I recently read an interesting article about large gym chains (we colloquially call them GloboGyms) and how their business models are reliant on the fact that, in order to function, they need to have most of their member base NOT show up to their premises.
I know this from first hand experience, having worked in a managerial role for a large British health club chain.
One of the gyms I worked at had 7,000 paying members on their books and every single month, without fail, the membership sales team were expected to sell sell sell and sell more memberships.
At the time that I worked there I was always pretty annoyed that the health club management and the senior management at these companies were typically out of shape and from my perspective, a terrible representation of their business.
Then it hit me…they actually didn’t give a flying horse poo about fitness – it was the business of fitness they were concerned with.
Selling stuff that people actually never need, trying to push unskilled and boring personal training onto people who had more money than sense and, most importantly, creating an image of fitness that has actually nothing to do with fitness.
Fitness is not about women doing cardio classes and men lining up for the incline leg press.
Fitness is not about getting your towel from the reception staff and having a cappuccino in the lounge room after your session with Dave who, incidentally, is doing exactly the same thing he did in your training session with his next client, because he saw it on a YouTube video.
I remember reading a report at this gym that said only 30% of their member base regularly came to the gym. They were concerned that if this number increased it would be a problem because, despite being a very large stand alone building with amazing facilities, during ‘peak’ hours people would be lining up, waiting for equipment. This is a gym that had 25 treadmills, 30 elliptical striders and 25 stationary bikes….
Yet in the same report they wanted to sell more memberships! And they classified ‘regularly’ as once a week or more!
Once a week!!
What a sad state of affairs! When fitness is reduced to doing 45 minutes of cardio once a week.
This reminds me of all the Sunday soccer players I’ve known who play a rough game once a week and still think they are 18 years old. With more time spent at the bar drinking beer after their Sunday game than they ever spent on the football field.
More belly fat and stories of past athletic endeavors that probably didn’t happen than sense.
Prime candidates for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other ‘lifestyle’ causal diseases.
At CrossFit Brit we have the opposite mentality.
I don’t want 7,000 members, most of whom will never step foot in the door after signing up with Linda, the bouncy, happy membership sales girl.
I’ll take a couple of hundred people who actually want to make themselves better humans.
I want every member to actively come as often as possible.
We actively encourage you to do the workout of the day 4-5 times a week. CrossFit as a training methodology recommends a 3 days on, 1 day off approach.
On average 90% of our members come regularly and I classify regularly as 3 times a week.
Once a week is ridiculous.
85% of our members come 4 times a week and we can accommodate plenty more members.
We want to improve your lives and not sell you shit you don’t need.
FACT: You do need a CrossFit Brit, BritStrong T-Shirt though.