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How to choose the right gym for you

“If you were a piece of gym equipment, what would you be and why?”

Yes, it does sound like a question from the “how to exert your power by asking stupid questions to an interviewee” guidebook. However with the health and fitness industry in Australia growing strongly in the last 5 years, most people could no doubt answer that question quite comfortably!

As we become more discerning in our fitness requirements, the demand for new and varying training options has led to a slew of gyms and studios all vying for our attention. From the popular franchised gyms to boutique gyms, we breakdown the differences between the main ones and, the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision about which one
is right for you.

Open gyms

Gyms like Jetts, Snap Fitness, Goodlife and Anytime Fitness all offer open gym sessions as well as group fitness classes. They are open 24/7 and the membership fee is competitive. Plus, with locations near you, unlimited classes and a wide range of equipment it is easy to see why these gyms are so appealing. You can work on the free weights one day, machine weights another, choose a spin class to boost your cardio or find your inner chi with yoga classes.

The downside is you’re pretty much on your own. You have no real idea if what you’re doing is right or suited to your body. Generally, you won’t complete a movement assessment, or any physical testing for that matter. This means you’ll never get the long-term results you’re looking for and are putting yourself at high risk of exercise-induced injury. So while you may want to leave because you’re not getting anything out of it, or are too injured to continue, your cheap priced membership is tied to a lock-in contract, so you’ll have no choice but to carry on paying regardless.

Boxing gyms

Boxing gyms are just that. They offer a range of boxing focused exercises, high-intensity training classes and fight training options, all of which aim to improve your speed, stamina, agility and strength. Classes are non-combative and a great stress relief after a long day at work.

These gyms are also a good choice for those who have always had an interest in boxing or Muay Thai and for those who want to try something new to boost their fitness. However they can seem quite intimidating and although there are different class options, the routine can become, well…routine and stressful on the body long-term.

CrossFit gyms

These gyms are fast gaining in popularity, but does it live up to the hype? Well let’s look at the positives; they offer something different, are a well recognised and internationally known brand, have classes located near you and suited to those wanting to increase their strength and skill with weights. With high intensity workouts of the day, you certainly put yourself through the paces. There are CrossFit competitions you can enter and a strong community spirit.

However, it’s not as cheap as your open gym sessions and the higher price range doesn’t equal more benefits. You’re essentially paying a lot more for group fitness classes which may offer some modification but not enough. And when it comes to strength training it is not advisable to teach such a highly complex range of activities in a group forum, especially when we all move differently due our injury history, job, sporting background, etc.

F45 gyms

F45 stands is quite simply functional training through 45-minute-high intensity group classes. There are 27 different workouts with over 3,000 exercises to choose from. Just like CrossFit you can be sure to come out of there having worked up a sweat. Great for those looking to lose weight and increase their cardio, with various gyms dotted around for you to choose from all promising to help you get fitter than you’ve ever been in no time at all.

Again, the price point is the same as CrossFit but these classes are a short-term solution and not something you can comfortably sustain throughout your life.

Strength and Conditioning gyms

If you want to lose weight, boost cardio, have a variety of class options to choose from or want to transform yourself in 6/8/12 weeks then the above gyms could be for you. Strength and Conditioning facilities on the other hand, are more focused on building long-term mobility, flexibility, agility and strength rather than short to medium term outcomes.

Programs are tailored and based on the individual as opposed to a one-size-fits-all solution. This ensures each exercise is perfectly suited to your body mechanics and avoids injury. Mass classes are replaced with tailored training routines that can encompass weights and cardio depending on your goals.

Because of its highly personalised offering, S&C facilities are the go-to for athletes, emergency services and celebrities. These facilities are also beginning to see a surge in interest from the general population as they begin to see exactly how personalised training can keep them fitter and stronger for longer. The price? The same as CrossFit and F45 but with full testing and personalised workouts included.

Find out more about the benefits of Strength and Conditioning to your long-term fitness and book in for a FREE FMS test here> https://athleticinstitute.com.au/book-an-appointment/

Check out our other blogs for more tips, tricks and advice to help you get the most out of your exercise routines.

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