The last year has been a challenge, to say the least. And now we are starting fresh with 2021 – a time when many people put some sort of exercise and nutrition goals on their list of things to do in order to get into shape and improve their body composition. As we continue to take safety precautions regarding COVID-19, we also look forward to figuring out what our new normal, and many people are finding themselves in one of two situations with regards to their health and fitness.

  • You have concerns about starting or returning to a physical gym due to safety concerns.

  • You haven’t been exercising and this pandemic has shown you how important it is to start to make your health and fitness a priority.

We’ve been coaching within a variety of gyms since 2010 – and there are a lot of options out there. I’m going to do my best to explain some of these options to make your start or return to a gym a safe and positive one, whichever route you choose.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be me telling you why our gym is the best and everyone should go here. Recursive isn’t for everyone, but we would like to help you find the best fit for you…and that might be one of our programs, it might not.

There are 3 main types of gym options/memberships.

Globo Gyms:
Think Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym, YMCA or similar. These gyms have low ($10-$40/monthly) fees which gives you access to space and equipment. These usually involve a lengthy contract and very little help once you join. There are endless rows of cardio equipment and plenty of free weights and machines. Some of these gyms may include large group classes of 20+ members or access to on-demand classes.

If you are looking for something very budget friendly, you don’t need a lot of direction and coaching, or you need access to the gym and a wide variety of hours of the day, this may be a good fit for you. This type of gym environment is usually best suited for a very motivated gym goer who doesn’t require much oversight, help, or accountability.

Boot Camps:
Here is where gyms like Orange Theory, Burn Boot Camp, Fit Body Boot Camp land. These gyms will have a higher price point than Globo Gyms ($99-$199/month). They almost always have an initial offer of 2-4 weeks free, to help get you in the door.

The biggest complaints I hear from people that leave these kinds of places is the classes are too large or there is not enough individual attention towards the members needs and goals. A lot of people find success with boot camps initially, but then find they are looking for the “next step.”

Getting started at these facilities is a relatively simple process because of the equipment and movements they use, and once you’ve joined, you can start jumping into classes immediately.

The main surprise here, to me, is that short of selling their branded supplements, most of these places do not offer any kind of individualized nutrition coaching program. All in all, these kinds of gyms are super popular and do a good job motivating people to take that first step and make a change – which might be exactly what you need to take that first step.

The Health and Wellness Center:
There is a growing trend in fitness to offer more to their clientele. At facilities like these, you may see a variety of fitness and nutrition offerings that all work together to best meet the overall needs of the client.

At these facilities (we would put Recursive Fitness and Nutrition into this category), memberships usually start with a simple conversation. We need to start with some dialogue and history to learn the clients needs and goals first. From that discussion, we prescribe options for the best way to reach those goals. This may include one on one personal training, individualized nutrition coaching, and/or small group classes (usually after you have completed some sort of on ramp program.) Our facility specifically even offers a 6 Week Intro to Fitness and Nutrition Program to help people get started. (It’s the best of both worlds with personal training to hep you transition into small group classes, along with nutrition coaching to make sure you are well-rounded with your health and wellness goals.)

Personal Training is often offered at a facility like this. Some people have specific goals they are working towards, some prefer the one on one attention, and some have schedules that dictate this route. If injuries are a concern, or the client is recovering from a surgery, membership options may include personal training to help them get moving well again.

The benefits of a set up like this, is that it allows the client to work on their whole health and wellness all in one place and knowing that all the pieces are working together. Most clients appreciate the ability to have much of their fitness and nutrition needs under one roof and convenient for them in regards to travel and a bundled monthly payment.

Facilities like these would likely have monthly rates starting at approximately $150 and going up to $1000+ depending on the variety of personal training, nutrition, and other programs chosen.

Depending on the individual and their specific needs, goals, and budget, each of these 3 options can be beneficial. The truth is that none of these options work if you cannot show up consistently. The best facilities in the world, with all the top professionals and equipment don’t matter if you’re not willing to show up and do the work. If you need help with consistency and accountability, choose a facility that is set up to help you with those needs.

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