I expected the gym to be packed with people who had resolved to get fit in 2010. At 7:30 this morning, it was just the regulars. My trainer said that those new year resolution people start showing up the second week in January and they're usually out of steam by the end of January.
I think I know why. Oh, sure. Some of them are just plain lazy. Sometimes life gets in the way and they don't have time to come back. And lots of them really didn't mean it anyway. They just joined because they thought that fitness would magically be transferred to them by virtue of having a gym membership.
But what about the others--the ones who were earnest when they joined? Why do they fall by the wayside after a few short weeks?
The gym is a friendly place to me. I know how to use the equipment. I talk to strangers. I like to sweat. And I know gym etiquette: how to wait for a machine when someone else is using it, for instance.
But newcomers don't know how to behave or how to use the equipment. Some gyms offer an orientation but if you're completely ignorant about how to work out then a quick orientation is going to go in one ear and out the other. Believe me. I've been there.
I think it would be better if the gym offered three free training sessions with a trainer instead of a cursory orientation. Enough time to get a handle on how to use the equipment. Enough time to learn a little, if only by observation, about how to behave. And enough time to decide if you want to continue with the trainer (believe me, a very good idea!).
Of course, if everyone who joined the gym showed up, the place would be overflowing with sweaty bodies. The owners expect that most of the new members will guiltily pay their dues but not go regularly, crowding the bikes, bumping into each other in the showers.
So if you're new to working out and your gym doesn't offer free training sessions, I suggest you make the investment. Especially if you're serious about getting fit.