Let me challenge the Fitness Industry and start by saying it is just plain insanity that gym injuries are seen as a normal thing, that's bullshit! One of the issue's I have seen in the Fitness Industry is that there are far to many gym's driven by money rather than good morals. This leads to lack of understanding of movement within the gym which in turn leads to member injuries. Besides, if you have a quality service and a price point that is justified everybody wins! The business makes money and the customers receives HUGE value whilst reducing injuries!
Without sounding egotistical, countless times people have walked into UltraFS Gym for a technique assessment and have been blown away with the technical ques given and quite often upset that other personal trainers/gym's hadn't shown them this stuff earlier. For e.g. One of the most common dis-functions is squatting with a hyper-extended spine (arched back). To put this in it's simplest form, your spine is the strongest and most efficient in a neutral (straight) position. GEEEZZZ, Doesn't that just make total sense!? Yet it is one of the most common things we see. I am not sure if personal trainers just don't know, or if they know and just don't know how to fix it?? If I am honest, I started personal training alone and had no guidance, maybe this is one of the main issues?
'The moment you truly fail is the moment you stop learning. This will lead to a world of ignorance and limitation.'
In my opinion EVERY trainer/coach should be in a constant state of development!! We are dealing with people's movement, it is serious shit and quite frankly I think it is questionable to have a squat rack in a commercial gym that anyone can use without guidance, you can really fucking hurt yourself. I may sound like a nancy but it is absurd that gym injuries are just a normal thing! In some big box gym's I blame the management, not the personal trainers. Management should be developing their personal trainers, which in turn will help their members.
Perhaps some gym's see it as a time/money loss to train their PT's in functional movement? Doesn't it make sense that if you have a quality service you will get more referrals and better retention? Which in turn leads to more revenue whilst creating more member value? I guess at this point I am not really in a high place to talk about this topic but I am extremely passionate and more than happy to challenge it.
It Starts With Growth From The Top
Gym owner grows > Management grows > Coaches grow > Members grow > Brand grows
I'll give 'Ultratarian' Gemma a shout out here, she has been a client and good friend of mine before the gym opened and has seen the whole process. One of the things Gemma told me was how fantastic it has been to see the gym evolve as I evolve, as I learn more the gym/brand learns more which then carries over to the members learning more, which then creates more value, then referrals, then retention... The business wins, the Ultra members win, it just makes freaking sense right!? So on a small scale it has worked wonders, it totally makes sense on a large scale as well. Gemma always gives me great feedback and is one of my go to's for an 'Ultra audit' as she see's it from a members point of view. Which is another point, member feedback is so valuable!
'Rather than trying to educate people on how they should act, create a business model that is based around how people already act and provide the most value that way.'
For the normal gym goer I understand that they will just go ahead and deadlift and squat to the best of their knowledge, they don't know any better, I get it. But for the PT just looking for a pay check and to feel good about working in an industry to 'help people' it is time to wake up! These people are paying us, they look up to us for advice, we are in a position of power and we shouldn't abuse it. Why should we pay a trainer $50+ an hour for a paid motivator, Youtube is free! Just look up an inspiring video or put on a good music playlist! We don't need a pat on the back for a set of DB Curls!!
At UltraFS Gym we not only strive as coaches to be in a constant state of development but we emphasize this to our community of members as well. We have NEVER dropped the price for a special deal to promote the gym. In my opinion it straight away suggests the gym may be unsure about it's values being good enough for the customer so relying on a price drop may be a better option to bring them in. Also, what sort of price point does $15 p/w membership with a 12 month contract suggest... It suggests that it is just enough that if you don't go you won't worry about the $15. Hence why some of these gym's may have 4000 members and most of the time 20 people are in there.
I have a feeling inside that I could have come across as an 'egotistical know it all' which is not my intention at all. I wrote this because it genuinely upsets me the corruption in the Fitness Industry and the effect it can have on people who are just trying to be stronger, fitter and healthier. This also wasn't intended to be a sales pitch for UltraFS Gym, my advice to you if you are reading this and looking for a new gym is to find one driven off community, good morals, education and is constantly developing.
At UltraFS Gym we promote on our value's and what we do. We want people to join our Ultra community (The Ultra Culture) because they see value in our 'morals' and 'what we do,' we don't want people signing up driven by a 'price drop' as that will bring in the wrong type of person for our gym. We understand a price drop is great but we firmly believe that the best type of sale is one where the business makes enough money to run on profit and the customer gets HUGE value out of it. It is a win win, no dodgy car salesman shit, straight up honesty and wins all round!
I started this blog to write down my thoughts once a week. This one may challenge the Fitness Industry a little ;). Thanks for reading!!!
- Jake Fisher