So Many options, so Little Help

The Fitness industry is for profit, not health

 
 

When you Google gyms near me there are too many. Even some of which I as a Miami personal trainer have never heard. Can they all be good? No. Most are selling a watered-down, dumbed-down fitness “product” to appeal to the broadest audience. They want the most customers possible and pay their staff the least possible. Why would it be otherwise? People are desperate for fat loss and social status, so there’s no shortage of fitness businesses promising it. Call me at 305-535-6100 and I’ll be happy to review your current exercise choices with you.

A constant challenge for me is getting people to stop following the crowd, stop buying the hype. To commit to a consistent, comprehensive, long-lasting fitness program. We’re bombarded with ads from the commercial fitness industry, and people are too often looking for a promised quick-fix, or a one month miracle, or a 30 minute express workout, or some other gimmick that doesn’t work but gets you in the door and gets your money. And people don’t realize things they’re doing incorrectly today create future injuries.

The industry doesn’t want you to know the reality because then the volume business model wouldn’t work. These corporate fitness companies need you coming back again and again. Providing you better results requires hiring more capable, experienced trainers and paying them more which means less profit. “Free sessions” or “consultations” are sales pitches designed to sell you more on top of your membership fees.

  • Think you’re getting a great workout from your studio? Maybe, maybe not. Many of my clients are shocked at how much better training is with me than their prior experiences. You don’t know what you’re missing!

  • Let’s face it, you have little exercise experience, so any trainer will seem "qualified" if they get you to work up a sweat or some heavy breathing. It’s understandable. But sweating isn't training, and you aren't qualified to evaluate a trainer's competency unless you are provided the specifics to compare.

  • Studios sell "community"; a feeling of belonging because they can't sell results (it’s much more difficult). They can sell entertainment. But your fitness- really an individual pursuit- is not entertainment. Nothing wrong with camaraderie but it shouldn’t be the primary draw.

  • Injuries occur from repetitive workouts, improper preparation or inappropriate exercises are common. 77% of people experience shoulder pain, and 80% experience back pain, much of which can be avoided. Gyms hire inexperienced, unqualified trainers because they’re less expensive.

  • Studios like Orange Theory, Flywheel, Soulcycle, etc promoting calorie burn are misleading you. It’s not an effective path toward fat loss. Sweating is not training. Barry’s Boot Camp doesn’t squeeze 50 people into a small, dark room cluttered with equipment because they’re concerned about your safety. Legacy Fit’s motto No Days Off is fundamentally flawed and disregards the importance of training recovery. They all want to make the most money possible.

BIG GYMS, BIG BUSINESS

Crowded, big box commercial gyms are loaded with machines you don’t need and don’t know how to best use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates half a million people hurt themselves using exercise equipment yearly. Your gym is not liable since you signed their waiver.

Niche classes like spinning, barre or pilates are not complete workouts. They’re just one part of a comprehensive fitness program.

Selling sugar-packed juices and smoothies (fruit is sugar in pretty packaging) or worse, i.v. injections, anything “detox” which have no corrective or restorative effect. They are pure hype and have no place in a fitness facility. Hair salon, nail salon, spa treatments (including massages, facials, manicures, waxing, etc) are money grabs because gyms have massive overhead, rent and payroll costs. Bottom line- you don't buy your groceries at a clothing store; you shouldn’t get fitness instruction from a spa.

Gyms promote being part of a group as crucial to your fitness because for them, more people means more money. But what strangers, or friends, or parents at your children’s school think is worthwhile or fun has nothing to do with what is appropriate for you individually. Your health, diet and physical fitness needs are specific to you. Following the crowd is by definition, average. Motivation ultimately comes from within if you want above average results.

HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training, has become a trendy buzzword in fitness. But most commercial gym managers, who lack fitness experience, do not know what it is or how to properly administer it. Many gyms incorrectly generalize boot camps, circuit workouts, metcon, etc as HIIT.

Trendy gyms are so busy selling you calorie burn, none of them are warning you about the high risk of injury when you're over 40. Particularly in the morning you have an even greater risk of spinal trauma. No group fitness instructor has EVER addressed this. They're too busy worrying about getting a paycheck or taking a group selfie.

When you’re looking for quality instead of just atmosphere, here’s a way to qualify if a gym is worth your money. Is the top person in charge is dressed for a workout? Could be a good place. If they’re dressed more like they’re going to a cocktail party, look elsewhere. Great facilities are run by people who are into fitness, not into the “fitness business”…

Training is not…

Training is not a is not a grouping of successive, independent workouts which are more or less unrelated. Nor is it a weekly repeat of similar workouts again and again, such as spinning classes, or weightlifting sessions like “leg day”, etc (doing the same workout over and over creates “overuse” injuries). It is a process- a progressive development of strengths while reducing weaknesses and muscular imbalances.

In the “book of fitness” taking the same classes repeatedly is like reading chapter 1 again and again and again. Spinning is particularly one-dimensional. And why would you want to always do the same thing?

Zumba, pole dancing, playing hoops or soccer on a league, and especially "walking" are recreational activities, not training. Their benefit is quite limited and could actually be making problems worse because you're not comprehensively conditioning your body. Sweating is not training. I'm not saying don't do these things. They are valuable recreation which relieves stress and can improve cardiovascular efficiency. But they are not training. And if given the choice, I recommend training over recreation.

The idea of cardio as a workout goal is an outdated concept, popularized in the 1970's with the introduction of the invented word aerobics; any exercise that raises your heartrate is inherently cardio. Repetitive machines like treadmills, ellipticals, stairclimbers and stationary bikes are inherently flawed.