Corporate Shmorporate

LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Pure Fitness, Bally’s, Mountainside, 24 hour Fitness, the list goes on and on.

These are the most popular gyms in AZ. You can’t pass too many intersections without seeing at least one of these. I may piss off a lot of people with this post, but it’s my blog and my opinion. So there 🙂 (Note: this is just my opinion of corporate gyms. I’m exaggerating a lot of this, and it isn’t true in ALL cases, obviously. If your experience has been different then that is great and you are lucky. In that case, enjoy the laugh :))

I incorporate these gyms with fake smiles, women wearing no clothes, guys staring at women, guys wearing too many accessories, guys with too much gel in their hair, women with too much hairspray and makeup on, and a training staff that knows as much about fitness as Tiger Woods knows about staying faithful.

When I walk into one of these places, I am greeted by the fake smile, and see sales associates everywhere. It is much like walking into a car lot. You feel as though the salesmen are eyeing you and racing to catch the bait(aka new member.) So you sign up at one of these gyms, after they explain to you how wonderful of a deal you are going to get because they are SLASHING the processing fee in half!!! This only means that instead of paying an extra 100 dollars that is just going towards the sales associate, you are only paying 50 dollars of that. Phew, I thought I was going to get ripped off.

Next, you are set up with a COMPLIMENTARY FITNESS ASSESSMENT! How wonderful, a trainer that got his certification at Walmart is going to walk me through the gym and tell me that I am fat. He will know I am fat because he is going to use calipers and pretend like he knows what the numbers mean. Then, he will come up with a body fat percentage that is a little higher than the truth, that way, even if you make zero progress, you will think you made at least a little bit of progress and continue to workout at the gym. Gotta keep that monies comin’!!

So you finish your assessment and this “trainer” tells you that he will give you a special discount on a training package because he just likes you so much. Instead of the normal $75 an hour, you will only have to pay $65. Wow, I am a lucky son of a bitch.

Next, you will meet your trainer for your first appointment. He will walk you to the leg press, then the chest press, then the shoulder press and finally the ab machine. He will tell you to do 15 reps on each machine and he will probably be texting his girlfriend while pretending to listen to you babble. Truth: he has no idea what you are saying because the nudie his girlfriend just sent is probably a little more interesting. Just sayin.

You will finish the workout using your core, and then he will shoe you away to the cardio machines while he grabs his next victim client.

Meanwhile, I will be at my independently owned gym, studio, or community center. I am greeted by name at the door, put my game face on and train my ass off. I sign up for my membership when I want to without being pressured, I don’t pay very much for it. I also don’t get a complimentary towel with my workout, though, so there is a downside……

The trainers are usually people who are passionate about working out. There are still definitely some trainers that I wouldn’t trust to walk me down the street, but for the most part, these trainers are skilled and knowledgeable in at least some type of exercise/workout niche. They are nice, truly care about their clients because they realize they are putting food on their table, and since they don’t have to make sure corporate is happy, they are free to have a personality. Imagine that!

The other members in the gym are there to work out. They aren’t paying for a fancy membership so they can get the free towel and water bottle, they are just paying to be able to come in at their convenience, get in whatever type of workout they want, and leave feeling better.

Like I said before, this is just my take on the two different situations. Many of you have probably had completely different experiences, but that is just mine. At independently owned gyms, there is no pressure to meet sales minimums. At a studio, you are going to be with a group of people that you see very frequently and will become close to, since you are sharing a small space. It may be more expensive, but the quality will be there. At a community center, you are probably going to be using recycled equipment, but the people there are usually very friendly and appreciative. The staff is even better, as they aren’t getting paid much and likely just love the atmosphere, and that is why they are there. 

I’m not saying every single corporate gym is bad, but I have trained at a studio, two different community centers, an independently owned gym, and 2 corporate gyms and between my experiences and what I’ve heard from others, that is where my position stands. 

What is your opinion? Corporate or other? What is your worst gym experience?


6 thoughts on “Corporate Shmorporate

  1. Yeah I pretty much hate corporate gyms- The gym I go to here isn’t a chain, BUT it seems like they almost try to be like Gold’s, etc. It’s NOT as bad though and I would never join one of those rat race gyms unless I HAD to. I prefer the small mom and pop shop 🙂


  2. Hahaha…I liked this post. I belong to a bigger gym right now – switching to a smaller gym to save some cash at the end of the month. I will miss the towel service for my shower, but I can deal with it.

    I have found that the early morning crowd are there for their workout and not checking out people as much and no one really wears makeup or silly outfits. But go at night or the weekends – it’s entertaining to watch everything that goes on!


  3. LOVE the post!!!! 🙂

    I can’t say I have been to many corporate gyms, because here in West Virginia we don’t even have many gyms!

    But I, like you, love the laid-back yet hardcore gyms. I hate crowds. I much prefer older equipment over having to wait forever just to use a set of dumbbells. And it definitely makes me cringe to see how many “trainers” out there have NO clue what they are doing…. yet still somehow convince their clients otherwise.


  4. amen sister! ive been an an employee and member at an upscale place,HUGE,high tech equipment….but not very educated staff as far as fitness goes(myself excluded of course…i eventually became an independant trainer so i wouldnt be ripping ppl off!!!) anyways,even though i was one of those members who was in there to get my work done and out (LOVED the fancy equipment!) i hated the atmosphere there. lots of “muscleheads”, lots of drama,lots of scantily glad GIRLS and women…it was like watching a bad high school play…very comical and amusing at times,but essentially it was one big meat locker. most the kids there were there to get laid….and then i changed gyms to a smaller less known branch. the atmoshpere wa so different from a members view point. didnt have to worry much about the drama or have to feel like you HAD to wear makeup and short shorts to fit in. staff was friendly bc we didnt get paid sh$$. comission was not good for a trainer,but good for the company…to get an idea,we only got 25% of all trainer sales,which if we had an average of 5 clients are regular base salary of $6 an hour went up to $7.50…whoooooo! other than that,it was better. now i am a memeber of the Y,not an employee…and yes it is smaller and has recycled equipment,but it gets the job done and the staff is so friendly most the time.
    anyhoo,nuff with my rants…LOVE this post!!!


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