Hello, welcome to our gym. We would like to sell you a
membership here so you can use all of this cool I equipment I just bought. Come
along on the tour. I know you have no interest in Step Aerobics but I just paid
for the damn steps so you will see them as part of the tour. Over here we have
60 expensive treadmills and over here is the room where we lock up women
because everyone knows they get in the way in the free weight area. We offer 50
classes a week in there but I have never really taken one myself so I have no
idea what the hell they really do.
So, if you pay $39 a month, here is what you get to do. We
recommend you do this at least three times per week if you are really serious
about getting in shape. Hey dude, we are here for you and youíre going to love
working out here.
First of all, we want you to come by yourself so you have no
one to talk to while you are here. If you bring headphones, you can shut
everyone completely out and we also have small televisions on the treads so you
can walk slowly for an hour not breaking a sweat watching ESPN and watching
athletes train hard.
Be careful with those televisions, though, if you jog. They
are so small that if you run too fast it is like: TV/where did it go?/TV/where
did it go?/TV. We know it is hard to watch and move so just walk slowly and you
will be fine, because whatís more important, watching TV or actually getting
This is our circuit equipment and this is Curt, our trainer.
Curt will spend about two minutes with you and when he finds you really arenít
interested in one-on-one training, he will be uninterested in you. You will
then receive a really cool giant card you can keep in a box over there. Every
time you come to the club, go around a circle; donít talk to anyone and when
you are done go walk slowly on the tread. We know this doesnít work anymore and
your body will adjust in about six weeks but we sell memberships, not fitness
and besides a am a trained salesperson who will later amaze you by writing the
prices upside down when you sit across from me at the desk getting slammed.
Once you are a member here we will completely forget whom
you are so bring this card every time you check in so we know when your
membership is up so we can then harass you about signing for another year. This
will be, by the way, the only time anyone on our staff will talk to you during
the entire year.
Oh, and we also do something a little sleazy here. Once a
year the owner needs a new car so we sneak in an extra payment on you. We call
it an enhancement fee, which is a pretty cool name if you ask me and of course
you will forget you signed for this because the print is so small but donít
worry, we will whack you anyway and then look for the owner to pull up in a
really styling new high-end SUV about a week after we hit everyone.
One of the drawback here is it is rather difficult to get in
shape at our club since none of this shit really works. You see, we are using
technology that dates from the late 60ís but the equipment guys tell us it is
coming back so what can a guy do. Come on, donít worry, everyone loves to sit
on their ass and workout and despite everything you see on TV and every book
you read, this is the only way to really get in shape. By the way, if you have
read Todd Durkinís new book, any of Alwynís or Rachel Cosgroveís book or
anything by Mark Verstegen you officially know more than everyone on our staff.
Maybe you could be a trainer here?
If you want to really get in shape, I would suggest getting
a Menís Health and doing their workouts like those guys over there in the
corner sharing the clubís only three medicine balls. That kettle bell, by the
way, belongs to a member who brings it each time since we think those are
dangerous and donít let members use them.
Oh, while we are here, here is our leg press and neck
machine areas, which arenít as dangerous as they look, unless you want a bad
back and our out-of-date trainers will also show you how to do a crunch, which
is guaranteed to finish off that bad back if the leg press doesnít do it for
you. Our serious members workout six times a week doing a split shift body part
because you just never know when bodybuilding might come back.
That 40-year-old man over there the size of an Abrahams Tank
is Ed and he is a master trainer when he is not competing as a "natural
bodybuilder.Ē Kind of strange that a guy that age still has acne and the balls
the size of Grape Nuts but you just canít get good drugs these days. By the
way, donít make him mad. If you catch him on a new cycle he will kill you man
and I mean it.
Hey, let me introduce you to our young, dumbass front
counter girl. This is her first job and if you can get her to put down her cell
phone she might help you, although donít expect much since we go through people
in this position like free donuts at Krispy Kreme and none of them stay long
enough to learn anything. Besides, we arenít really about service here, we are
just about selling more memberships so if you can give me the names of all your
closet friends I will pretend I am grateful and we will then proceed to call
them endlessly referencing your name each time.
Okay, letís get you signed up. All of our deals are three
years long and there is a membership fee, card fee, processing fee, starter fee
and initiation fee so I can get you started for $199 today but wait, you just
happened to catch a deal where we are offering a chance to get started for only
$49 dollars and no, not one stupid person has ever paid full price but we have
to run something to bring in new members donít we?
This might be funny if it wasnít so sad. Visit any chain
club and some version of this will happen. Why is the fitness business so hard?
It is because we make it hard. Instead of questioning our business practices,
we just lower the price. It is not the member. It is not the price. It is not
the trainer. It is the concept that is wrong. We canít patch it, we need to
blow it up and start all over again. No wonder the members hate us, leave early
and donít refer. What we do is antiquated, insulting and just doesnít work
Once you read this, look at everything you are doing. Is it
a bad habit left over from the last decade or is it something that is ethical
and professional and that will lead to new members who will stay longer and pay
longer? Start there, the answers are right in front of you.