Kaley Bentz loves his job. After earning his bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology at Chico State, he went on and got his master’s in kinesiology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Then, it was straight back to Chico—to be with his wife—and he landed the position of fitness director of Chico Sports Club three years ago. He oversees all the fitness programs at the gym on Cohasset Road (the entrance is on Parmac, by the DMV) and does a little physical training when he can fit it into his busy schedule. Around the first of the year is always a big time at local gyms, what with people trying to make good on their resolutions to get fit, so the CN&R decided to see how they expect the year to go for the physically minded.
Do you usually see more people coming in after New Year’s?
We do. There’s actually a spike around the 15th. They sign up the first week of January—but they don’t come. Around the 15th you start to see a big spike in membership and usage of memberships. It’s amazing the number of people who belong to a club but don’t come.
About how long does that spike usually last?
Until April—March or April. Those who take it seriously end up signing up with a personal trainer to make a long-term commitment, and they stick with it all year.
Do you talk with people about their New Year’s resolutions?
Yes. Everyone who joins the gym at that time gets a free consultation with their membership. So, they sit down with a trainer and talk about medical issues, goals, objectives, etc. At this time especially we talk about making a life change—a lifestyle change—and resolutions play into that.
Is it frustrating to see people give up?
Yes, it’s very frustrating. But to be honest, it’s expected to a certain degree. You don’t expect people to stick with it a whole year—it’s a long time—but that’s what you hope for.
Do you have any advice for people on how to follow through?
The two things that I’ve seen that work the best are that, first off, it’s a mental issue. You have to make a lifestyle change. Don’t add it to what you’re already doing—incorporate it into a whole new lifestyle. Number two, get somebody to come with you. Get a workout buddy. If you don’t have one, try hiring a personal trainer. If you don’t see the results in the first three months, that’s typically why people drop out. Most people who sign up at the club aren’t doing it right—so they’re not seeing the results and they drop out. So, take advantage of the consultation, hire a personal trainer, or get a workout buddy who knows what they’re doing.