Memberships Required

By Josh Crosby

Caversham, Great Britain, Gym. [Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]

We all know that a gym membership is only as good as you make it. Personally, I have succumbed to a monthly membership in the hopes of getting “ripped,” losing weight, or becoming game-ready. But for one reason or another, after I sign up my feet rarely end up hitting the rubber of the cardio floor. And for those times when I do make it there, I spend too much time trying to figure out which piece of equipment to jump on and how to use it. Have you been there? If so, follow these tips and workout to make your gym time more productive.

Keep it Simple: We are easily distracted by the latest and greatest piece of fitness equipment or class. But if time is tight, stay true to what you know. Get in, get on, and get it done.

Prepped and Prepared: The night before gym day, jot down the prescribed workout on your phone and load up your favorite pump-up playlist. That way, there will be no wasted minutes of precious training time devoted to sorting out your soundtrack.

Ask for Help: Schedule an appointment with a trainer. Even if you only have time to meet once every couple months, working with a trainer will provide you with a routine you can follow in the gym or on your own. Plus, having them show you proper form will enhance results and prevent injury.

Mix it Up: A huge benefit of a gym membership is the variety of offerings available to keep you motivated. Forty-five minutes of cardio goes by fast when you divide it between the rower, treadmill, and elliptical.

The Workout:
Putting the below three disciplines together provides a full-body endurance workout that keeps the mind fresh. Throughout the 45 minutes, you will repeatedly raise and lower your heart rate—a fantastic way to burn calories and build your cardiovascular fitness.

Indoor Rower: Easy for 5 minutes at 22-24 strokes per minute; medium for 5 minutes at a 26; easy for 2 minutes at a 22-24; medium for 2 minutes at a 26; 1 minute hard at a 28-30.

Treadmill: Run or walk for 15 minutes total, going 2 minutes easy, 2 minutes medium, and 1 minute hard. Repeat three times. Note: You don’t have to adjust your speed to increase intensity. Don’t be afraid to add some incline too.

Bike/Elliptical: Go for 15 minutes, completing 4 sets of 2 minutes easy, 1 minute hard.  Cool down during the last 3 minutes of the workout.