Should you join a gym?

Oct 28, 2022

By Coach Fahad.

It goes without saying, but when it comes to achieving your fitness goals, exercise and training play a vital role in the process.

With many ways to exercise and stay fit including at home workouts, sports, going for a jog, joining a gym or the now increasingly popular option of training with a bespoke wellness and personal training facility such as TFF Fitness, which is the right option for you?

If you're reading this, then chances are that you're very serious about getting results with your health and fitness but you've struggled to get results yourself.

And, in this article, I want to compare the bigger gyms to bespoke wellness and personal training studios.

In Leicester, you're spoilt for choice with fitness facilities and it seems there's a new one opening up every week.

In fact, we just heard that a big budget chain is opening their third gym in Leicester next week.

Now, you might think I am going to trash talk them however, that's not the case. I look at other gyms and fitness facilities as allies, rather than enemies.

We're all fighting a common enemy and that's obesity, poor physical health, poor mental health and helping people become better versions of themselves. 

If there's another business doing that, then I can only congratulate them.

But the question remains is, which option is right for you.

Let's discuss the two options:

Larger Gyms, Gym chains and Budget Gyms.

In our industry, we refer to these facilities as Access Only facilities. In other words, whilst they may offer personal training or classes, their main product is to provide individual users with access to equipment in an environment that is conducive to health and fitness.

The benefits of such facilities are that you can have access to a larger range of equipment at a relatively lower point of entry.

These kind of gyms are great if you're looking for a place to train when you have knowledge on how to get the results you're looking for.
They're usually more general with trainers usually offering more general health and fitness coaching. Many larger chains will have entry level coaches working for them - One of the reasons for this is that more experienced and specialist coaches end up opening their own specific facilities or working out of more specialist gyms.

Other than the cost and the facilities, another positive factor could be the convenience. Some gyms offer 24/7 access which could benefit people who have erratic working hours.

From a purely business perspective, larger gyms rely on high volume memberships. Because of this, they are usually oversold (hence why they have cheaper offers when they open). Of course, if all of their members showed up at once, there would be serious implications with health and safety and fire safety, so, these gyms are more reliant on people not showing up and still paying for memberships.

The main drawbacks of larger commercial gyms include getting crowded at peak times, you could feel like a number to them, it can be intimidating for some people who don't like gyms or the regular gym crowd and you may struggle to get results on your own without guidance.

Wellness Studios and Boutique Personal Training facilities.

Smaller Personal Training facilities, wellness boutiques and specialist gyms such as TFF Fitness are quite the opposite.

It's usually the case that the facility will be a smaller, cosier environment than a large, sterile gym. This may or may not be what you're looking for. If you're someone that prefers smaller groups, a more personalised touch and an environment that isn't as intimidating as a large gym, facilities such as TFF are ideal for you.

But, because of the size, you might not get to see every single machine that you'd expect to see in a large gym. Adduction machines and incumbent bikes, for example, take up too much real estate to be deemed a valuable asset but this doesn't mean you won't be getting good workouts.

In fact, with only equipment that is necessary, you're far more likely to get a better result.

Also, since the business model doesn't work on a low cost, high volume, smaller facilities such as TFF, whilst not  the cheapest option, will definitely offer a more hands on, personalised service.

So, instead of being an Access Facility, training studios like TFF are known as coaching facilities. This is because, in order to offer value for money, the coaches are of higher quality and are more likely to help you achieve your results because they will work with you personally throughout every step of the journey.

Also, being small means that even during peak hours, you'll have access to the machines and weights that you'll need for your workout in an environment that isn't uncomfortable, crowded or intimidating.

Are Smaller Gyms Worth It?

Let's do the math here shall we?

But, before we do, we always like to ask the question to people, "Are you getting the results you want from working alone at a larger gym"

If the answer is yes, then great, we're genuinely happy for you and hope you continue to get results at the larger gym.

If the answer is no, then, whilst the initial outlay may be more at a boutique facility, you'll be saving your money in the long run by not wasting time, money, energy and indeed sanity with not seeing results.

But, another way to look at it is to take the cost of personal training at a larger gym and compare that to a smaller facility's entry level program.

For example, if we take the average 24/7 franchise, It's typical for memberships to start at around £24 per month.

The average entry level personal trainer at these facilities would cost you approximately £35 per session.

If you were to do 1 session per week with tha trainer, and we assumed a 4 week month, you would spend £140 per month on a personal training program and an additional £25 on Access bringing your monthly cost to around £165 per month.

Any additional training would probably need to be done by yourself with this plan.

What about working with a small Personal Training company in Leicester like TFF Fitness?

Well, whilst we have a wide range of packages and we can only prescribe the right package if you attend a Free No Sweat Intro, If we take our entry level program, you would be able to train 4 times per week with a coach for less than £165 per month with our entry level program and this is typical for most boutique wellness studios in Leicester.

So, Which Is Right For You?

I believe the answer ultimately boils down to one thing. Do you want to get quicker results by hiring a coach?

I believe that coaching is no longer a luxury afforded to the elite but a necessity for everyone due to the fact that we live busy lives now and don't have the time to waste in figuring the right way to achieve results through research and trial and error. But, if you're able to or are already seeing results working by yourself, the large gym will definitely be better for you.

If not, It would make more sense to work with a specialist coaching company like TFF Fitness.

If you would like to find out how to work with us, feel free to schedule your free No Sweat Intro session by clicking the link

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