- Many members would pay their monthly fee; however, they would not be present at the gym.
- Most female members purposely avoided the dumbbell area due to either lack of confidence in their weightlifting techniques or the uncomfortable feeling of being around fitness buffs and bodybuilders.
- Numerous people would sign up for memberships who were excited and enthusiastic about embarking on a fitness program only to find out that after they signed their annual contract, they were shown only briefly how each machine worked (if that!) and then left on their own. After the first two weeks rolled by, their interest started to deteriorate as personal attention from staff was minimal to non-existent – they would decide to sit at home instead of exercising!
- Staff would turn a blind eye to members working out with improper technique, although they knew it increased their probability of injury.
- Fitness class participants would walk into the gym, keep their heads down and beeline it to the change room because they didn’t feel comfortable walking through the equipment area.
- In large fitness classes, there was very little individual attention given by instructors to help participants perfect their technique to reduce the chance of injury.
- There was a fast turnaround with employees due to the demanding “sales push strategy”, which made it hard for the members to connect to staff and create a sense of community.
- There were little to no options for guidance and support provided to people who could not train at their gym.
- There was a lack of personal growth opportunities for trainers and employees with little to no options to expand their career path. For trainers to provide innovative workshops outside the scope of the gym, they had to navigate through so much corporate red-tape only to find out their proposal was rejected.
These observations (which I perceived to be undesirable) inspired me to provide a place where people would feel welcome and comfortable; where they could have fun; and, where trainers would focus on customized fitness services and accountability. I wanted to create a sense of community so people could support and encourage each other, and possibly even end up in long-term friendships. I wanted to break down the barriers to fitness by creating workshops, events and online programs. I wanted a place that had an emphasis on quality of fitness, not quantity. That is why I ventured out on my own and created a small fitness studio: Inspired by Fitness.
The Difference in Working With a Personal Trainer at Small Fitness Studios vs. Big Box Gyms
At a big box gym, the first important item to address is: how qualified is your trainer? Many of these large facilities are starting points for fitness enthusiasts’ careers; whereas, small fitness studios usually have staff made up of seasoned fitness professionals with a four-year university degree and multiple certifications, and they often travel to attend events and network with other like-minded fitness professionals. Most trainers at big box gyms are underpaid while the gym banks most of the money resulting in low morale.
Second, while big box gyms tend to have more equipment than small fitness studios (and many even offer additional amenities like saunas and swimming pools), many members often find that there are long wait times for equipment and machines during peak hours. Even though small fitness studios have less equipment, a good trainer knows how to work with the equipment available and can create a workout for clients to ensure they meet their fitness goals. Small fitness studios provide private and semi-private personal training sessions without displaying the client to the rest of the members at the studio. This is very important since many clients prefer to keep their fitness journey private. And without other people around, there are less distractions for both the trainer and the client.
And finally, many big box gyms have fitness program protocols they need to strictly follow; whereas, small fitness studios can create and provide customized training programs without “corporate” rules and regulations that hinder the creativity of the trainer.
The Difference in Fitness Classes at Small Fitness Studios vs. Big Box Gyms
Big box gyms tend to have a large number of participants in their group fitness classes, and instructors have a hard time providing individual support to each and every member of the class. Small fitness studios with fewer participants in their classes give the instructor the ability to provide more personal attention to ensure proper technique.
Some big box gyms streamline their classes (which are delivered in an exact order with specific music for each movement in the class). Small fitness studio classes provide creativity, originality and individual uniqueness provided by each instructor since various equipment and music can be used.
Fitness classes at big box gyms are often included in the membership price which provides no accountability to attend the class. At small fitness studios, people tend to schedule their workouts in advance which makes them less likely to skip the class further improving the chances that they will achieve their fitness goals.
Exciting Events That Are Not Offered in Big Box Gyms
At small fitness studios, it is easier to run specialized programs (such as Inspired by Fitness’ “Beginner Boot Camp”, “Learn to Run Clinic” and “Couch to Confident: 12-Week Transformation Program”) because there is no requirement to pass the program through corporate office like a big box gym has to do – decisions can be made quickly.
Small fitness studios are more focused on their members’ success. They can bring in the same revenue as the big box gyms with a fraction of the members since they rely on delivering quality programming to just a small number of people.
As well, small fitness studios usually give support outside of the studio, which is where most people tend to self-destruct. This allows clients to see results and value.
Inspired by Fitness takes pride in providing a supportive and motivating environment for all of our clients. Yes, hard work is necessary and sweating inevitably happens, but this can all be done under the watchful eyes of our caring and knowledgeable trainers. Our small fitness studio is welcoming, encouraging and fun! If you want more quality out of your fitness, sign up for our next session of classes or jump-start your fitness with our personal training sessions.