Home > Where to Run > Is it Worth Joining a Gym?

Is it Worth Joining a Gym?

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Gym Membership Fees Machines Facilities

Some gym users look upon their membership as an opportunity solely to broaden their social horizons. Yes they may throw in the odd swim, or half an hour on the bike, but their monthly fee is more about what's going on in the juice bar than working out on the machines. Others may start off with the best of intentions but soon lose their motivation, the membership card consigned to the kitchen drawer, never again to see the light of day.

For those intent on building up their running, either of the above scenarios should not result in dismissing a gym as not worth the money. They can have a role to play in training; indeed in common with all aspects of training, you only get out as much as you put in.

So what do they offer the runner? In short, a range of machines and facilities that can break up the monotony that can sometimes develops from basing your activities around a single set of courses around the local area, and perhaps some weight training in the house.

In terms of the machines, the bike, cross-trainer and the treadmill will offer cardiovascular workouts without putting too much stress on the knees, while the mind will benefit from the distraction of having a television to watch rather than the local neighbourhood. In terms of weights, it is likely there will be a comprehensive range of both machines and free weights available that will bring results a lot faster.

Access to a Personal Trainer

All this equipment will have the added bonus of both supervision and ready access to a personal trainer. Either because they are self-conscious or over-confident, too many runners fail to seek advice in terms of methods to maximise their training, thereby failing to realise their potential. Gym staff may also be invaluable in identifying problem areas, for example in terms of posture, that may be the difference between staying healthy and suffering an injury.

Many gyms have running clubs operated by staff, which not only provide the opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts and swap advice, but may provide access to information on, and entry to organised events and races.

There will also be a range of non-running activities available, such as spinning classes and yoga, that will supplement your training by maintaining or enhancing fitness in both body and mind. Facilities such as swimming and racket sports courts similarly give the runner a means of staying fit while adding variety to their routine.

When deciding on whether to join or not, runners with small children should check to see whether a gym has child-minding facilities which would allow exercise sessions at a time of day which would otherwise be prohibitive.

Off-Peak Membership

Any discussion about joining a gym cannot leave out the thorny question of finance. When looking at the prices, there may be the cheaper option of taking out off-peak membership, usually excluding early morning, evening and weekend access. On the other hand, family membership may also benefit your partner and the children, not only in terms of encouraging everyone to get fitter, but also offering access to fun days such as Easter egg hunts and bouncy castles. Just ensure you leave the egg hunting to the kids.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Tammy
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, also trying to find out if Swansea groups still going? Thanks.
    7 October 2018
  • Rach
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I live in the Wolverhampton WV8 area and wondered if you have any activities running close to me please? Thank you Rachel.
    3 September 2018
  • Ali
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi Vic. Try Potters Trotters. They used to meet at Northwood years ago, but now meet at Staffs Uni on Tuesday and Thursday. They…
    30 August 2018
  • Cathryn
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there a beginners club in Torquay for women over 50
    31 July 2018
  • VikingMermaid
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there still a group in Dawlish (S Devon)? I used to run with WRN ca 10 yrs ago here (leader was Sarah, who was a real…
    26 June 2018
  • Vic
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, Any running clubs in stoke on trent? Northwood area? Trying to rehab and lose weight after slipped disc surgery last year.
    13 June 2018
  • Bigsare
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Is there. A group in Exeter still and when and where do they meet please
    2 May 2018
  • Verity
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi. I ran with WRN over 10 years ago and was registered with UKA. I am now trying to join another club. Can my link to WRN be…
    22 April 2018
  • JanieN
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Ha, ha - predictive text! Passing my message on - thanks
    7 April 2018
  • JanieN
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi there I’m looking to reconnect with the Swansea group but can’t find the details. Any chance of either padding my message on or…
    7 April 2018