How many of us have promised ourselves (usually after a particularly indulgent weekend/holiday/festive period) that this is the month we are going to commit to going to the gym and establish a regular exercise routine? As we all know, this spurt of motivation tends to last for a few weeks as we religiously stick to our new routine, only to peter out while we find excuse after excuse to miss a session.
This cycle is extremely common as people are struck by flashes of conscious and motivation (‘new year, new you’) and promise to do better. While gym subscriptions go through the roof in January, statistics show that after a few months, a large percentage of new sign-ups simply stop coming to the gym.
The reasons why people struggle to stick to a consistent gym schedule are many and varied. The question is, how do we change the pattern and establish a consistent routine? The solution comes down to fulfilling three basic psychological needs necessary for us to feel motivated and thrive. These are the desire to feel: competent, autonomous and connected.
The reason why some people quit the gym, or don’t even join to begin with, is because they are worried they are out of their depth and will look foolish in front of other people. This is down to the fact that, as humans, we need to feel competent and in control.
The way to handle these feelings is to remind yourself that everyone was a gym-newbie at some stage, and while you may not know much now, you’ll be shocked by how quickly you learn. Choose a gym that won’t make you feel intimidated, but is committed to providing a friendly, safe space that will help you learn and grow.
For example, here at David Lloyd Clubs, we are committed to welcoming all types of bodies and fitness levels. Not only is the vibe friendly and hospitable, but we go out of our way to make sure everyone feels comfortable. With a large number of professional personal trainers on hand to guide you, group classes where you can learn exercises and moves from instructors, personal and group coaching, social clubs, and much more, you’ll find everything you need to make you feel confident on your fitness journey.
Once you feel competent, you’ll have the confidence to come back again and again.
People thrive when they feel like they’re in control – when they’re making their own choices and acting on their desires. When it comes to the gym, this feeling of choice is so important: if you feel like you’re being forced to go out of guilt or self-loathing, you’ll never be able to keep yourself motivated.
The key here is to make going to the gym something you want to do. You can do this by finding a type of exercise that you actually enjoy, that doesn’t feel like a chore, and choosing an environment that you enjoy spending time in.
We make sure people want to come to our clubs by providing high-quality equipment and a friendly environment that makes people feel welcomed and at home. We also provide a number of different facilities and classes such as swimming, tennis, yoga, weight-lifting, dance and more, so that everyone has access to an activity they enjoy.
The bottom line is that to keep coming back to a gym, you need to feel connected and part of a community. Social connections are the most powerful motivator in keeping you on track, sticking to your commitments and ultimately enjoying your time at the gym.
Whether it’s the relationship you have with your personal trainer, the friends you make in your favourite class, the family members that you come with, it’s the sociability and relationship side of exercise that is key in helping you establish a routine. This is made clear by the fact that if a new member either works with a personal trainer or takes a group exercise class, they are three times more likely to be a regular member one year later. It’s personal attention and human interaction that keeps people coming back.
This human element is the core of everything we do at David Lloyd Clubs – we want our clubs to feel like more than just a place to work out, but a hub where everyone can come together regardless of age, ability or any other difference.
If you’re looking to find a club where you can feel at home, pay a visit to your local club to find out more.