“Working out at home just isn’t as inspirational as going to the gym….let’s face it. I find myself doing the bare minimal, just to get it done and then pat myself on the back afterwards that at least I did SOMETHING….. So for one of my New Year’s Resolutions I decided to look for an addition to my home gym that could add that extra oomph to my workouts at home.”
Gym memberships are useless when your time is wasted waiting in line for others to finish using the machines or just trying to get enough courage to walk into the door with fear of your flab being the talk of the gym. Most won’t realize that a gym isn’t a match until it’s too late. In order to get the most bang for your buck, follow these 8 tips on how to get the most out of your gym membership and finally achieve your fitness goals!
- Make Goals –Before walking in the door, you should have some specific goals in mind. Which ones will this gym help you achieve? Are you looking to lose a little weight, tone your body, or train for a marathon? Make sure you know what you want to achieve prior to signing up for your gym membership.
- Pick a convenient location– Choose a gym with a location close to your work or home. If your gym isn’t convenient for your life you will be less likely to go.
- Go for a test drive – Most gyms offer potential members a complimentary pass to try out the gym before committing to membership. You’ll want to make sure the gym matches your needs before committing to it.
- Take a fitness class, or two- A lot of gyms offer cardio classes and if you don’t do them regularly, they will shock your body. Try a boxing class, a spin class, Zumba, Pilates or anything that is offered. Mixing in these classes with your classic cardio workouts such as the treadmill or elliptical, will help you to get better results and keep you from burning out.
- Try everything- Most gyms have a lot of amenities to offer. Make sure you try out all the gym has to offer from classes, yoga, cardio, machines, and personal trainers. Your body will tell you what it likes and doesn’t like. Find a routine that fits you. If you do you’ll be more likely to stick with it and achieve your fitness goals.
- Don’t be Embarrassed- Except for a few people trying to score their next date, most are at the gym to work on their health and fitness, and getting their body into shape. Don’t let anyone intimidate you or make you feel like your workout is inferior. Remember any workout is better than no workout and everyone works out at different intensities. Go at a pace that works for your body and gradually increase your strength.
- Hire a Certified Personal Trainer- When looking into gyms; inquire about free personal training sessions that may come with your membership. This can be a great asset especially for a gym newbie. If you don’t know what you’re doing a personal trainer can create a personalized routine without having to shell out the big bucks for those hourly sessions.
- Know Your Exercise Routine- When going to the gym; know what exercises you are going to do. Save magazine clippings, Google workouts, or pin routines on Pinterest as a helpful cheat sheet. The last thing you want to do is waste time at the gym by not knowing what to do next to achieve your desired results.
Remember committing to a gym membership can cost a lot. The last thing you want to do is waste it. In order to get the most for your money, you have to show up and work hard. The more time and effort you put in, the bigger payoff you’ll receive in your overall health and fitness goals.
Oxygen Deprivation Masks
These masks and mouth pieces have become a trendy thing in gyms around the country. This is an incredibly non-intelligent and dangerous thing. Disrupting your body’s air supply puts a hindrance on your body’s performance. In truth, what you’re actually doing is directing your energy system’s mode of operation towards the anaerobic, which isn’t exactly something that’s challenging to do under normal training circumstances. You could equally use weights, tourniquets on your limbs, become extremely overweight, or just run faster to achieve the same result.
It’s this simple: lack of oxygenation stimulates a hormone called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin, or EPO, is a substance produced by the kidneys to help maintain hemostasis with respect to red blood cell count. In any state of hypoxic stress, the kidneys will detect the low oxygen state and ramp up EPO production, which in turn (in a healthy patient) increases blood cell production and the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. RBC count will start to rise probably within 24-76 hours of the initiation of hypoxic stress. This in turn, stimulates more HGB. Hemoglobin (HGB) carries oxygen. Remember, the whole goal in exercise is to deliver oxygen; fuel to the working muscles. More HGB means more buses taking oxygen to where it’s needed quicker.
When exercising, your body is stressed. Depriving it of oxygen could set up a heart arrhythmia, leading to heart attack. This could be fatal. It could also cause you to black out.
Oxygen deprivation masks do not mimic altitude training. Benefits of training at altitude come in the form of changes to the hemoglobin density, which takes weeks to occur. This is why athletes live at those altitudes for an elongated period of time. You know big sponsors paying these athletes six figure checks would rather have them around doing profitable PR to promote them instead of nestling up in some mountain cabin for eight weeks.
You simply will not produce any kind of similar hemoglobin adaptations by spending your gym sessions in an impractical state of controlled suffocation.
And just because it looks really cool, doesn’t always mean it is. There is no gain, trying to look like The Dark Knight’s Bane.
Play safe. Be healthy. Stay balanced.