Advantages/disadvantages of selecting the right training path for you

So here we go, the 2nd Tuesday of 2017 and that means another article from myself. I hope you found last weeks checklist useful and that you are starting to tick through all 8 points I mentioned that will really help you out and set you up for a healthy and fit 2017. Don’t worry if you missed out and are only starting back this week. Go read the article here and get yourself going through all 8 steps within the first month of 2017.

1 of the 8 steps I highlighted last week was to “Choose the right path” for your health and fitness goal. What I always recommend here is go down the route that you actually might like and in turn will get more benefit. Fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. If you dig deep enough and find the right path you can turn it into something you truly enjoy and perhaps be the highlight of your day. This could be anything from joining a sports team, signing up for a weekly 5km park run, sourcing a gym to suit your needs, working with a personal trainer or just getting out on the many hiking/walking trails Ireland has to offer.

In this article I am going to to cover the advantages and disadvantages of a few variations of gyms. Ireland now has a vast selection of training facilities from large commercial gyms, small private gyms, personal training studios and so on.The list really is endless to choose from and a lot of people don’t really know what is the best choice for them. So lets break down a few examples and cover what I feel are the benefits and negatives of these places and might just help you out on what option to go for.

Large commercial gyms

These are dotted everywhere across Ireland and its quite normal now to be living within 15 minutes of a large gym chain. Ireland now has a good selection of these gyms from Ben Dunne,Flyefit,Energie fitness,Westwood to name a few and not to forget the many local council gyms in your area.

  • Advantages

Most of these facilities are well kitted out with plenty of equipment and offer a vast amount of free classes along with plenty of other services. Many will offer extras like a pool,sauna and even a jacuzzi if you see that as part of your training regime! Some of these facilities even offer 24 hour entry making it easy for you to head in and train at your own convenience and the cost to sign up isn’t that expensive at all for the person who ends up using it quite regularly. They generally have a large team of staff on hand to cater for the large numbers of members coming through their doors.

  • Disadvantages

With that being said there are a few disadvantages to these types of gyms. With the large numbers coming through the doors this can result in a crowded gym floor at peak times resulting in not being able to hit the workout you had planned. Large numbers can result in overused equipment and some members not really knowing basic gym etiquette. At time you may not get to work with the same trainer in classes or on the gym floor.The same trainer that made your free intro induction may not always be around to check or alter your program.In the busy months of the year it might mean classes being full so you might need to get to that booking system quick. The accountability factor can sometimes go out the window here too as you don’t necessarily have anybody to show up to and at times the workout you promised you do today can be put on the long finger. When signing into these gyms ask about the other costs like a joining fee and take note of the notice period needed when freezing or cancelling your membership.


Private gym/ Personal Trainer

The last 5 years there has been an influx of many small private gyms setting up. The list is really endless and we now have everything from personal training studios, strength and conditioning facilities to even semi private small group training. All these facilities/ services really are quite different but they all offer both advantages/ disadvantages

  • Advantages

Working with a trainer on a 1-1 basis or even in a small group session can offer lots of advantages. Accountability is a major factor meaning you will have someone there to show up to, providing you with plenty of motivation and guidance and not to mention the most valuable benefit of all the knowledge you can get from them which can help you down the road when you want to train by yourself. A good trainer will get to know everything from your lifestyle, your fitness levels and most importantly your goals. They should know then what is best on helping you achieve those goals with time. A lot of these semi private sessions have a good community feel to them and makes it that bit more enjoyable for some people when training with a friend or gym buddy. Another big bonus is that its generally all mapped out for you within 45-60 minutes. The layout of the session is already sorted. With the hectic lifestyles of today’s generation, most people can’t afford to spend too much time in the gym so they need to make the most of the time they have. With a solid training plan, prepared by a trainer, it’s about getting it done and getting in and out of the gym.

  • Disadvantages

Working out with a personal trainer/ small private gym might bring you some disadvantages also. One-on-one personal training can be expensive. Many good trainers will charge between €50-80 per hour. You can join the local, commercial gym for as little as €30 per month. That may sound cheap but is it value for money if you rarely show up and if you do, do you know what you should be doing? Semi-private sessions can cost on average €15-25 per person. It is still pricey but you get most of the same benefits that you’d get with a personal trainer for a fraction of the price. A lot of the time you cant just show up at your own accord to these places. Generally speaking there is a booking system and you need to work with that. This can be good or bad. Good as it might just force you to do it and bad meaning you may not be able to train on the time you want to train on that day off.A lot of these facilities are training facilities and don’t have the fancy trappings that most commercial gyms can offer.For some people they are happy just pottering around the gym finishing off in the sauna and Jacuzzi(staying in their comfort zone) I am a big believer in order to achieve your goals you need to get out of your comfort zone every now and then. When training from these facilities a lot of the time you will find yourself being pushed to your limits. This can be a disadvantage to people but at the same time an advantage to others depending on the individual.


Chip through the 8 points I mentioned in article 1 of 2017 which is highlighted above.Find a path that interests you and something that will give you plenty of enjoyment,drive and motivation towards getting after your goal in 2017.Don’t sign up for a place just because they are under a brand, have the lowest price, best equipment and a huge presence on social media.Try a few different gyms before deciding where you want to train.Find a gym/trainer who is particular about technique, has a good pedigree and has a proven track record of getting results.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s