I still remember my days as a commercial gym PT watching a potential new female member get shown around the gym…
The overly friendly sales person taking them through each of the areas hoping she convince herself this is exactly what she need to finally get motivated again.
‘Here is the cardio section… you can see we have all the machines you’d ever need’
The potential member nods… as if they understand exactly what incline to put the treadmill on already.
‘This is the weights section for resistance training which helps build lean muscle tissue so your metabolism is increased which means….
I can almost see into the mind of the potential member already as she tunes out of the sales persons prepared pitch at this point.
They aren’t thinking about the effect on their metabolism of weights training, their brain goes into overdrive on few more anxiety filled scenarios.
Such as working out next to the muscle-bound male in front of the mirror grunting through his set of curls.
Or perhaps the fit girl in the Lorna Jane’s smashing it out at the squat rack has already made them feel just a little worse about their own fitness level and body.
Or maybe they are just stuck gazing through the plethora of machines wondering what the hell do you even use those for….
But alas, they sit down and get told of how the joining fee is 50% this month and that they’ll work it all out.
So the potential member justifies jumping into it with the old ‘it’s only $15 a week if I don’t even use it’ thought process.
A tiny investment if you do see results, but a rather annoying cost if the keychain is mainly used as an easy way to find your car keys.
We fast forward a few months and where is our lovely new member?
Sadly, 80% of them are in a pretty similar shape to when they started….
The excitement of the first few weeks has been overrun by the boredom of the same cardio equipment.
The member has forgotten how to use those couple of machines the trainer showed them on their first day and now they don’t feel confident giving them another attempt.
And overall, the already lowish confidence of the member has only gone further down as they see this as another failed attempt by ‘them’.
I say them because most people blame themselves.
We think we were just too lazy, too unmotivated, and our life is a bit too hard.
Not realising that the entire model of the commercial gym was what led to this inevitable conclusion.
And I’m going to explain just why that occurs in a second….
But let me give you some perspective first: Commercial gyms only work on the fact that most of their members FAIL.
You heard me right.
In fact, at the gym I used to work at there were almost 3000 ‘members’ (members in inverted commas due to their attendance).
Can you imagine if those 3000 turned up Monday ready to smash their week?
Would probably resemble this…..
So the only way to the gym to be useable is for a large majority of members to not even attend, or at least not regularly enough to see results.
It was pretty eye opening to realise this.
Besides, if commercials gym were the answer, being so available now would mean that almost EVERYONE is in shape.
But sadly again, Australia’s health status is only getting worse.
So why doesn’t the commercial gym deliver on its promises to the woman who just wants to get back into those jeans stuck in the wardrobe?
Let me explain the 3 reasons for you…. and at the end, what to do about it.
- Women often feel uncomfortable
Possibly the biggest reason women start at the gym is because they don’t feel comfortable in their skin anymore…. so working out in an environment that further exacerbates that doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Yet, this is what happens to all too many new female members of these gyms.
You walk past one of the fit girls in the short shorts and can’t help but compare yourself to them.
You already didn’t feel great about yourself, that’s why you are here after all.
So this subconscious comparison just makes your heart plummet as you realise how much you have really let yourself go.
You’re stuck now with wondering what she and others think of you as you go about your workout that’s a quarter as intense as theirs.
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Or you just want to do a few sets of that weights machine you liked but the sweaty male with muscles on muscles is making animal planet type noises on the one next to it.
You again face a cocktail of emotions from inadequacy, self-consciousness, and fear of judgment.
The final option is the group classes that some gyms have.
Which is once again great for those fitter people that have been training for a few months to years, but rarely for a newbie getting back into it.
They tell you just to try it, but 5 minutes into that body attack class your lungs find themselves gasping for precious oxygen.
Because these classes are with large numbers and not tailored to each persons level, the fittest people find them too easy, and the unfit newcomers just try to keep up.
