‘No challenge, no change’: Gym instructors’ top tips to shed post-Christmas pounds

Now that the party season is sadly behind us, Manchester’s gyms are expecting to see a massive increase in membership in January.

PureGym Manchester have revealed that average membership rose 136% after last year’s festive period, with one of their gyms, Manchester Moston, increasing by a whopping 240%.

It’s a common trend across the country, as more than two thirds of Brits will start out the year with a new gym membership, according to a leading fitness researcher.

But despite our good intentions the spike in gym attendance is likely to be short lived, with over a third of new members set to quit by the end of January.

Charlotte Foster, a personal trainer at VirginActive in Salford Quays, said: “After Christmas we can’t help but feel that our first priority is to burn off all the calories we’ve consumed in the festive season. 

“Everyone likes to think of the New Year as a fresh start to try and achieve what they didn’t the previous year.

“But people want results quickly and when this isn’t achieved they easily give up. Once the ‘new year, new me’ starts to wear off people lose focus of why they started. 

“Reminding yourself of your goals and why you want to achieve them is really important. The key is to break it down into small steps. You should also aim to change your gym routine every four to six weeks so you don’t plateau.” 

But that’s easier said than done, and the latest research by British Military Fitness shows that men are far more likely to quit the gym than women.

On average, 59% of new male gym members will cancel their membership by the end of the month compared to 15% of women.

Matt Buckley, regional manager of PureGym Manchester, says many people ‘spiral back’ into unhealthy habits because their goals are too unrealistic or unspecific.

He said: “To keep that motivation beyond the first six weeks, first of all look at your goal.

“Is the goal something you can do sensibly? Have you set a timeframe?

“Make your workouts diverse and to do with something you enjoy. There is no point in working on your fitness goals if you aren’t having fun doing it.

“If you’re just slogging it out on a treadmill or doing a hundred crunches a day because you read something about it being great for you, you won’t want to carry on with it.”

As Manchester’s gyms gear up for their busiest month of the year, hundreds will be signing up for a personal trainer to push them to achieve their goals.

But the good news is that if you can manage to keep that motivation going beyond the first six weeks, you’re far more likely to stick with the gym.

Charlotte added: “If it didn’t challenge you it wouldn’t change you. If you’re seeing progress would you really give up?”

Image courtesy of W_Minshull, via Flickr, with thanks

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