Thursday, 8 April 2010

Value vs. Motivation at Gyms

Health and fitness is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice for many people, and the options available to train and keep fit are also expanding despite the economic climate. With the different options come different service levels and support from the club in achieving your fitness goals.

Budget clubs such as FitSpace, MiFit, and NuYuu are springing up all around the country, offering no frills memberships from £10 per month, some without joining fees or contract tie-ins. Existing gym goers are being convinced to switch and save money, but new users are also attracted by the low cost. Like budget airlines, the focus is on no frills, so members either need to be self-motivating or purchase classes or personal training sessions. For previous gym goers, this may be OK, but some of the new users will drop out unless properly motivated.

Beyond the chain clubs that most people consider when thinking of joining a gym there are other options in the traditional treadmill/bike/weights gym at prices that will fit most budgets but also offer encouragement and good customer service.

Many student or college gyms have public rates and offer a wide range of classes. The Institute in East Finchley has decent sized gym with a membership called Health Zone which provides a series of pathways to help focus on your goals, and keeps the staff in regular contact with all members. Member Tony says, “I like the monthly healthcheck and program review which makes sure I’m always getting value from my membership, plus the gym is right next to the tube, so it’s very convenient on the journey home from work.”

Personal training studios are also performing well at the moment, largely due to flexible membership options and the interactive nature of the business. “We are now attracting a different class of member with our new studio” says Browne Bailey of =Results on the border of Muswell Hill and Crouch End. “Our second studio is a classroom space for X-bike training, Kettlebells, Yoga, Boxing, and Parent & Baby classes. We put the same focus on our clients’ results as with the personal training studio, and it’s clearly a model that works for our members, as they keep coming back.”

Movers and Shapers in Muswell Hill has the same concept of buying a number of half-hour sessions, but a different environment with its PowerPlate studio. With almost 300 active members, but a maximum class size of 5 people, the staff are keen to help you to achieve and of course, to renew. “We only have a few instructors, but they are all selected for their motivational skills” says Store Manager, Chris Taylor, “We rotate instructors taking classes so that members and staff all get to know each other, and every member has staff interaction on every visit.”

For a totally different kind of workout, try a British Military Fitness (BMF) session. All classes are taken outdoors around the UK (Hampstead Heath and Finsbury Park in North London). With beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions at each meeting, BMF is not just for the super fit, nor is it run by army sergeants screaming at you Full Metal Jacket style. Member Emily says, “I love BMF, everyone gets on well; it is more sociable than a gym, and the instructors always find the perfect balance of pushing everyone’s fitness without humiliating anyone!”

If you’ve tried the gym and lost motivation, need more of a push, or just feel that you’ll drop-out before you begin, there are alternatives out there for you. You can fit your fitness into your budget, but make sure you also get the level of support that you need to achieve your fitness goals.

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