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What Gyms Really Sell: Unfulfilled Potential

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 197

We can all agree on the fact that having access to tools doesn't guarantee completion of a project. A tool is only as good as the knowledge that drives its implementation. Some tools aren't vastly complicated. The average joe, for instance, doesn't have to invest much time acquiring mastery over a screwdriver. Other tools however, have a learning curve. When it comes to your fitness project the gym, any gym, is a tool with a steep learning curve. The average commercial club is littered with machines of all shapes and sizes. All of these tools aren't going to benefit you in any way if you don't know how to use them. You wouldn't rebuild a car engine by yourself if you're a rookie mechanic right? If you're a rookie fitness enthusiast having a gym membership is only half the battle. You may have access to tools, but you need the driving knowledge. Unfortunately, knowledge is the piece that isn't supplied by gyms.

It's been my long-held suspicion that gyms aren't really in the business of providing fitness. They're in the business of selling an idea. Most people walk into a gym already sold on the idea that a membership will grant them access to fitness. While that's true up to a certain point, having a gym membership isn't a guarantee of anything; except for the monthly fee associated with it. Gyms know this. The person selling you the gym membership knows it. The truth is that most gyms survive off of automated transactions. Let's assume that your monthly gym membership fee is ten dollars. Does the average person really miss ten dollars a month? Not really. Gyms can sustain themselves on customers that will never use the services they pay for. The singular idea that people sell themselves drives an entire industry

Is the current situation with the fitness industry a little deceiving? Possibly. As the saying goes, "You can bring a horse to water..." Gyms are essentially the equine watering hole of proverb. Gyms exist, they are there but they aren't genuinely taken advantage of. One of the prime reasons for this is the overwhelming lack of public knowledge on fitness. Despite all of the publications and scientific studies available, most people don't take the time to educate themselves on the subject of fitness. Gyms never have and never will take responsibility for educating their clients. They foist that responsibility off to the trainers. This is problematic for a number of reasons.

The relationship between gyms and their trainers can vary radically between institutions. Trainers are often put into a sales oriented position. In order to educate and train clients they must sell services. There isn't anything inherently wrong with providing a service for a fee. It does however, turn a lot of potential clients off, thus leading to an uneducated existence at the gym. Lack of knowledge leads to lack of motivation. Lack of motivation inevitably leads to absence from the gym.

Another issue surrounding client education is the trainers themselves. Not all clients will work well with all trainers. It takes all kinds to make a world and not everyone will get along. The personal nature of training is a double edge sword at best. Some clients will have their preferences in training style and personality, while others may have completely different tastes. Suffice it to say that simply having trainers around doesn't instantly pave the way to results. The human factor must be accounted for.

A final issue regarding fitness education is trainer compensation. We've already talked about the sales oriented role that many trainers occupy. What isn't always made clear is that gyms will often treat their trainers as contractors. Think of it as a business within a business. Why is this important to bring up? Because it clearly shows the average gym's disinterest in educating their clientele. The responsibility largely rests on trainers that aren't treated particularly well by the establishment. Does this negate the value in training? Absolutely not. It simply means that many individuals must pay a premium for fitness knowledge. In any case we can safely say that gyms aren't really doing anyone any favors.

What can we arguably conclude about gyms? They provide a service with an enormous gap. Yes, the grant you access to equipment. They do not however provide the education necessary to be successful. What does purchase of a gym membership mean for the average person? Unfulfilled potential.

Andrew Vazquez holds a degree in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Nutrition. He is passionate about educating individuals about their health and wellness. Visit for more information regarding guided training programs. Questions can be sent to

Source: EzineArticles
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