Regrets. I've had a few.
I’ve joined many gyms over the years and every time after signing up I’ve regretted doing so.
The two main reasons for my regret are:
I've dolled out hundreds of dollars on annual memberships only to spend months not attending at all. Plus if you become injured or move overseas it can be difficult to break out of your contract.
After a lot of research I’ve found that the majority of the equipment in your standard, franchised gym is of absolutely no use to you whatsoever. If your goals are fat loss and/or an increase in muscle mass and strength then you're wasting your time and money strapping yourself into a mechanical contraption.
Sure if you spend enough time at the gym (what the gym owner wants you to do) you may build muscle and overall health but the point is you don't need to join a gym to do so. You can get the same results in quicker time by utilising one piece of equipment at home.
Yes, that's right the humble kettlebell. The kettlebell resembles a canon ball with a handle, and by swinging, lifting, and pressing it you receive a full body workout that will beat an hour long gym workout.
For men, I suggest purchasing kettlebells of 20kgs (45lbs) and up. I myself have a 15kg (32lbs), two 20s, and a 25kg (50lbs) which is just enough for me to do military presses, renegade rows, turkish get ups, swings, snatches and cleans.
There are many DVD programs on the internet and youtube videos available that will teach you the proper technique. Make sure you follow them carefully and start light. You don't want to injure yourself.
The Kettlebell Swing
The Swing, in particular, is the best exercise that you can ever perform in your entire life. It works every muscle from your head to your toe and elevates the heart rate, getting you into a fat burning zone. I have found and used muscles I never knew I had which has made me a more physically stable person. A charging rhinoceros would bounce off me. Well maybe not quite. I feel rock solid is the point I'm making.
Pounding away on a treadmill is a walk in the park compared with the kettlebell swing. Is it really necessary to spend an hour on a treadmill or elliptical machine when you can elevate your heart rate immediately and enter a fat burning zone within minutes?
Kettlebells are relatively inexpensive compared to current gym memberships.
Benefits of your own home gym
By creating a home gym with a couple of kettlebells you are more likely to pick them up and start swinging compared with getting home from work, changing into your gym gear, driving through traffic, stuffing your gear into a spare gym locker and then finding an available machine.
It’s no surprise that you come up with the lamest excuses, "I'm so tired. It's too far away. Oh! It's too late now. It's going to be busy”.
I have used every excuse in the book.
And after kettlebell training at home you can go straight to your kitchen, chug back a protein shake (essential) and then hit the shower. Done.
So in summary, ditch the gym membership, set aside a space at home, put down some rubber mats, pick up a kettlebell and get to work. Trust me. You wont regret it.