Gym memberships – are they really worth it?

So today I wrenched myself out of bed at 5.15am to get to the gym for just after 5.30 and as bad as that was once I was up I was raring to go.

I got to the gym and swiped my barcode thing, only to have the girl on the desk come racing over, stare at her computer screen and tell me that my membership had expired! When I said I had no idea and don’t you send a reminder letter that fees are due, she then proceeded to tell me that they had appararently sent me two letters in April! Two letters that I never received unless my husband hid them from me in a bid to encourage me not to go to the gym! – very doubtful! I felt like I was being interrogated and never miss payments on anything! I was then after my humiliation ‘allowed’ to train after promising to sort payment out today.

So by the time I got to the treadmill I was prepared to smash it training wise and I sure did today! I had a great work out in the warm, rather than freezing outside and with the help of my iPod and my fury I really pushed myself to the max.

On the way home I started to question my gym membership. I’ve been going to the gym since I was 18 (which is quite a while ago!) and in the UK used a number of different clubs and had good and bad experiences. Here in Australia I hardly actually go to the gym now because I run outside a lot and haven’t been doing too as much weight work as I would like, so this mornings debacle got me thinking whether I actually need it. So I thought in today’s post I would highlight my thoughts based on my experiences with gyms, why being a member is a good thing….

Reasons why gym memberships are good

1. When you really don’t feel like training if you go to the gym and see all the fit looking people there, it soon makes you want to get in there too and also don’t forget about the classes – that will perk you up when you really don’t feel like getting on that treadmill!

2. They are warm/cold dependent on the season – so at the moment the gym is warmer than outside so it’s nice not to have to wrap up in my winter woolies to go for a run! and in summer most gyms have air con or fans so you don’t have to run outside and feel like you could fryan egg on your stomach afterwards!

3. Gym’s are a great way to meet new people – I met my running buddies through Bootcamp which was organised by my gym, and without those wonderful girls I would not have got back into my training as much as I have this year.

4. Gyms are great for all round fitness, not just running but for doing conditioning work and weights to even out your training programme. Also the variety of gym equipment far outweighs anything that you could possibly have at home unless you are a serious exercise junkie and every cent of your hard earned cash goes into buying your Workout World equipment!

5. You can plug into your music, zone out and push yourself. When running outside I now don’t run with music on as it comprimises my awareness of what is going on around me and also as safe as it is around where I live, it makes you like a sitting duck if anyone wanted to pounce!

Of course there are negatives to gym memberships such as high fees and locking you in over  a period of time, sweaty people and lack of privacy but I think a lot of gyms are starting to improve in these areas as competition is fierce, and with the likes of Jetts opening 24 hours a day the race is on to see who can get your dollars!

I am sure I will be renewing my gym membership today as agreed, but not without checking out the competition first!

Bye for now

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