I spotted an interesting article this week on Wallblog which inspired me to explore it further as it was something that I had never really realised before – Posh Gyms sucka

I’ve been a member of the beautiful gym David Lloyd in Sidcup for a little over 6 months now. Me and the old ball n’chain had a theory that if we joined a posh expensive gym, we are more likely to go regularly – although this theory hardly ever works for most people, its actually worked quite well for us. I’m lucky to have access to a few fitness professionals so I have a flexible routine and “know what I’m doing” to say the least. There is lots of equipment to play around with and classes around the clock.

However, some people who pay these expensive joining fees need a bit more help and additional motivation to keep them going.

In the article I mentioned above, Critical Mass used interviews to find out what members of Virgin Active, Gymbox, LA Fitness, Nuffield Health, Fitness First and Easy Gym needed in terms of staying motivated.

  • 95% of people would value getting advice on exercise and helpful input on their fitness goals
  • 89% of people would appreciate health and nutrition advice.

So why don’t they ask for advice? Unfortunately when one of the trainers hears the word “help”, they smell a sales opportunity to push their personal training or diet consultations. In the end, the customer walks away feeling unheard and demotivated.

There is a huge trend at the moment for fitness youtubers/instagrammers providing advice and free workouts. Strangely, the posh gyms are ignoring these or perhaps unaware that they’re going on. More and more of these influencers are also encouraging users to work out at home or in a park so gyms really need to start showing the value that those expensive memberships provide.

Gyms need to start viewing “membership,” as a means of finding a supportive partner for a fitness journey that spans physical environments and digital ecosystems.

Fitness First have taken a great step in launching an app where users can update their progress and goals daily – this is a nice to have but still lacking the personalisation that gym-goers are seeking.

If you look across the pod at Equinox, they have tackled social media down to a tee. Although they faced a backlash for some ads they ran in January , they still have a strong social media presence and popular blog  which is based on expert advice and features very little promotion and PR plugs in comparison to traditional fitness publications. They have TONNES of online workouts that you can access for free provided in snappy gifs to help prevent hefty data consumption

It’s time that gyms started facing up to the digital age or get left behind. Smaller budget gyms are becoming disruptive not to mention the taut influencers spreading their advice and motivation for free. There is also a huge opportunity within wearables and I hope that these gyms are quiet because they are developing amazing apps and strategies to compliment these rather than simply ignoring them and praying they’ll go away.