A plan to succeed

(Morne Castelyn)

We all know that physical fitness and personal appearance is generally at the top of that list but seems to be the most difficult goal to tick off your list: I dont have time, Im to unfit, Wouldn’t know where to start etc seems to be the most popular excuses! There are many preconceived perceptions of the fitness industry which we as fitness professionals are constantly trying to change. Yes, there are still facilities and trainers who go about the business the old fashioned military, drill-sergeant type of way destroying everything and everyone who come through their doors! The most important aspect of training that any person, whether you are a beginner or have been training for quite some time, needs to know and acknowledge is that implementing a quality-, effective- and personalized training program is a science.

In this article we will attempt to provide you with adequate guidelines into identifying who should join a gym, why you should join and aspects of a fitness facility which you as the client should be aware of when wanting to sign up.

The gym too many people is a very intimidating place. Its a place where we as individuals feel the most conscious about our physical appearance. It is also a place that if you enter it without a plan of action the chances of you making a success of you endeavour reduces dramatically. There are no limitations to who can join the gym! The only limitation to any fitness facility is whether they are adequately equipped with professional and experienced staff to address your every fitness need!

Here are a few points to consider about who should join the gym and why

  • If you have a relatively sedentary working environment it is crucial that you address your physical needs by joining a fitness facility or program that suites your needs
  • Once we reach our mid 20’s we start to lose muscle strength at an alarming rate. So we need to maintain this by doing 20-30 minute strength sessions at least 2 times per week
  • There are many fitness variables that you can address in one training session, but if you have not trained for a while it is important to identify specific components you would like to address and start your fitness journey there
  • When starting out it is very important to trust the process you have chosen. For at least the first 6 weeks of your training, try to complete one on one sessions with a trainer who understands your goals and needs
  • If your job entails that you sit for extended periods of time it is important to realize that your posture will deteriorate. A well designed program can address this aspect very effectively
  • There is a huge confidence component to our physical appearance. Once your physical appearance satisfies your own needs and you feel better, your activities of daily living become easier to complete

There are certain dangers to joining a gym of which you as the client must be aware

  • Do not join a facility or training program which entails maximal, high intensity training sessions if you have not trained for more than 6 months. This will make you susceptible to injury
  • Make an informed decision about which facility you want to join. Choose a facility with good hygiene and do proper maintenance of their equipment
  • Be aware of the exercises that you are prescribed by the trainer or training program. Always perform activities or exercises within your ability!
  • Ensure that you have structured progression within your program. Do not progress within your training to quickly as your body needs to adapt to the new load placed on it
  • Be wary of group training activities as in this environment many important aspects of training are compromised due to large numbers within the group. Aspects such as training posture, training intensity and training volume cannot be adequately addressed

There are contraindications to training of which the general public must be aware before you sign up to join a gym

  • If you struggle with any orthopaedic problems such as knee pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain etc. it is important to have your doctor first assess the area and then with a clear diagnosis and recommendation you can train more specifically
  • It is also important to be aware of your training limitations if you struggle with high blood pressure, cholesterol, increased blood sugar, arthritis, osteoporosis or any other diagnosed metabolic disease
  • Lastly, if you have had a history of acute incidents such as strokes, heart attacks etc. it is also important to get clearance from your medical professional before proceeding with any training programs.

The most important factor to address when choosing a facility is to choose one which specializes in scientifically designed personalized training programs and who complete these sessions in a controlled, structured environment. SPC is such a facility! With internationally trained and accredited sport scientists and trainers we can design a program specific to your needs and ability and along with that scientific progressions to get you to your goal!