What's Wrong With Corporate Fitness?
David Lloyd, Virgin Active, LA Fitness, Fitness First, Pure Gym, Gym Box, the list of so many gyms goes on. You have a huge range of gyms to go to, mostly chosen by proximity to work or home. There you can go to a mostly well-kept gym with lots of equipment and an army of fitness instructors and personal trainers ready to help you out.
Sounds fantastic doesn't it? Does what it says on the tin? Great! If it works good for you. But have you ever thought of how much money you have to slog out for the privalige? For most you have to pay about £100 a month, for others around £150. And when you want to have personal training, slap on another £50 a week and you are paying out as much as £300 in fitness costs per month! Is it any wonder why obesity is such a killer? Because a fitness-healthy life can seem so expensive.
Of course a fit life doesn't have to be purely to do with gym-access but most will associate getting healthy with going to a gym. I sure did. I was lucky enough to find a gym that was affordable to me, but i never got a personal trainer which i thought was only something for the rich and taught myself.
Now i'm on the other side of that and after working at Virgin Active i can tell you that there is so muchw rong with corporate fitness! the main problem? It's a profit-making business making money out of people who just want to live a healthy life. The pharmecutical compaines make money out of sickness, so too do the fitness industries with unhealthy living. Isn't it funny that most gyms provide Lucozade machines near or on its gym location; a drink filled with sugar which affects your body in a negative way, essentially a one step back for the two steps forward you take in the gym.
For all fitness businesses it's a money making issue. The shareholders don't care about the service you are given in the gym, as long as you keep your membership and keep the money flowing. They will be happy with mediocraty if it keeps the cash cow being milked. And let's face it, as long as your basic needs are met in the gym you won't leave.
That's why i left Virgin Active. It was; much like every other place; a top-down approach where the people who are thought about last are the members, as long as they are paying the bills. The shareholders will make sure a profit is being made, that those they pay are on the lowest wage possible, and the building isn't falling apart.
You should NOT be having to deal with any of this. You should be offered the best competitive rate, using the best well-kept equipment and offered competitive rates in personal training. But that is not the reality. There are smaller gyms which do indeed do this, they offer the best they can, but are squeezed out of the market by either being bought up by the bigger fitness businesses or lose their members to the perception that they get more for their money at a more expensive rate.
Not convinced that you are being fleeced by your gym yet? Think about it this way; how much would you have to pay for to pay for home gym equipment? No, you won't really put a treadmill in your bedroom, you won't have a huge weights rack in your living room and no you won't really put a chest press machine in your bathroom. BUT there are ways you can buy your own equipment that you ACTUALLY use, you can go for a run around the park which is FREE and you can do bodyweight exercises that require a £15 mat and you. There are services out there like TDL FITNESS that will go to your house when you like to help you work-out to an optimum standard in your own house and help you when we are not there.
So instead of paying upwards of £1200 a year to go to a gym that is lifeless, souless and faceless you can spend £500 IN TOTAL for adjustable dumbells, a bench with a barbell rack, a matt, a stability ball, a kettlebell and a cheeky £50 speaker system and NEVER HAVE TO PAY ANY MORE EVER AGAIN.
Don't have any space in your house? Most likely you do have space, you just have to decide what is more important to you, a chair in the middle of your room or a mini gym kit. In a flat worried that whoever is below you would get annoyed with the noise? If you are in the UK you have a legal right to do whatever the hell you want in your house provided you don't cause structural damage to someone else's property.
If you want advice of what kit to get for your house feel free to ask us.
Please have a long think if that £1200 is absolutely necessary for you to get fit and lead a healthy life. If it is welll good luck to you, and whatever job you have i'm sure it helps. If you like 90% of the general public don't have that much disposable income to spend on a gym then seek the cheaper, more effective and more worth-while alternative that is more likely to be a long term option rather than a short term stint in the gym.