Friday, November 14, 2008

Do You Want A "Bargain" or Do You Want Results?

I've written about this before but considering the phone calls I've received in the last week or so, it obviously needs repeating.

Your el cheapo gym membership is no bargain if you are not getting results.

Call #1 came from a woman who's been faithfully attending her discount gym but seeing no results. She had received no direction and they have no personal trainers.

I designed a program for her. She's been amazed at how much faster and more challenging her workouts are now. Instead of wasting hours on the cardio equipment, she's doing far more productive but shorter workouts.

Call #2 was from a woman who's been attending the same cut rate gym as #1 for a year and a half and isn't happy with her results. There's no one there who can give her knowledgeable advice so she'll be coming in to speak with me.

Previously, I had worked with the husband of a Body & Soul member because his entire "orientation" to his new gym (the same one as above) consisted of some pathetic group machine demonstration.

Yes, it's come to the point where some of these gyms don't even give newbies a basic circuit workout and make sure they're set up with the proper seat positions. People are basically on their own.

As someone who has worked in this field for 13 years and really cares about people getting fit, this kind of "service" really ticks me off. I think most of those new to exercise would expect to get at least a minimal level of instruction when they join a gym. I believe that's reasonable.

On the other hand, I don't cut the same slack to those who are previous exercisers. You should be asking what kind of new member orientation the facility offers.

Will you get an individualized routine? If not, will you get taken through some basic workout that incorporates all the major muscles of the body? If it's a circuit workout, will you be properly set up on each piece of equipment by a knowledgeable staff member? Will you get a workout card listing your exercises, seat positions on machines, starting weights, etc.?

If you base your decision on which gym is the cheapest, don't be surprised if you don't get the results you want.

Now, if you're a fitness junkie who is really knowledgeable about exercise and knows the real experts from the pretty boy/girl just out to make a quick buck, that type of gym may be fine for you. That description, of course, doesn't apply to most people.

So, is the cut-rate gym really a bargain ...

* if you spend hour after hour at the gym when you don't have too? What's more valuable than time?

* if you don't get results?

* if you injure yourself due to lack of instruction?

Remember, you get what you pay for.

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