Many of us have heard of the old cliché that tells us we are the product of our environment. However, did we ever stop to think about this tasty little morsel of wisdom when we decide to drop a few lb’s and join a gym?
My guess is most likely not.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are the product of the five people we associate the closest with.
These people essentially get to decide how successful you are without even actively realizing it.
With that being said, think of your five closest people (or animals for you cat lovers).
Are they the kind of successful, hard-working and honest individuals that you admire?
Maybe they are someone who started their own business built their dream house and has their life together?
Or was he/she the funny guy/gal in English class that spent his time seeing how many spit balls he (or she) can get to stick on the white board before the teacher noticed?
I think you get the picture now.
The same holds true for gym culture as it relates to our fitness goals.
If you want to lose weight, get jacked and tan, or lift a house then you need to pick a gym with the right community that fits your goals.
For example, if power lifting is your goal and you want to be able to throw a Toyota Prius 40 yards down the road, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing water aerobics at the local recreation center with the group of chatty elderly women.
The gym you pick to sign up for will ultimately decide your fate.
Think about it in a little more vindictive way:
Did you know that there are literally gyms out there that base their business model on you not showing up?
The overhead has to be met and the cost of membership (usually on a rolling monthly basis) is so low that in order to meet expenses, a massive number of members must be signed up.
Often this number is far beyond the total capacity of the building set by the fire marshal.
In other words, in order for the gym to stay open, it must dramatically oversell memberships EVERY MONTH in order to stay in business.
Get the picture yet?
These people literally want you to fail in your fitness goal so that they can continue to pad their pockets.
The sad thing is… it works.
Even though their total membership is well beyond gym capacity, the majority of the people that do actually sign up, never use the facility on a regular basis.
Most of the time they come for the first week and then let their membership expire for the remainder of their 6-month contract.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So how do you go about picking the right gym that will help to propel you to success?
Well, first ask that one fit friend that everyone has for his or her advice.
If that person goes to a gym with the above-mentioned business model (hint: membership is usually $40 or less per month), continue reading.
Go to Google.
Type in the search box, ‘local gym reviews.’
Local gyms are usually the best. They are start-ups from people who are [usually] passionate about fitness.
Commercial gyms just aren’t quite as good.
Read as many reviews as you can.
Visit 2-3 gyms and try it out. Most gyms have a small drop-in fee (usually around $25) or they just ask that you buy a shirt. (I would do the latter if it is an option; at least get SOMETHING out of it, even if you decide not to sign up at that gym).
NOTE: If they try and hard sell you on your first visit, I would see that as a red flag and maybe consider another option.
Make a decision. My preference is on gyms with a solid community where everyone knows everyone. This provides added accountability, which is crucial in long-term success.
And there you have it.
Ensure you don’t commit self-sabotage from the get-go by thinking that the gym where you begin your fitness journey does not matter.
In fact, it really is quite the opposite.
Follow the above advice to kick-start your fitness goals in the right direction.