An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Beating The January Gym Rush

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beating The January Gym Rush

Health and fitness New Year Resolutionists abound when it's January at the gym but if you set the right goals, you can beat the rush

Today’s post is sponsored by Smoothie King, but my content and love for their Meal Replacement Smoothies is all my own. Take the challenge as part of a low-calorie diet and daily exercise program.  Weight loss depends on individual needs. 

Ahhhhh, January. One of my least favorite months. It's cold, it's dark and the glow of the holidays has faded as the Christmas tree comes down. There's pudge from holiday libations and pale, dry winter skin. Have I sufficiently depressed you? Cool, it gets worse. I bundle up the kids for preschool drop off, haul my butt to my yoga studio to juuuuuuust make a class, and it's PACKED. With newbies. Who aren't familiar with yoga studio etiquette or how to properly prepare for a barre class. Because it's January at the gym.

Now let me be clear: If you're going to come to the gym in the new year and stick with it, I welcome you! New members mean new friends for me, and who doesn't want new friends? But I find that the people who come in January aren't those people.

Setting goals to beat the January gym time rush and stick with your fitness plan

Typically (you know, because generalizations are fun) the January gymmers signed up because there was a special on either monthly dues or the registration fee. They've told themselves that "this is their year!" to get back into shape. They made a new year's resolution to lose the holiday weight they packed on and then some. They don't have the "fit lifestyle" in mind, they only focus on the scale and their body image.

And because of that lack of proper focus, they fail. They hit the gym hard for 3-6 weeks then die out. Perhaps there wasn't instant gratification with the number on the scale or the muscle tone didn't happen the way they wanted after 4 yoga classes. For the few weeks they do show up, they cause complete chaos! The lockers baffle them, they don't get the towel return service, they don't understand that they need to hang their yoga mats up to dry instead of rolling them up wet. They over-crowd classes. I happen to like crowded classes because there's more energy to them, but the January gymmers crowd it with a nervous, unknowing energy that's outright obnoxious.

This barre class was so popular, it was spilling into the lobby! Ahhh, January at the barre studio.

I'm not here to discourage people from signing up for a gym or yoga studio membership! Quite the opposite in fact. What I'm saying is if you're going to do it, do it like you mean it. Don't focus on losing XX pounds or getting into a pair of old jeans again. Don't go to one yoga class, watch the woman who has clearly been practicing for years and compare yourself to her and never show up again because you weren't as "good" as her.

Instead, set realistic goals. What do those look like? This:

- "I'm going to the gym for 3-4 hours of 'me time' a week"
- "I'm going to get stronger so that I have the stamina to play/keep up with my kid(s)"
- "I'm going to start a yoga practice to reduce the stress in my life"
- "I want to eat healthier to FEEL better"

That's right - if you want gym success, you need nutrition success too! Going to the gym for a class and following it with a cheeseburger and fries or perhaps you order a salad but then splurge on dessert because "you earned it" is counterproductive. If you're going to beat the January gym rush and set great, achievable goals for the new year, you gotta back it up with a healthy (or even just a healthier) diet.

Post gym smoothie selfie! No makeup. Standard.

I totally get that eating on the go is hard. I'm usually always on the go and there is always a taco stand calling my name somewhere! But Smoothie King just launched their meal replacement smoothies and I kid you not, there's one across the street from my gym! As I wrangle my own taco consumption under control, I've vowed to hit up Smoothie King post workout for a protein packed shake that come in SO many flavors and have less than 400 calories each. Perfect for getting a post-gym nutritional punch that supports an overall healthy lifestyle.

Those are the kinds of goals that set you up for long-term gym goer status. Get to thinking that way, and you'll outlive the January gymmers. Adopt one of those as your motto, and you'll fit right in with everyone else and feel more at ease in your first weeks there. Beat that January gym rush!


  1. It baffles me that people think they can out exercise a bad diet. Our gym has been PACKED during peak hours, but it's not so bad during the middle of the day. Granted, I haven't tried a yoga class since the 1st. I may do that today.
    I'm all for people who want to better themselves, but you hit the nail on the head here.

  2. The "I just worked out so I deserve this" mentality kills me! How people don't understand by now that they need to eat right to see results is baffling. One thing I don't miss about the gym is the January rush. Just soooo many people!

  3. Haha! All so true! I'm having to get to my yoga classes 10 minutes earlier than usual this month to make sure there's space to roll out my mat! And getting the taco habit under control? Me too, girl...

  4. I have this investment idea in life where I will launch a gym in January and then by February/March the gym becomes a bar. I feel like it could work. People would continue coming!

  5. I really like this. I think it is important to remember that even if you don't reach your goal one week, there is always the next week to keep working on it. That is why fitness goals are hard, we give up if we aren't consistent!


  6. I tried the gym last January, and I never could get it to work. I went back in February and found my rhythm because it wasn't packed, but I quickly fizzled out once spring break many people! lol! I totally agree you have to find what works for your "me time," and that you can't over do-it with food rewards after you workout. I love my smoothies and also love a good bath bomb after a hard strength or yoga workout at home!

  7. I have started loving to go the gym lately. My favorite classes are barre, hip hop, and Zumba. I work from home so I go at like 10 am because everyone else is at work. haha it's the best.

  8. I loathe the gym in January in particular. Why do people wait until January to think they'll get themselves together and in better fitness? Start today, start yesterday. Just get your body moving! It ain't easy but we all start somewhere, right? Plus it helps if you find something you're good at and/or both you enjoy!

  9. Good to know about Smoothie King! There's one right down the street :) I was at the gym on Jan. 2 and it was PACKED! Jan. 3 & 4? Notsomuch :)

  10. okay but now i really want a cheeseburger and fries. ha.
    i love smoothies for breakfast and after the gym. so good!
    i avoid the classes in january. i can handle it being busy elsewhere in the gym, but i can't handle how busy the classes get.

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