How to survive the “January Rush” at the gym

Who else is already frustrated with the crazy crowds at the gym this week? As an instructor, I love it; it’s my time to get people hooked on exercise endorphins, get them to keep coming back to my class and become an all year round gym goer. However, as a member looking to go to the gym to work out, it can be quite frustrating! Don’t get me wrong, I love that people are trying to kick off a new year with taking time for themselves to get healthy, I just wish they would stay for longer than a few months 🙂

With that said, this week I’ve been thinking about how to survive the January Rush at the gym without throwing some elbows. Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that, but I do get aggressive which isn’t good. My first thought was to stop going to the gym on my own during January and pick back up when the crowds have died down, but let’s be real. I can’t stay away from the gym for that long, so here are some tips to get you through the gym rush.

1. Mentally Prepare. Yes, it’s January. Yes, there are going to be twice (if not more) as many people at the gym than the other 11 months of the year, but you just have to deal with it. Going into the gym knowing that you might have to wait for a machine or share a space near the weights makes it much easier than going in there thinking you’re going to jump on a treadmill and then find them all full. That’s really not fun.

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2. Try going at “off” times. So you usually go to the gym after work, but that’s also one of the busiest times at the gym, right? Why don’t you try going before work (tips for getting up and working out before work can be found this post)? Or, try doing something during your lunch break or maybe after dinner. These may not be ideal since they require extra work and planning, but it’s better than skipping the workout all together because you can’t stand the crowds!

3. Sign up in advance! The BSC lets you sign up online, as do a lot of specialty studios (Spin, Barre, Yoga, etc.) and YMCA’s. My YMCA doesn’t, which is annoying, but you can get a ticket before class, so you just have to make sure you get there early enough to get one!

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4. Try out something new. Barre classes, Spin classes, Yoga classes, Pilates classes, etc. Those fancy boutique studios can be pricey, but there are often “first time joiner” deals where you can get a week pass for the same price as 1 class, which is great. Not only does it get you out of your normal routine, it introduces you to a new type of workout that you may actually really like.

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5. Skip the gym and do an at-home workout. If the crowds really bother you, there are so many workouts you can do in the comforts of your own home. I’ve got a bunch to choose from here.

6. When all else fails, put your game face on and be ready to stake your claim on a machine, near the weights or in a class. 😉

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Questions for you: What’s your game plan for the gym during January? Have you tried new workouts because of the crowds? Do you welcome the new comers or get frustrated when they take over the gym?

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9 thoughts on “How to survive the “January Rush” at the gym

  1. playfulpups says:

    I work out at home- ill probably hit up the gym come Feb. To change up my routines a bit. I do use an indoor track nearby if I can’t run outside, but there is usually hardly anyone there.

  2. suzanne gagnon says:

    Hi Nick, Per usual, the cardio room is full when I get there at this time of the year(as much as I dislike the treadmill, I at least want to have access to one!!) Also Jackie’s “Party Bootcamp” was packed this week–good thing everyone is in sync, and going the same direction! By the way, I loved your picture of you being “forceful” about your workout space–so cute! Mom

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