Category Archives: Gym tips

5 Common Gym Questions and Answers

Whether you’ve had your gym membership for ages, or you’re new  to the fitness community, everyone has questions about going to the gym. What do you bring with you? Where can you find the equipment you need? As always, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ve answered five of the most common gym questions we’ve come across. Anything else you’re curious about? Leave questions in the comments below!

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1. What should I bring with me to the gym?

Depends how you like to work out but some common items include:

  • Gym bag
  • Phone or iPod for music
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Sweat towel
  • Lock

If you plan on showering, you will likely want to include toiletries, a shower towel, flip flops, and a change of clothes.

2. Where do I leave my stuff?

Most gyms will have lockers where you can leave your gym bag or personal items. You may want to call ahead to see if the lockers are located in the general workout area or if they have gender-specific locker rooms. Typically you’ll want to bring a personal lock to keep your items secure while you work out.

 

3. How can I sign up for classes?

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All gyms are different. Some will allow you to sign up online while others will require you to sign up in person. Additionally, busier classes may not open up for registration until the week or day of. Be sure to check with your gym to see what they recommend for the classes you’re interested in.

 

4. How long should I spend on the machines when the gym is busy?

If you’re using a cardio machine, it’s courteous to try and limit your usage to 20-30 minutes. With weight machines, try to stick to 2-3 efficient sets. If you want to take longer rests between sets, encourage someone else to use the equipment while you’re taking your break. This allows you to maximize your time on the machine while being considerate of other people’s time.

5. What’s the difference between free weights and machine weights?

A free weight can be classified as any object or device that can be moved freely in three-dimensional space. Some of the more common free-weights in a gym would be:

  • Dumbells
  • Barbells
  • Medicine ball
  • Ankle weights
  • The human body (the ultimate free-weight of all!)

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On the other hand, any exercise machine in a gym such as a pec-dec or a smith machine is a perfect example of what can be considered high-tech training apparatus or machine weights.

Not sure which one to use? Find more information on the differences between the two at BodyBuilding.com.

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Spott3r helps people get people paid for their workouts. Click here to learn more about how you can earn cash reimbursements for your gym visits! Ready to sign up for your free eligibility check? You can do that too, here.

Photo cred: Shrinking Guy, Words on WellnessPopSugar

 

A New Approach to Fitness: Aligning Behavior Change Around Fitness to Your Personal Values

A New Approach to Fitness: Aligning Behavior Change Around Fitness to Your Personal Values

A guest post of Mary Little of Wellness by Little.

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Have you ever set a New Years resolution to get in shape or trained for an event like a triathlon or wedding? Did you succeed in accomplishing your goals because you devised a plan and maintained a routine schedule?

In the world of fitness, there is more information at our fingertips then ever. There are fitness experts, Instagram Fitness Guru’s, ample Crossfit gyms, yoga studios and a variety of classes taught at athletic clubs. While all of this seems to make exercising incredibly convenient for us, we still have difficulty reaching and maintaining our goals.

Rather than sharing a list of exercises you should do to get in shape or posting a photo of some abs you someday hope to have, we believe that by aligning your behaviors with your deeper values, true lasting change can occur. This requires a more personal, introspective approach to your health.

1.) List out 3 goals you’re currently working on in order of importance (These can be any health goals. For example: smoking cessation, lose 15lbs, gain 15lbs muscle mass, prepping meals, etc).

Goals/ Concerns(in order of priority)

 

What you’ve tried What makes it worse?
1) 

 

2) 
3) 

 

 

2.) Visioning. If you could create a vision statement centered around the ideal person you’d like to be someday, what would it be? Vision statements are intended to be long term being statements that start with “I am.” When you’re done writing your vision give yourself a % of completion for today’s date. 0%= not this person today 100%= I am this person!

