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Mancunians admit to being ‘clueless’ about what they’re doing in the gym

Over half of gym-going Mancunians (54%) admit they don’t know what they’re doing at the gym, and many just copy what someone else is doing, according to new research out today from Nuffield Health.


This new research provides an insight into why people can quickly lose momentum and renege on their New Year’s resolutions.  Over half (51%) of those joining a gym have no specific goal in mind and, of those that do, over two thirds (68%) don’t set a deadline for achieving their goals.


With New Year gym visits set to peak this week, Nuffield Health conducted the study among current or past gym goers to highlight how people can get more value from their investment by getting a personalised evaluation and workout plan, providing structure, support, and help in setting goals.


Helen Skelton – TV presenter, mother-of-two and fitness enthusiast is helping Nuffield Health raise awareness of the importance of a personalised approach to fitness said; “Wellbeing is so personal so it just makes sense that everyone needs a plan that is built around them and their needs.  Copying someone else’s workout in the gym is not only likely to prove ineffective as it hasn’t been tailored to you, but it could also result in injury.”


Helen continues: “You can waste time in the gym, or you can use it wisely. Every person’s body is different, so will respond to exercise in slightly different ways. A Health MOT can help identify the best exercises and frequency to help people reach realistic and achievable goals. Without this, people can not only waste time and money, but also lose motivation.”


Gym users in Manchester also admitted to “making it up most of the time” (16%) and feeling “largely clueless” (16%) about how they should be working out, with almost a quarter (23%) being too embarrassed to ask for help. The lack of direction is such that a quarter of gym users (24%) have even followed someone else’s workout because that person seemed to know what they were doing or looked good physically.

People surveyed also demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of the key measures that can be used to personalise a more effective workout plan with almost seven out of 10 (69%) not knowing their body mass index (BMI) and over seven out of 10 (77%) not knowing their resting heart rate.  To track progress, body fat percentage can be a useful indicator, but 9 in 10 (90%) of those surveyed did not know this figure either.


Members of the not-for-profit fitness and wellbeing gyms located at Manchester Printworks and Didsbury receive a free Health MOT, which includes looking at resting heart rate, aerobic fitness, blood pressure, cholesterol, waist to hip ratio, existing injuries and sleep levels among other indicators, all of which can be used to plan a bespoke fitness programme based on a person’s goals. Progress is measured and workouts reviewed at quarterly follow-up Health MOTs.


Simon Tillott, manager of the Nuffield Health gym at Manchester Printworks, said, “It’s not surprising that many people in Manchester rush into gym memberships in the New Year, when motivation is at a high.  However, we find that when our members have a clear idea of what they’re setting out to achieve and a plan of how they’re going to get there, they’re much more likely to stick to a routine for longer and really see the results.  Our personal trainers will make sure the fitness plan is realistic for the individual at that time and recommend reviewing and refreshing it every three months.  Whether people are training for a sporting event later in the year, or just want to tone up after Christmas, a personalised plan can get you to where you want to be.”


Nuffield Health is offering a free 1-day trial of its Manchester gyms. Visit the link here to download a voucher.


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