Dear Lifting Community: It’s Time to Lay Off the New Year’s Resolution Crowd

January 1st, a time for fresh starts and promises of a great new year. This date serves as a pivotal point for anyone who likes a squeaky clean date with a nice big “1” attached to it to start a new habit. In the gym setting, this is a major date for bringing in new folks to begin their fitness journey, or more generally, trying to create a positive workout change.

For the weathered lifter, this time of year can also be a period of frustration, which is my inspiration for writing this article. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think it’s time we lay off the folks making “fitness” based resolutions. And before throwing our arms up, hear me out, and if at the end of this article you still disagree, then we’ll agree to disagree.

Everyone Starts Somewhere

If you have experience in the gym, then I understand the frustration of the influx of new gym attendees. They can get in the way, and use equipment you need, I get that side of the argument. But didn’t you begin somewhere? Didn’t you have a period of time when you stumbled around the gym trying your best to workout, while also not getting in the way, yet be completely oblivious when you actually were still getting in the way?

Honestly, the only difference in most cases between one’s beginner self and fitness resolution folks is the time of year chosen to start. Hell, maybe you were someone with a resolution in the past who ended up getting hooked. Either way, it doesn’t matter. This brings up my point of negativity, why are some so quick to be negative towards those starting now, as opposed to other times of the year?

If it’s only because it’s January 1st, then that’s a bullsh*t excuse to be negative towards someone new in the gym; there’s no right or wrong time to start. And for the negativity spurred because of others getting in the way, that’s equally BS. Globo gyms will always have a constant influx of folks due to their accessibility, cheaper prices (generally), and the more newbie friendly atmosphere. Times like January should be expected when signing up in this setting.

Niche strength sport gyms will see a smaller influx of resolution goers, but for folks who pick a sport specific gym to start, they should be welcomed with open arms. It can add depth within your smaller gym community, which is never a bad thing.

How It Helps Strength Sports Grow

As weathered lifters, shouldn’t we encourage others to stick around in a hobby we’re so passionate about? After all, doing so will hold benefits for multiple reasons. More folks interested in fitness will benefit both gyms and coaches. This can improve gyms by bringing in more business, which can translate to better equipment for everyone. Then on the other hand, it can benefit coaches because it will help them grow professionally by increasing their experience. If you’re in the industry, then I’d feel pretty safe guessing that neither of these aspects bother you, even if some choose to not stick around long-term.

Another benefit that comes from fitness resolution folks is the depth they can add to strength sports. Will every person find a passion for a niche strength sport, no way, but there’s always the possibility that some will, and this can add an increased depth to a sport.

In my opinion, this is similar to the idea of those who could truly excel in something, but never find what it is, or have the opportunity to try it. More folks involved in strength sports will always be a good thing. Weightlifting, powerlifting, functional fitness are all currently growing, and it’s creating better resources, athletes, coaches, gyms, equipment, and knowledge across the board.

Obviously, not every fitness resolution will be stuck to, but that’s to be expected. For the small amount that do and try, I want to challenge you to welcome them. If you have the opportunity make someone feel excited to workout and become involved in your passion, then do it. If you feel frustrated at the gym, stop, breathe, and think back to when you first started. It will only benefit all parties involved. Enough with the negativity.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Feature image from @elleryphotos Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.

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