The New Year resolution crowd is famous amongst regular gym goers. For a couple months at the beginning of each year gyms feel especially packed and difficult to navigate. It is always nice to see new faces. Yet, while everyone secretly (or openly) hopes they stick it out the crowd inevitably dies down. Why do potential future fitness gurus so often join a gym in January? It’s not that they suddenly decided getting in shape is a priority in their life January 1st. In fact, they would probably tell you it’s important any time of the year if you asked. It is simply due to the nudge of New Year resolutions. You spend the whole year on the verge of starting a fitness routine, but that one tiny nudge of needing to make a resolution is all it takes to jump into a gym membership. In fact, the second most common time for someone to join a gym is right around their birthday. Again, just a little nudge to get over the hurdle of joining a gym instead of just thinking about it. Outside of these little nudges in life, when is the actual best time to join a gym?
Obviously, as a gym owner I’d tell you the best time to join a gym is right now. This very second. Don’t even finish this article. Join a gym and get started. Because it takes time to get in shape and the sooner you start the sooner and longer you get to enjoy your life while being fit. It really is a huge difference maker. Think about it, everything you do in life is made better when you are fit and happy with your body. Kids, pools, games, work, sleep, love, and even meals. Yep, you can enjoy meals much more when you are in control of your body. There aren’t many things that can have such a universal impact as being healthy and active. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t already understand this, yet it is so hard to stick with the plan. Time and cost are the two biggest reasons people forgo their pursuit of fitness and put it off for another day. If you stop and think about what you do in a day, it’s easy to find some things to cut out and replace with a trip to the gym. I understand that Netflix is a small reward you look forward to after a hard day’s work. The gym doesn’t seem like an adequate substitute. However, at the end of the year which choice do you think you would have preferred? Watching the latest series is hardly a substitute for being happy with yourself. So, if you’re used to joining a gym because of the nudge of New Year resolution, what if you could give yourself the nudge from within at any time of the year?
You’re likely reading this article because the little fit version of yourself is sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear. “Hey, get up and do something.” Maybe the nudge you need is simply to recognize that voice and listen. If you learn to harness the inner voice to push yourself, then you will have made the largest step toward finally creating a lasting gym habit. Ultimately the motivation needs to come from within you. So, the best time to join is gym isn’t likely when you have an external nudge like New Year or your birthday. By default, those only happen once a year. The best time to join a gym is when you learn to listen to the voice inside telling you that there is another life you are willing to work towards. That version of you that doesn’t pull a muscle starting the mower. That version of you that doesn’t get burning biceps and is out of breath carrying the groceries in from the car. It can happen, but it must happen from within you. The single biggest thing that will help you on the journey is to learn to be your own New Year nudge every single day. So, the best time to join a gym is when you are the nudge, not when something outside of you is the nudge. Learn to be your own nudge and the time of year you look towards joining a gym is no longer fixed to a calendar date.
In fact, many might say joining in January is the worst time to join a gym. When you show up the gym is at peak crowdedness. That is unless you go to Lyfe Gym where we have private fitness rooms (shameless plug). There are lots of people who wanted to use the New Year nudge to kick start their new lifestyle. Soon after starting, the motivation you were given by external forces will be gone. You’ll either need to quickly learn how to nudge yourself, or face losing motivation. I would personally argue that the best time to join the gym is in the spring. The weather is warming, the sun is hanging in the sky longer, and layers of clothes are being shed. When you walk out the door you have a sense of energy and hopefulness. While you contemplate the burst of activities that come with spring and summer, just think about how much better it would be to have the stamina and muscle to do those activities with ease. Plus, when you walk in the gym, a normal sized crowd will be waiting. You’ll have more room to move around and less time waiting for equipment to free up. But I do not say this because you should use spring or summer as your nudge. You should use spring and summer energy to learn to be your own nudge, to create the habit. When that little voice tells you to get active, listen and say yes. Every time you do, it gets easier to hear the voice and listen. Soon you won’t even have to contemplate saying yes, it will just be the default answer. At that point you can consider yourself a self-nudger or gym regular.
Don’t kid yourself with the idea that there will be a point you no longer need the internal nudge. Ask any seasoned gym veteran and they’ll tell you that some days you just want to sit one out. That’s when the ability to create self-nudge is most important. Those are the days when getting in a workout is of utmost urgency. Skipping a workout works against the ability to nudge yourself. Once you ignore the voice you begin to create the habit of not listening to yourself. Each time your nudge gets a little less force until it’s no longer enough to get you in the gym. It’s just like when the external nudge from New Years goes away, you no longer have that little push. This can be a fatal blow to the goals you are striving toward. Once you learn to listen to yourself and give yourself the nudge, you must keep doing it.
Learn to default to action. It can become a habit just like anything else. We have all been amid our workday and have that feeling strike us. You know the one where you just want to get up and do something physical. The moment that if you could just escape work you’d go right to the gym and get a workout in. The sad thing is that we can’t just jump up from work and leave, there are too many commitments. Then the day drudges on and by the time you’re ready to leave work that feeling has somehow escaped us. The thought of going home outweighs the desire to go to the gym. That moment was the voice in your head that you are learning to use as your nudge, and you listening. What if in that moment you could cement your time at the gym? If you could pull out your phone and book a private fitness room for right after work, then save your gym time in your calendar. Then you could also pull up a personal trainer app and have your best workout built then and there for you. That nudge during the day can lead to your committing to getting in the gym, even if it isn’t right away. Just pull out your phone, open the Lyfe Gym App and book your room. If you have the Best Lyfe Membership you would be able to bring up your custom Fitbod workout and see what is planned for the day. You could use the nudge of that moment to make sure you are going to the gym, it’s fast, easy, and convenient. So, you may not be able to control when the nudge hits, but with the right support from your gym you can still use the moment to ensure your progress towards fitness.
So, the short answer to when is the best time to join a gym. When YOU are the reason for joining the gym. That can be any time of year, you just need to learn to nudge yourself. Even if the nudge strikes during mid-day of the work week, use that nudge to push yourself towards your fitness goals. Afterall, I have never seen someone walking out of the gym disappointed they went in.