Discover Why Your Gym is Less Crowded this January

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Getting to Gym in the New Year

At the start of a new year, it’s typical to see gyms overflowing with beginners eager to achieve their fitness objectives. But this year, regular gym-goers found their gyms unexpectedly empty.

Some gym enthusiasts rejoiced at the sight of an empty gym, while others turned to social media to question the lack of new year resolution-makers. For those of you wondering “Why are gyms empty at the start of the year?”, several factors may be contributing.

It’s possible that freezing weather and snowstorms nationwide deterred fitness enthusiasts from crowding treadmills and exercise bicycles during the first week of the year. Some expected that by mid-January, gyms would be filled to capacity.

However, by the third week of 2024, individuals online were still curious as to why their local fitness centers weren’t bustling with activity. Is this a sign “Are gyms becoming less popular?” or is there something else going on?

February: The Fitness Month

According to Neal Pire, a certified exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the lack of crowd in January might simply be due to timing. Pire shares that the influx of new members actually tends to increase cumulatively each week.

Contrary to common belief, Pire states that January isn’t the peak month for fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. Instead, February is typically when many people kickstart their fitness regimes. “It is busier, but it’s not yet crazy. It’s gonna get crazy, probably in another two or three weeks,” he predicts.

Setting and Sticking to Fitness Goals

While many people start focusing on their fitness goals in February and can generally stay committed until March, enthusiasm tends to wane from then on. But don’t be disheartened, you can keep up with your fitness objectives for 2024 by setting SMART goals, a well-established goal-setting framework.

Your fitness goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Moreover, Pire advises not to be too strict with yourself if you miss a gym session. He suggests, “If you miss a day, get right back on the track the next week.”

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