It’s true. Despite what you may be thinking, fitness is always FREE! I will explain more in a moment, but I want to briefly discuss my motivation for writing this post.
While doing some consulting work this month, I’ve visited many gyms, including offices, condos, community centers, and also several large and crowded health clubs. Seeing the January New Year’s resolution chaos in full swing, reminded me of a couple of things.
I LOVE the atmosphere of small private fitness coaching studios
I couldn’t imagine choosing to workout in such crowded stinky gyms and places where people are falling all over each other, and the social dynamic is a cross between a nightclub and a varsity football locker room.
When watching people work out, I was reminded yet again that gyms and health clubs are not in the business of health. They are in the membership business, and just happen to rent access to fitness equipment (more about this below).
Third, my industry has a LOOOOONG way to go towards educating professionals and the public on effective physical training (fitness, exercise, workouts, basic movement, etc.).
Walking into these facilities is often like taking a time machine back to a 1980’s high school gym class…without the cotton gym strip, 80’s hair, and the addition of some fancier equipment.
This brings us back to my initial comment that fitness is free
Sure, you may pay to join a gym, but you aren’t paying for fitness. As I mentioned earlier, you are paying the gym to rent you access to space or equipment, most of which is counterproductive, or not used correctly.
You can workout anywhere, anytime, without any equipment, and get great results. Throughout history, and long before big health club chains were on every corner, there were many fit people in the world.
In fact, since the explosion of “health clubs” on the planet over the past 30 years, the obesity rate has more than tripled, and preventable “lifestyle diseases” are the leading cause of death in almost every “developed” country.
The caveat to the fitness is free statement is that to capitalize on the free fitness, you need the following things:
To have a plan for and understand your training objectives (even at the basic level)
To train correctly
To train consistently
To enjoy doing it
To be getting the results you want
Unfortunately, very few people can tick off all these boxes on the fitness checklist. By my estimation, it’s less than 5% of people who go to the gym. If you do, find a well-equipped gym with cheap rates, and go for it!
The funny thing is that people who check off those boxes don’t spend as much time in the gym as you think. It’s because they are more effective, and they are often spending time being active and healthy in the rest of their life instead of slogging away in a crowded, sweaty, stinky room.
Here’s the math (rough estimates) for you to ponder:
Over 80% of people who PAY for gym memberships do not attend regularly
Many of these people only attend a few times at the start of every year, and end up subsidizing the fewer than 20% of people who attend regularly
Of those who attend regularly, only a small fraction of those are getting the results they want (most of those people are paying for their membership, PLUS paying extra for training/coaching)
As mentioned above, I estimate that less than 5% of people working out on their own are: doing the right things, doing them correctly, doing them consistently, enjoying themselves, and are getting the results they want. Every time I think about the gravity of this math, it pisses me off.
I got into this industry to help people experience how amazing life can be when you are healthy, happy, and fit. The fact that so few people get to experience this drives me to get my message out to more people (so, thank you for being part of this movement with me, and helping change these sad stats)!
So, YES, Fitness is FREE, but…
The thing that DOES cost money is coaching. Actually, I will clarify even more. In today’s society, most information is even free. You can take the time and effort to research top-quality sources of information to learn how to train properly, and then apply it yourself.
The problem is that this takes A LOT of time, effort, and experience to sort through the crap, figure out what’s best for you, and then start the implementation and experimentation process.
It’s much easier to follow some bikini competitor or bodybuilder on Instagram, or watch a few YouTube videos posted by a celebrity such as Gwyneth Paltrow. (She looks good, she must know what she’s doing…right!?)
The good news is that the solution is simple, and doesn’t require a gym membership.
The solution simply requires educating and inspiring yourself. I’m an optimist and believe anyone can learn to do anything. This learning can be done the slow and painful way of figuring it out on your own. Or, it can be done the quick way by “buying speed” (no, not the drug…I mean paying to expedite and accelerate your results).
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of putting in lots of time and effort for no results. If there is one common thing about people who are successful in any area of life, it’s that they understand that time is precious and they utilize the resources of people around them to get better…even if it means paying for information and speed.
The best people in the world have coaches, mentors, and advisors
Think of professional athletes, top executives, and movie stars. If they can benefit, so can you. While I’m not in any of these categories, I have had many coaches over the years, and currently work with several coaches and mentors.
The even better news is that this doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s about cultivating a mindset of growth, seeking out key information, and implementing it consistently. With this approach, the money you spend turns into an extremely valuable investment.
Considering the benefits in terms of energy, vitality, focus, motivation, positivity, creativity, health, and overall performance in every area of life (yes, virtually every research study shows these benefits and more), it amazes me that so few people invest in it.
Alas, the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind. However, I also like to add… ”If you force it to drink, you often end up drowning the horse”.
Put another way, people will only change when they are ready to change. Sometimes this happens early in the process, and other times it takes seismic, life-altering events to generate that spark. Sometimes it never happens (think of the lung cancer patients with tracheostomies that still continue to smoke).
For most of us, change comes when the “pain of inaction” outweighs the pain of action. If you are tired of putting in the work, and not getting results, or you would prefer to get better, quicker, safer results, it’s time to upgrade your information and action plan.
Just book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! team, and get on the road to a happy, healthy, and fit life!
If this post inspired you to make a change, let me know what you are going to do.
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We need to have a coach or a trainer to help with progress and training. This is interesting to read and learned something from it.
Exactly Fransic. With the help of an experienced coach, progress is made much faster. Thanks for reading!
Great analysis to help people determine if they need a gym!
Thanks for engaging Adriane!
Love this advice. My husband and I have this debate regularly. He believes in going to the gym, picking up heavy objects, and putting them down. I believe true fitness lies in the ability to use your body when you need it, how you need it. I don’t care if you can lift 450 lbs if you can’t help me move my dresser.
Haha, good point Chelsea 🙂 Good, quality movement is the basis!