fitness

'I'm a personal trainer. Here are the 4 signs it’s time to break up with your gym.'

The gym is an intimate environment. It’s seen you at your most vulnerable, sweaty, grunty, pre-dawn, pre-coffee, pre-made-up self. So it’s understandable that you have a personal relationship with a gym and that a breakup can be sad and awkward.

But just like a human relationship, there are signs that show it might be time to break up with your gym. Here are but four of those signs (and whether the relationship can be saved).

While you're here, watch the Mamamia team confess their most embarrassing gym moments. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

You’ve outgrown each other.

Depending on the type of facility you frequent, it might be time to break up with your gym if you have simply outgrown what it offers. This breakup is most common in facilities that offer a single type of specific training. The danger of sticking around is plateauing physically and mentally as you continue to do the same exercise, at the same frequency, at the same intensity day-in-day-out. On a positive break up note, this facility may have built your confidence and broadened your horizons to try other forms of exercise that you never would have dreamed of.

Can this relationship be saved? 

Yes! Communication is the key. Talk to the experts at the facility about your concerns and they will be able to advise you on how to shake up your workouts to give them a new lease on life. However, if you have decided to break up, and the gym has your best interests at heart, it should be a mutual, amicable split, with the door left wide open should you choose to return.

You’re too comfortable.

You’re part of the furniture. You’re on autopilot. You don’t get the same joy or results that you did when you first started. This is a relationship that is getting old.

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On a positive note, you’ve kept up a fitness routine which is half the battle, but since you are so committed, you should reap the results and happy chemicals of your regime!

Can this relationship be saved?

While a full-blown-possessions-burning-on-the-front-lawn break up isn’t necessary right now, a change of scenery for a period of time will rejuvenate your lease on (gym) life.

You’ve moved.

There is a direct correlation between proximity and adherence to your fitness routine. If you’ve moved home or work and your favourite facility is no longer close to either (or on the way to or from), you’re quite frankly on borrowed time. As soon as getting to your favourite class becomes a mild inconvenience, the writing is on the wall.

Can this relationship be saved? 

In the history of my career, regardless of how good your intentions are, I have never seen a long-distance fitness relationship work. My advice is to break up amicably and find a facility that is more convenient.

You’re not ready for a relationship.

You’ve seen exercise. You’ve heard of exercise. There is some research somewhere saying it’s pretty okay for you as an entire being. So the next logical step was signing up for a gym membership. Buuuuut a fortnightly direct debit and a gym key chain do not a gym member (nor meaningful results) make. You. Actually. Have. To. ATTEND. If you’re paying for a gym membership that you’re not using, don’t string them along... you’re not ready for this relationship.

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Can this relationship be saved? 

Absolutely - but it will take some soul searching. Time and motivation to attend the gym don’t magically appear once you’ve received your free drink bottle and backpack for signing up; you need to re-prioritise and make meaningful changes to make it happen. For example, you might need to rethink mid-week catchups in favour of an early night to be up early the next day for a gym session. 

That is, unless your motivation is to be a fitness philanthropist: someone who pays for a gym membership, but never attends ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A final word on (amicable) gym break ups.

Just like there is a respectful way to break up with a person, there is a respectful way to break up with a gym without awkwardness and burning bridges (and being a d*ck about it). Firstly, there are usually conditions around gym membership cancellations, so you do need to understand and honour those – don’t just ghost a business by never showing up ever again and emptying your bank account so you can’t honour your contract. 

Second, it’s a nice touch to provide management or the owner the real reason you are leaving. Most businesses value the feedback to improve operations. 

Finally, if you want to achieve the gold-star standard of breakups (and it’s genuine), leave your facility a positive online review.

Read more from Marie:

Marie has been a fitness industry professional since 2005 and has just pre-launched her book, "12 hours in the life of a fitness professional (because I’m too tired for the other 12)", which will be available in September 2022. You can pre-order  now or you can find her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Instagram @marie_anagnostis.

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