Saturday afternoon I was driving down Route 18 with my wife through East Brunswick. We drove past the Retro Fitness that sits a few hundred feet off the highway. A huge sign was standing on the small patch of grass that separated the road from the parking lot, and on that sign said "$0 Enrollment Fee with 3 Free Months.". An advertisement for Retro Fitness. Not even a quarter mile down the road was a huge billboard about 100 or more feet in the air.
"WoW Now $5 a week!"
Workout World has a sign that towers over the drivers of Route 18 daily with their message loud and clear. $5 a week to join their gym. $5!! What an amazing deal. How can anyone pass that up? You can walk the side of 18 on a daily basis and find $5 in dropped change or aluminum Miller Lite cans and get into the best shape of your life. For $5.
But we all know that is not the way it works out. Why? Why do people fail to get into the best shape of their life when they can get a gym membership for pennies?
"9.99 a month for the 1st 200 people."
$0 Enrollment Fee and 3 months Free."
"$5 a week."
"$89 a YEAR!"
"$10 a month plus free training $0 Enrollment Fee."
Can you see the similarities there? What you don't know is that these prices are marketing tactics to get you to come in, sign up for two years on a monthly EFT basis, and then not want you to come. Over 1000 people probably join these gyms in your local communities. When you go how many people do you see at the BUSIEST time?
How many people in your inner circle, your social circle, or your family do you know that belong to a fitness facility that is dirt cheap like this? How many of those people are in top shape? How many are very healthy people?
For the majority of people in our society these gyms do not work. We sign up for the dirt cheap monthly fee and we don't go. If we do go, we go once a week or whenever the time fits into our schedules. Most of us do not know what we should be doing when we get there also. How many of those gyms with a cheap membership show you what you should be doing? We go in blind without a plan and it is inevitable that we will fail. We sign a one year contract,, go until February, and by that time we are so burned out from not knowing what to do or due to the low cost we just choose to say "fuck it" and no longer go. But we signed a contract! We still get charged for it. "Oh that's ok. It's only $5 a month. No big deal."
Then comes the next year or the next negative emotion of our body and we feel used and cheated. We go back. Again the cycle continues.
Now let's take some of the best fitness companies in the world and let's see what happens there.
Results Fitness in Newhall, CA has two options- BOTH 12 month commitments. The first option is $147/month and the next option is $297/month. This is one of the most profitable gyms in the United States and their fees make people think they're nuts. But no, just the average tire kickers. The people who are serious about getting into shape and living a healthy, active life sign up and more so than not they sign the $297/month deal.
So what happens to the people who sign up for a gym membership that costs as much as the monthly payment for a 2012 Jeep Wrangler?
They go. They go as often as possible. They get a plan and they stick to it. They get the best results they can and in turn sign up for another year and another.. and another and they tell their friends. Even when they are in top notch shape, they still pay top dollar.
Then there is Westside Barbell in Ohio. I have no idea what the membership costs to train there on a monthly basis but I can be certain it's more than $20. What happens to the people who train there?
They become World Record Holders in Powerlifting. They end up with Squat numbers around 1000 pounds. They go every chance they get- No not every chance. They go when they are told to come. Louie might plan for one of his guys to train 3 times a week- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6pm. They go. Something in their schedule comes up? They change their schedule to fit their lifting at 6pm. They don't change their lifting to fit their schedule.
Let's go to Edison and see Zach Even Esh at the Underground Strength Club. Zach has guys there come religiously and on a set schedule. There is even a waiting list to become a member. How much?
$245 a month for 3 months. And those 3 months? They're a trial period. Zach Even Esh puts you on the stand. After your initial 3 months at $245 if Mr. Esh doesn't want you to train at his facility he gets rid of you! At $245 he has people there that want to train and get better that it doesn't even effect his business if he tells you that you need to leave.
Crossfit Gyms all over the country are popping up and they average over $100 a month. With WAITING LISTS! Most are Home Garages! Do you think the people who go there don't get results? Do they decide to let their monthly recurring gym membership collect dust and not use it?
At $100/month I doubt it. Same thing goes for Fit Body Boot Camp's across the country. Most charge $197 a month and they are outdoors or in a gymnastic studio with no equipment. Their time slots are always filled.
These people who pay over $100 a month for their gym memberships are the people who get the best results. They are the people who stick with it relentlessly and make the fastest progress. Why do you think they get those results?
Yes, the cost of the membership is high so that may make them want to "Not waste their money", but... it's because these gyms I listed above are goal oriented and run by professional fitness coaches and trainers.
Those members are paying for training services. They sign up for classes of up to 10 people that are run by Strength Coaches and Fitness trainers. They get personalized programs and are told what they need to do in order to get results. You don't want to listen or follow the program? For $297/month I don't think that is wise, or for $245/month for 3 months with the chance of a "You don't belong here. Have a good day." I would think you'll do as told.
The value of fitness and the options available are your choice. If you want to be a tire kicker and chase the lowest monthly rates go for it. If you have the knowledge to get results and the desire to obtain them by yourself go for it. If you need help and want great results and need that extra push, look into your budget and make room for a $100/month membership. Think about it, you only live your life once. The way you treat your body effects everything else in your life. People spend so much money on their homes or kids education, as well as their vehicles, and they don't care to spend money on their greatest asset.
"The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop."