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22 Apr 2006

Gyms offer no practical support/advice
I need to lose weight to help me mentally and physically. I have an inoperable back problem which is worse the more I weight.I joined a well known gym group but found if very disheartening as once you are signed on - you face all those machines but are clueless to know how to work them. I often walk away with even more severe back ache. I was chatting on the internet to a friend in the usa who said that she goes to a gym where all the staff on the floor are trained to show people what to do and how to do it correctly.
I have on the odd occassion had a helpful club member who has told me that I am using equipment incorrectly and they then show me how to do it. I really don't feel inclined to go anymore as I am afraid I am doing myself even more harm.
The costs of having a 'personal trainer' make it ridiculously expensive. Do you know of any gym group, in the JHB area who offer a more personal, one on one help in their gym? I would appreciate your input as my gym membership is soon coming to an end....
Answer 361 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

What a shame, that they gym you are at operates in this way. I suppose it is an indictment on the fitness industry, and while I realise it is a generalization, this is the reason I think many more people stay away from the gyms. The gyms should, as you point out, and someone on the forum and your friend in the USA have experienced, provide a means by which ANYONE can exercise, but they don't always do this. I have experienced this myself and it is frustrating, because there are many many good people out there who do want to help and would do a better job in those situations.

As for your path into the future, you have been given very good advice by someone on the forum, difficult for me to top. I will say that it is vital that you as the consumer educate yourself and know what you have at your disposal, particularly now that you are joining up. I know that on principle, you may say that it is not your job to chase after the trainers, and you would be right, but when you join, you are usually entitled to a free consultation and assessment, and the trainers or staff at the gym are obliged to show you how the equipment works and even draw up a programme. This is something that is usually stipulated in the contract, and so when you go to renew or find a new gym, just be aware of this and find out. And I know it's a hassle to chase the staff and get your money's worth, but you are perfectly entitled to this service, so if you know it's there, and you aren't afraid to ask for it, then go for it! If this means joining a new gym, then so be it, but take your timeand decide what you want, then go for it!

Good luck
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