1) They Don't Want You to Show UpGyms are a lot like the banks. If just half the people came to the bank and withdrew their money the bank would be broken.
Same things with gyms, if half the people or even less showed up to the gym that day, the gym would be shut down for fire-code violations.
They're BANKING on you not showing up, and collecting money from your ETF that's on CONTRACT.
2) ContractsGood luck getting out of them. You can pay out of your contract but they'll end up winning on that as well. They'll do everything they can to make it hard for you.
Not just hard but almost impossible. They'll not answer your phone calls, your emails, your letters, and even literally hide from you in the gym.
One of the most popular moves is you have to send them a signed letter saying you want to leave, hoping that since you're too lazy to use the gym, you'll also be too lazy to write a letter and send it.
Sometimes there's clauses saying you have to show proof of address that you're moving and they might debate you that it's not far enough away, or might not believe the proof of address you sent.
Worst of all, a lot of times they still don't cancel your contract no matter what. Look at Yelp reviews of gyms you're thinking about or currently going to and see how many people are complaining about the gym still charging them despite them supposedly being cancelled.
Protip; Tell them you're going to Yelp review them, BBB review them, etc. and watch how fast they get a hold of you.
3) Sign Up FeesSign Up Fees, Key Card Fees, Membership Fees...They're all MADE UP. Why would you be charged for signing up? Why are you being punished for signing up for a gym?! It makes no sense. Processing fees? What is that?! That's the stupidest thing I ever heard, and...IT WORKS!
Ever notice they can wave fees if you sign up this week, or there's a special this month. Why? If they can charge less or more at a whim, why ever pay more than you have to? They're making it up as they go. Remember roaming fees?
I was hired as a gym manager about 3 months into training, shows you how important that job is. And I could basically make up any number I wanted, the owners wanted it to be higher if possible, but what was most important was locking in those ETF's on contract.
If the members at these gyms knew what everyone else was paying there'd be all kind of fights.
So if you refuse to pay the sign up fee, key-card fee, or even want a lower membership fee you can usually get it. Even the big box gyms like Golds or 24 Hour.
You can definitely get away with this at the smaller boutique gyms, since not only can they make their own rules without their overlords telling them what to do, they really need the memberships since all the big box gyms are driving them out of business.
Gyms have high pressure on either themselves or by their bosses to keep a certain amount of members so if a gym is having bonuses for new members, tell them you want that or you'll leave. Or say you'll leave if you don't get a lower rate because another gym has a better deal. Ask for free training or something like that.
They'll hate you, and you'll be an ass hole, but guess what... it will most likely work because the squeaky wheel get's the grease. They're trying to rip you off, so you might as well do the same.
The smaller boutique gyms are often just as bad or worse than the box gyms with corruption.
4) Personal Trainers
What kind of trainer do you think you're getting when it's an inexperienced trainer, that's willing to get paid almost nothing for a hours of work. I'll tell you what kind, the kind that's not worth the money you're paying. Hell, sometimes the only way I can tell the difference between the the trainer and the client is because is one of them is wearing a shirt that says TRAINER.
Look, I know new trainers need to make a living, but sorry, there's now way I could pay them to train anyone I know. I was good because I'd trained myself and researched from people WAY smarter than me, so I knew how to train clients already.
Anyway, when you get to a gym they'll try to sign you up with a trainer on the biggest package possible, and then settle for the smallest.
Regardless, they'll sign you up with a FREE consultation where the trainer makes a second attempt to sign you up with training. Going for the biggest package first, then settling for whatever you'll sign up for.
During the consult they'll point out all your flaws such as your high body fat, weaknesses, posture, flexibility, and how far you are from your goals and hope that guilt will encourage you to buy an expensive package. Much like your Funeral business.
They taught me at 24 hour to take really big pinches on body fat to make their body fat seem way higher than it was.
They will call you and keep you accountable to show up, not always because they care about you. They only get paid by the gym when you show up, so they want you to show up. Otherwise the gym keeps the money.
5) SupplementsThe reason all the supplements on clothing are in the front of the gym is just like how gum and candy is right at the front of the gas station and grocery store.
When done training clients at 24 they'd force me to walk my clients through the supplement part of the gym and want me to sell them on bull shit supplements like sugary protein bars, wasteful diet pills, pre-workouts that are nothing more than caffeine, and calorie counters like BodyBugs and Fit Bits.
Smaller gyms will try to get you buy stuff like Advocare, Plexus, and other MLM products.
I'll admit I sold some Spark to my clients, for the ones that want caffeine but hate coffee. But they'll try to get you to buy Detoxes and cleanses and crap. But that's another subject all together.
6) Final Thought
I'm not telling to avoid gyms, you just have to be aware of that it's msotly a con game.
Same thing with everything else. Most people are dangerous behind a wheel, but I'm not telling you to never drive.
Notice how many other business I referenced. Banks, Funeral business, convenience stores. they all rip you off and gyms stole from the best.
When it comes to training, there's a lot of things to learn and know to get better. But it's not marketable to know how to warm up your piriformis, or strengthen your rhomboids for better posture. A very, very niche audience.
What's marketable are crazy diet pills, hyped up trainers chanting things to you while focusing on your FAT BURNING ZONE, and other kinds of lies.
So cut the fat out of your life both figuratively and literally when it comes to fitness.