If you’re reading this it’s likely you have joined at least one big gym and/or a studio. If that’s the case, then you already understand some of the differences, but I wanted to give you an insider’s look since I have worked at and managed both.
There are some behind the scenes differences that are unknown to the general public. If people knew what was said behind closed doors, things would change drastically! You can probably guess where I’m going with this, but hear me out :).
- The first massive difference is the discrepancy between where the value is placed at meetings and trainings.
If you walked into a meeting at a corporate gym, 97% of the meeting would focus on the numbers. I know this from experience and it’s probably the single biggest reason I left a huge gym and started training at a studio in the first place. At training studios, The meetings start out talking about the actual client’s successes and struggles. Then the focused is placed on how we can better solve the struggles and highlight the successes! We do talk about numbers because it is a business, but we understand that we only have a business because of the clients! It’s not because of some fancy machine or amenity in the gym.
2. The second difference is that every client has at least one deep relationship with someone who works at the studio. There are customers that are just “keytag numbers” at big gyms.
This affects the energy of the entire facility. When you have a couple hundred people all feeling supported and focused on results, you can feel it the minute you step in the place! I believe this is why clients and potential clients have told me that “the big gyms just feel so cold”. It’s not the gym or the equipment that contributes to this vibe, but the attitudes of the people inside. And look, I’m not saying big gyms are all bad, they just aren’t for everybody! Yet some people feel like it is their only option. I know I might get in some trouble for this post, but I can’t ignore the reality here.
3. Studios can innovate a lot faster to solve a problem! Big gyms have bureaucracy.
I am not at all saying that studios are perfect. There are always improvements to be made. It’s just that at the big gyms certain problems can take FOREVER TO FIX because the person who has to ask for permission has to ask another person for permission who has to ask another higher up for permission to make a change. The bottom line, it takes forever to get fixed.
4. Studios can go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to get their members results. Big gyms are restricted by “the burdensome rules”.
The bottom line here is that at good studios you can always ask questions and actually get them answered! I’m not talking about account questions, but questions about how to change a lifestyle and maintain those changes. This very well could be the single biggest differentiator between the two. You see it doesn’t matter if you have access to the fanciest equipment and classes in the world if you don’t know how to use them! What most people need is a plan and that doesn’t mean the plan can’t be adapted as you go along…
5. You are much more likely to make quality friendships at a small studio compared to a big gym.
I know there are a lot of people that meet friends at big gyms and large group exercise classes, but they are usually only the most outgoing people. Everybody else tends to be left out of the “fitness cliques” that tend to form in this type of environment. At the right studio for you, you can count on meeting people just like you who may not be super comfortable around all the fitness veterans at the globogyms. On top of that, it’s just a much more welcoming atmosphere at a studio so everyone tends to have their guard down. No one feels like they have to live up to a certain standard to be worthy of the place.
Alright, that’s my rant. As I said before I’ve seen all of this from personal experience and do feel very passionately about it. I’m not saying that my studio is perfect. We are always looking at ways of improving our client’s experience and in turn their results and happiness. Also I should clarify that YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. This isn’t true in 100% of people, but if you pay $40/month you can expect $40/month worth of results unless you are an expert in fitness and nutrition.
If you invest more in yourself, you get more. It’s just that simple. It may even sound a little cheesy, but when you spend more time, energy, and finances on your health, wellness, and happiness you are in a way proving to yourself (and your subconscious) that you are valuable! You are worth so much more than $40/month but you have to prove it to yourself through your actions.
If you are done with the big gym thing (or are simply ready to get moving in the right direction), join our 6 week challenge here: