Gym Induction: What to Expect
The following serves as a list of general procedures involved when joining a gym.
Gyms and health clubs can be excellent resources for initiating and maintaining physical fitness. People join them with a wide range of goals in mind - from weight control to body sculpting to simple health improvement - and start off with varying physical conditions and levels of exercise experience. Because of this, most gyms require an "induction" period, which serves as a guide for both staff and customer alike to enable safe and effective workouts.
General OverviewMost gym inductions take place over a period of several visits. They include the following:
- Medical evaluation
- Technical and procedural orientation
- Planning interview
Medical EvaluationMembers will most likely be requested to complete a medical questionnaire. In some cases, a report of a formal doctor's evaluation may also be required, and would include results of a general physical examination, laboratory tests, and possibly electrical and imaging tests. In addition, trained staff at the gym will take various key measurements during induction, including the following:
- Weight and height (particularly relative to one another)
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate/pulse
- Uncontrolled blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Abnormal shortness of breath
- Chronic dizziness
- Chest pain on mild exertion
- High risk of sudden blood clots (thrombses)
- Seizures (epilepsy)
OrientationOrientations provided by gyms usually include the following three components:
- General: Mapping out locations of services, including restrooms, showers, lockers, water, and more as relevant.
- Health and safety procedures: Includes how to access medical services - including first aid and resuscitation - locations of fire exists, and building-specific risk-avoidance.
- Technical introduction: Instruction of use of the exercise equipment - or other exercise techniques, as relevant - by staff, followed by demonstration by members, who are observed for skill and safety level. If well-organised, the workout involved will begin and end with warm-up and cool-down periods respectively, and the instruction/demonstration phase will be tailored to each member's abilities and goals.
PlanningThe planning interview determines what the reasons are for gym membership, what specific goals may be, and how needs therein can best be met with the services available. Such an interview may include the following:
- Diet history, knowledge, and habits
- Measurements of weight, body mass index, lean body mass, percentage body fat and more, depending on individual conditions
- Specific fitness or health management targets, including steps needed to advance
- Design of an optimal plan that combines key elements to meet individual goals