Since I was a teenager, I have always had a gym membership at one place or another. It seemed to be the only path to getting in shape, so when I would get motivated to lose weight, I would go back to the trusty ole gym. Have I ever lost weight going there though? NOPE! Just wasted a whole lot of money on memberships. 😦 Recently I discovered that I don’t HAVE to join a gym to satisfy my cravings for muscles. Instead, I can hop around to all of the boutique studios in town for 1 price using my StudioHop membership. Why would I want to do that, you say? Here are just some of the reasons I prefer boutique studios over the gym:
- I get personalized attention without having to pay extra for a trainer. I get so much more out of my workouts when the instructor comes along to reposition me in yoga or tells me how to trust my legs in spin class. Yes, it hurts a lot more when I do things correctly, but pain = progress.
- The employees and members at small studios are just friendlier in my experience. They want you to feel included so they welcome you and call you by name. Some even email you after class to see how you feel! You quickly feel accountable to them and want to show up. At gyms, I’ve noticed a sort of “gym sorority” where the women seem a bit repulsed by newbies. Like the “you can’t sit with us” attitude. I feel like I’m encroaching on someone’s territory at the gym instead of feeling like part of the team.
- The lovely smells. The scent in the air is a heavenly lavender or woodsy mint instead of sweaty socks, mildewed towels and teen boy BO covered up in an abundance of chlorine and Lysol.
- No one sits and hogs the machines. At the gym, someone is always just chilling on the weight bench that I want to use. The old, the young, women and men! Never fails. I want to get my workout finished in an hour or less. In studios, classes begin right on time and you do not have to wait for the members who just come to the gym to sit around. Plus I don’t get the best burn when I have to stop and wait for someone to text their boo back with dinner plans.
- No need for embarrassing weight machines on leg day. You know the ones; they are always strategically placed in the middle of the gym where you feel like you’re flashing your vajayjay to the entire world. I just feel really vulnerable and inappropriate on those machines when a man walks by me. I would much rather surround myself with other women who are busy looking at themselves in the mirror to check their form.
- I don’t have to listen to that one guy in the weight room grunting and hollering while he lifts weights. We get it, sir, you can lift a car. I’m just trying to gain enough muscles to carry all of my grocery bags in one trip without injuring myself.
- The cute apparel! Sorry, but you’re not going to see that girl with the fashion blog bopping around town sporting the free YMCA t-shirt. (Right, Hailey?) You may see her wearing the “Meet Me at the Barre” or “I Don’t Sweat, I Sparkle” t-shirt and even though I shouldn’t care, it is more fun to wear the sassy shirts. Life is short; I don’t want to spend it wearing ugly clothes.
- Maybe I am weird, but I actually enjoy challenging my body to do new things. When I am on a treadmill, all I can think about is getting off. And when left to my own devices, I will not push myself. When I take a new class, my mind is focused on forcing my body to move correctly so I am able to let everything else go. It’s a great stress reliever for me.
- Cozy vibes. Boutique studios have a different feel altogether. At most franchise gyms, it’s so bright and open. I like working out and sweating in small, dark spaces. I do not want bright lights shining on me to highlight the gobs of boob sweat my shirt is soaked in.
- Making new friends. When you go to the same classes at the same times each week, you end up making friends with other people in class. You bond over that one instructor who made you do burpees and you both hate her now. 😉 The instructors become your friends too and you end up with a built-in accountability system that motivates you to stick with it.
Ready to try StudioHop yet? If so, you can save 15% off of your first month by using my referral code: efe3B9
***I understand not everyone is going to like or agree with this list post. Also, when you have toddlers you get free childcare at the gym, and I had to take advantage of that for years too. I just want to let everyone know that there are other options besides the typical gym. Variety is the spice of life and when it comes to working out, I need all the spice I can get.***