We live in a time of almost unlimited choices and information. While this definitely puts more power and control in our hands, it can lead to confusion, indecision, and bad choices. There are more options today for strength and conditioning, performance enhancement, and general fitness than ever before, and they're all competing for your attention - leading to your committment.
While your choices and preferances should be genuinely your own, there are a few guiding principles - a litmus test, if you will, that you should use when looking into a training program or facility. Before we go further, it should go without saying that anything that promises, promotes, or implies quick, easy, or comfortable - translated as minimal effort, maximal results, OR that promises results without changing any element of your lifestyle at all - is bogus. We all want it now, but it takes committment, dedication, and work to get anything good. Accept that, and move on to greatness. So, here we go...
1.) Is the training program in line with your goals?
- If you're looking to build strength and muscle, a cardio based program is not going to do
the trick. You may lose some weight early on, but the environment and training is not
designed for progressive strength training, it's designed to burn calories. So, if the focus is
primarily on caloric burn, it's too one sided for you to get great and lasting results in the
muscle building realm.
- A quality progressive strength and conditioning program combined with good
eating and lifestyle habits will allow you to build strength and muscle while decreasing body
2.) Does the facility look like a place dedicated to making you successful, or designed to make
- You're looking for a gym, whether its big box, small box, or a private studio. It's a gym, not
a spa, not a lounge, not your living room.
- It's important to understand that places of social commerce such as bars and restaurants
are designed to make you want to come in and stay. It's useful for spas to be welcoming
and inviting. A gym, however, should be clean and well organized, but it should be
dedicated to one thing - making you awesome. If there's a lot of non training related
decorative flair, or a generally comfortable and cozy environment, there's a good chance the
focus is one of commerce and not committment to training excellence.
3.) What is the quality of the trainer/trainers?
- Are they committed to excellence?
- Do they continue to invest in becoming better trainers and coaches, or are they
comfortable with where they're at? Just a quick heads up - your results can only be as good
as their knowledge, experience, and care can get you.
- Are they experienced enough to train you according to your needs and goals and not theirs?
Training is about making progress and getting better. If that's not happening, something's wrong. In the end, it's your time, your money, and - more importantly- your goals on the line. Invest them wisely and come out a winner.
Eric Chasko is the head of Redemption. He is a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Underground Strength Coach, and Progressive Fighting Systems Full Instructor. From young athletes to busy professionals, he helps people develop the physical, mental, and emotional strength to win on the field, on the street, and in life.