Couch to 5K

Any gym goers here??

I have just found out that our local Police and Citizens Youth Club gym has a deal for "seniors" - $170 AUD/82 GBP for full use of the gym ( 9AM -2PM) for 12 months.

I went and had a look at it today - and it is BIG with heaps of equipment. I obviously don't need any more cardio ( treadmill/bikes/etc) - but I would like to do some weights. However, a bit like people here are often hesitant to go to Parkrun for the first time, I am not sure about the gym. I have been to gyms before on cruise ships - they seem to be a rather solitary affair with people pumping iron /doing their own thing . Didn't look especially "friendly" . They also have additional "classes" - but they seem to be mostly cardio stuff.

Any thoughts?? Do I even need it??

6 Replies

I come from a gym back ground, weights was my thing. I was a budding bodybuilder when I was in my twenties. I know in this country when you join a gym you have to have an induction to use the machines. This is a great time to talk over what you want from you gym membership. A good gym should have someone available to point you in the direction of the muscles you want to build and how to do that. I would suggest a good all over every muscle group workout to start off with though, so you can tone yourself up evenly. Such as working chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs and abs. Each machine or free weights have specific movements. Also have a look to see if in the classes they have any stretching ones tucked away. As with anything it's nerve racking at first, some people are solitary but the more you go usually the friendly people get. I think on cruise ships not everyone invests the time it's just in and out.


I belonged to a small local gym for 6 months over the winter a couple of years ago. It's where I started the whole, get fit, lose weight journey.

Free weights and/or weighted machines (do they have a proper name?) are a great addition to the whole fitness thing. Go for a trial visit. Then, as rfc has said, have an induction and get someone to work you out a programme and show you how to use the equipment properly so you don't injure yourself.

I miss the gym, but can't afford it here - £30 a month, as there's only one near me. Definitely toned up parts of me that running doesn't...

Go for it!


LIKE rfc , I come from a gym background... ( over 20 plus years argh!!) and I agree with them.. any GOOD gym will a. often offer you a ' trial' period for you to try before you buy.. and b. absolutely HAVE to give you an assessment, find out what your needs/wants are and then give you a ' programme ' to work on.. If they dont do that.. they aren't worth ANY sort of money.. ( even reduced amounts)

TOO many gyms are full of people who think they ' know it all' .. getting proper instruction on form and technique in using weights is as ( if not more) important as it is in running..


Doing strength exercises would be really good. As mentioned there should be some kind of intro where you can ask questions about the kit and about your aims. In the gym I use there is no intro we have to hire a PT, and I'm building up courage to do just that.

Machines or better free weights are the thing to do, but you have to learn to do them properly either through the web, PT or maybe through friends. For the first few months a full body workout would be the thing to do, and include squats and lunges to keep Rignold happy.

It's one thing going into a gym to run, but another entirely to go into the weights room. I guess that once you get started it'll be fine, and the people will be as friendly as any crowd, but I for one find it really intimidating. At least we have a chance we can probably run further than most of them :)


Like RFC I was a body builder in my 20s, figure class not the muscly one.... you really can make your body what you want it to be, I wanted a bit more up top and a smaller bum and calves! Got 'em all with a bit of work, and have kept the same basic shape since. Just tell the staff what you want and be prepared to go back to them for a new programme if you fell it isn't quite doing it for you. I'd say you'd get a lot of use out of a membership, especially when it's too hot to run.


I've always been a gym user since my 20's and love the way your body can change shape quite quickly when using weights. I can't add to the advice above but make sure you tell the instructor you're a runner and they'll give you the right advice and tell you the best weights/machines to use. Free weights are more effective than the machines but combine them and you'll be covering everything.

There are also other pieces of equipment like the foam roller (!) and wobble board which is great for improving your balance, essential for a runner. Just ask an instructor how to use it properly.

The rowing machine/ cross trainer/ bikes are all great complements for running so you really are spoiled for choice!


You may also like...