Sunday Sweat Talk {January Joiners}

Hello! Time for the second edition of Sunday Sweat Talk. If you missed the first week of my new blog series, check it out here. Otherwise, it’s time to talk!

Sunday Sweat Talk

Let’s talk about…

January Joiners

Ay, ay, AY. Where do I even begin?

We all know that January is the most popular time of year for people to join the gym. It seems like everyone and their mom resolves to lose weight and start a new fitness routine right after the holidays, which is great. The instructor/trainer/healthy living blogger/coach side of me screams YES! I’m psyched that so many people are there. It makes me happy to see people trying to better themselves. I absolutely love the increased energy and vibe in all the group exercise classes. I want to reach out to every single person, tell them to stick with it, and encourage them to keep coming back for more. The problem is, I know they won’t.

This is where I struggle. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I get seriously annoyed with the excessive crowds. I can’t handle people just wandering around, groups just standing around talking, and don’t even get me started on the parking lot. I feel like a gym snob for how frustrated I get when MY favorite elliptical is taken or a newbie is standing in MY spot in class. And God forbid if someone uses MY shower stall at 7:05am. Because I own these things, right?

All the 365 a day gym-goers keep saying things like, “oh just give it three weeks” or “it’s okay, all the January Joiners will all be gone by February.” Which is kind of true. I don’t want to sound mean, and I’m not saying this based on any kind of assumption that the newbies will fail. I’m basing it on my experience working at a gym for seven years now. It just happens. But us usuals? We shouldn’t WANT these people to go away. We should want them to succeed, right!? It’s hard to encourage and inspire without being intimidating, but we need to at least TRY. Imagine being the newcomer, not knowing where to start, and overhearing a conversation among fit Lulu-clad women saying “ugh, I just wish they would all go away.” How’s THAT going to make anyone want to come back for more?

That said, maybe WE are actually part of the the solution to not letting the January Joiners fall off the fitness wagon after a month. People’s motivation certainly has to come from within over anything else, but it could actually be one of us gym rats that keeps someone going all year long. I know it might be hard, but let’s try to smile, say hello, and extend a warm welcome to those who look like they just need a friendly face. The crowds WILL die down, and we know not everyone will stay around, but if our encouragement can help at least a few people stick with it for the long haul, well that’s just awesome.

Here are some related links I stumbled upon this week that may interest you:

Let’s talk about…

My workouts from last week

  • Sunday: 20 minutes of 30/30/30 cardio intervals on the elliptical, legs and shoulder strength supersets, medicine ball ab circuit
  • Monday: Took Lauren‘s 6am spin class
  • Tuesday: Return to Two A Day Tuesday, and it ROCKED. Liz taught a great kickboxing class, and I was on FIRE teaching my Interval class (if I do say so myself). I love the new format I taught and the new moves I did, so I’ll definitely share this one with you guys soon. I was happy to be back to my normal teaching self!
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Taught my 6am class with a similar format as I did on Tuesday
  • Friday: 35 minutes of 60/60/60 cardio intervals on the elliptical, then a quick ab circuit in the weight room
  • Saturday: 25 minutes on the spin bike (did my own mini spin class), chest and back strength supersets, and the same medicine ball ab circuit as Sunday

medicine ball circuit

Let’s talk about…

My workout plan for this week

  • Sunday: Emily’s 20/20/20 class
  • Monday: Not sure yet. I’m on the waitlist for Lauren’s spin class again, so I have my fingers crossed for that.
  • Tuesday: Two A Day Tuesday – taking Liz’s kickboxing and then teaching my Interval class. I’m thinking about doing some timed circuit work this week. Thoughts?
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Teaching my 6am class. Anyone have format requests?
  • Friday: TBD
  • Saturday: TBD – I’m thinking a legs day with Tim

Let’s talk about…

This workout blast from the past

Try this: 40 minutes of H.I.I.T to moderate intervals on the treadmill

Then let me know what you think. πŸ˜‰

Readers, time to talk!

  • Do you welcome the “January Joiners” or do they frustrate you? Are you a January Joiner yourself? Any advice on how to encourage others to stick with it?
  • Have your gyms been super crowded this week? Any tips for navigating the crowds?
  • What about your own workouts? How’d they go this week? What are you working on?
  • Anyone have anything else to share?

Looking forward to hearing from you guys! Hope your weekends wind down nicely today.

