not necessarily carried out in one set – unless you can. You can spend the time over as many efforts as you like.

By the end of the 28 days the goal is to accumulate a total of 30 minutes.

How to record

You can record your daily efforts either with a simple record sheet or use your smart phones Stopwatch. Every time you sit into a squat, start the timer and stop it when you stand. Just continue the timer per set.

Rules of the Squat Challenge

  1. No REST days during the 28 days.
  2. Per day your gaol is to ACCUMULATE the allocated time. Take as many sets as needed. Work harder some days and easier other days.
  3. Foot width – around shoulder width apart. Find what works best for you to allow for maximal depth and relaxation.
  4. Foot angle – don’t stress about dogmatic musts in terms of foot angle. Again, find what works best for you.
  5. How deep should you squat? As deep as you can. If you do need support to gain some initial depth or even comfort, use a chair, a door frame or whatever is safe to hold onto to allow you to sit deep, deeper and deeperer!
  6. No tension – The squat is a RESTED position. Don’t worry about keeping a flat, upright back or tight abs. Just sit and chill.
  7. No pain. Don’t be silly and turn this into a pain enduring challenge. Do what you can do on any given set.
  8. Can’t keep heals on the floor? Raise the heals a little. Use piece of wood, two small weights discs or even the toes of your shoes.
  9. Footwear – best footwear is no footwear. Socks, sure. Shoes, try not to.
  10. Share. Don’t be a selfish squatter – share with others the many wonders of squatting, this challenge and even get the family joining in when you do your squat sessions.

 

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