Gay 101. Hitting the Gym.

At some point most of us will consider getting a Gym membership.

Moving past the rhetoric and puns about the superficial nature of the Gay community there are a few important things to consider when thinking about joining a gym.

What ever reason you may have for joining, wanting to move the couch, making your Ex jealous or simple vanity nobody can deny that the health benefits you can get from joining a fitness club and working out are very beneficial.

Exercise is a great way to release stress and improve you general health and well being. You don’t have to be a gym bunny pumping weights 6 days a week to get benefit from the gym. Indeed this may not even be your goal. It’s easy to look at the Gay community and think that joining a gym is all about getting buff arms, killer pecs and a perfect ass but it’s simply not true.

The health benefits you will receive from getting active will stay with you all your life. We spend so much time investing in money, superannuation, homes and things but what about investing in our most valuable asset, our bodies? What’s the point of having a long retirement and loads of money if we can’t leave the house or have to spend it on triple bypass surgery, liposuction, or any other treatment that may result from our neglect and abuse of our most important tool.

If I sound like I am brow beating a little bit then good. Everyday we spend millions on health care and personal treatment that could have been avoided if we just took a little time to take our bodies more seriously.

I have nothing but respect for people who decide to take up a gym membership who think they don’t belong there. It’s easy to hit the gym when your buff but it takes courage to get out of your comfort zone and make a change.

Here are a few tips for those of you thinking about hitting the gym.

Not all gyms are created equal.

Not every gym is the same. Some focus on fitness, others focus on weight lifting and there are others that offer a combination of everything in between. When selecting a gym think about what our goals are. Most gyms will allow you to do a tour of the facilities and even do a couple of workouts there while you make your decision.

Get a trainer.

Most gyms will offer some free training sessions when you join. Use them. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t feel like you don’t belong in the gym because your not buff enough. Remember why you are there in the first place. It’s really important to learn the correct technique for lifting and doing the exercises in your program. A trainer will also be able to make sure you are on the right track to achieving your goals.

Not all trainers are created equal.

I have been going to the gym in one fashion or another for over 5 years now and I have only ever had one trainer that was any good. When selecting a trainer a good rule of thumb is to look for one that has a similar physique to yourself and to what you are trying to achieve. Be fussy. I have lost track of the number of times I have seen people working out at the gym, straining away, moments from a serious injury while their trainer sips a coffee and sends texts from their phone. Don’t be fooled by gimmicks like free gym bags and half price sessions, they won’t help you when you strain your back. The best trainers will make you pay but they will be worth it.

Have sensible expectations.

Unless you are a genetic freak of nature or cheat you are not going double your size over night or be able to run a mile in a minute straight away. It takes time for your body to respond and even longer before you will notice a difference. You have to commit. It takes time for a habit to form and then become part of your lifestyle. It may seem like a pain now to have to find time for the gym but as it slowly becomes part of your day to day routine you won’t even notice it.

Whatever happens have fun. The gym should not be a chore. Stick with it and you will get your rewards. There is no better motivation than hitting a goal or getting a compliment.

Good luck.