January is a tough time for regular gym goers. Since losing weight or getting fit tends to top many people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions, it can mean your usual workout spot is overrun with newbies. Your usual classes are crowded or full, there’s no parking, no lockers, long lines for equipment and no available showers. It can be easy to get disgruntled with these so-called resolutioners.
For those loyal gym-goers like myself, here’s how to not lose your mind this month.
Go at off-peak times. I’ve been saying this for years, but the morning classes are never as busy as the lunchtime or after-work ones. Getting your butt out of bed on a cold, dark January morning is nearly as hard as the gym class, but so valuable for your mental health. Just do it.
Shower and change at home. If it’s possible, arrive and leave wearing your gym clothes and shower at home. That way, you don’t have to battle the change room madness and can get ready in the comfort of your own home.
Skip the treadmill. This will be the only time you hear me say this, but skip the treadmill in January. This is the most popular machine by far for new gym-goers. It’s not intimidating and anyone can use it so it tends to be a popular choice. As a result, they are always in use. Try a less popular class, or a new piece of equipment. Better yet, bundle up and go for a run outdoors.
Avoid Monday and Tuesday. Due to the general guilt felt by a weekend of junk food, Monday and Tuesday tend to be the busiest days at the gym. Schedule your workouts on different days. For example, if you can, try working out Wednesday, Friday and Sunday instead.
Remember you were new once too. Cut new members some slack. The gym can be intimidating. It won’t take long for the serious ones to find their groove, and for the others, well, they’ll be gone by February.