As Illinois moves into Phase 3 and 4 of our pandemic recovery, many people are finding themselves in one of two situations:
- You have concerns about returning to your previous gym due to safety, or your gym hasn’t even opened yet.
- You haven’t been exercising and this pandemic has shown you how important it is to start to make your health and fitness a priority.
I’ve owned a gym since 2011, but I’ve been a member at several places before we opened up. There’s a lot out there. I’m going to do my best to explain the various options in hopes of making your return a safe and positive one.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be me telling you why our gym is the best and everyone should go there. It’s not for everyone, nor do we want everyone.
Here are 3 types of gym options/memberships:
Think Planet Fitness, YMCA, Anytime Fitness. These gyms have low ($10-40/mon) “access” fees. They usually involve a lengthy contract and very little help once you join. There are endless rows of cardio equipment and plenty of free weights and machines. Some of these gyms may include large group classes of 20+ members.
If low cost and independence are important to you, this may be a good fit. This style of gym is usually best suited for a very motivated gym-goer who doesn’t require much oversight, help, or accountability. It’s also a good fit for someone who isn’t interested in the social aspect of a gym.
Here is where businesses like Orange Theory and Fit Body Boot Camp land. These gyms will have a higher price point than Globo Gyms ($99-199/mon). They almost always have an initial offer of 2-4 weeks free to help get you in the door.
Some people love this style of gym, and it’s a great fit for them, but it isn’t for everyone. The biggest complaints I hear from people that leave these kinds of places is the classes are too large or there is not enough individual attention towards the member’s needs and goals. Getting started at these facilities is a relatively simple process, and once you’ve joined, you can start jumping into classes immediately.
The main surprise here, to me, is that short of selling their branded supplements, most of these places do not offer any kind of individualized nutrition coaching program.
All in all, these kinds of gyms are super popular and do a good job motivating people to make a change.
THE WELLNESS CENTER
There is a growing trend in fitness to collaborate with other health and fitness professionals in effort to offer more to their clientele. At facilities like these, you may see massage therapists, athletic trainers, nutrition coaches, fitness coaches and more all working together as a team, to best meet the clients needs.
At these facilities (like ours), memberships usually start with a conversation. We need to start with a conversation to learn the client’s needs and goals first. From that discussion, we prescribe the best options to help them reach their goals. This may include one-on-one personal training, individualized nutrition coaching, and/or group classes.
The benefit of a set up like this is that it allows the client to work with a team. The professionals can discuss potential pitfalls and keep open communication to best meet the needs of the individual client.
Facilities like these would likely have monthly rates starting at approximately $150 and going up to $1000+ if they include personal training, nutrition, or other programs.
Depending on the individual and their specific needs, each of these 3 options can be beneficial. The truth is that none of these options work if you don’t show up consistently. The best facilities in the world, with all the top professionals and equipment don’t matter if you’re not willing to show up.