Posted: October 27, 2012 in Fitness

A couple of years ago I wrote a piece called Down the Rabitt Hole which gives a snapshot of the fitness industry.  Those who know me well know I nearly vomited when I wrote the words fitness industry.  I wish fitness wasn’t an “industry”.  I wish we lived in a society that valued health and strength so much that we built it into our everyday lives.  But we don’t.  So we have created an industry to keep us from spilling out of our chairs and onto the road into incoming traffic.

I’m a part of that industry – as you know, I offer a 30 minute workout to clubs who then offer it to their clients.  I’ve been on all sides – I’ve been a gym member, I’ve owned a club, and now I’m a program vendor.  Of the three – being a club owner is the toughest and here’s why: people don’t value their health enough to pay for it.

I have been on the receiving end many times where people try to negotiate a special rate for their special needs.  I can think of few other commercial enterprises where this would happen but we’ve come to accept it in the fitness world.  I’ve learned not to take it personally even though it’s tough to dedicate yourself to the well-being of others and have that be consistently undervalued.  (Oh hello teachers, moms, and nurses!)

I want to be very clear: small independent clubs are not lining their pockets with client’s money.  In fact, most small clubs subsidize the health of the community and will always struggle to make ends meet (see above post for all the reasons why).  The prices that they are advertising are more than fair.

Think of the places that we drop money – fast food, alcohol, clothes we’ll never wear, trinkets for our houses, magazines.  For many of us, the cost of our monthly gym membership falls out of our pocket every month with other purchases that we’ll never think about again. Yet, when financial pressure hits – our gym membership is often the first thing we drop.

So, if your gym is running programs that help you feel fit, strong, and healthy – if you like their location, you like their staff – then financially support them!  It is fair to ask for a short term membership, but then don’t bicker about the price!  Monthly memberships are what keeps gyms alive.  Consistent income is what keeps good trainers working, what keeps innovation going, what buys new equipment and what allow small club owners to sleep at night.

The morale of this post: put your health first and value the businesses that support you!

In health,


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