Fitness Industry Rant #37

Randy sent me this article from The Failing New York Times a while ago. I had so much to rant about, I didn’t even know where to start. I still don’t know where to start, but I don’t want the unfinished blog post sitting in my draft folder any more.

It seems that Randy and I are allergic to making money in the gym industry. I generally feel bad about that, because when I view myself as as a business man, I’m not doing well. But when I view myself as doing the right thing for people (who actually want to be healthy), I know we’re doing the right thing. So I can’t get too sad. I have my software job that makes enough money that I can have a business that doesn’t support my family - and because of that, I’m not doing stupid things just to make money.

This article show the many things that are wrong in the fitness industry: the use of GIS and big data to locate where gyms should go to maximize the attendance of rich white people who you can up-sell. All of the useless or actively bad (e.g., shakes) that they do up-sell to folks. And the technique of getting people to just go to classes rather than programs (my ClassPass rant will be coming up soon too!).

That last one really bothers me. You shouldn’t be picking and choosing your workout each day. Maybe some spinning today? A little Pilates tomorrow? You should be following a program that actually makes you a better person. Random doesn’t cut it! Feeling like you got a good workout (being hot and sweaty) is not the same as getting a good workout (AGT).

Your gym should have a consistent philosophy (I hope you see that we have one) and smart progressive programming to help you reach your goals. Adding yoga and wine tasting is not about your well-being, it’s about making money.

Michael Deskevich