Welcome to the gym in January. It’s the busiest time of year. Everyone rushes to the gym to start off their year right. To crush those New Year’s resolutions. But, let’s face it, there is nothing more frustrating than walking into the gym, pumped and ready to get in an efficient workout, to see that it looks like a wild zoo. Rather than thinking, “Nope, not happening...” and turning right around, use these tips to still get a good workout, even when the gym is packed!
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Source: ABC News
One thing that the gym probably didn’t tell you when you were signing up, is that it can be absolutely crazy at times. Generally speaking, the busiest hours at a gym are mid-mornings from 8-11 A.M., and early evenings from 4-7 P.M. Ask your gym’s receptionist what times are the busiest for your specific gym. Avoid the crowd by getting their early, working out on your lunch break, or go after the pre-dinner rush.
Source: Men's Fitness
Rather than hopping from one piece of equipment to another, pick a piece of equipment or two and stick to them for the duration of your workout. This will help you avoid waiting in long lines and wasting time between exercises. Each piece of equipment (for the most part) can be used for multiple moves. For example, if you are on a bench, there are many of workouts that you can do! Tricep dips, step ups, decline push ups, and more.
Once you figure out what days are busiest at your gym, take advantage of the classes that are being offered. For example, if Tuesday the weight lifting area is super packed, join a Tuesday class. This could be just the opportunity you needed to try some new classes such as hot yoga, pilates, or cycling.
Knowing that the gym might be packed, go with the intentions of having to modify your workout. Google a few substitutions for whatever workouts you are aiming for for the day. If you plan on doing squats, have a couple backup workouts that you can do in case the squat racks are taken; glute bridges, lunges, deadlifts, etc.
If your workout routine has you curling 30 lb dumbbells, but they are taken…don’t wait around and twiddle your thumbs. Consider going five pounds heavier and doing 4 reps less, or go five pounds lighter than you normally would, and do 4 more reps! Almost everything that you are doing has an alternative option.
During these hours, there may not be an option of hopping back and forth around the gym. Instead of trying to hit every exercise on your to-do list, ask yourself which one or two movements will benefit you the most today.
Source: Men's Health
Many times there are studios that are empty: that doesn’t mean they are closed! Do your own thing. Grab a few weights and a mat and set-up your own circuit workout. You’d get the studio to yourself, so you won’t have any distractions and you could get in a peaceful workout and leave it all on the floor.
You can also spend some time on the machines people loathe...you know, like the rower. Those are TOUGH workouts, which means you’d get in a great sweat, without having to wait.
The battle ropes or TRX suspension straps are also not very popular, but an intense workout. Ask someone in the gym how to use them and then get to work.
While waiting for the next machine, don’t just stand around. Get on the floor and do some pushups or ab exercises (see above for suggested exercises). Grab a dumbbell and do some weighted squats, weighted rows, curls or calf raises. Write down a circuit workout that you can do in between so you are not walking around with no plan. A circuit workout is 4-8 exercises performed back-to-back, with little to no breaks.