How to Get the Most Out of Your Gym Membership

by Michael Plank

One of my mentors told me one of the best questions I’ve ever heard. He said he regularly goes to professionals he works with and asks them: “How do I get the most out of your services?” And then shortly after I heard him say that, I had a new member e-mail me and say: “Am I supposed to be doing anything else during this first 90 days at the gym? I just wanted to make sure I was taking advantage of everything and that I didn’t miss anything.” Hearing those two things back to back are why I’m writing this post.

You’re paying for a gym membership, how do you make sure it’s worth it?

Every gym is different, but at Underwood Park CrossFit, our athletes that get the best, fastest results all do these four things:

  1. Schedule goal reviews. These are free for every member. 3-4 times every year, you are encouraged and welcome to sit down, 1-on-1 with a coach for a full 15 minutes to talk about what you want out of your training. Are you getting the results you want? Perfect! Let’s double down on your strategy. Are you not getting the results you want? No problem, let’s adjust your plan. There is no one-size-fits-all prescription. The more we can work with you 1-on-1, the better our prescription will get, which means better results for you.
  2. Take advantage of time outside of class. We are always open and ready for athletes at least 15 minutes before the start of class. We never close sooner than 15 minutes after the end of class. There’s always a 15-minute buffer between classes. This means that for every class you come to, you have a full 30 minutes available to you to work on skills, mobility, or anything else that needs space and equipment. Plus you have a coach there who can help you if you need it, which is related to…
  3. Ask your coach questions! I can’t tell you how many times someone asks me a question about their training after they’ve already been at it for 4 or 5 months and says “I’m so sorry to bother you with this.” We are here for your questions! Wondering about what shoes to wear? How often to train? What to eat after a workout? How to get better at pull-ups? Just ask! We always try to offer as much information as we can freely, but there’s lots to cover, and if we miss something, pull us aside after class, or e-mail us, or send us a message. (And PS – We’re good at boundaries too. So if it is actually inconvenient to answer because your question popped into your head at 2:30am, don’t worry… we won’t answer! What that means is that you don’t ever have to worry about bothering us because we’re on it!)
  4. Come to community events. This one is maybe a little less intuitive. We just had our Memorial Day Murph event. We had the Intramural Open this winter. We have a holiday party between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We have a Summer Party. First of all, these events are super fun. But second, when you come to them, you make friends. When you make friends, you grow your network. Which means when you’re struggling with your training (which is normal if you do it long enough), you have a lot more people who can help you. Plus, if you really hit it off with Jim and Susie at the party, you’ll be a lot more excited about go to the gym if it means you’ll get to see them when it’s one of those days where your motivation to go sweat is lacking.

This is stuff that you generally don’t have to pay extra for but will absolutely improve your results and help you get the most bang for your buck. And if you’re not a member at our gym, I can still almost guarantee that #3 is available to you. One of our core values is Client Service – which means getting you the best results possible, and part of that is making sure you know what your options are. So schedule those goal reviews, do some drills before and after class, send a bunch of e-mails and messages, come make friends, and watch what happens to your fitness!