Why I’m Never Joining a Gym Again

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To my gym-loving friends: don’t take this too personally. 

When I made the big move over the summer, I asked a few of my local friends about workout options in the area. Specifically, I wanted to try out barre, cycling, and maybe an OrangeTheory class or two. Some people suggested joining a gym, and I quickly said no.

While I’m down with group exercise classes and studios, gyms have never worked for my lifestyle. I swore that I’d never join a gym after signing up for one back in 2014. I hardly ever went, and I found myself doing other kinds of workouts with friends. When I moved to Philly, a girl who was my friend at the time pressured me into joining a gym (someone was a little hungry for that commission). Without really having the opportunity to think about it, she called me out of the blue one afternoon and asked me to sign up right then and there. You can’t say no to a “friend” trying to hit their monthly goal, right? I quickly realized that it was a mistake, and did not work with my lifestyle. I kissed away a few hundred dollars, paid a ridiculous cancellation fee when I moved away from Philly, and finally learned my lesson.

Here’s why I’m never, ever signing up for a traditional gym membership again.

Why I’m Never Joining a Gym Again:

I Travel Too Much

I split my time between two cities mostly: Charlottesville and D.C. If there’s a really good networking opportunity or event in D.C. that I think will benefit me in the long run, I will head into town for a few days and get things done. Not to mention, I’m a travel blogger, so I’m all over the place. On average, I’m home 2-3 days a week.

It’s hard for me to justify the cost of a monthly gym membership. I’m not going to lie: when I had a gym membership in Philly, if I wasn’t going straight to my personal trainer, I only visited the gym about five times in the 11 months I had the membership. Yes, you can freeze your membership if you know you’re traveling, but it became to be a major hassle. Sometimes I would forget to freeze my membership, pay in full for a month and never step foot inside the gym. 

I’m Not Comfortable With The Machines

I had carpal tunnel surgery a few years ago, and I suffered a knee injury last fall, so at this point, I’m very hesitant to use any machines without supervision. I can’t flex my left hand a full 90 degrees, and I still feel my knee pop when I move it the wrong way.

Because of my prior injuries, I don’t feel comfortable waltzing into a gym and trying out workouts unsupervised. I’d rather be safe than sorry, and prevent further injury. Before my knee injury, I worked with a personal trainer, and I thought it was an incredible experience. I looked incredible, I was getting stronger, and I was offered plenty of workout modifications so that I wouldn’t aggravate my arm. It definitely cost more than a monthly gym membership, but trust me: I used it.

Group Exercise Classes = My Jam

I’m not going to lie: I hate working out. I’ve tried using the (free) gym in my apartment, and I’ve worked out for a grand total of 20 minutes before losing all motivation. What works best for me is to work out with a group. Having an instructor to motivate me, and the pressure of keeping up in a class really puts my butt into gear. Not to mention, you’re usually charged a fee if you decide to skip your group workout — more motivation to get out of bed and into a studio!

Real talk: I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life right now. While I don’t think I look bad per say (I went from a size 2 to a size 4/6 — it’s not the end of the world), I am kind of annoyed that none of my jeans from last year fit. Do I want to stay active and find an exercise routine that works with my travel schedule? Absolutely. Do I plan on starving myself to fit into said jeans again? Not at all. If I never fit into them again, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either. Being healthy and happy is more important than your dress size!

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Photos by Laurel Creative