Saturday, 26 August 2017

How to fit your workout to your budget

When I was young I would live on sweets and junk food and stay relatively slim ignoring the promises from my elders that “one day it would catch up with me”. Little did I know, they were right! Being a little older now my lifestyle has slowed down, rather than spending my time running around with my friends I am spending the majority of my time either behind the wheel of my car, or behind my desk at work. Needless to say, the weight is catching up with me.


I’ve always been a little intimidated by gyms, and with trying to save my pennies for moving house at the end of the year I was beginning to think that my ideas of losing weight and saving money were completely incompatible. With a little digging I have found that there are options for every budget when it comes to getting fit, and even some ways to make money whilst you drop pounds!

Personal Trainer sessions
Pros:
  • These usually involve exercises completely tailored to you, your goals, and your abilities. 
  • You can go at your own pace as much/little as you want. 
  • You will be shown the correct form to each exercise so you don’t get injured.
  • The PT is your own personal cheerleader. 
  • The sessions may also include dietician advice and guidance.
  • The PT will be fully qualified and have the knowledge and experience needed to help you - this should mean they are qualified to help if you have any special medical conditions that may effect your fitness. 

Cons
  • They can be really bloody expensive, I've seen prices as high as £1700 for 8 weeks. at 3x per week - that's £70 per session, or enough for three high-end gym memberships.   
  • It can be difficult to find someone who you work well with and trust, this is especially important if you do have a condition that needs to be taken into consideration during your training. 
  • You often have to pay upfront, which can be difficult when the prices are so high. 

Contract gym memberships
Pros
  • This often includes a number of free sessions with PT's to get a programme drawn up for you to follow.
  • Gyms hold a huge variety of classes which gives you a chance to try new things, and interact with others whilst getting fit. 
  • Some gyms have fitness assessments to measure progress and health, Nuffield Health have a full health MOT (and even have a reward scheme for those who reach their goals) 
  • You get access to great equipment that you would never have the time/space for at home. In the case of 'specialist' gyms like Cross-fit you also get access to some great training and advice to go with it. 

Cons
  • Sharing with other members in peak times can mean fighting for equipment, waiting around to get on a specific piece, and occasionally wiping off others sweat when you get there. 
  • The PT's aren't specialised, they won't necessarily know how to work around injuries or other conditions, they will not include diet advice, and some may not yet be qualified (but will likely be working towards a qualification) 
  • Often the program a PT gives you isn’t custom to your needs, it is an off-the-shelf plan that they have given to half a dozen other people regardless of their goals. 
  • You will get tied-up in a membership for up to 12 months, if you are definitely going to use the membership for this time then it will be worth it, but we all know your enthusiasm may fade and you'll be left with a £50-a-month bill for something you aren't going to use. (Pay-as-u-gymcan be a way of getting into the nicer gyms without the contract)

P-A-Y-G Gyms
Pros
  • These offer cheap no-frills access to the same equipment that are at every other gym, they usually have a low monthly rate, and no contract.
  • They are likely to have classes to help you mix things up a bit, though occasionally these will mean paying a little extra.
  • The PT's at these gyms (like The Gym and Pure Gym) do a certain amount of work for the gym in exchange for being able to use the facilities to train their own clients, this means they're all qualified and there is usually a veriety of specialisms at each location. 
  • Sometimes the PT's offer group PT sessions at a really low rate, pure gym offer group sessions for up to £5 per time, and usually have enough time for the PT to hear everyone's individual needs and interests and cater the session to them - a great way of seeing if you like the trainer before getting 1:1 sessions. 

Cons
  • The PT’s work for the gym in exchange for being able to use the space with their own clients, you’re unlikely to get a free programme done by any of them, which you could get in bigger gyms. 
  • Cheap and cheerful can mean sweaty and crowded at peak times.
  • You definitely won’t get any diet advice, and may even see sponsored “supplement” products in the vending machines that aren't  necessarily good for you.

DIY Fitness – Aps, online programs, books
Pros
  • These are cheap, free, or could even make you money! If you're with Bounts you can earn money by being fit, going to the gym, or even just tweeting, and Diet Bet can help you raise money as you drop pounds.
  • Can do whatever you want, whenever you want - there are hundreds of videos on youtube, community teams, and books which can be used to get fit. 
  • It can be done in the great outdoors! The forestry commission have “wild running” routes that you can take to for training, and a free 6-week programme for you to follow. "Run Forest, Run!”

Cons
  • You are your own motivator, and a Come Dine With Me marathon with a bottle of wine can look a lot nicer than a run in the park.
  • There’s no professional on hand – If your form is off or you aren't doing what is right for your goals it may be too late when you finally figure it out, or worse – you could get injured.

Hopefully this has helped you consider some of the options available to help you get fit before you jump-in and spend a fortune! Do you have a budget fitness secret up your sleeve? 


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