Spacious Gym Floor by www.localfitness.com.au is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

January is the month of resolutions, of a “New Year, new me” mentality, the month of drastic life alterations. As the year nears it’s end, your mind becomes overcrowded with positive life changing thoughts that only come around once at this time of year, then you wake up on January 1st with a refreshed sense of determination.

This year will be the year you finally start to use that gym membership, that standing order which takes a healthy chunk of your wage every month without question will be wasted no more, it will be put it use. Once again you’ve eaten too much, you’ve drank too much, change is required. The new, improved, better you will be created. Starting now.

Of course, for the most part, that’s all it is. Grand thoughts of what could be, with little or no action. Some people can manage it, and fair play to them, and if you are one of those people then well done.

The main issue with deciding to make such life altering decisions in January, is simply, that you aren’t alone. It’s not an original concept to make changes in January, and you’re not going to be the only person who decides to start revisiting the gym come January 1st. You are going to be joined by the masses, everyone else who has stumbled onto the same obvious thought process.

Have you ever been to a gym on January 2nd?

Have you ever just stood back and looked at the people that you are surrounded by?

How many of them just walk in, do their sets, pack themselves up, and go home? Two? Three?

You have all of the new starters, the people who don’t have a clue what they’re doing. Having just agreed a 12 month payment contract, they feel good about themselves, this is the start of positive change, when in a lot of cases this will be the first and only time they attend.

They have received the bog standard run through of the do’s and don’ts of the gym, with the moderately interested member of staff, the regurgitated standard procedures they have spoken hundreds of times before, and no doubt will repeat consistently throughout the day. No original input or enthusiasm, “Here’s your towels, there’s the changing room, you know how everything works? Yes? Good. Come to reception if you need anything.”

Ten minutes later you emerge from changing room, new clothes, new shoes, only to find yourself deserted in unfamiliar surroundings. Where to begin?

This is where the supposed regulars, the newly focused supposed regulars, ruin it for anybody else. The kind of person who hasn’t really achieved anything in life other than a physique, walking around in a vest that hasn’t fit them since puberty, blasting trance from headphones the size of fists, grunting with gusto at any exertion. In any other room they would look ridiculous, but not here, not today.

Having barely made an appearance post June, once beach season kicks in, they have returned solely to assert their dominance. Like dogs urinating on fire hydrants, they do their best to mark their territory. Water bottle on one machine, towel on a bench, mobile phone on another piece of equipment, whilst they’re actively taking their time on a fourth. Judging anyone they don’t recognise, just letting everyone know that this is their gym, and your nothing more than a tourist. Losing their mind if you dare to ask to use a piece of equipment that they’ve “claimed”, because they’re “mid set”.

So where do the newbies end up? The gyms safe place, the treadmill.

Then after an hour of boredom, and mild intimidation, they decide to call it a day. Uninspired, and unlikely to return.

Mid way through the month, once again, attendance begins to dwindle as it has done in years past. Once more, those with good intentions have failed to return, and the vest wearing regulars have decided to call it a day until May, when they once more return to enforce their dominance.

So if you are looking to join a gym, and want to feel comfortable to really give it a go. Give it the month, binge in January, start fresh in February. Be original.

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