The start of the New Year is always an exciting time full of resolutions, hopes, and dreams, most are only a couple of months away from being dropped like a hot potato – but until they are, you’ve got to do your best to put up with the huge influx of new members in January.
For those of us who are used to going to the gym for our regular cardio and weight-lifting workouts, this influx can mean crowded changing rooms (middle-aged man dongs aplenty) and long wait times for equipment. But that doesn't mean you have to stay away from the gym during this busy, nightmarish season — there are plenty of ways to make sure you still get your workout in without having to deal with all the extra traffic!
Keep these tips in mind next time you’re tempted to skip your workout because of a packed gym:
Get There Early
One way to beat the rush is to try and get in ahead of it. Instead of waiting until after work or school when everyone and their Auntie Pam arrives, try doing your workout first thing in the morning when everything is less crowded, it’ll still be busier than normal, but you’ll see a difference between then and after work in most commercial gyms. You may even find that shifting up your schedule gives you more energy throughout the day, giving it a go while the gyms are chock-a-block might change your whole life long term!
Choose Low-Traffic Hours
If getting out early isn't possible, then consider scheduling a later exercise session instead — typically after dinner or on weekends when fewer people are likely to be at the gym. Additionally, check with your local facility beforehand and see if they offer any special deals or discounts during off-peak hours, you might be able to save some cash for an off-peak membership in some select facilities.
Take Advantage of Online Resources
Don't forget about all the online resources available at our fingertips nowadays either! With countless free workout videos and higher quality premium services just one click away, you can still get in some quality fitness time despite busy gyms by streaming them right from home. Additionally, rather than aimlessly wandering around looking for equipment, look up specific exercises on YouTube for detailed guides that will ensure each rep is done safely and efficiently, with the equipment you’ve got access to at home.
Invest in your home gym
Let’s face it, every January/February will see the same uptick in gym footfall and your ability to have access to the equipment you prefer will be lacking. So get yourself some versatile equipment at home so you can still get those all-important reps in when you simply can’t face a busy gym. A decent set of hex dumbbells and a kettlebell is all you need to start making some serious gains without having to leave the house.
Utilise Non-Equipment Exercises
Another great option for staying fit during times like these is by utilising bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and squats which require no additional equipment other than one’s own body weight; so if waiting times are too long, hop into a corner or an empty space in the gym or just stay at home and get started right away!
Try Out Some New Workouts
Lastly — don’t forget that January can also be a great opportunity to try something new! If queues are too long for traditional machines and equipment such as treadmills, functional trainers or weight benches then why not give something else a go? Swimming laps or taking up yoga are both good options if available at your facility — or if not then consider signing up for classes elsewhere like a dance or martial arts studio where they specialise in different forms of fitness training!
Don't let overcrowded gyms stop you from reaching your fitness goals this year—with some smart planning (and proper etiquette!), there's no reason why getting sweaty and swole shouldn't be enjoyable even during peak times like January! Remember to give yourself plenty of space while working out, think ahead on how and when you'll use certain pieces of equipment before jumping on them immediately, respect others' space while exercising and never ever skip warm-ups & cool downs — these small adjustments will make all the difference in how much progress you make towards achieving healthier habits this year so don't give up just because the gym’s like the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury