Gym Myths: Separating Fact From Fiction
Dispelling Some Common Gym Myths
There’s any number of gym myths and misconceptions floating around which only makes for confusion and often times, an increased sense of anxiety about joining and/or going to a gym. There really is no need for it, and frankly, as you’ll see, most of these gym myths are pretty silly to begin with.
Perhaps the biggest of the gym myths is that only fit people go to gyms. This is rather absurd if you think about it. Consider for a moment, if we used the analogy of automobiles and suggested only cars in good working order go to the shop? Of course, cars go to the shop to get in better running order, just as people go to the gym to get stronger, slimmer, bigger, healthier, etc. Showing up at the gym when you feel embarrassed or self conscious of your appearance is unnecessary. Most everyone thinks others look better than them. The people that truly get ahead and make the most progress in the gym, however, aren’t spending their energy on how they look or how others may perceive them. They’re busy working out.
Another of the big gym myths is that gyms are social centers or “meet markets”. While some certainly are, my gym, which I founded 10 years ago, is absolutely not. People, including me, have made some great friendships over the years, but this is not a nightclub. A few of the Austin gyms can be looked at similarly, but if you worry that you will either be distracted or have people come on to you because you came to the gym, pick your gym carefully and it’s a far cry from reality. In fact, in my gym, Austin Fitness Center, any creepy or suggestive behavior, including unwanted advances on others, gets you a 1 way ticket to the big box gym down the street. It’s well known that I simply don’t tolerate it, and therefore, it’s never an issue.
What to wear to a workout, either on your own, with a partner, or with a personal trainer can be a bit confusing for some people. One of the long standing gym myths is that people wear the skimpiest of clothing while working out. This doesn’t hold true in my facility, but I have certainly seen it elsewhere. Those tend to be the big box gyms that have the “meet market” atmosphere. You should wear what is comfortable for you to workout in. This doesn’t mean you should be overly revealing, or wear offensive clothes with graphic images or profane words, but just use common sense and gab a pair of sweatpants, or shorts and a comfy t shirt or cut off. No need for your butt to be hanging out of your shorts, or any such distraction. Just come to workout and be comfortable, while allowing others to do the same.
One of the gym myths that isn’t so much a myth, but a sweeping misconception, is that gyms all are next to impossible to quit once you’ve joined, and they will take liberties with your credit card. I have heard horror stories from customers of my facility concerning other gyms. I too, before opening my own gym back in 2007, was subjected to some ridiculousness by a big box gym concerning a prepaid 1 year membership. The small print stated that I had 1 week to inform them that I would not renew for the following year, or it would automatically renew for 3 years, prepaid, of course. Not all gyms do this, obviously. Mine certainly doesn’t! We charge $28 plus tax. You want to cancel your membership? Send in a certified letter stating that, and as soon as it’s received, you’re out. Simple as that. I don’t appreciate people taking liberties with my hard earned money and would never even consider doing it to anyone else. The moral of the story? Look for the fine print. If it’s a straight shooting gym, there will be none.
One of the bigger gym myths is that you have to go to the gym in order to get your workout in. Granted, unless you have a well equipped home gym, you’ll need the gym for such things as leg presses, etc, but for cardiovascular work, you don’t. This is by no means to suggest that gyms are useless or unnecessary for cardio, but that if you are just not feeling like going one day for your cardio, take a nice brisk walk instead. Perhaps get up a little early and go in the morning when it’s cooler during the summer months and all the birds are chirping. A change of scenery can do the mind and the body good.