Public or Private – What’s Your Choice?
A recent meeting with a prospective client reminded me of why I opened a private fitness studio. I have been weight lifting for almost 35 years now. I learned about working out in the days before chrome dumbbells and fancy machines. The gyms 30 years ago were not glamorous – more like a sweat box with loud, blaring music. You couldn't get more hardcore in those days. For many years I was quite often the only woman in the gym. And I refused to work out in the "womens area" which usually had one old rickety bench and a set of 5 lb dumbbells.
You considered yourself lucky if there was a clean floor and working equipment! So for all the years I trained I was very comfortable in the public realm sweating it out with all the bodybuilders and general fitness buffs.
But one of the issues that always bothered me was how many women attempted to enter the gyms to workout, only to be frustrated after a very short time and leave. Yes, the atmosphere can be overwhelming and very intimidating, especially to those just embarking on a fitness program for the first time. There was usually a "trainer" available to show them around, write up a quick program and then leave them on their own to figure it out. But no one really seemed to care whether they stayed or not. Nobody took an interest in whether they were doing their exercises correctly or even at all.
Making lifestyle changes is, for most people, a huge challenge with many obstacles along the way. It takes commitment on the part of the client, and empathy and support on the trainers working with that client.
This story about a friend's experience is a few years old now. But sadly, not much has changed in our industry with the big box gyms or the assembly line "30 minute workout" programs that are so prevalent today.
"My friend, for the first time had taken an active step toward improving her health. She was excited about embarking on a fitness program and was enthusiastic to get started. A ladies only fitness club was a 5 minute walk from home. This couldn't be more convenient. Upon the first visit, she was greeted with enthusiasm by the owner and staff. She felt encouraged to begin her program and great care was taken to explain how the club worked. She was told they would motivate and support her, even call her at home if she missed a workout! This was exactly what she was looking for. Someone who
cared and who would take the time to teach and motivate. Naturally, she signed up right away. How could she not? It all sounded so great!
So, with hope and expectation of a supportive environment she ventured into the world of strength training. The gym was comprised of a circuit of machines, all hydraulic. There was music playing and you rotated through the circuit in time with the music. She was shown briefly how each machine worked and then left on her own. Being a medical professional, she is very aware of her own limitations due to knee injuries. This was important since the staff were not particularly concerned.
So, as the first two weeks roll by, interest starts to wane as personal attention from the staff is non existent. The owner was frequently sitting at the counter eating, while clients attempted to work out. As my friend lost interest and eventually missed workouts, the promised call to her home if she missed a workout did not occur and so the story repeats itself as it has in so many public gyms before."
That constant stream of women attempting to improve their health, only to be met with indifference from the facility staff, is what prompted me to think there must be a better way. Hence, Victoria Wellness private fitness studio was born. I have always attempted to provide a supportive and motivating environment for all clients, both women and men. Yes, hard work is necessary and sweating does happen, but this can all be done under the watchful eyes of caring and knowledgeable trainers.
If you are thinking of starting a fitness program, first you need to decide. Which is better for you – public or private, caring or indifference? I know which I would prefer.
Till Next Time,