Tried and tested: How to really go to the gym 3 times a week

 

gym 3 times a weekAs this was year four of my gym challenge (in which I aim to go to the gym 150 times a year AKA 3ish times a week), it marked my 600th gym trip.

But hey, who’s counting? I certainly frickin’ am.

So pulling together what I’ve learned, for anyone who’s joining a gym and is aiming for the ‘gym 3 times a week’ schtick to stick, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Join the gym that’s closest to you
    That’s the one you’ll go to. The slightly crappy gym you pass on the way home from work always trumps the one with better facilities that’s a 10 minute drive in the opposite direction. The easier your gym is to get to, the more likely you are to go to it.
  2. Spend the first month trying out all the classes
    Even the ones that sound a bit rubbish that you don’t think you’ll like or sound too hard. Do them all at least once. Do the ones you like twice. Don’t worry about being the worst in the class – every class will have beginners in it, no matter what the time of year. And none of the regulars are judging you, unless you’re wearing really bad harem pants, in which case you brought it on yourself.
  3. Go 4 times a week
    Look, I didn’t promise it was easy. There will be months when you’ll be away, busy or simply can’t be arsed. So to make your over all average 3 times a week, you need to aim for more than that as often as possible. From last year’s stats, I had 4 months with less than 12 gym visits, 3 of 12 exactly (4 weeks, 3 times each) and 5 months where I went more than 12 times. It all evens out in the end.
  4. Write it down
    Keep a diary where you note down all the exercise you’re doing, and review it regularly.
    Otherwise I can guarantee you’ll be kidding yourself about how much you do, and telling yourself you go around 3 times a week, when you only really went twice last month.
  5. Accept that you will never get fit
    Fit isn’t something you ‘get’ and then stop and feel pleased with yourself when you’ve got it. It’s a journey, not a destination. A lifelong journey at that. If deep down you hate your gym time and can’t face doing it for the rest of your life, find another fitness journey to travel on. If you’re doing it right, it should be enjoyable, not a chore. Otherwise, what’s the point?

image: ihasahotdog.com

 

  • Maria

    Good post.
    I’ve always been a regular gym goer (except when pregnant) so don’t really get why so many people join and then don’t go.
    The thing that really keeps me going is seeing that money coming out of my account every month…that and still needing to lose more weight after my kids!

  • I think that’s a good point Maria – it’s a lot of money to waste if you don’t go, and who can afford to do that these days?

  • Point 5 << Hear hear!

  • Thank you Angela. Maybe I should delete all the rest and just stick with Point 5, that’s the most important one.

  • Great tips. There are lots of other fitness journey’s (I like that term) out there to follow. If you don’t like the gym or don’t have the money…no big deal. You can do everything at home that you can do in a gym. If you love the gym, but can’t afford think about becoming certified as an Instructor, that’s what I did and I love it. I get free access to the gym anytime I want and have to get up for my class 3 days a week. It’s fantastic. Either way pick something you can be consistent with and go with it.