In this post we look at why you should join a gym even if you don’t like them.
I was scrolling through Twitter the other day when I came across a tweet from a well known author.
It went something like this, the most unsophisticated forms of exercise are the best.
Underneath he was extolling the virtues of lifting barbells (without a rack) and walking in nature.
I checked through the replies and there were a number of people saying some pretty stupid things about gyms and exercise equipment in particular.
Perhaps you find this in your own area of expertise, it really doesn’t matter how qualified a person is in their field, that intelligence doesn’t seem to transfer over. Even to professions which are adjacent.
In fact I find those with an understanding of how the body works, often say the stupidest things about exercise.
There seems to be a couple of things going on here…
1) Eulogising nature and all things natural
Don’t misunderstand me, being in nature does wonderful things for humans. Hiking, climbing, or biking outside is hugely beneficial.
This doesn’t necessarily extend to replacing weight training machines with barbells, or even sandbags as one bright spark suggested in the thread.
You’ll see this natural is best school of thought in everything from paleo diets, to those who want to abolish chairs in schools. And dare I say it, the anti vax movement.
Natural might be best in some cases, in others such as when a virus is trying to kill you, it isn’t.
2) Some people truly dislike gyms
This I can understand because I used to hold the same opinion. If you’d have told me 25 years ago I’d be writing content to encourage people into gyms I’d have laughed.
I got my exercise cycling around the beautiful hills of the West Country. Why would I enter a gym full of men trying get bigger biceps and women trying to get smaller butts?
Gyms were antithetical to everything I thought exercise was about.
Here’s the thing though, I was cycling 500 miles a week but I couldn’t open a jar of pickles and I could put my back out sneezing. In other words I wasn’t healthy.
This is where a gym becomes useful.
A well equipped gym will serve the purpose of enabling you to keep your muscular system healthy. Simple as that.
Now of course you might want to carefully select the environment you do that in. Over the years i’ve used body building gyms, council run facilities and fancy high end versions.
Once you have the equipment you need however, the only difference is the quality of the towels and the hand soap they offer you.
Find one you feel comfortable going to and which is convenient. Everything else is decoration.
In terms of the results you’re able to achieve there’s a clear advantage to using a well equipped gym. That’s not to say you can’t get stronger using other approaches, but all of these will compromise your progress to some degree.
Don’t listen to the exercise opinions of people on social media. Even if they’re very well educated in other fields.
If we had decided to live naturally we’d still be living in caves and routinely dying at 35.