Surge at Hamilton gyms awaited

January is the time of year gyms love and our waistlines hate; when festive season excesses catch up with us and New Year resolutions to lose weight are made.

Hamilton gyms are preparing for a rush of new members and the return of familiar faces as people use the new year as an excuse to shed the kilos.

Gym stalwart Garry Mallett, former owner of Les Mills Hamilton, said now was the time when people started to feel the lure of the weight room or yoga studio.

"This is a busy time for gyms because of New Year resolutions," he said. "It's when people sit around and talk with their mates, eating and drinking, and remembering when they were fit.

"And invariably they are at the beach, and wearing lighter clothing, and they start to realise they are not in the greatest shape."

Gyms would "overtly" be marketing themselves to cash in on people looking to join the fitness fold, he said.

"If a gym is any good they will see a rush in late January when everyone is back from holidays, back at work and wanting to get back into things."

Raquel Parkinson is aiming to do what not many others in her 17-year-old age group plan to this year - enter fitness and bodybuilding competitions.

Her New Year resolution was to get back to the gym and train seven days a week.

"I've been to the gym before but I wasn't really that serious about it and just went every now and again but this will be a lot more intense. I'll be on an extremely strict, boring diet and have pretty much no social life but it should be fun and I think it will give me a lot of confidence," she said.

Her father, who used to compete in the same competitions she wants to enter, will be her trainer and "knows what it takes". "I've been a bit slack over Christmas so it's time to get back into it and see how far I can go."

Les Mills Hamilton manager Sheldon MacDonald said he expected a swell in memberships in late January and early February.

"Right now getting in shape will be at the forefront of everyone's mind and once the summer break ends they will start to think about the gym."

City Fitness Te Rapa personal trainer Jaysen Brown said the new year's rush to the gym usually followed a long period of contemplation.

Invariably New Year resolutions come with post-New Year failures, when gym classes are skipped.

Mr Brown says "failure is not an option".

Mr Mallett is more pragmatic though.

"People have to go in with realistic expectations. They need to set their own goals."

Waikato Times