Sample Vision Statement: I am a person who stewards my body well by eating in moderation and exercising regularly. 45% on 07/30/15

3.) In the next 7 days what are 3 baby steps you can take to work towards your vision/goals? These goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-oriented (or SMART). If I were to take the vision statement from above a goal might be:

I will do in home strength training workouts on M/W/S over the next 7 days.

On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this week.

I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners.

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4.) Lastly, rate your goals on % confidence and % of importance.

Next Session Goals % Confidence/% Importance
I will do in home strength training workouts on M/W/S over the next 7 days.On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this week.

I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners.

85% / 100% 

90% / 95%

 

90%/ 100%

If you’re below a 70% confidence how might you alter that goal to raise your confidence? These goals are designed to be SMART so that you experience small weekly successes that empower you to move closer towards your vision.

Our professional recommendation is to track your progress for 6 weeks. Every week reflect on your previous weeks goals and reset new weekly goals. At the end of week 6, rate your overall % of completion towards your vision statement. Have you made progress? If so, how does that feel? If not, what were the barriers to change?

Creating your own pathway to success has proven to work for many of our clients. It’s often easier to look at a magazine and hear how someone else was successful but we are not all the same people, with the same circumstances, with the same goals. Embrace your uniqueness by doing what you know will lead you to personal success!

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Spott3r helps people get people paid for their workouts. Click here to see if you’re eligible for a free gym reimbursement check!

Common Gym Terms You Should Know

Let’s face it, the gym can be daunting. Whether it’s your first time at a health club in years or you’re trying out new equipment, there can be a lot to learn to navigate your way around! Naturally, we’ve got you covered. Below is a glossary of some of the most common gym terms and what they mean, so you can walk around like you own the place.

Train

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Spot: When someone assists another person with an exercise. ie: “Can you spot me?” or “I need a spotter.”

Rep – A rep (short for repetitions) is how many times you do a single exercise in a row. i.e.: “I did 8 reps at 80 pounds”.

Set – A set refers to a group of repetitions done without stopping. i.e.: “Do 3 sets of 10 reps”

Circuit Training – A method of physical conditioning in which one moves from one exercise to another, usually in a series of different stations or pieces of equipment.

Intervals – This is when you train at a low intensity for a period of time, followed by a high intensity.

Body 

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Ripped – Someone is ripped when they have very low body fat and muscle separation is visible and defined. i.e.: “That guys is ripped!”

Pecs – Short for pectoral muscles (especially with reference to the development of these muscles in bodybuilding).

 

Lats – Short for Latissimus Dorsi – the large muscles that run down the back

Quads – Quadriceps (front of the thighs)

Core – Refers to your trunk – your low back, mid back, abdominals, obliques and stabilizers.

What other terms do you think are important to know? Leave in the comments below!

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Spott3r helps people get people paid for their workouts. Click here to see if you’re eligible for a free gym reimbursement check!

References: “Do You Speak Gym” via pfitblog, “The Ultimate Guide to Gym Lingo” via greatist.

 

[Friday Five] Gym Ettiquette: 5 Things you Should Never do at the Gym

The gym is a special place – a place that is a comfort zone for many, a routine part of their day or a magical escape. Because so many share this location and even rely on it for their well being, its important to have a set of guidelines to ensure the gym remains a happy zone.

To make sure you are never “that” guy or girl, we put together a list of five things you must never do at the gym. Commit these gym faux paus and you don’t expect to be a favorite at your local spot!

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1. Forget to wipe down equipment

Not only is this not sanitary, it’s gross! Leaving behind sweat on shared workout equipment can expose others to skin or airborne illnesses. At the very least, it sends the message that your peers should have to clean up your sweat for you – which isn’t going to win you any friends.

2. Grunt/make unnecessary noises

We know how hard you work to lift those weights – they’re heavy! Try not to distract those around you by making loud grunting noises when you do so. If anything, it makes others feel like they’re not working out hard enough if they don’t grunt and wheeze – before you know it the gym will sound like a zoo!