28 thoughts on “Sunday Sweat Talk {January Joiners}

  1. Thank you so much for listing my blog above! Very excited and glad you had the time to read and enjoy. πŸ™‚

    1. I am not a gym member as I have my own “recreation center” in my basement. πŸ™‚ I do remember the days of being such a gym member. I do not get annoyed very easily and I do not really make plans of what I am going to do at the gym. I typically make a plan when I get there and only do this b/c I like to be creative. Being creative means, if January Joiners are there, I work around them. Now, when people are doing as you said above and standing and just chatting in the majority of the machines, then I get annoyed. When it is this time, I typically just go at a different time when I know it will be least crowded.
    –Ways to encourage JJ’s: I always say hello and am always polite. I have found that in doing so, individuals of any level who may have questions are not afraid to ask whether it is in regard to the facility or my routine. I love helping others.
    2. As I said, my gym is in my basement. πŸ™‚ Only myself and my wife and we are on completely different schedules–which is sad b/c we like to workout together.
    3. My workouts are progressing. Really looking forward to this low back injury healing, but patience is key! I am trying to stay active though to increase the healing and make it easier once I start full-marathon training. School starts this week, so I get to go swimming!


    • Hey Josh,
      I am jealous of the “recreation” center in your basement! I am slowly and surely building up a nice little home fitness equipment collection, but we don’t have the space in our apartment to have one dedicated spot for all of it yet. Someday!

      Sounds like you are very encouraging and nice for the January crowd — keep that up, and I hope your back feels better soon!


  2. Thanks for including me in this post! I Feel exactly the same way you do, and your point about us gym rats potentially being a cause to push people away is probably very true. It’s hard to not act the way you described in one of your paragraphs (MY spot, MY shower, etc.) when you know the majority of the people won’t last a few months. As an instructor, I try to make people feel welcome and encourage them to stay, but as a gym goer? I could probably use a little work…
    My best workout last week was probably the class at Pure Barre. I am SO SO SO sore today. I love it πŸ™‚


    • You’re welcome! When I read your tips the other day, I thought immediately it would be appropriate to post along with my Sunday Sweat Talk this week. You are spot on with it being easy to be welcoming when wearing the instructor hat, but gym goer? Not so much. Can’t wait to hear about Pure Barre!


  3. I love your perspective on embracing the January goers and trying to encourage them to stay. I know from hearing friends talk that one of the biggest things that keeps them away from the gym is other people-looking at them, judging their abilities, their size, their form-everything. I’ve found that I’m the odd man out when it comes to being the gym rat among my friends, but when I meet other people who start and keep with a fitness regime, the community aspect often does play a huge role. It makes me think of November project, which I recently started attending. It becomes so addictive because of the team atmosphere and unconditional acceptance. I think we all need to work on this.

    I’m coming to your class on Thursday. Do you have any new exercise challenges from Mania or other courses? When Monique came back, she had us doing stuff with towels that left my glutes sore for days. I support any workout that leaves me sore πŸ™‚


    • Hey Dana, yes you are absolutely right! The intimidation factor is a HUGE reason that people shy away from the gym, from the weight room, from classes… whatever it might be. I don’t have enough towels to go around for Thursday, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. See you then!

      P.S. It’s on my bucket list to try The November Project this year!


  4. My gym has been crazy busy for the last two weeks. While I love that these new people are trying to get fit and start the new year with a healthy lifestyle, I too find myself saying “it will die down in February.” But that’s because it will — people drop off. My biggest thing is that I have been seeing some scary stuff in the gym with the newbie. There’s a whole lot of poor form and lack of general fitness knowledge going around. Someone’s going to get hurt. My biggest tip for the January joiners: talk to a personal trainer. A lot of gyms have deals for new members on personal training. Do one session to learn just basic form and safety. I’ve seen some scary “squats” and “deadlifts” this week. Scary.


    • Hi Sarah, I 100% agree with you on the “scary stuff.” I am probably going to write about this in next week’s Sunday Sweat Talk post. There was one day that I almost left because I felt personally responsible as a trainer being in the same room as all the people working out incorrectly. Man flailing on the treadmill, girl about to pull her back out doing glute presses, and SO many incorrect squats and deadlifts. Do you help? Stick to yourself? I don’t know!


  5. I love the new comers because it makes me feel like I know everything about the gym. Watching the weird forms and jerking motions makes it so much more interesting to be at the gym.


  6. Thanks for including our post πŸ™‚

    Yes I can totally get frustrated too sometimes because when I’m in “the zone” I like to think it’s all about me but we all paid our gym dues right πŸ™‚


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