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Brits ‘clueless in the gym’, according to Nuffield Health

More than half (55%) of Brits who go to the gym admit they don’t know what they’re doing – and many just copy what someone else is doing, according to research by not-for-profit healthcare provider Nuffield Health. The study, conducted on 2,000 current or former gym goers, also states that 46% of those joining a gym have no specific goal in mind and, of those who do, 74% don’t set a deadline for achieving their goals.

Nuffield Health believes this data will highlight how people can get more value from their investment by getting a personalised evaluation and workout plan, and structure, support and help in setting goals.

Personal trainer and UK ViPR national trainer Stephen Tongue believes in the importance of setting programmes for your clients to do in their own time. He tells FitPro, “The average personal training client spends one hour per week working out with their trainer. This is a relatively low volume of exercise over the course of a week. In fact, it doesn’t even meet the minimum guidelines set out by the World Health Organization.”

He continues, “To make physical progress in the gym it’s essential that additional workouts are completed by clients in their own time, whether this be at their home or in the gym. This is not only important for increasing training volume but it offers other benefits too. Providing clients with programmes to follow regularly allows for development of self-discipline, mastery of training techniques, an understanding of how to monitor workout intensity, an understanding of how to progress and regress movement complexity, and an understanding of workout structuring.

“Long term, all of these factors make the client a more independent exerciser and increase the likelihood of them sustaining a lifelong exercise habit. The benefit of exercise is in the long game after all.”

The Nuffield Health survey also revealed that 18% of gym users admitted to ‘making it up most of the time’, with 23% being too embarrassed to ask for help. Due to a lack of direction, 20% have copied someone else’s workout because that person seemed to know what they were doing or looked good.

What’s your experience? Head over to Twitter @Fitpro_online and let us know your thoughts.

Where next? Check out Three glute activation exercises for runners