When I graduated college in 2003 my mother said "you spent four years in school to work at 24 hour fitness?"
Yes. This is how the world views you when you say you are a "trainer." When you work at places like 24, Golds, LA Fitness, people just assume that this is ONE of your jobs and its a transitional time in your life. Unfortunately most of the time both of those things are true..at least for me and the trainers that I worked with. Paying bills and feeding yourself on a trainers' salary.....probably cutting that pretty close to getting a second job. Its fun and rewarding to help people, and tiring to be begging people to listen to you. You don't want to be working there...because you are too distracted by the other job you have starting in six hours. Most people that attend these gyms don't want to be helped by you the expert worker outer. They want to put on their music and do their own thing. Escape their real life and come to the gym once a week (maybe) on a membership that costs $30 a month. They are happy with it, and don't mess with them. They have hit their fitness goals and are just there to "maintain" and get away from the family. They don't want your expertise and they don't want to pay you. You are not a priority, they are just fine on their own. Which is fine because you are too tired to help them anyway, and are un interested in anything they have to say. You have to make it to the next shift at your other job, and you don't have time for them. That was me. That is what I thought the fitness industry was, and I knew I was in trouble.
Fast forward to 2014 and Travis County Strength. I pay my bills and feed myself by being a COACH to an amazing group. I love it. No longer do I walk around a gym full of people that come weekly or monthly. I am surrounded by an army of women with quads, traps, and huge smiles that I see almost daily. They LOVE working out. They ask me questions, they want to know more. Makes them feel good, alive, awake, confident, and pushes away the anxiety of daily life. These people rarely miss class...they need to be there. They need to start their day with a PR or something that made them re evaluate how fast they can move or how heavy they can lift. TCS clients are part of a community that 100% supports them. We KNOW them and their kids. I know what my girls do for a living, where their kids go to school, what their husbands names are, birthdays, all of it. We workout together, we happy hour all over town, we have dinner, and our dogs play. Yes, they are much more than clients.
There is a need for a place for people to go who put a higher price on their fitness. The highest price? No, definitely not. But more than a once a week elliptical experience. A place to be part of something fun and big! What would you pay for that?
What would you pay for :
- A community of people that you workout with to be supportive and actually have fun when you workout?
- A close knit group that you could message at any point and ask for help...and they would be right there?
- A someone to be truly interested in your goals and YOU enough to care and want you at the gym?
- A body that you don't hate, that you respect, that is less sick, that gets more sleep, better moods, fights off depression.
- Lifting weights daily and having your class yell and scream for your PR's, and give you respect and acknowledgment for the awesomeness that just happened.
So when you are scouring the internets looking for the cheapest gym in Austin ask yourself "what do I want, what am I willing to pay for my fitness?" You might be willing to just go once a week or once a month to another gym where you are a number, and that's OK! That is just what you are willing to pay for your fitness right now, and there is nothing wrong with that .