You may not realize this but there is a very good chance that your gym wants you to fail!
Think about most of your major purchases, very rarely is the cheapest option the highest quality product. Do you know anyone who has bought the cheapest house or car they could possibly find? Or what about something as simple as a phone, most everyone has a high-end smart phone which is much more expensive compared to a basic flip phone. What’s the difference, they both make calls right? Well, if you have ever used a smart phone you quickly realize that it is a superior product and suddenly the cost of a smart phone is not even a consideration when compared to a standard flip phone because they are not even in the same league.
In fact when we purchase anything that has the possibility to enhance our lives we tend to purchase as much quality as we can afford. The only time we really don’t care about quality is when we buy relativity meaningless items such as wood glue, bleach (any cleaning product for that matter), batteries, and breakfast cereal (not a problem because we don’t eat that garbage anyway). So why – when it comes to health and fitness– which has the power to significantly enhance our life much more than our house, expensive car, $50 t-shirts, and even our precious iPhones–why do so many people choose the cheapest option available?
Let me tell you something that most “cheap” gym owners do not want you to know – they hope you sign up for a membership and then hope to never see you again. Wait, did I just read that right? Unfortunately, you did, and I wish I was lying, but when you look at the business model of these $10 -$24 gyms (I actually saw a sign for a gym that was $8.50 per month the other day!) the amount of members they need to just break even is far more than their facility can support. They are betting their life savings on your laziness, hoping that 80% of their members never walk through the doors, but at only $10 per month they also hope that it is so cheap that you will never cancel because “hey, it is only $10”. Still don’t believe me? Let’s look at some general numbers. The average “cheap gym” is 15,000 square feet and the going rate for commercial real-estate is $1 -$3.50 per square foot. So being ultra conservative let’s assume they are paying $1 per square foot (no way in hell anyone is getting that price btw) and let’s also assume they are charging $10 per-month, at 15,000 square feet the rent alone is $15,000 per month. Divide $15,000/$10 that is 1,500 members just to pay rent!
We haven’t even calculated the $500,000 to 1-million dollars worth of equipment, utilities, insurance, employees, corrupt city government officials, taxes, etc. It is not a far off estimate to assume they need 6,000 members just to pay the bills! These gyms can not even support 6,000 members, hell there max occupancy is probably not much more than 300 people at a time. What would happen if all 6,000 members showed up at one time and demanded a treadmill?
Let’s not forget that when you attend a gym with 6,000+ members you are nothing more than member #3,457, the front desk person doesn’t know you, the trainers (if they even have them) don’t know you, the other members don’t know you and to top it all off these gyms may have thousands of members, but ironically they tend to be a very cold and lonely places. Why would you pay for a membership at a gym where you are just a number and they are literally betting on you rarely, if ever, showing up? And don’t even get me started on pizza night!
The business/fitness model of the gym I own is based on small group classes and we pride ourselves in knowing members by name. We are in the business of results and we are NOT betting on your laziness, we want each and every member to walk through our doors and get their desired results! Personally, I get a little bummed when a member stops coming (for no real reason) for an extended period of time.
Life does happen but we always encourage our members to keep moving forward even if it is 2-steps forward and 1-step back and I feel very bad when a member chooses to take 2-steps forward and 3-steps back. OK no more negative talk, the point being is that our gym is set up to give our members every opportunity to succeed and achieve the body and lifestyle of their dreams! Each class is taught by a professional trainer! When the classes get too big, we add more classes and hire more trainers, and when our membership grows beyond our current location capabilities we will either expand or open another location. We are small for one reason, we care about our members and we truly want our members to become healthy, achieve their fitness goals, and become sexy beasts!
Here is a fun exercise to do – We all know someone who goes to one of these “cheap” gyms. Your exercise is to ask them about their gym experience, most likely the first thing they will say is how cheap it is, the second thing they will tell you (if they even go to the gym anymore) is about how they have lots of treadmills (boring) and non-fitness related amenities such as mouth wash and hair dryers in the bathroom. But the one thing I almost guarantee they will never talk about is RESULTS (isn’t that why we go to gyms in the first place?). You tend to get what you pay for and when you pay for a gym that hopes you never show up, the results are usually few and far between! With 3-months until summer can you really afford to choose the cheapest option available?