5 ways to manage the January gym rush

With the New Year comes a new wave of eager gym beginners, so here's how to deal with gym overcrowding

Mollie Goodfellow
Wednesday 30 December 2015 13:39 GMT
Remix your routine - it'll be good for you
Remix your routine - it'll be good for you (Ilia Yefimovic/Getty Images))

If you’re a regular gym goer you’ll know that January is probably the worst month when it comes to gym newbies.

You have to give them credit for turning up, trying out and getting into the fitness spirit after Christmas, but if you’re a fitness fanatic left waiting for your favourite machine, your patience can run thin very quickly.

So before throwing your dumbbells out the pram, try these ideas for beating the January gym riot.

Change up your gym routine

You might be stuck in your ways heading from treadmill to cross trainer to free weights, but for the purposes of getting in and getting out without spending half the time waiting, you might just have to rearrange things. Instead of starting off with cardio on a bike, maybe do some HIIT exercises in a free space or in a studio before working your way back to the machines when they’re free.

Move your schedule

Learn to look forward to your gym sessions (Getty Images)

Have a chat with the trainers or reception staff. Get a feel for when the quieter times are and try to head down during those hours. Even if it’s just an hour later or earlier than you usually would, getting in before the crowds can make your gym life a lot easier.

Have patience

At one time or another everyone was a gym newbie - leaving sweat on the equipment and working with weights just a bit too heavy for them. Be patient while waiting for equipment and if you see someone struggling offer to help if you can. Don’t get angry if you can’t get to your chosen machine, choose an alternative or simply wait until it’s available.

Try out classes for a month

Most gyms offer studio classes such as spinning, boxercise or toning as part of their membership fees, so you can go along at no additional cost.

If you’re finding it’s impossible to beat the crowds at the gym, swap your usual main floor regime for some classes.

It’s good to mix up your workouts and breaking routine can help you get out of a workout rut.

You could even try classes online such as yoga or even ballet.

Hit the streets

Fit for something: members of the GoodGym at work on their community projects (Ivo Gormley)

Improve on your running skills and take to the road or your local park for your exercise fix. While the weather may still be chilly, it’s a good way of avoiding the masses and setting your January targets at your own pace.

Some local parks also have gym equipment installed, so if you can’t get a cross trainer at your usual gym you might be able to nab one in the great outdoors. You could even sign up for an external exercise group, such as Good Gym, a group which focus on getting fit while doing good for the local community.

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