HomeHealthI joined a gym.

I joined a gym.

I’ve always scoffed at the idea of joining a gym. All too often people join their local gym with the best of intentions only to find themselves, six months later, realizing they haven’t been to the gym for six months.


You wouldn’t pay for cable if you didn’t own a TV would you? So why the crap would you pay for a gym membership that you derive no benefit from? It just doesn’t make sense.

Seeing that my natural body type is long and lanky, I’ve never really been that in to the idea of working out for the sake of working out. I’d much rather go play tennis with a friend, go on a hike, or hit the slopes in the winter. Why pay some company a pretty penny, when mother nature offers plenty of free (or relatively cheap) options?

I’ll tell you why…

  1. I live in Seattle. It’s freakin’ beautiful here and there is no shortage of free outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the rumors about Seattle are true… it really does rain a good nine months of the year. Could I go hike on a drizzly weekend morning? Sure. Will I? No.
  2. I didn’t just join a gym, I joined an “athletic club”. This basically means that in addition to a ton of free weights and machines, members have access to 8 tennis courts, a pickleball court, five racquetball courts, four basketball courts, a pool, a hot tub, a sauna, and about 10 daily classes (yoga, pilates, spin, barre, insanity, etc).
  3. One of my good friends/neighbors joined the same gym. We’ve booked Wednesday and Sunday nights in our calendar as Pickleball or racquetball nights. Having a set schedule and someone to be accountable to, will keep me consistent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself “I should go for a run”, but never actually did it.
  4. Childcare is dirt cheap. For $3/hr Girl Ninja and I can drop off Baby Ninja at the clubs day-care facility and be baby-free for two hours. THREE DOLLARS AN HOUR!!!! If I had to hire one of our high school friends to come babysit they’d charge me $10/hr minimum. The below market child care virtually covers the cost of the membership. Instead of joining a gym, I like to think I joined an elite babysitting club that just so happens to provide their members plenty of fitness options.
  5. I’m turning 30 in July. Call this a quarter life crisis if you will (yes, that means I plan to live to 120), but I want to be in the best shape of my life when my 30th comes. It’s not that I’m unhappy with myself (remember I’m relatively lean), but more a challenge to myself. How fit can I get? I have no metrics by which I’ll be gauging my success. I don’t care if I gain or lose weight over the next 8 months. I have no goal to bench X amount or do Y number of pushups by July. I simply want to be proactive in being healthy and push my body in a way I never have before.

If you care to know my general plan over the next 8 months it will look kind of like this: 

  • Sunday Night: Play pickleball or racquetball with friend, followed by 10min ab workout
  • Monday: Off (maybe pool or sauna)
  • Tuesday: High Intensity Interval Training. 20 minute workout that is way more efficient than going for a run.
  • Wednesday: Play pickleball or racquetball with friend, followed by 45min arm workout.
  • Thursday: Work out back and shoulders; 1hr.
  • Friday: Another  20min High intensity interval training sesh.
  • Saturday: Do whatever I feel like and my body is up to.

So yeah, although I still kind of hate the idea of paying $50/mo for a gym membership, it’s worth it to me right now.

My goal is to hit cardio hard twice a week with the interval training to lower body fat percentage, and then lift relatively heavy (4-6 reps in a set) to encourage muscle growth and definition. I have no idea what the results will be, but there’s no way I’ll be worse off for trying, right?

And yes, in case you were wondering I took a bunch of “before” photos the other day so that, come July, I can hopefully see some significant progress. I had to put them in a hidden computer folder so no one comes across my awkward body shots. Haha.

Have you ever joined a gym? Did you/do you feel like you are getting your monies worth?



  1. Congrats on joining the gym. I wish I could join an athletic club like that but living in the city does not make it easy to do so. I like the workout plan, but I would agree with “S” and change the 1hr back/shoulders workout to be more of a full body lifting day. Also, make sure to not start too heavy on the weights. Being injured sucks!

  2. Joining a gym is always a plus and I don’t think 50 bucks is too much. Investing in your health is always a plus. I don’t know about working out so many days of the week, but sounds like the gym is pretty cool.

  3. I have a membership to Planet Fitness, $10 per month. I pretty much just do cardio so that works out great for me. We have a full service club nearby but the extra $40-60 per month is just not worth it to me based on my usage.

  4. We looked at many gyms in our area. I just can’t justify the costs. Also my husband does not believe in putting our toddler in any kind of childcare. We did buy a treadmill from craigslist for $75 and I use it about 3 times a week. I also do Pilate’s/yoga videos

    • I can’t even use a treadmill with my foot problems. But cardio dance videos (after having taken a few live cardio dance classes) fit the bill. I have made up my own workouts until recently. I have done ditto for yoga and pilates as well.

      There is a psychic cost to exercising at home–you have to summon up the motivation.

      But, other than that, I could proudly proclaim that I am not trying to prove I “play well with others” or that I “follow the trends”. I am too old to gain much “networking advantages” from being in a gym with others.

  5. If you want to be even healthier I would suggest you also take a look at your diet. A combination of diet and exercise will give you the best results. I don’t know what and how you eat so disregard if you are already a healthy eater.

  6. I do cross fit meets small group personal training .. its 120/month, half hour, full body workout, someone constantly monitoring my form and yelling at me to keep moving, no confusion machines to figure out 🙂

  7. My husband and I joined a local gym last year and we actually have been going pretty regularly. Weight training three times a week, then we also occasionally go for racquetball or use the cardio machines when it’s raining outside. I’m not sure what changed, because a few years ago we had a gym membership and NEVER went. My husband finally decided it was time to lose some weight, though, and I’ve been going along to try and keep him motivated. I suppose having a goal and keeping each other motivated (plus the $100 per month for both of us to use the gym) has kept us going.

  8. That babysitting deal is pretty sweet! I didn’t realize athletic clubs offered that. I don’t belong to a gym, instead, I work a shift at the desk of my yoga studio (and another shift taking out the studio’s trash) in exchange for free hot yoga classes. We also have a weight bench at home and we hike/bike/walk a lot, so we seem to be OK without a gym. But, I can see why you wanted to join–makes sense to me.

  9. I actually worked out less after joining a gym because I gave myself the excuse that I could go after dinner, or after dark, or whatever. When I am gymless, I exercise while it is light outside. (I live in a much drier climate though!)

    It was a pretty basic gym I joined. Maybe I would be more inspired if it were a “fitness club.” It’s smart to schedule time with friends so you are less likely to bail if you just don’t feel like it. I agree with Petrish – investing in your health is never a waste of money!

  10. I think I know just the gym in the Edmonds!

    Tiffany and I have been plugged into Crossfit for over two years now. Investing in our health, (not to mention the consistency, intensity and camaraderie) have been beneficial in literally every area of life. Pricey, but worth it. Knowing that there those who don’t want to shell out big $ for Crossfit and like the full athletic club experience, I started a workout subscription service called eWODS. Short for “workout of the day”, I’m writing up high intensity workouts for the regular gym goer. Perfect for those on a budget, who want to maximize their gym time and limit the complexity and price of something like Crossfit. We just launched, but I’d love to have you beta test! Already have two guys at Harbor Square on board if you’re interested 🙂

  11. I am fortunate that my employer has a really nice gym I can use over lunch hour. I’m very inconsistent if working out during the work day isn’t an option. Saving the $58 dollars per month at the nearest gym is nice too. (Ymca)

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