Breaking Up With My Gym

Last December I severed ties with the gym that I had been a member of since 2004, and it honestly felt like a bad breakup.  I had been feeling very dissatisfied with the gym ever since ownership and management changed hands in November of 2017. Members had to deal with constant construction and renovation, which meant that some areas would be closed off for extended periods of time. When equipment broke down, the management would leave the machines sitting in a state of disrepair. The management removed great equipment and replaced it with new, yet cheaply made items. I was also quite frustrated when the management decided to remove the prone leg curl machine, citing two different possible reasons:

1. Female members were getting upset about male members staring at their asses, or
2. The wrong machine (a second seated leg curl) was delivered, and the management decided to keep it.

Both explanations are completely lame. If the management was so concerned about men staring at the gluteal regions of the female members, then why would they keep the butt blaster machine? Another reason why the first explanation especially irked me is that the promotional video which constantly plays throughout the gym features a rather mannish Spin instructor who has several closeups featuring her sweat-laden, exposed, muscular decollete. I have always found this footage offensive, and I will always refer to the instructor as Miss Sweaty Boobs. It’s disgusting. And if the wrong machine was in fact delivered, then I would think the company from which they purchased the machine would take responsibility for the mistake and switch out the wrong machine with the correct one. It was bizarre trying to talk to staff members, not unlike speaking to a spineless, lying, cheating lover who can’t get his stories straight.

Another very frustrating thing which occurred was that though I had been paid up through the old owner for membership through 2022, the new owners decided not to honor that, instead telling me that they would be “generous” and honor membership through the end of 2018, provided I paid two “enhancement fees” of $25 each at different intervals during the year to keep the membership active. It didn’t matter that I had paid so much money up front to ensure that my membership would be paid for well in advance.

I honestly feel that NONE of the changes the new owner and management made were beneficial to members. The renovations to the facility are STILL NOT FINISHED! When I inquired about membership renewal, I was told what the monthly rate would be, which made me snicker because it was rather high. In addition, I was told that I would have to pay a $54 activation fee, yet another employee told me this would not be a new membership, but just a renewal. More lies in a toxic relationship were being fed to me. The last straw was when they ran my card for duplicate charges, yet wouldn’t issue a credit for the duplicate charge back to my card.

At that point it was time for me to break up.

I severed ties with the old gym, and signed up with two other gym groups. What’s funny is that the total charges for the two gyms I signed up with are less than the amount I would have paid at the old gym.  How’s that for a toxic relationship where I got stuck paying for a high maintenance partner?

I love the new gyms I work out at, and what’s even better is that both gyms are part of chains, meaning I can go to other locations when I am traveling. I can visit a network of over 400 clubs with one group, and over 80 clubs with the other. That sure beats going to ONE busted up, half-finished gym which only cares about money.

There was one final incident which really upset me, which occurred the day after Christmas. Keep in mind that my membership at the old gym was valid through December 31st, 2018. I went to the gym and worked out, and when I was on my final exercise for the day, the manager approached me and asked me what I was doing there. She stated that she was quite sure that my membership had expired on December 24th. She told me she was going to have to check my account. Fine. When she didn’t return, I knew that she realized her error, and was probably too embarrassed to admit that she was mistaken in her assumption.

Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

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Women’s Health & Fitness: Relationship-Based Solutions For Female Clientele Of Any Age

Please click on this link to read the original blog submission for the month of May in which I was a featured contributor:

http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2a517c301526ee432715a7f55&id=a975e73eed&e=fe80cede46

Many women can often be intimidated by health club or gym environments for a multitude of reasons. Women who don’t have a clue how to use unfamiliar exercise machines may find the experience of navigating through a whole collection of them rather terrifying.

As if that isn’t enough, some women question their ability to perform exercises with the necessary degree of coordination, balance and strength. Other women may hold onto the common misconception that lifting weights will make them extremely muscular and masculine, so they will shy away from free weights and weight machines, opting instead for more aerobic style activities. What is remarkable is that once these women are educated on the importance of regular exercise and proper nutrition, they experience profound health benefits which impact every aspect of their lives.

Gym owners who are willing to make an effort to address the unique concerns of women have a wonderful opportunity to build trust in their female clients, while also potentially increasing revenue by offering classes, training packages, classes, supplements and apparel which are designed for women.

If one-on-one training is offered at your facility, make sure to develop a group of trainers which can motivate female clients and address their unique concerns without making them feel inadequate or overwhelmed. Women also tend to have more questions about how to eat healthy, and often practice chronic caloric restriction which their bodies eventually adapt to, making it more difficult to drop those last few pounds, so it also makes sense to offer nutritional advice or refer female clients out to a dietician or nutritionist who is affiliated with your facility. Once the clients begin to experience physical and mental transformations, they become great cheerleaders for the gyms in which they train.

On a personal note, I am a proponent of weight training and supportive nutrition, especially in older individuals. One of the cruel consequences of aging is that a progressive loss of muscle occurs, beginning as early as one’s 20’s. I explain to clients that resistance training and an increase in protein intake are both critical for combating the insidious deflation of muscle and sagging skin which are the dreaded signs of advancing age.

It is important to make clients aware of the fact that resistance training will increase muscle-fiber diameter and overall strength, as well as naturally boost growth hormone and testosterone levels in the body.

Such hormonal and metabolic boosts can be incredible blessings for a menopausal woman who has been riding the unpredictable and often uncomfortable wave of hormonal decline, which is fraught with hot flashes, mood swings and, insomnia.

Basically, it is never too late to begin strength training!

For more information on age-related muscle loss in older women, please read my feature article in the September 2014 issue of Muscle & Body Magazine.

Gym Etiquette

gymetiquette
Starting today, fitness centers and gyms will be jammed with new members anxious to get into shape in the new year, filled with hope and enthusiasm, while those of us who are regular gym-goers will watch with dread. We will brace ourselves for the new faces, knowing that many them have no clue about gym etiquette. In honor of all gym rats, I am posting this list of guidelines so those of you who are new to the gym environment are alerted to the pet peeves which we harbor.

GYM ETIQUETTE 101:

1. Do not sit on equipment between sets, put your gym bag on a machine you are not using, lean on a machine you are not using, or otherwise hog equipment.
2. Bathe and wear deodorant before coming to the gym. No one wants to smell your stench while working out!
3. Wipe down machines after using them, using a fresh paper towel and sanitizing spray. Do NOT use your sweat-laden towel, sweatshirt or t-shirt.
4. Allow others to work in on equipment. Someone else can knock a set out while you are catching your breath between sets.
5. Do not hit on the ladies while at the gym. This is SO annoying! I have heard just about every pick-up line you can imagine while at the gym.
6. Don’t grunt excessively while training.
7. Don’t make a habit of checking yourself out in the mirror.
8. Don’t drop the weights on the floor. It damages equipment and is extremely irritating to those around you.
9. Re-rack your weights. This is a MAJOR pet peeve with me! If you want to prove that you are a beast by racking eight 45 pound plates on each side of a leg press machine, REMOVE them when you are done! I recently asked someone very nicely to re-rack this same quantity of plates and he pitched a fit, throwing a couple of the plates onto the floor then stomping off.
10. Leave your negative attitude at home. Do not yell, swear, throw things, hit machines or start arguments.
10. Do not wear strong fragrances. People are often allergic to certain scents and can go into asthma attacks from such triggers.
11. Do NOT interrupt people when they are in the middle of a set! I honestly do not know what goes through some people’s minds to believe that it is acceptable to rudely interrupt one’s set to talk to them. Don’t do it!

Gymrulez