Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fitness Industry?

The fitness industry sucks. I see way too much stupidity and lies working in a gym. It seems to me that the "big box gyms" don't care about you. These gyms are out for one thing, and one thing only.

Your money!

The fitness industry is a billion dollar business because of it.

There's only one problem when you make the investment in your own health, gyms aren't there to assist you in your journey. They could care less.  Even when you walk in to a gym, the tour is just a walk through the gym, show off some of the fancy machines, never fully going into detail, just vague enough that maybe you'll sign up and see what its all about.  Tours could be so much more specific to what the prospect wants.  Oh you want to strength train, here's our weight section.  Interested in personal training, here's some of our trainers at work.  Then there is the problem of not even knowing certain types of equipment.  Trust me, Ive heard tons of it, and some times not even related to what the equipment is used for.  For instance, the TRX is a band used for stretching, which sure it can be used for stretching, but its not a band and its a bodyweight strength training.  SO when sales staff doesn't even know the equipment, it makes it hard to sell. 

They don't care about your health, they don't care whether you reach your goals or not. They probably don't even know what you are looking to accomplish.
Gyms aren't too concerned whether or not you know what to do while you're there.
Gyms are actually counting on you buying your membership and then never showing up again.

The sales people are just that, sales people. They will say anything to get that sale, as they have #'s to hit every day. Usually these people work on commission so its important to get people in the door, signed up, and then out the door. They'll make promises to members that only serve what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.  To them you're just a number, there's no personal, emotional connection.  Its faceless most of the time. 

Once you're signed up, that's it.  Off you go into the "gym world" without any sort of guidance.  It's like a kid in a candy store. "Here are all these toys and machines, go at it, but don't come back to us."

That's one of the main problems, there is no guidance once you step foot in the gym, unless you are willing to take up personal training.  However, that may or may not be a wise choice.  You have no idea what you're getting when you hire a trainer. You could be getting some 18 year old kid who has no idea what he's doing, or getting someone with a masters degree in exercise science. Who knows(insert PT regulation rant).

I cant tell you how many times Ive seen members of a gym doing all sorts of crazy things, crazy exercises, terrible form, dangerous movements, poor movements.  Box jumps because it looks cool, only to realize, one you don't know how to jump, and two you don't know how to land.  So it ends up looking terrible and cringe worthy. 
Or my biggest pet peeve, people doing kettlebell swings like they are just doing front shoulder raises with a lumbar hyper-extension.  Drives me freakin nuts.  No one takes the time to properly learn, they just go out and do.  You know what ends up happening?  Either people get hurt, in which case they stop going to the gym, or they get bored, in which case they stop going to the gym. 

Which brings me to the lack of education that gyms present their members.  It would be super easy to hold seminars, or educational classes so members could learn something.  Bring in a nutritionist, or have one of the trainers hold a class on the benefits of anything related to exercise.  Interval training, foam rolling, stretching, etc.  There limits to what you can teach your members is endless.  Why have them get all their info from Shape magazine, teach them!  An educated member is a good member, and if they learn from you, chances are they will tell other people. 

Then there are all the classes that gyms offer.   Spin, zumba, yoga, etc.  Then there are the "strength" classes where people(95% women) lift 5-8lb weights thinking they are getting stronger.  Sure maybe you will initially due to a neurological adaptation, but eventually you need to lift things heavier than your pocketbook.  So these classes tote benefits that you may not even see because you don't test your body enough.
Then there are the constant "fusion" classes, where they mix anything that could remotely go together, or even things that don't go together.  Like spinning, and doing curls with a weight at the same time.  Mix anything together, call it a fusion and market it like hell.  Boom!! Instant attraction.  Guarantee that the first few classes are stacked, then they fall off till you create the next awesome fusion. 
Or better yet, create a "hula hoop" class or a trampoline class and market the hell out of it.  Sure everyone wants to hula hoop or jump up and down on a trampoline.  But who knows why you're doing it.  Its just something new and fun.  Not that I'm saying having fun in the gym is a bad thing, but it needs to also serve a purpose. 

Gym time should equal fun time, but also be goal oriented.  It shouldn't be a chore, or something you "have" to do.  It should be something you want to do and look forward to doing. 

Are you as tired as I am of this type of gym culture?

I know I am. 

You should be a person, not just another number in the computer.  You should matter.

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