Leaving them left to feel not fit enough and possibly judged by the others in the class (this doesn’t actually happen, no one really cares, but that’s how we feel as humans when we are worst in a group)
So back to the gym floor…. which all results in tentative workouts on your own that aren’t effective or overly enjoyable.
You’ll never get what you want out of it if you feel uncomfortable in the environment.
It’s one of the biggest reasons I founded a women’s only small group training facility so that I could create an environment where women are friends with the person next to them instead of fearing judgment.
- Women often get bored with the workouts
Variety is the spice of life, but when you do find that 1 or 2 pieces of equipment that you do feel semi-comfortable on you find you just want to stick to them.
Same machines, same tempos, the same TV show up on the monitor too….
It works for a few weeks, but we can all see how boredom wins this war.
So you need to do something different (it’s also ideal for your results too, but we’ll get to that soon), but there are a few limiting factors.
If you’ve never been a gym goer then knowing what else to do can be a big hurdle.
You aren’t sure how to use everything or what the best way to go about it is, so you don’t try.
But even if you do know a few other exercises or machines, you have already had to get yourself to the gym, so you generally don’t want to have to think about how to put it all together.
There’s enough on your mind to think about between work, kids, and life, let alone planning an intricate 45-minute workout down to the colour kettlebell to use.
So you end up at this unmotivated state known as boredom… making it easier and easier to find other ‘priorities’ other than getting those workouts in.
Not many people have the willpower to push through the monotony, so the results stop there.
The sad thing is, exercise SHOULD BE FUN.
Just check out the ending of one of our group sessions where we had our ladies doing wheelbarrow races!
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This is what gets you leaving a workout feeling happy and looking forward to the next.
If you have tasted the sense of boredom from the commercial gym world, you’ll know what I mean.
- No one keeps you accountable
Last but not least, a grand lack of accountability means if you do happen to lose a bit of that starting motivation, no one will pull you back in.
Again, if you start up at a gym, you probably aren’t currently a real fitness fanatic.
So it’s still easy for you to find reasons not to make your workouts, or just not eat healthy in conjunction with your exercise, both meaning you don’t see a lot of results.
Without another person committed to helping you stay committed, you can take 2 steps forward then 3 back.
I remember at my old gym we’d get a list of members each month who weren’t attending more than 3 x per month, and we had to call them to try get them back in.
This was just to avoid them canceling mind you… not to see how their results were, their eating habits, or help them through their challenges.
This maximum 1x per month check in (which a lot of gyms don’t even do) didn’t really do much for retention for us.
What most women need who have let themselves go is much closer accountability.
In fact, we sometimes start daily with our most committed clients especially with their eating until they build some rock solid healthy eating habits.
Here’s an example below of what I mean
When you are checking in like this with your health coach, there isn’t much room to hide.
And if a challenge does come up and you slip up, then you have someone there to pull you back in.
This is what really delivers fast and lasting results.
So without the accountability, only the self-motivated will see results.
Which is an important statement, because I’m not saying commercial gyms are bad or useless.
If you are in fact really self-motivated, they are perfect for you.
I just now see from years of experience that 80% of women aren’t.
So there are the problems…. now I promised a solution, didn’t I?
Well, it’s kinda obvious now.
You need a place that you feel comfortable at, that keeps the workouts new to avoid boredom, and keeps you accountable so you see results.
I guess firstly though, you need to want to change and want to see results.
Because if you are happy just having your commercial gym tag collecting dust as you put it off for another time, then no program will work for you.
BUT, if you are serious about this being the last straw and ready to make a change, then that formula above will work.
This is exactly what we do here at The Body Shapers… we provide the environment for success for the woman that knows the standard gym isn’t for them.
A place to be comfortable, be motivated to workout and ultimately see results.
If that’s something you’d like, then we can help.
Simply put your contact details below and one of our team members will happily give you a free call to see if we are a good fit for you.
Just go here to have apply for a chat with one of our team members > http://thebodyshapers.com.au/contact/
The Body Shapers