Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lack of understanding

Last week, a lady came into my gym with a guest pass to try it out for the day. As this is very much part of my daily routine, I have her sign in and go about her business. But the odd part is that she seemed to be intimidated by the freedom to work out. I told her that if she had any questions, she should feel free to ask and I started to go about cleaning up the gym for the evening.

About a half hour goes by and she worked up the nerve to start asking me how to use the leg machines. I go over each of our three variations on squat machines and start to get a feel for where she stands on the workout knowledge continuum. As it turns out, she knew nothing. Absolutely nothing. She proceeds to tell me that her main focus is to become muscular but without looking like a guy. I informed her that becoming so muscled that a woman looks like a man is pretty much impossible unless that woman were taking steroids. And then I let her know that I completely understand wanting to be muscular and that I have put on 70 pounds myself. She really warmed up to me at that point so we began a marathon of going over how machines work, what they work, and how to use them properly all the while I am trying to sell her a membership as she is clearly wanting to join our gym.

On what had to have been our fifteenth machine, she drops on me that she had been in before and the membership consultant was trying to set her up with a personal trainer. Now the guy is the most expensive trainer we have, and he is the size of a diesel truck, so clearly if you are looking to put on muscle mass he would be your first choice. She didn't want to go with him at all because she felt he was too expensive and that she didn't want to buy and do a whole bunch of trainer sessions up front. She basically wanted to work with a trainer a couple times a month. I informed her that since she knows so very little about how to go about reaching her goal, that several trainer sessions would likely be the best way to start out and she could ween herself off of them once she has developed the knowledge and aptitude for working out on her own. She kind of understood my point.

I offer up a different, much less expensive trainer to her to help her get started along with membership options for our gym and she still resisted doing anything. The second trainer is shorter than and a bit smaller than the first but I would have no doubt the second guy could make himself the same size as the first one without any problem. I gave her the trainer's information and sent her on her way. The total time I spent with her was 45 minutes.

So the next day I come to find out that one of our membership consultants spent and hour and a half trying to get this lady to join. And the real big trainer talked to her over the phone about trainer sessions and membership options for an hour, along with me spending 45 minutes with her, and none of us got her to join yet.

So all of this begs a couple questions. If you want to join a gym and have a trainer, why would you expect to not have to pay anything for those things? For better, for worse we are a private business and we operate as such. Also, why would you deal with us upward of four times without even joining at the end of one of those conversations? Clearly the interest is there.

After all that, she asked if she could just work out with me. Now, obviously that is not going to happen. Just because I've turned myself into a semi, doesn't mean I have any desire to work out with someone who knows not a single thing about exercise just for the sake of making a sale. It's kind of a conflict of interest. And I don't have workout partners for a good reason. My lifting time is me time, time to exorcise my demons as mentioned in a previous post. So yeah, I took issue with that question.

With that said, I passed her on to trainer number two for him to work with. It would be nice to get her in after all the time we've already put into trying to convince her to come work out at our facility. I just don't understand why it would be so hard for a person to commit to a membership if she's already been in several times.

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