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Gym'll Fix It?

Obesity has reached record levels in the United Kingdom with over 40% of people deemed to be seriously overweight. This is an increase of 26% in almost as many years, but this is somewhat inconsistent with the fact that membership at fitness centres is similarly at an all-time high.

According to a survey by Mintel, a market analyst, up to one million Britons join a gym each year for the first time, yet as many as one in five members only attend once a month after joining, and many stop completely after a few months. As a dedicated gym member of three years, I have seen plenty of evidence that backup these statistics and I believe the main reasons for users leaving are based on loss of self-motivation and feelings of dissatisfaction from the results users are getting.

Although first-time gym users are required to have an induction with a fitness trainer, this is usually the only time users get professional guidance with the exercises. After the induction users are left to their own devices, often setting themselves overly-optimistic targets without a sense of direction.

The best means of staying motivated is to set realistic, gradually more difficult goals and to keep a record of the progress made in each workout. This involves writing down which exercises are to be performed, how many times they should be repeated, and where applicable, how long the exercise should be performed for, and what resistance should be used. Each workout programme is as individual as each user and will depend on the user's overall goals (to become fitter, stronger, slimmer, or a combination of these), experience level, current fitness level, current strength and time available to spend at the gym.

With all of these varying factors, fitness training is not an exact science and there are many different expert opinions of the best ways to exercise. However, there are some general rules that all users can follow to achieve their individual goals. Read on...

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