Q: If I want to get in the best shape of my life, is a gym membership required?
A: That’s an interesting question. Despite the fact that I work for Anytime Fitness, I have to tell you the answer is no. A gym membership is not required to get into great shape. In fact, you can get a fantastic workout doing just bodyweight exercises in the comfort of your own home. That said, having a membership to your local club does increase the number of tools in your toolbox. In other words, gyms typically have a lot of high-quality equipment that you simply wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and the culture and environment in the gym can be very motivating. You’ll typically also find fitness experts who can help you determine the best path forward in terms of reaching your goals. So based on these benefits, and many others, do I recommend you join a gym? Yes. But do you absolutely need to join one in order to get in great shape? No.
Q: My wife thinks she’ll get big and bulky if she starts lifting weights with me. How do I convince her otherwise?
A: This comes up all the time, and it’s one of the biggest myths out there. First of all, women simply don’t have the proper hormonal balance to put on large amounts of muscle tissue. Secondly, even if they did have the right physiology, it would take some serious training to do it. Getting bigger muscles requires high-volume workouts (lots of sets and reps) and a pretty high intensity as well. Picking up a few weights here and there isn’t a recipe for building mass — it’s what you do and how you do it that really makes the difference. Remind your wife that weight training programs can always be tailored to specific goals, so if she doesn’t want to put on large amounts of muscle, that’s just fine. Generally speaking, a full-body circuit with higher rep ranges a few days per week would work well if she’s just looking to tone up or maintain her current level of muscle tissue. If she wants to get an individualized program based on her goals, look for a qualified personal trainer in your area.
Kirk Jordison is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in northeast Ankeny’s Briarwood Center. Tiffany Christensen is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Ankeny’s Prairie Trail development. Both owners are proud to be raising their families in Ankeny. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the authors at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Prairie Trail) or email@example.com (Briarwood).