Commercial gyms and boutique fitness studios are far from honest with their members. That’s not to say they are outright deceitful or evil, but there are certain things that they, let’s say, choose not to disclose or tell publicly.
Of course, the following that we have listed do not apply to every commercial gym and boutique fitness studio out there. But you can bet your house that one or several do apply.
Put simply, these are the trade secrets that benefit them financially. And they protect them by, well… not telling you the hard facts. We’re not as tight-lipped, however, so get ready to hear the truth.
Most Body Goal Expectations Are Unrealistic
First up, the expectations that most beginners have when signing up for a membership are unrealistic. Everyone has different body types and genetics, and not everyone can achieve a six-pack.
Chasing a “dream physique”—especially the physique of someone else—isn’t always possible. But, despite that, trainers will sell you the idea that it is.
Diet Is More Important Than Exercise
Commercial gyms don’t talk much about diet and nutrition, and it’s because these are actually more important than exercise – especially where weight loss is concerned.
Any exercise program is only as effective as the individual’s diet, and it’s possible to lose weight without exercising, even. But if more people knew that, fewer people would sign up.
Memberships Are Designed To Mislead You
We don’t have to tell you how some memberships come across as confusing. But it’s because they were designed to be. Hidden sign up fees, lock-in contracts – they’re financial tactics.
You may also be led to think that you need that one-year membership time frame to achieve your goals, but that’s not necessarily true for everyone.
They Really Care About Member Image
This applies to boutique fitness studios, especially. After all, the kind of people who attend their fitness classes and post selfies to social media are essentially free digital marketing.
And the more beautiful, fit, and fashionable its members are, the more enticing the fitness studio will be to new prospective members. Members reflect their brand, and they care.
Social Media Influencers Do Get Paid
Building on the above point, it might not come as a surprise that some fitness studios and commercial gyms pay social media influencers for those promotional mirror selfies hashtagged with their brand name.
Despite how subtle it can look to scrolling Instagrammers, it’s simply yet another trade secret for increasing exposure and revenue.
Equipment Is Not As Hygienic As You Think
There are, in fact, no federal requirements for how clean a gym should be. And while there is a recommended checklist made by the IHRSA, it’s ultimately the responsibility of gym managers to keep their gyms, including all equipment, clean.
It’s not something you generally consider, but most gyms are just not as hygienic as you think.
The Best Supplements Are Not Sold Onsite
That onsite supplement you’re being recommended is probably not the best supplement for you, or even for the benefits that staff are claiming.
It’s also probably being sold at a higher price. You can expect that most gym supplements being sold onsite are there due to a brand partnership.
As a result, gym newbies, especially, would be better off doing their research first before buying what staff are recommending.
Cardio Isn’t The Most Effective For Weight Loss
Boutique fitness classes, such as spin classes marketed for fast weight loss, won’t tell you that cardio isn’t actually the best method.
Sure, people enjoy it and that alone can make it effective. But for people seeking the most effective method for fat loss, well, you’re not going to hear it from that boutique spin class you’re thinking about joining.
You Can Get In Shape At Home
It’s a fact: you can get in shape at home. And it doesn’t even require workout equipment. For beginners especially, consistent HIIT is enough to lose weight and build muscle simultaneously.
Even a small investment in dumbbells and a pull-up bar can provide similar results to working out at the gym. Just remember, though, that you didn’t hear it from us.
The Bottom Line
While the above points aren’t shocking conspiracy theories or brand-damaging controversies, they are the fitness trade secrets and hushed facts that a lot of people—even life-long fitness enthusiasts and membership holders—don’t often realize.
Still, these shouldn’t stop you from signing up to a gym or boutique fitness studio. After all, there are nothing but benefits to reap from getting fitter, healthier, and feeling better about yourself overall.
All we hope is that you learned a thing or two from the above and, as a result, are better informed about the industry and fitness in general – no matter where you currently are in your journey. Visit all our articles at RateYourBurn.