How does a fitness club function and why do trainers promise you a perfect body after just one month of workouts? Why are the workouts so expensive and you don’t see any obvious results? What tricks should you know if you want to visit the swimming pool and you already have a gym membership?
Bright Side has talked to running coaches, gym employees, a body-ballet teacher, and a yoga trainer in order to find out the secrets that are connected with their jobs, that they don’t tell to their clients.
About memberships and yearly memberships
- Gyms pay attractive people to visit and overweight people don’t get the discount. Fit visitors motivate others to go to the gym more often and clients with extra weight only repel other people. Exceptions: celebrities and rich people.
- Among the regular customers of the gym, there are usually a few welcoming and communicative people that meet the new visitors. Their job is to offer them sports nutrition products and other muscle building products that allegedly can help them achieve the necessary results fast. The gym gets its cut from these sales.
- Managers always try to sell as many memberships as possible without considering whether there is enough space for everyone. Good gyms try to solve this problem with a schedule: if you go to morning workouts, you get an additional discount. Aside from that, there are a lot of people in gyms after the Christmas holidays and during vacation periods.
- If you pay for only 2-3 visits, you pay 15-20 times more. Nowadays, it is hard to find a gym where you can pay for only one workout or just one month. Almost all gyms have memberships and are at least 6-12 months in duration. Most people that buy the memberships only go to the first several workouts. So the gym wins, because they don’t have to return your money if you decide not to come.
- Membership prices are always a little too high, so for every visitor, the manager chooses an “additional” discount. The final price will be even lower if you buy the membership during the last days of December.
How to get the perfect body
- Getting a perfect body is impossible, if you didn’t win the genetic lottery. Think about the bodies of professional athletes: they don’t look anything like the models that pose for the covers of sports magazines. Bodybuilders and fitness models go to plastic surgeons and take special muscle building products that help them get rid of fat or tone their muscles fast.
- Every trainer knows how big of a toll these muscle building products can take on your body, but they often use them themselves in order to get the perfect body. When choosing a trainer, most people look at their bodies, instead of their education or experience, and believe that they can achieve the same results if they train regularly.
- You can’t be on a diet and play sports. You have to have a balanced diet. If you give up on carbs and fats, where will you get your energy from? If you eat too much fat, the function of your digestive system and kidneys may be impaired.
- Without protein, your muscles won’t grow. It doesn’t make any sense to exercise if you don’t start to eat more meat, milk, and eggs. Also, you need to eat at least 120-150 grams of protein.
- Trainers earn money on the sale of sports nutrition, so they suggest that you don’t change your diet but just buy protein powder from them and make cocktails. This protein is not digested as well as the natural kind and in some cases can lead to digestive problems.
- If you play sports 5 times a week and eat well, but on the weekend you eat something that you shouldn’t, your weight will not change. In this case, you have to calculate everyday caloric intake that you get on average every day. If your trainer “forgot” to tell you this, it is only because it is more profitable for them to see you with extra weight.
- It is a very rare thing when gyms actually sell something truly good for your health. For example, smoothies with vitamins and fresh fruit juices can irritate a hungry stomach and lead to digestive problems, and regular juices and sports drinks contain as much sugar as regular soda. A healthy alternative is simple still water.
- When your digestive system functions properly, the nutrients are digested faster, the fat is burned better, and the body changes more rapidly, responding to the physical activity. 80% of the success of your workouts depends on your diet, so it is important to consult a doctor and have your hormonal system and intestines checked.
What trainers don’t talk about during workouts
- Doing sports every day is harmful. Between workouts, there should be a 1-3 day break, depending on the activity. The body restores and the muscles grow when you are resting. What you can do is some light stretching. But many trainers earn money by giving you personal sessions, so they will try to talk you into everyday workouts.
- Cardio exercises stimulate sweating and kidney function. You sweat a lot, you go to the toilet a lot, and you believe that you are losing weight. But in fact, you burn almost no fat and you are only losing water — that 3-5 pounds that you always lose after workouts and gain back within the next few days.
- Losing weight during group workouts is very hard because you might not get the load you need. Also, in groups, people are often lazier.
- Many trainers say that there will be no result without pain, sweat, and discomfort, so you have to exhaust yourself. But your muscles don’t care if you did 10 reps at once or 10 reps with a break. The only thing that matters is the number of exercises during a workout. But for the normal function of the body, it is better to choose the second option with breaks.
- Some people get injured because they think that they came to the runway instead of the gym. The best sportswear consists of special leggings that reduce the load on the veins, a T-shirt that breathes, and athletic shoes that suit the type of physical activity you’re doing.
- Special insoles and orthopedic sneakers don’t t
reat your feet if you have flat feet. It is more effective to do a warm-up massage for feet and do special exercises, for example, trying to lift a pencil with your toes.
- Yoga is not a sport. It can’t help you get beautiful muscles or burn fat fast, it doesn’t give you any cardio work in order to train your heart and lungs, and it is incomparable to power workouts in the gym. This activity is only good for stretching and flexibility.
- Yoga has its own contraindications too. The safest and the most effective activity is the one in water the that gives your body an even and moderate load. It can be done at any age and used as part of rehabilitation after injuries.
- Body ballet is not going to make you a professional ballet dancer but it will develop your pelvis and make your abs and hips much stronger. The women that are planning to get pregnant are recommended to do these exercises in order to make the process of labor more simple.
- You can’t have a full-scale workout in 45 minutes: this is a myth made by trainers that want to work with as many people as they can during one day. It takes at least 20-30 minutes to warm your muscles up, it takes another 10-15 minutes to calm the muscles down after the workout and the workout itself should be at least one hour long. If your trainer has a shorter program, make sure you do the warm-up yourself.
- Many yoga instructors and fitness trainers are hired without even checking what their education is because there is no unified certification system. Very often, even the most elite clubs have young guys and girls working there because they were hired thanks to their Instagram pages, and attractive appearances. And more experienced trainers that can be ex-doctors, professional athletes, and physical education teachers are often found in less elite and less popular athletic clubs.
- Most trainers don’t even know how to use the gym equipment correctly and they don’t care about safety when working with clients. For quality training, you don’t even need the training equipment: all you need is the weight of your own body, a couple of weights, and a ball.
- Only frauds will promise great results over a short time. Sometimes, the legs get in shape quickly and the arm muscles need 2 times more work. The first 2-3 months, your trainer is supposed to watch how your body responds to the training. If you have your personal program developed and your trainer doesn’t ask any questions about your food habits and doesn’t ask anything about your medical history, you don’t need this trainer.
About additional gym services
- If you are not 100% sure where the water in the cooler came from, you’d better bring your own bottle. Sometimes, in order to save money, some gyms use regular tap water that may not be the best quality.
- Towels in gyms are washed at low temperatures that don’t allow them to be sterilized effectively. It is better to bring your own. The same goes for free slippers and bathrobes.
- Many pieces of gym equipment have 362 times more bacteria on them, than the seat of public toilets. More than half of the equipment is infected with rhinovirus. So, don’t forget a disinfectant for hands and use it before and after your workouts and if you do yoga, don’t forget your own mat.
- Most people don’t take showers before going to the swimming pool. So, if you want to swim in clean water, you’d better come in the early morning. In the shower, always wear slippers: many people don’t even know that their feet and nails are infected with fungus.
What peculiarities about gyms and trainers have you noticed? Tell us in the comment section below.