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Rude Fit

The perfect gym for you

Just how can you ensure you pick the best gym for you? We find out...

Hands up whoever has joined a gym in the New Year in a bid to work off the pounds accumulated while eating mince pies in front of the fire? Many of us have had the best intentions once the festive season is over, but the problem is keeping it up when it’s much more tempting to stay in. Choosing a gym that suits your lifestyle will really help you to stick with your exercise program and get trim and fit for spring. Rude Health magazine asked for advice on picking the best gym for you from the experts.

Get ready

Carl Cautley of Fitness Together in Ranelagh, Dublin 6: “Before you even start looking for a gym, write down your health and fitness goals for the year. This focuses the mind and will help when discussing your needs with a health and fitness professional. Now ask yourself: how much time will I commit to exercise every week, what days and what time of day? Once these objectives are clear, you can start looking.”

Location location location

Tom Dalton of Tom Dalton Fitness in Blackrock, Dublin: “Location is the single most important element in your decision. A gym can have every bell and whistle in the world, but if it’s too far away there’s a good chance you won’t go. Make sure the gym is either close to your house or job.”

Carl Cautley: “Convenience is going to be a big thing. The gym should be either close to home or close to work. If it’s close to work, do they have shower facilities you can use early in the morning? Also, do they have parking?”

What’s your budget?

Tom Dalton: “Gyms operate in different ways, but you will probably have to sign a contract and pay a certain amount each month. The nicer the gym and the nicer the membership, the more you’ll pay. Check what classes or extras they offer, are classes and all facilites included?”

Carl Cautley: “Generally, if the price is low the gym is going to be very busy with an open plan set up. The more expensive, the more private and personal the service offering will be.”

Shop around

Carl Cautley: “If you are new to the gym, they can seem very intimating. Tour the facilities around the times you propose going. Do you like what you see? Could you work out here comfortably? Are the staff friendly? Is the gym clean and tidy with a fresh smell? If not, try somewhere else. Shop around before you decide.”

Tom Dalton: “Visit the gym during the times and days you’ll be working out – is it crowded? Are there people standing in line for machines? What about group fitness classes – are they crowded as well? Double-check to make sure the gym is available for the times and days you want to work out. Another good idea is to ask a current member for their honest opinion of the gym.”

Will you need help?

Carl Cautley: “Are you a beginner or experienced gym goer? If you are a beginner, you are going to need plenty of help, particularly at the start. Here is where your goals come into it. Present them to the fitness professional and see what they propose to help you reach your goals. Does it sound good and realistic? Personal training is a great option but not all is the same. Gyms will offer the service in addition to your membership. Alternatively, you could join a private personal training studio.”

Exercise of the issue: by Carl Cautley, Fitness Together

The press-up

The simple press-up is one of the best upper body exercises that can be done anywhere. It works the pectoralis major (chest), deltoids (shoulders) and triceps (back of arms). The key is to find the right adaption for you. Here is a list going from simplest to the most progressive.

1. Push against a wall.

2. Push against a bench.

3. On floor in box position.

4. On floor off knees.

5. Full press-up.

6. Full press-up with dumb-bell pull.

It’s very important to keep the body rigid and only engage the muscles mentioned above.

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