Training on your own & inactive gym memberships

Would it surprise you to know that most gyms rely on their clients not training regularly? It sounds odd, I know, but it’s true. Gyms make money off memberships. In fact they make almost all their money off memberships. Some money will be made from selling products in the gym and the odd additional class, yes, but that contributes to a very small percentage of the money that they make. 

And what a gym does not do is calculate their total capacity and then stop selling memberships when they reach that number. If every member of every gym all turned up on one particular day then the majority of gyms would not be able to cope, it is that simple. So it is good for them that participation within the first three months of joining a gym drops off by around 75%. What that means is that gyms can still expect the fees from their inactive members, while providing a stellar service for you. 

What I am interested in is this massive drop in numbers. Why do people give up so often? Well obviously there are a huge number of different reasons. Some people lack motivation, some people become bored with the gym and others just can’t find the time. But there is a difference between people who completely give up and terminate their membership to those who keep a membership but choose to remain inactive. If you truly wanted to give up then you would cancel your membership, right? 

So once you get rid of that 75% you are left with a quarter of all gym members who remain active. The most of these train with either a trainer or a training partner. So is there a tendency to give up when you try to go it alone? Let’s make this point first. There are plenty of people who specifically train alone because they prefer it that way. And plenty of people who train alone experience results that are just as great as those who train in groups. 

When it comes to your own physical fitness I think solo training will generally go one of two ways. Either you feel cut off from the gym community and you slip into a state of boredom, which will inevitably hinder your performance, or you become like your own personal trainer and absorb motivation from your own independence. A lot of that is down to individual character. But I don’t believe that some people are just destined to fail if they are left to their own devices. 

Of course if you train alone you will have to motivate yourself. But why should that be so difficult? Training alone doesn’t mean that you cut yourself off from the world. You still talk to people in the gym, you can still be involved in the online gym community and you still have something to offer. That doesn’t go away when you choose to train solo. 

I don’t really know why some people think that to train alone means that they have to come up with all the ideas themselves. Not everyone is an expert. So if you try to do it all alone without any help then I’m not surprised that some people feel that they have to give up. If you aren’t training, eating and living in the right way then you just aren’t going to see the results that you expect. The result of that is a complete drop in motivation and lots of inactivity. 

So if you have a gym membership and you just don’t use it then try to get back into it. The nature of this industry now means that there is so much expert advice available to us all. So even if you packed it in because you couldn’t see results when training alone then don’t believe that is the end. The success stories of people who choose to train on their own are out there. All you need to do is look.

Ollie Lawrence
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