QUESTIONING IF YOU SHOULD SPEND MONEY ON A FITNESS MEMBERSHIP? JOINING A GYM CAN BE AN INVESTMENT, BUT IT MAY JUST BE THE BEST DECISION YOU’LL MAKE.
To some, spending money on a monthly gym or fitness membership may not be a splurge. For others, it’s more of a luxury.
As for me, I spent many years of my adult life telling myself a fitness membership is a waste of money. After all, I could exercise at home. On my own. For free.
As with working towards any life goal, I experienced my fair share of ups and downs in sticking to a healthy exercise routine. Motivation was practically nonexistent, and I just couldn’t seem to push myself. A lot of it had to do with not having the right (or any) equipment, a workout buddy or knowledge of how to exercise properly.
It’s common to feel discouraged when trying to establish and stick to a new exercise routine. Especially when you’re going at it alone, which is what eventually led me to willingly spending money on a fitness membership—one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Quick note: What do I mean by a fitness membership? In short, a membership to any fitness facility, from a traditional gym to barre studio to crossfit gym. My current fitness membership is to a privately owned gym that provides boot camp-style workouts and focuses on full body fitness.
If you’re ready to nourish your mind and body with healthy exercise habits, get inspired with these 8 reasons why you might benefit from spending money on a fitness membership (and finally get the results you’ve been waiting for).
Just do it: 8 reasons to spend money on a gym or fitness membership
1. You’re fuzzy on the right moves
Say you’re new to fitness, or even coming back to it after an extended exercise sabbatical. You might be a bit lost on what workouts target which muscle groups, or what exercises (beyond the usual) you can incorporate for variety and a more balanced routine.
Think about core exercises, for example. The first moves that come to mind might be sit-ups or crunches, but there are a ton of ways to strengthen your core, from planks and shoulder taps to Russian twists and barbell rollouts.
A big perk to group workouts led by an instructor? You’re given the moves—no research or planning needed on your part. All you gotta do is show up and put in the effort.
2. You don’t know how to do the moves—the right way
Unless you’re self-taught or have had previous guidance from a trainer (or anyone who know their stuff), there’s a chance you won’t know how to perform certain exercises—properly.
If you fall in this camp and need direction on proper form, consider attending group or private sessions led by an instructor who will instruct, supervise and correct.
At a basic level, you should understand each movement in general. But the two main reasons I say it’s important to execute each exercise properly is to:
- Avoid hurting yourself
- Get the most out of your workout for quicker results
Poor form can put unnecessary pressure and stress on muscles, joints and tendons. Maintaining proper form, on the other hand, reduces the risk of pain and injury as well prevents your body from sustained damage. Focusing on proper form also helps you conserve energy throughout the workout.
To my second point, proper form will most certainly give you the results you want faster by targeting and fully engaging the right muscles. Think about a basic bodyweight squat, for example. Seems simple enough, still requires good form. (Reduce injury? Check! Dream booty? Double check!)
3. You don’t own any equipment
With fitness memberships, you gain access to the facility’s equipment. And while some of what gyms have on hand might be fairly easy to purchase yourself, much of the equipment you’ll find at a fitness center stays there—unless you have the space and money to make it your own.
Basics like dumbbells and kettlebells, medicine and exercise balls are pretty easy to find locally or order online, and don’t take up much space. On the other hand, heavy duty equipment like ellipticals, weight machines and complete weight sets are more of an investment.
If you’re new to fitness and do have plans to eventually build a home gym: Once you start exercising on a regular basis, you’ll discover what equipment you prefer and routinely use, which will help you nail down what to purchase.
4. You crave variety
While this isn’t the case for everyone, working out at home means there’s a chance you’ll default to the same workouts—time and time again.
If you’re anything like me, at-home workouts generally end up being a compilation of favorite exercises you’re comfortable doing, which might guarantee a more enjoyable workout, but one that doesn’t really require much thought, planning or effort.
Spending money on a fitness membership means you have a wide variety of equipment to choose from. Plus, if you’re getting your workout on in a group session, the probability is high that the instructor will have you do something a little different in each class.
(I’ve been going to my gym for over two years now, and I still have new moves thrown at me every now and again.)
Why is variety important? Variety engages both your mind and body to keep motivation and strength high long term.
5. You don’t know how to (or would rather not) create a workout plan
Is creating a balanced plan to work out the right muscle groups on the right days over your head? Do you find yourself putting together mindless routines in the parking lot when you’re supposed to be inside burning fat and building muscle?
If you join a traditional gym and want to use the machines or free weight section on your own, you’ll still have to put in the effort to create a routine that makes the most sense for you.
But when you join a gym that offers group classes, or even private training sessions if that’s what you’re after, you’re in no way responsible for building out a workout routine—a fitness pro is.
They’re the ones coordinating which exercises to group together on what day of the week, building out a workout calendar (your workout calendar) designed to give you variety and results.
6. You find motivation in numbers
Finding the motivation to get moving, especially when it comes to exercise, is difficult.
But there’s power in numbers, and a reason why accountability relationships have been proven effective in reaching goals.
With group classes, having that handful of people you can count on to push you—and vice versa—can be key to staying on track. You might also be able to sweet talk a friend in joining the gym with you!
In the case you’ll be exercising on your own at a gym, you’ll still be working out with a like-minded group. Though you may not be acquainted, each one of you is there, pushing hard, encouraging each other (even if subconsciously).
7. You’re more likely to get moving with money on the line
How many times have you planned on getting in a solid workout or run in at home, only to find yourself slapping the bejeezus out of that snooze button or mindlessly browsing Netflix?
Knowing that you’re spending your dollars on a fitness membership can be a huge motivation driver.
This might not be the case for all, but I’ve found that if I’m dishing out a portion of my paycheck every month, I’m much more likely to be active and stay consistent to get my money’s worth.
8. You’ll build healthy habits
No lie, exercising on a regular basis requires dedication, but it’s well worth it. And by showing up and sticking to it, you just developed a healthy habit. (Hooray!)
But committing to fitness can lead to more than building an exercise routine—it can lead to a lifestyle filled with all sorts of healthy habits. One thing leads to another and soon enough, you’ll be on a roll.
Your dates with fitness may inspire you to make healthier nutrition and food choices, for instance.
Water intake increases, herbal teas replace sodas, processed foods lose appeal and ice cream never makes it into your grocery store basket.
(Have you seen my list of healthy one-ingredient snacks? Each snack is nutritious, tasty and practically grab-and-go. Easy peasy healthy eating!)
Now imagine these habits become behaviors—and a way of life.
You begin to see and experience the benefits. Like a chain reaction, you develop discipline, feel confident and make better choices all around, in all areas of life.
Are you on the fence, questioning if spending money on a fitness or gym membership is the best decision for you? If you’ve already signed up, what perks do you love the most?