Here's how to get your sweat on in sweet, sweet peace.
If you're an avid gym-goer, you already know the January influx of resolution-ers can put a major cramp in your exercise schedule. Overcrowding, long waits for equipment, and poor gym etiquette from other visitors can make even the most driven fitness fan want to skip a workout.
Luckily, there's a way to dodge new member rush hour and rediscover your gym zen. We reached out to personal trainers and fitness center staffers to find out the best time to go to the gym, plus their other tips for keeping your exercise game strong despite the crowds.
Get an early start
It's painful to hear, but hitting the gym in the early morning is the most foolproof way to miss hoards of new members. "As much as folks want to start the New Year off right and work out early, most people still come after work and hit the snooze button," says Marc Santa Maria, national group fitness director at Crunch.
So tuck yourself into bed early the night before and be one of the few who actually gets in that morning workout. If you have no choice but to work out at night, Santa Maria suggests going on Thursdays and Fridays, which are generally lower volume days for gyms.
Consider weekends or lunchtime
If you can't swing mornings, try fitting in your workouts on weekends or during a weekday lunch hour when your local gym is less crowded. Even if you can only sacrifice 20 minutes mid-afternoon, you'll get a sweat in and see results, says Ben Lauder-Dykes, a Barry's Bootcamp instructor and personal trainer. "It’s not how much time you spend in the gym, it's how you spend your time," he says. A 20-minute circuit workout, he says, "could be all you need to meet your goals."