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18f9f-aerobics 3. Wear inappropriate clothing

This applies to both guys and girls of all shapes and sizes. People come to the gym to get fit, not to compete in a bikini contest. Further, under dressing increases the likelihood of unsanitary effects (sweat, athlete’s food, etc.), which is not cool. Respect those around you and dress appropriately.

4. Douse yourself in perfume/cologne

This one may seem silly, but it can have a huge impact on those trying to work out around you. Wearing too much perfume makes it really hard for others to breath, especially if they’re sensitive to scents or have allergies. Just wipe off quickly before hitting the treadmills if your cologne packs a heavy punch. Everyone will thank you for it!

5. Lounge on equipment

It should be pretty clear at this point, but people come to the gym to work out. Many are on a limited time frame or even budget. Lounging on the equipment when you’re not using it may mean they a busy mom can’t get her full workout in that day. It also sends the message your time is more important than others’. Take your texts to the locker room or catch up with your fitness friend in the stretching area.

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Did we miss your biggest gym pet peeve? Let us know in the comments below!

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Spott3r helps people get people paid for their workouts. Click here to see if you’re eligible for a free gym reimbursement check!

Images via EFA, Huffington Post, Stylest Digest, Gymaholic.

10 Ways to Save Money at the Gym

We hear it all the time: “I can’t afford to go to the gym”. While it is true that gym memberships aren’t free, there is no reason cost should hold you back from a healthy lifestyle. In fact, if you work it right, you may be able to break even or better yet, MAKE money by going to the gym! With all the health incentive programs entering the industry right now, there has never been a better (or cheaper) time to focus on your fitness. Here are 10 creative ways for you to save money at the gym:

1. Research daily deals in your area

Flash sales offer a great way to get a deep discount on a regularly high-ticket classes. Better yet, you can shop around before committing to your favorite. Try Groupon, LivingSocial, or Zozi to find some local deals.

2. Commit at the right time

You can usually get the best deals around the end of the year holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve) or during the slower summers. Gyms have financial goals they have to hit and will likely offer the best discounts to prospect members during this time.

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3. Walk to the gym

Obviously, this one depends how far you live from your gym, but if it’s manageable, you should always walk! Not only do you save money on gas or parking, you get the benefit of that warm up and cool down time.

4. Bring your own supplies

This includes things that you spend money on at the gym, such as:

  • Locks
  • Water bottles
  • Protein shakes
  • Post-workout snacks

These things tend to add up!

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5. Refer friends!

Most gyms have referral programs and will give you all kinds of incentives for bringing in prospective members. The perks range from gift cards to membership credits to cold hard cash!

6. Utilize the free personal training session

Before you decide to splurge on a trendy fitness class, remember that many gyms offer a free personal training session with your yearly membership. Take advantage of this free pass, at the very least, and keep an eye out for package deals or group rates with your favorite trainer!

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7. Check your insurance

Many health insurance companies offer gym reimbursements to members who workout regularly. For example, UnitedHealthcare gives $20 to every member who goes to the gym 12 times or more a month. That adds up to $240 a year! Find out if you’re eligible for cash reimbursements here, or simply fill your info into the form below:

8. Prepay upfront

You can save a ton of cash by paying for 12 or 24 months upfront. For example, you can buy a 2-year membership certificate for 24 Hour Fitness at Costco for $369.99. That works out to $15 a month!

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9. Two words: corporate discounts

Ask your employer if your company offers any corporate discounts. The savings are usually pretty steep (20-30%) and chances are, the gyms in the program are close to your office.

10. Wear your FitBit and cash out

Who knew that you could earn money for using your FitBit? Rewards include things like Walgreen’s Balance Reward points, perks from AchieveMint, or donations to charity. (You can see a full list of awesome incentives here.)

gym reimbursements

Spott3r helps people get people paid for their workouts. Click here to see if you’re eligible for a free gym reimbursement check!

Photo cred: YMCA Twin Citiesnotyourgoodfatty.com, picturecorrect.com, worldfitnesscertification.com