Gym: Is the muscle worth the money?

I don’t know about you but I used to have internal debates with myself about whether to buy food or exercise a lot. If you know me, you’ll know that I literally love snacking. If there is a snack run to be done, I will be that person in Tesco grabbing all the chocolates and crisps that are on special offer for £1. Shamelessly. But as great as snacking feels in the moment, you notice the effects almost immediately afterwards. You feel sluggish, you sink further down into your bed, that grab bag of Walkers Sensations flitters to the floor and before you know it, three hours have gone by and you realise you’ve been lying in bed doing nothing all day.

If you add up all that money spent on snacks a week, then you would probably be able to afford a decent gym membership wouldn’t you?

I decided to write this post just to provide an insight into my gym experience and to maybe bust any myths that you might have about going to the gym. I made the decision to fork out for a gym membership about a month ago now. I’ve done a couple of free trials and I used to sneak into the gym for free some weekends by borrowing somebody else’s card or gym code. Whenever I’m at the gym, I actually really do enjoy it! And I am one of those people who needs to be at the gym to do exercise, otherwise the most I’ll do is a five minute YouTube workout and the walk to and from the station every week to get to work.

I go to the gym almost every weekday after work unless I’m working late into the evening that day. Going to the gym really does make me feel revived and ready to start the next day. I actually thrive off the feeling of aching muscles  because I know I’ve achieved something. The reason I go to the gym is not lose weight. I only go because I want to keep fit and get myself some abs. And because I want to keep my energy levels up, as I get bored quite quickly and need to keep myself entertained.

There are a few main benefits of the gym in my opinion. Firstly, it gives me something to do that will benefit my body and overall health. Secondly, the equipment at the gym is such a life saver for me. I love doing floor exercises but I don’t have any weights at home, so going to the gym and being able to use those weighted balls (I don’t know what they’re called) for my russian twists and sit ups and then being able to squat with the weighted bar just makes my exercises so much more effective. I’m not very strong at the moment as I have the most pathetic arms, so I only use a 4kg ball and a 15kg (I know that’s tragic!) bar for my squats. But I reckon that with practice I’ll be able to lift a lot more! I’m not going to lie, sometimes I go into the big boy heavy lifting section and there are like four hench guys there lifting like 70kg and I do feel very intimidated. But at the same time, you always think people are watching you when in reality, they’re not.

My final top benefit of the gym is that the machines give you all the data you need to track your progress as you work out. I know this is an obvious one, but it gets overlooked. I always know exactly how many calories I’ve burned and how many miles I’ve done on the bike or the cross trainer. By knowing exactly where I’m at with everything, I can best decipher how to try and up my game with the exercises I’m doing.

Going to the gym after work is also not as tiring as you might think it is. Your best friend in these sorts of situations is going to be meal prepping, which I’ve mentioned already in a previous post about preparing for full-time working life. I like to go to the gym straight from work, so I usually get home at about 8.30pm and am too tired to even contemplate cooking a full meal. I try to keep things like pasta and rice cooked already so that all I have to do is shove a bit of meat into the oven and find some vegetables to chuck on the plate with it. I don’t do that whole no carbs after six thing just in case you’re wondering!

I wanted to write this post because I know that a lot of people I know are put off by the price of gym memberships, but what you have to remember is that you’re paying for a service that is ultimately going to benefit you. Paying for snacks isn’t. Also, when you work in a job like mine where you have to sit down all day at your desk, you sort of end up feeling like you want to be doing more activity! By 3pm I’m usually slouched back in my chair, looking at my computer screen with squinted eyes as I try to take down the notes of people’s property searches. It’s not a pretty sight.

So if you’re considering a gym membership then I would really recommend just going for it! I’m with Anytime Fitness at the moment, which gives me access to gyms worldwide. So if you go on holiday and there’s an Anytime Fitness gym there, then you can use it. I’ve also been to Nuffield Health, which I would say is slightly better in terms of space and facilities (it has a swimming pool and spa) but then again you will be paying about £60+ for that kind of gym and I can’t even swim so it’s not worth me taking out that kind of membership. Just choose the right membership for you and get the most out of it!

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