On the surface, it would appear that the modern gym exists in order to assist its members in achieving the benefits that come from consistently exercising. It also appears that most of those who join these fitness centers and pay monthly dues do so in order to use the equipment and services offered by the center. However, would it surprise you to know that the current trend in America is not to use the gym at all, but rather, to pay for access while not actually using the facility frequently enough to benefit?
Please take a closer look at the business model of the trendiest gyms in your city. What are they doing to assist their members in using their facilities and obtaining the results that their members want, need and deserve? Many of the gyms in my neighborhood advertise, yes actually advertise, that their members can join with “No Commitment.” These centers also publicize, yes publicize, that once someone joins with “No Commitment,” they can also quit whenever they want “Hassle-Free.” Since most human beings seem to have a serious problem with committing to a fitness program and an ugly history of giving up when things get difficult, it would appear that a fitness company making these remarkable guarantees wouldn’t last very long. Does advertising like this inspire confidence that these companies have what it takes to help you reach your goals? Or does it seem like they just want people to join, making another doomed attempt at fitness?
How could a fitness business positioned as described above succeed? Wait… there’s more. Any “Fitness Center” that makes the above promises has also likely discounted membership to their “program” to a rate so low that the average American family would sooner continue to make the insignificant payment for the service they aren’t using than figure out how to cancel the membership.
Fitness companies that are structured this way aren’t doing anything to help anyone achieve results. In fact, they are structured to encourage non-adherence, counting on the failure of their members. In the words of one man I recently spoke to: “If I’m a member there, it doesn’t bother me if I don’t use the gym, it’s only $10 a month!” Don’t forget, when he joined there, he didn’t have to make a commitment, no one made any commitment to him, and he can quit on his fitness any time he wants without any “hassle” from the staff. I doubt anyone will even talk to him about his decision to quit… again. But why should the attempts to help someone who is struggling with fitness be viewed as a “hassle,” especially by the provider of the service? Does a fitness business positioned like this truly believe in the product they sell and their ability to motivate their community to achieve wellness through physical fitness? With a support system set up like this, how likely are their members to succeed?