The New Year Rush

It's the start of a new year and the yearly rush of new gym goers is inevitable. The parking lot will be full, there won’t be much room to walk around, and there won’t be much access to weights or equipment. All of this gym traffic is great for the gyms’ business but overcrowded gyms are no fun for the patrons.

Gym goers would love to be able to reasonably access everything they're paying for. The gym itself doesn't care if it’s super busy or not. They just want people to contribute to them monthly. They want nothing more than for thousands of people to sign up and paying monthly dues. They don’t care how many people show up. In fact if everyone with a membership showed up the gym would have to be shut down by the fire marshall.

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No offense to new members but this time of year sucks for people who are committed and go to the gym year round. We're there all year and would rather the new members not even come if they aren't going to seriously commit. If you’re just going through the motions just cause it’s that time of year and everyone is doing the whole “get in shape” thing, please don’t bother.

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Don’t write me off as a selfish jerk just yet, it’s not all about what I want it’s about harmony in your own mind. When you do something that you aren’t ready to commit to it causes more damage than good. If you don’t truly want to workout but you do anyway there is no way you’ll enjoy it. You can only do something you don’t enjoy for so long without quitting, so you’ll end up quitting after a month or so.

If you don’t look or feel the way you want you probably have some level of guilt about it. The gym’s business thrives on that guilt, they rely on you to feel just guilty enough about not being in shape that you don’t cancel your membership. They want you to tell yourself you’ll go tomorrow but never actually go. They collect the fee and you collect no service, win-lose. I want the opposite but if you aren’t ready to stay committed for the long haul I’d rather you not bother.

If you aren’t going to still be in the gym come Valentine's Day I'd appreciate if you didn't come at all. Who am I to talk, nobody really but I am a committed gym goer and I take pride in the gyms I go to. I put stuff back where it belongs and I exhibit proper gym etiquette. The January to mid February people aren't there long enough to learn the intricate unspoken rules that make the gym a peaceful and freeing environment. They don’t take pride in their own goals so there’s no way they’ll learn the lay of the land.

Imagine you buy a new home in a community with an HOA. The common areas are beautiful and well kept. People don't make too much noise and you're able to access all of the amenities. You're getting the full benefits of the HOA so you are able to overlook the annoying rules since your property value is going up cause everyone cares about their investments and respects the environment.

Then some of the members of the HOA start to move out, but they don't sell. Selling would probably raise the value of your purchase since you'd be able to show comparable properties sold since you bought yours. Instead of selling they rent their place out. The people that take their place don't take the same amount of pride in the property since they don't own it so they disregard the rules.  They aren't careful with the property and could care less what they leave laying around. Your property value goes down.

I liken these renters to the January gym crowd, they don’t take time to learn the rules of the place and they don’t take pride in being a part of it. They’re there begrudgingly or out of guilt and we notice so it takes away from our experience. It’s not a good relationship between them and the gym. They take up space in the gym and the gym takes up space in their minds. It would be more harmonious for all if they just waited until they were ready to really go for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I consider my life’s mission to be getting people in shape and helping them be the best they can. I just know that unless you are absolutely ready to make fitness a part of your life forever that it will be an annoying fad that comes and goes. It will add more stress and guilt to your life and you won’t experience the plethora of benefits that come along with working out regularly.

Don't be a renter in the gym, take ownership in it. Rebel against the gym by actually committing whole heartedly and showing up frequently. Learn how to create habits that will keep you in the gym all year so that you’ll better understand my frustration. If you aren’t ready admit it to yourself and don’t go, you’ll be happier that way. If you’re ready we would love to have you in our gyms and I’d love to help you achieve your goals.