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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample answer about going to the gym/exercise/the best way to stay fit from the general training test.

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General training and academic IELTS are almost identical for writing task 2. The types of questions are the same. The structure is the same. All the tips are the same.

The only difference is in the topics. Academic IELTS has more formal, academic topics and general training has more conversational, everyday life topics.

But the topics aren’t vastly different and most students would score the same with a general training or academic IELTS essay.

IELTS General Training – Gym/Exercise

This question is straightforward and simple but there are a couple of areas to be careful about.

Many feel that going to the gym is the best way to stay fit. Others think there are more effective methods.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real past IELTS tests (General Training)

The only areas that students might mess up on this are:

Firstly, you must discuss both views. One paragraph about why going to the gym is a good way to stay fit. Another paragraph about a better way to stay fit. Simple – both views!

Secondly, you must give and overall opinion. You can’t sit in the middle and say that both methods are effective.

Choose one method that is overall most effective.

Finally, many students will try to list a number of different ways to stay fit. Don’t do this because it is harder to fully develop your main ideas.

Stick to 1 or maximum 2 main ideas per paragraph.

Read on to see how I handled it!

You can also read some of my other sample answers here.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Gym/Exercise (General Training)

Many feel that going to the gym is the best way to stay fit. Others think there are more effective methods.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real past IELTS tests (General Training)

A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardivascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

Word Count: 307

Analysis

1. A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. 2. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

  1. This is the first sentence of the essay and should simply and quickly paraphrase the overall topic.
  2. The second sentence of your introduction should include your overall opinion. You don’t have to include your main ideas (I do), but it can help your cohesion & coherence score a bit.

1. Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. 2. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardiovascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). 3. Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. 4. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. 5. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that contains the topic (going to the gym) and my main idea (clear health benefits). Stick to one main idea so that you can support it fully.
  2. The next sentence explains my main idea by detailing the two main groups of people who exercise at gyms.
  3. My third sentence further develops this idea with specific detail. You paragraphs are all about developing your main idea.
  4. The fourth sentence also develops my main idea by focusing on weight-lifting.
  5. The last sentence summarises my paragraph and it is not as important as the other sentences.

1. Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. 2. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. 3. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. 4. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. 5. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. 6. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

  1. The first sentence here is also a topic sentence – again, focus on one simple main idea!
  2. My second sentence begins a counter-example.
  3. The third sentence finishes developing my counter-example and sets up the next example.
  4. My fourth sentence transitions to my main idea again.
  5. The fifth sentence develops my main idea with a specific example.
  6. My last sentence also develops my main idea. Develop as much as possible!

1. To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. 2. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

  1. The first part of my conclusion summarises my overall opinion and the main reason for it.
  2. My last sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners will require for band 7+ for task achievement.

Vocabulary

Read the vocabulary and bold and try to think of a synonym/definition for each term.

A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardiovascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

Answers

stay in shape: keep fit

regularly: usually

effective methods: good way to

readily admit: freely concede

self-evident: obvious

stay fit: be in good shape

swear by: are devoted to/believe in

point out: argue

bulk of research: most of the research

broadly: generally

divided into: split into

cardiovascular: related to the heart

weight-lifting: using weights to build muscle

partaking: take part in

cardio: short for cardivascular exercise

increase circulation: more efficiently pump blood through your body

strengthen: make stronger

reduce risks: less potential danger

heart disease: heart related illnesses

scientifically supported method: proven to be effective by science

bone density deterioration: losing bone mass

reasonable person: normal person

doubt: question

vast anecdotal: lots of personal accounts

aforementioned: mentioned before

signing up: joining

notoriously fickle commitment: famously lacking staying power

give up: quit

contrast that with: compare that with

picks up: starts to do

large portion: lots of

deep into old age: when you’re very old

lifelong habits: routines you do your whole life

greater overall impact: more effect

indisputable: unquestionable

gym-goers: people who go to the gym

experiment: try

in the hopes: wanting/hoping to

lifelong passion: interested in your whole life

Pronunciation

steɪ ɪn ʃeɪp 
ˈrɛgjʊləli 
ɪˈfɛktɪv ˈmɛθədz
ˈrɛdɪli ədˈmɪt 
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdənt
steɪ fɪt 
sweə baɪ 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
bʌlk ɒv rɪˈsɜːʧ 
ˈbrɔːdli
dɪˈvaɪdɪd ˈɪntuː 
ˌkɑːdɪəʊˈvæskjʊlə 
weɪt-ˈlɪftɪŋ 
pɑːˈteɪkɪŋ 
ˈkɑːdɪəʊ 
ˈɪnkriːs ˌsɜːkjʊˈleɪʃən 
ˈstrɛŋθən 
rɪˈdjuːs rɪsks 
hɑːt dɪˈziːz 
ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk(ə)li səˈpɔːtɪd ˈmɛθəd 
bəʊn ˈdɛnsɪti dɪˌtɪərɪəˈreɪʃən
ˈriːznəbl ˈpɜːsn 
daʊt 
vɑːst ˌænɪkˈdəʊt(ə)l 
əˌfɔːˈmɛnʃənd 
ˈsaɪnɪŋ ʌp 
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli ˈfɪkl kəˈmɪtmənt
gɪv ʌp
ˈkɒntrɑːst ðæt wɪð 
pɪks ʌp 
lɑːʤ ˈpɔːʃən 
diːp ˈɪntuː əʊld eɪʤ
ˈlaɪflɒŋ ˈhæbɪts 
ˈgreɪtər ˈəʊvərɔːlˈɪmpækt 
ˌɪndɪsˈpjuːtəbl 
ʤɪm-ˈgəʊəz
ɪksˈpɛrɪmənt 
ɪn ðə həʊps 
ˈlaɪflɒŋ ˈpæʃən

Listen and repeat:

Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

A lot of people feel the best way to ______________ is to ______________ go to the gym while others think there are more ______________ . Although I would ______________ that the health benefits of gyms are ______________ , the best way to ______________ over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who ______________ gyms often ______________ the ______________ on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can ______________ be ______________ those doing ______________ exercise and ______________ (or ______________ in both). ______________ workouts have been proven in various studies to ______________ , ______________ the heart muscles and ______________ of ______________ later in life. Weight-lifting is also a ______________ of combating ______________ , especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No ______________ would ______________ both the ______________ and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the ______________ advantages, it is far more motivating to ______________ an organised activity. ______________ for a gym membership is a ______________. Most people go for a few months and ______________ , never to return again. ______________ participation in sports and other activities. Someone who ______________ tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a ______________ of their life, possibly ______________ . Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become ______________ and therefore have a ______________ on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has ______________ benefits but it is not motivating enough to become ______________ for most ______________ . Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to ______________ with a wide range of activities ______________ that they can develop a ______________ for one of them.

Listen and check your answers:

Related Video

When you watch this video you can try to review any similar vocabulary from my answer above or use these ideas to practice listening with or without subtitles.

Related Article

Try some of these ideas to improve your reading skills with the link below:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise

Comment your own writing below for some feedback from me! (Or comment any questions that you have…)


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