Friday, November 18, 2022

Why a Gym Membership is the Worst Investment You Could Make

Why a Gym Membership is the Worst Investment You Could Make

Unless you’re a high-level athlete or have a specific training goal, like becoming a professional fighter, you probably won’t see much return on your investment if you get a gym membership. But why? You might be wondering: Aren’t gyms full of people who love to work out and stay fit? How could that not be an awesome investment? Well, as it turns out...maybe they just aren’t. A gym membership is one of the worst investments you can make as a normal person who spends most of their time at home. That might seem absurd. Why wouldn’t working out at home and then going to the gym once per week be much more cost-effective than buying membership to a local facility and driving to it every day?

Gym workout disadvantages

Why a Gym Membership is an Incredibly Bad Investment

If you’re trying to decide between investing in a gym membership and just staying at home, you need to start with the basics: What are the costs of each option? How much will each one cost you per month (or per year)? In the case of a gym membership, it’s hard to find a good metric for what you’re spending. There’s the cost of the membership itself. And there are the fees that go with it — the fees for using machines, for the locker room, for the pool, for having a trainer. These fees might be one-time costs or they might be recurring charges. This makes tracking your real costs much more difficult because you don’t know what you’re actually spending. It’s difficult to know how much of what you’ve paid is recurring and how much is one-time. And you can’t always predict future costs because you might decide to use a feature that you didn’t realize would cost money.

You’re paying for things you’ll never use.

Certain features of the gym are almost always under-used by almost all of their members. This makes these features poor investments because you’re paying for things you won’t be using anyway. A good example is the swimming pool. Swimming is an incredible exercise — one of the best full-body workouts you can get. But it’s also a sport that requires very specific facilities. The pool has to be a certain shape, size, and depth for it to be safe to swim in. There’s also the issue of hygiene. Nobody swims in the pool at the gym. So it stays dirty. And it has no filtration system. So it can’t be cleaned between uses. Because of all of this, the pool is a waste of money at a gym. You’ll never use it. You’ll never see any benefit. It’s a cost that’s not worth paying.

Gyms make you sign up for contracts — and lock you in.

Because gyms are in the business of selling contracts and memberships, they have an incentive to lock you in for as long as possible. You might sign up for a “one-year introductory rate” and think you can cancel the membership after that year is done. But the terms and conditions of your gym contract might have a cancellation clause that keeps you locked in. If the cancellation clause works in the gym’s favor, it will include a “restocking fee.” A restocking fee is, effectively, a fee for breaking the contract early. That’s a big part of why a gym membership is such a bad investment: You might end up locked in a contract where you can’t get out even if you want to.

Cardio equipment is over-used and unhygienic.

Cardio machines like treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes are used by thousands of people every day. This means they’re incredibly unhygienic. They are also used in ways that make them prone to wear and tear. That means you’re going to be using a machine that has thousands of other people’s sweat on it. Sweat is full of germs — especially from someone using a treadmill or elliptical machine. It gets ground into the machine and doesn’t dry out. So you’re putting your hands on a machine that millions of people before you have touched and left sweat on. That’s not something you want to be doing every day. You’re putting yourself at risk of infection. Machines are also designed so they grind the sweat and dirt into the machine itself.

The weight-room is so loud, nobody can hear you.

The most popular place to do strength training at a gym is in the weight-room. It’s filled with squat racks, benches, and free weights. That setup is great if you’re a serious lifter or powerlifter. But if you’re just trying to build some muscle and add a few pounds of muscle mass, it’s overkill. That’s because you’re in a room with a bunch of people who are trying to push their bodies to the limit. They’re lifting as heavy as they can. They’re creating a lot of noise when they drop the weights. You’ll be able to hear them from anywhere in the weight room. You won’t be able to hear yourself think. And you certainly won’t be able to hear any advice from a trainer or fellow lifter.

Summing up: Conclusion

Gyms are full of great people who want to work out, stay fit, and lead healthier lives. They’re great places to get encouragement, advice, and support. But they’re not the best places to exercise. It makes more sense to workout at home and then go to the gym once per week. You’ll save money, get better exercise, and avoid the problems associated with gyms. So if you’re trying to decide between investing in a gym membership or staying at home, ask yourself: Why do you want to get a gym membership? If it’s because you want a new routine that feels different from what you do at home, that’s fine. But if you’re thinking you’ll make better progress if you get a gym membership, you’re wrong. Stay fit and healthy no matter where you workout. But don’t waste your money on a gym membership if you’re not going to use it wisely.

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