Creating Community In Our Gym
I was talking with a couple of my clients today about gyms and how things have already changed because of COVID and how they will continue to change.
The main point of our discussion was how we enjoyed working out with people with similar gym interests and personalities. There were 3 of us working out in the gym together and none of us had headphones in like you see when you go to big box gyms nowadays. We are all talking and engaged with each other throughout or workouts. We were showing each other different exercises and they found a new one from an Olympic weight lifter with a kettlebell which really tested your grip strength.
Anyway, the point is I think people are shifting to wanting a more personal workout experience. Kind of the opposite of big box gyms. I think we will see a greater shift to small box and boutique style gyms moving forward.
I think that for multiple reasons. First, in your typical big box gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, or Vasa there are just so many people in there at all times. Now, with social distancing guidelines and people wanting to avoid big crowds I think that will deter some people. Also, in those types of gyms there is a lot of judgement going on and when you are someone that may be not comfortable working out around strangers or self conscious about working out alone then these places are going to be difficult to workout in.
Second, motivation. It is much harder for an individual to workout alone or even go in and follow their own workout regimen. Speaking as a fitness professional it is very challenging to get motivated to go workout each and every day. I have to set specific goals in mind a few weeks or a month out to keep me on track. So, for individuals where fitness isn’t their passion and profession then it makes it that much harder. I think people respond better to going in for classes or having a specific regimen to follow.
Third, results. I think people see a much greater result from working out in small box and boutique gyms. Where you can get individualized attention from staff and trainers. Unlike in big box gyms where you are just a number and they don’t care whether you show up again after you sign up with them. Small box gyms know and care about their members for the most part. There are exceptions to this. But for the most part you can get better results in smaller gyms.
Fourth, specialization. You can find specialized gyms for everything now. Martial arts, yoga, spin, cross fit, power lifting, etc. So, I think they attract those specific individuals looking for those specifics. It’s always better to have a niche than to cast a wide net. I believe these specialized gyms will continue to have a greater impact.
What all four of these reasons tie into is COMMUNITY. That is the word we used a lot today when talking about this subject. People love a fitness based community.
So, in the first reason with wanting to avoid big crowds, small box gyms offer that. Instead of crossing paths with 100–200 people in a big box gym it will probably be between 5–20 people in small box gyms. Much smaller groups and less exposure.
The second reason, motivation, is so much easier when you have a workout partner or a group of people to hold you accountable. Just think how much easier it is to go workout with your friend. It’s more fun and enjoyable and you usually end up pushing each other to work harder as well. Also, a lot of small box gyms run classes and the schedule is nice because then you can develop a routine which makes it easier to build into our way too busy lives. So having a fitness based community makes that a lot more fun and actually makes you look forward to going to the gym. We like to gameify things sometimes and add a competitive aspect to the workouts as well. It increases engagement and participation amongst members. Again, strengthening the community.
Third, talk about results. We all go to a gym in the first place to get results. Whether it’s to lose weight, get stronger, or for my athletes get faster and improve athleticism we are there to get results. The way to do that is to have a focused approach that a group of people are interested in and collectively working towards. You get that with small box and boutique gyms but not with the big box gyms. Also, having a fitness community encouraging you and celebrating your success is so rewarding. Everyone is in it together and wants to see each other succeed as well. That’s what it’s all about.
Lastly, the specialization aspect. You talk about community and building it around fitness. Well that’s great and very true but it’s more than that. For example, for us and our community, it’s a fitness based community around martial arts, specifically boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, and brazilian jiu-jitsu. Now you build that bond around common interests. People love that and strengthens the community and builds relationships within. I always like to talk about common interests though. I think building a relationship with someone over a common interest or positive idea is how to do it. It’s very dangerous to build a community or bond around a negative aspect, problem, or person. Because once that problem or person is gone so is that bond. So, when you build a bond around martial arts and the people that love to train it, that’s not going away and it’s a life long thing.
So, as me and my business partner are continuing to grow our gym and community we are keeping these things in mind. We want to build a fitness based community around athletes of all sports wanting to get faster and more athletic, brazilian jiu-jitus, boxing, kickboxing, and muay thai. This is what w are working towards and growing a community around these interests and built upon mutual love, respect, and a desire to help your training partner attain success as well.
As always if you are interested in checking out my flagship program, Speed Development System, then just click here. When you click the link there is a free 13-week Bodyweight Speed Development System waiting for you guys. Just tell me where to send it. This program is perfect for athletes wanting to get faster and improve their athleticism.