CONSIDERING JOINING A GYM? You Better Consider THIS, First…
Since many people begin their “get in-shape” journey by joining a gym, here’s a few things to know upfront. The Big Chain Gyms: Planet Fitness, Retro Fitness, Anytime Fitness ,Gold’s Gym, etc., have taken-over most local gym markets – probably in your town’s too. The good news: Most mega-gyms actually “do” provide you with an incredibly valuable service. Which is, you get tens-of-thousands of square-feet of the latest and best exercise-equipment money can buy, all for approximately $10-$20 per-month. Some gyms even sweeten the deal with free tanning. As long as you realize that in most cases this is where the “cheap-goodies” end – you’ll be in a better position to not be frustrated or waste money on other not-so-good services.
Rule #1 – A GYM’S JOB IS NOT TO GET YOU IN-SHAPE (HUH!)
You MUST Realize that Gyms are NOT in business to get you in-shape – Gyms ARE in business to SELL MEMBERSHIPS, Period!” Take my word for it, offering ALL that they do for only 10-bucks makes “up-selling” other services and products a huge priority. You would have to be pretty naive to think that the weekly-meetings that take place in most clubs has anything with helping you become more-fit. Instead, it’s an all-out blitz to train and motivate ALL staff to sell, sell, sell! Increasing-revenue is the ONLY meeting-agenda. To offset those low monthly fees the club is constantly brainstorming to create “additional revenue-streams.” i.e. Personal Training, Supplements, Body-Composition Testing, Etc. Most of these services and products fall somewhere between “not-worth-the-money” and “a complete-rip-off”. Are there exception? Yes. Personal Training can “sometimes” be a good value. However, when “unqualified” bobble-headed Barbie the Desk Clerk is taking-on clients for extra spending money, and the gym allows it, could there be a BIGGER rip-off! (The “Bad ones” give ALL Trainers a bad name.)
Rule #2 – DO NOT EXPECT “5-STAR” SERVICE AT MOST BIG CHAIN GYMS.
Let’s be fair and logical; You’re paying $10-$20 per-month for a membership to a high-volume Mega-Gym Chain. It simply does not fit this particular business-model to offer enough floor-staff to cater to your every need (i.e. questions, advice, a “spot”, etc.). Also, the Front-Desk Staff are – more than likely – under 20 years-old and often more concerned with texting, talking on the phone, goofing with other staff, or anything other-than a career as a Desk-Clerk Attendant. I guess you get-what-you-pay-for.
Rule #3 – SOMETIMES “FREE” REALLY DOES MEAN FREE:
“Free” is usually a marketing-strategy used by clubs to get a figurative foot-in-the-door to SELL you something. The freebie that you really should consider is the “Free Introductory Session” with a Personal Trainer. Because the club or Trainer is hoping to turn the Introductory Session into a “sale” (i.e. Personal Training Sessions for a fee), you can usually count on the Trainer to be very attentive as they attempt to “sell themselves.” Therefore, it is a great opportunity to pick-their-brain, ask them questions, get equipment demonstrations, etc. You really can turn this into a very informative session of great “tips” and exercise advice. After the introductory-session, the Personal Trainer will ask you to sign-up for paid-sessions. From there you can decide if you could benefit from their services.
Rule #4 – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
Is it a convenient distance from work or home? It’s much more likely that you’ll “skip-the-gym” if it’s out-of-the-way to get to. Low membership-fees don’t matter much, if you aren’t likely to go regularly.( The Big Chain Gyms LOVE These People!)
Rule #5 – WHAT’S THE CLIENTELE TYPE?
It is generally more comfortable to be among group of people more “like ourselves” than not. Although it’s easy to think it doesn’t matter – it does.
Rule #6 NATIONAL CHAIN? or “HOMETOWN” GYM?
Although NOT always true, you can usually get a more “welcomed” experience from a smaller local-gym. The reason is that the manager is usually the “Owner”. He or she may make customer service a higher priority than a lesser-vested revolving door Manager of a big-chain gym. Philly and Surrounding area Friends, I suggest checking out Main Line Health & Fitness. 5 Star Facility- 5 Star Staff!
Note: These statements are “generally” true. However, there are ALWAYS exceptions. Keep my guidelines in-mind, but use your OWN good judgment to make the best choice for “you”. I am NOT hating on Big Chain Gyms. I am just reporting what I have witnessed being around the gym industry for over ten years & working at the bigger chain gyms.