Four Questions to Ask Your Gym BEFORE You Join Next Month

By Stephen V. Rapposelli, PT, OCS

It is getting to be that time of year when we all start thinking of those New Year’s resolutions. The top resolution is starting to exercise, resulting in a surge of new gym memberships. By February, most of those memberships have been cancelled, for different reasons. If you are one of those people who may be joining a gym next month, here are 4 questions that you should be asking before you sign on the dotted line:

Question 1: How can you help me with my arthritis/bad back/rotator cuff?
About 3 people in the world have NO muscle, joint or bone problems. For the rest of us, we have a weak link somewhere in our chain. For you, it might be chronic shoulder soreness, or a stiff knee, or a bad back that goes out a few times a year. Does your gym have the staff to understand your weak link, and a plan for you to exercise without putting you at risk for injury?  Who is that, and what are their qualifications? At our gym at Performance Physical Therapy in Hockessin, Delaware, no 2 exercise routines are alike, because people are as unique as a snowflake! Don’t accept a pre-printed routine that everyone else gets.

Question 2: Who here looks like me? Will I be comfortable in your gym?
Let’s face it, we all like to be where people kind of look like us, act like us, and accept us. If you are new to exercise, do you REALLY want to be in a place where everyone is wearing a tight t-shirt and short shorts?  Do you REALLY want to see yourself in all those mirrors everywhere you turn? Do you REALLY like the music that loud? The CULTURE of the gym is as important as the equipment.

Question 3: How do you know I am making progress?
You should get a baseline test done when you join to see where you are from a fitness level perspective. Whether you are 30 years old or 90 years old, there is a way to test your strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and almost anything else. If you don’t know where you started, how will you know how much progress you made? For example, we have tests that compare you to others in your age and gender to compare ‘apples to apples’ for all kinds of functional activities. It should be more than ‘how much can you bench press.’

Question 4: Will I be doing the same thing a year from now? 
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got! Got it? Sooner or later, you need to change up your program, to keep you mentally and physically challenged. For some of our members, we change things up after 2 weeks, for others, 2 months. And by re-testing those items from the first evaluation, the right changes can be made. There should be no guessing.

So there you have it, 4 questions to ask a gym before you sign up! If you are interested in how our fitness center answers those questions, call us at 302-234-2288 or stop by for a personal tour! Performance Physical Therapy in Hockessin, Delaware.
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