First and foremost let me say I 100% encourage people to exercise regularly. However EVERY year these folks show up at the gym in January and slowly dwindle away until March. Again, I encouarage exercise, but man I hate seeing my gym get crowded this time of year. My normal three open treadmills will dwindle to none (occupied by walkers no less) and there will be lines for popular weight machines. (I always feel bad for the shoulder press this time of year, he gets no love)
Again, I want to see folks working out. I think if more folks focused on and took responsiblity for their health we could end a lot of other debates, particularly those regarding healthcare. However, I like my space and I like my routine, so alas, I am forced to share it until the lack of progress and same old same old attempts by a large percentage of the population wears off between now and March. A long time ago, back when I was still training for high school and collegiate sports, I intentionally would switch my workout time and routine around this time of year to deal with the increased gym traffic.
1. Go in with a flexible plan. There is more than one way to cook a chicken. If the machine you just HAD to use is backed up with newbies and regulars, find a variant. Your body needs variations anyway.
2. Do not wait in line even if you absolutely have to use a particular machine during your workout in order to be happy. Seriously though, don’t stand and wait. You’ll just get annoyed while Tommy Tits takes his good old time on the bench press. Go find something else to do, even if it wasn’t in the original plan.
3. Hour earlier, hour later. The normal gym peak times are out for me this time of year. Either I go at 4 or 5AM or I go at 7PM or later. 24 Hour gyms like Anytime Fitness are great for this. The bottom line is, if you try to go in after the stay at home mom’s have dropped off the kids or around dinner time, you’ll find the gym is pretty packed.
4. Don’t be a trainer. You’ll see people doing things wrong more so this time of year than any other time. Unless you know them or they ask, leave them to their own devices. You don’t want to be “that guy” or gal at the gym….even if it costs someone an injury.
5. Get outside and do something different for a while. Sure, it is tough to get outside in some climates this time of year, but it won’t kill you. Plus you’ll be able to make better use of your time since the gym will be crowded. Running, biking, kettle bells in the back yard (the neigbors will think you’re nuts, which is fine with me).
6. If you use the gym, focus on making your workouts efficient for yourself and those around you. You don’t have to get all three sets in or all 12 miles in during one sittng. Go do something else so others can work in or come back (this may lead you back to #3 or #5)
Tonight th’ Almost Wife and I plan to do some gym work. I have found that Mondays in January are the absolute busiest. January is busy for the aforementioned resolutions and Mondays tend to be busy because everyone sat on their butt all weekend. We will combat this by going in a little later than usual to get done what we plan to get done.
Now get off the computer and go do something! You’ll feel better!