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Where you choose to work out is one of the most important decisions you can make. After all, if you want to make fitness a priority, then where you work has to be a place that you want to go. With so many boutique studios & specialized fitness trends out there the options may seem endless, but multi-function gyms are still the right choice for most people. Read on for 10 great reasons you should join a gym over a studio.
Yes, it's the spice of life and also the motivation for a good workout. The only way we truly make fitness part of our lifestyle is if we genuinely enjoy our workouts. But sometimes we can get bored of the same thing over and over again. Additionally, our bodies adapt to the exercises we do, making them less effective over time if we are repeating the same routine and causing us to plateau. This can get tricky if you are at a studio that only specializes in one type of activity, but with a gym you have the option of taking classes or doing your own thing, from cardio to free weights to just a good stretch! Every workout offers endless opportunity.
We all have busy lives these days - too busy, but let's save that for another time. This means that it can be hard to find a routine, but consistency is what keeps our fitness on track - even if from time to time the schedule changes. With smaller boutique studios, you have to fit yourself in around their schedule, but with a gym you are able to make your workout work with whatever life may throw you that day. Car trouble? Kids sick at home? If you join a gym you don't have to miss your workout because the timing isn't right. You can just go with the flow of your day!
One great thing about gyms is that they are open a wide range of hours - some even 24 hours a day - and most on holidays as well. Here at CAC we always have hours and class programming available on holidays so that you don't have to miss your workout just because the rest of the world is on hold. Studios often times just aren't able to offer that, because of a small staff or being a family business. While that may be great for them, that does mean you have to skip your opportunity to sweat it out.
Boutique studios generally specialize in one type of workout that they can only offer at specific times. Lots of smaller studios only have one space for their classes, which means even more limited options for class times, and smaller staffs, which can mean fewer class times throughout the day. Gyms have the advantage of having multiple spaces and larger staff that allow for class offerings consistently throughout the day. Chicago Athletic Clubs offers 100+ group fitness classes per week at multiple locations, which means that if you are feeling classy, there's bound to be one you want to go to happening right now!
Let's be real, we all sweat. It's a good thing, it means you're working hard, burning calories and building muscle. Keeping that funk around too long, however, is not ideal, which is why showering after a workout is a must. Studios don't often offer showers and lockers - much less entire locker rooms devoted to you being able to change, clean up and get ready for whatever you need to do next - meaning you have to head home right after working out. With gyms, you get a place to stash your stuff, rinse off and primp up so that you can immediately attack the rest of your day, ready to go!
Did we mention steam & sauna? How about lap pools and hot tubs? Towel service? Massage? Does your boutique studio have that? No? Bummer. Good chance the gym you didn't join offers a few of those things, just an added bonus for feeling even better about your workouts.
Great abs are made in the kitchen, so the saying goes. In addition to working out, we also have the responsibility to ourselves to maintain a healthy diet and good eating habits in order to achieve optimum fitness. With fad diets and cleanses all over the internet, having an actual person to talk to about what is best for you can clear up a lot of confusion. While some boutique studios make nutrition a part of their deal, a lot more are focused solely on their particular fitness offering. CAC, along with many other quality gyms, has a dedicated nutrition department that members are able to tap into. This gives you the opportunity to have someone in your environment give you the nutritional guidelines and structure, tailored to you, to help you meet your fitness goals.
Need a little extra motivation? Trying to reach that specific fitness goal, but not quite getting there on your own? Personal training is an invaluable tool for everyone at any fitness level. Having that one-on-one focus allows you to improve more rapidly, stay on track and provides structure and accountability to your workouts. Gyms specialize in this, and with an excellently staffed department its easy to find a Personal Trainer that you can jive with and want to workout with. Want a little extra attention and direction without the spotlight focus? Small group training is an ideal option that gives more dedicated focus to your workout is a fun social setting. While studios may have small class sizes, they don't often have the ability to offer this kind of dedicated service to compliment your ongoing workout routine.
HIIT Training, Aerial Yoga, Les Mills, Barre, Yoga Sculpt, Kickboxing...there are so many different types of workout trends and new equipment coming out every year it can be hard to keep track. Want to try them all? If you are a studio devotee, that means joining a different studio for each new concept, which can get very pricey very quickly, and who can keep up with all the different websites? Gyms have to be competitive and keep up with the trends to keep their members happy, which means that if you want to try that new Cycle class, it's already included with your membership! Plus many gyms offer specialty workshops and pop-up classes to give you the opportunity to try something new, so you don't have to be afraid to shake up your workout.
Bottom line, and dollar for dollar, you get more for your money from a gym membership. With the variety of workout options - from classes to cardio to free weights- and the flexibility of hours and amenities, its nearly impossible for small studios to compete price-wise. Smaller specialty studios by nature have to charge a higher cost while offering less. That of course does not mean that what they are offering is not worth the money, that kind of specialization just comes with a price. And that may be all that you want or need. But if you are looking for a long term fitness lifestyle that gives you the opportunity to change your workout whenever you want and keep you active and interested, finding a good gym is always going to be your best bet.
| Leah McClure
| Niki Bezzant for Fit Planet
| Chicago Athletic Clubs
| Chicago Athletic Clubs
| Chicago Athletic Clubs