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At this point in this current pandemic, many people are finding themselves in one of two situations;

  1. You have concerns about returning to your previous gym due to safety concerns
  2. 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.

There’s a ton of different fitness options in our city, and it can be pretty overwhelming trying to find one that works for you. In this post, we’ll break down three main types of fitness facilities you’ll encounter.

We’re not trying to convince you that our gym is the best for every single person. Different people have different needs. We also have a specific type of person we’re looking for, as we detailed in our last post. This is just to help you understand some of the differences in the various facility types.

There are three main groups.

  1. “Globo” gyms 

Think Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym, YMCA or similar. These gyms have low ($10-40) monthly costs. 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. Often times these places will also be open 24/7. The main point to consider here is that you are paying for access to the equipment & facility, nothing more (unless you sign up for additional services). Many of these facilities are part of large national chains, so they offer multiple locations under one membership, which comes in handy for frequent travelers.

Who this is best for:
People who are very self-motivated and don’t require much direction or accountability.
Experienced clients who are confident in their ability to construct their own program, and perform movements safely without oversight.
People who have a crazy schedule and need lots of flexibility, or travel frequently.
People who like to fly solo, and working out is their alone time.

2. “Boot Camps”
Here is where businesses like Orange Theory, Burn Boot Camp, 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.

These gyms offer a good step up in accountability. For most people it’s easier to stay consistent with consistent class times, making friends in classes, and developing some relationship with the staff. This is many people’s first foray into high-intensity interval training, and can have great initial results. 

The main downside we hear is that class sizes are often very large, with limited individual coaching or attention. Most of these facilities do not offer personal training, or individualized nutrition coaching. This can make it challenging for members who are working around injuries, medical conditions, or have more specific goals. Many of these facilities just don’t have the time or expertise to offer more than a cookie-cutter experience. Generally it’s a pretty solid experience, but still a one-size-fits-all situation. 

All in all, these kinds of gyms are super popular and do a good job motivating people to make a change. These are often the “gateway” fitness center that really help people start prioritizing their fitness.

Who this is best for:

People looking for a group fitness experience, in a nicely outfitted facility
People looking for accountability, but not necessarily customization or individual instruction
People without prior injuries/restrictions/medical conditions
People who work a fairly regular 9-5 schedule (as most classes will be during early morning & evenings) 

3. The Boutique Fitness Studio/Wellness center

These facilities generally have the highest price points, starting at around $150/month for basic packages. The three main offerings at these studios are group training, personal training, and nutrition coaching. Generally (but not always) you’ll see smaller class sizes compared to Boot Camps, much more emphasis on individual coaching, and more options to customize the experience for each member.

If injuries are a concern, or the client is recovering from a surgery, membership options may include treatment with a physical therapist or massage therapist. Some facilities have all these professionals under the same roof!

These facilities are consistently shifting more and more towards total health, and not just working out. We’ve seen facilities like this offering things like cooking classes, book clubs, mobility classes, yoga, and more. 

Due to the comprehensive nature of the programs taking place at these facilities, we generally see the highest level of accountability, and consistency with studios like this.  Clients form strong relationships with their coaches, care providers, and fellow members. These relationships keep people accountable even when times are tough…like during a pandemic! 

Who this is best for:

People who value their overall health as a top priority
People with pre-existing injuries, medical conditions, or specific fitness goals
People seeking community & health-conscious friends 
People who need flexibility in scheduling 
People looking for a long-term solution 

Conclusion
At the end of the day, everybody is different. There are people thriving and making huge life changes at all three types of fitness facilities. The best fitness program for you is the one that A) gets you the results you want, and B) you can stick to. If you haven’t found that yet, now is a great time to try! 

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