fitness · season transitions

Catherine considers joining a gym in January

For some weeks now, I’ve been thinking: maybe it’s time to find a nice gym. Okay, I admit that reading Samantha’s posts about her fancy new gym has definitely put me in a state of yearning for pools, saunas, nice weight room, interesting classes and pleasant locker room (if there is such a thing). Another friend just told me that she joined the nice athletic club not far from her house and mine. So, what am I waiting for?

I’m really busy and mostly out of town for December, so maybe it makes the most sense to join in January. Or maybe not.

Yes, it's a silly meme about empty gyms in December and overcrowded ones in January. But truth lies therein nonetheless.
Yes, it’s a silly meme about empty gyms in December and overcrowded ones in January. But truth lies therein nonetheless.

If you google (as I did) “should I join a gym in January?”, you’ll get loads of links to articles giving you reasons not to start a membership at the beginning of the year. Here are some:

  • It’s the most expensive time of the year to join
  • 80% of gym members don’t ever use the gym again past February (numbers and months vary by article, but the message is clear)
  • It’s a big schlep to get to the gym when it’s winter vs. working out at home
  • When/if one goes, the January throngs at the club will be rude or clueless about gym etiquette

Yes, yes, I know all of this. But but I still want to join anyway. What are my reasons?

  • January is when I have the time to explore a new club and new classes
  • I’m looking to switch up my exercise routine and get out of the house more
  • The last time I joined a nice club I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking for that experience
  • The pool– I want access to a nice pool!
  • I have a flexible work schedule, so I don’t have to work out at peak hours

The place I have in mind (where my friend just joined) has a 7-day trial. I think checking things out in December makes sense. And then, I’ll need to look over the contract carefully– the devil is in the details, so they have to work for me (cancellation policies, putting membership on hold, etc.)

I’ll report back on progress, but I think I’m gonna do it.

Readers, have you joined or restarted a gym membership during the January rush? What was it like? I’d love to hear from you (I think… 🙂

2 thoughts on “Catherine considers joining a gym in January

  1. Oh go ahead and join. I’ve joined gyms in January but like you I had a flexible schedule. The busy period doesn’t last long and it’s actually kind of nice to have other new members around. Time to dust off that beginner’s mindset.

  2. My friend the gym rat publishes posts every year about the (lack of) etiquette of the January throngs. They are hilarious yet gross (please people, wipe down your equipment after use!). There is some variant of that in every sport though; for me it’s the triathletes who show up at my swim club every spring and try to dominate the lanes the way they would race in open water.

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