As a Singapore personal trainer and fitness professional, its my passion to help people get in shape. One of the things that can certainly help is joining a good gym. But there are so many choices out there. There is the good, the bad and the ugly. Ugly because if you choose the wrong gym, you will get so frustrated and may give up on your fitness goals altogether! I would hate to see that happen.
Bad service, bad ethics, bad trainers, bad customer support, refusal to refund purchases for valid reasons, charging customers who have already stopped their contracts and so on...
With all the bad press the fitness industry is getting lately about poor service I thought I would talk about what makes a good gym good so that people in Singapore (my home town) and elsewhere don't start thinking that the fitness industry is a scam, and can make good choices about the gyms they join.
"It's a shame that so many complaints have been made about the services, staff and ethics of big gyms."
The way business has been done in the big commercial gym chains has been going on for a long while and the complaints and reports of poor standards have only increased over time.
"My role as a fitness professional and personal trainer in Singapore is to help as many people as possible with their fitness goals. Improving their health, preventing disease, helping them look good, and live fully. Frustration with poor standards, ethics and customer service in the fitness industry discourages people from getting fit and living to their full potential. That is what makes me most upset."
I will now explain how things are done at a well run fitness coaching facility.
"There are some things that can be done to make sure that everybody that steps into our place has a positive experience and feels totally at home."
These are also things you can look out for when choosing a gym or a fitness training studio.
Here is how a good gym differs from a sales oriented and money motivated gym which does not care about their customers.
During the sales process...
In a good gym, when a prospect is given a sales presentation there is never a "hard sell" at the end. Each visitor is asked what his/her goals are, shown a program that can help achieve those goals, and asked if they would like to join. There is never any pressure or obligation.
In a good gym they never ever use negative words like "Your body is in such bad shape!" to get a sale.
A good gym will never propose a high cost, leaving it up to the customer to bargain it down. Pricing should be absolutely transparent.
A good gym will never call or email people who don't want these calls. All communication is to people who have already asked to be called or contacted.
A good gym shows clients a contract that includes a 100% MONEY BACK guarantee if they do what is asked but are not satisfied with the results or the services they receive.
A good gym offers a free trial if the client would like to "try" before buying. Again NO obligation or pressure. Just the best service that they can provide.
When a client signs up...
A good gym will take them through a complete assessment of body fat, measurements, nutrition, photographs, mineral testing, digestive tests, hormonal and genetic tendencies and a movement and posture screening.
A good gym will individualize program design and nutrition according to this assessment. They will never simply "show a person around the machines" and call it a session. There are no "cookie cutter" programs that are "one size fits all". Because every client is different.
A good gym will teach, coach and correct movement and posture from day 1. This leads to improved progress and low injury risk.
A good gym will build a healthy community so that the new client makes friends and enjoys the training experience. This also helps the client maintain the new, healthy habits that he or she forms because there is social support to help them.
A good gym will spend effort building a great gym environment that is all about encouragement and a positive atmosphere. There is no negative talk, no showing off, no bad attitudes in the training center.
Yes a good gym will be doing their best to run a business that really puts the client's well being first. No matter if they are in Singapore, America or any other country.
I don't believe that we need to compromise ethics, morals or integrity to be a good business.
Personally, I'm committed never to compromise even if it means a few less dollars in the short run.
This is the perspective of all good gyms.