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In response to another crappy gym opening…

As I write this, I am currently less than three weeks out from a bodybuilding show. I guess you could blame my writing on a lack of carbs but to honest I feel this way all the time. Maybe the lack of carbs have just finally convinced me to put those feeling down into words. There is a major problem in this country and it’s not lack of immigration control, firearm control, economy, or whatever else the competing news stations would have you believe. The problem is we have a lack of commitment. This is evidenced across many different areas of life. We have a 50% divorce rate because committing to another individual for life is really hard. Only about 25% of Americans have 6 months of expenses in savings because committing to a savings plan is a lot harder than buying stuff immediately. And more than a third of Americans are obese (although if you use body fat, a more accurate measurement than BMI, we’re actually looking at around two thirds) because working out is hard and bad food just tastes so good.

And the worst part is….the fitness industry makes billions of dollars capitalizing on the fact that most adults are incapable of committing to their own health. There are two general business models for commercial gyms. The first involves providing you with a lot of amenities (pool, juice bar, aerobic classes, climbing wall, etc) and locking you into a contract for at least a year with a pretty big sign up fee. The idea is that you’re less likely to cancel because there is a hefty cancellation fee and you’re more likely to sign back up the following year because you want to avoid having to repay the sign up fee. And of course, next year will “totally be the year you get in shape!”. The other business model is to provide no amenities, just a gym and cardio and have you pay a very low rate ($10-$25 a month) using auto draft in hopes that you’ll continue to pay even if you don’t use the gym because it’s such a low price and again “next year you’re totally going to get in shape!”. The reason they set their gyms up this way is because they know that, more than likely, you won’t actually use your membership. In a big commercial gym, you’re looking at $200,000-$300,000 in monthly overhead. You need a lot of members paying $50-$75 a month to cover that cost and a good bit more to actually make a profit (this is why commercial gyms are constantly closing). The smaller, no amenities gyms, have the same idea, just at a lower overhead. But still, at $15,000-$30,000 in monthly overhead, you still need a lot of members to paying $15-$25 a month to cover your costs. The issue is that if all 2,000-5,000 of their paying members came in the doors on a regular basis the gym would get destroyed. There would be no room for people to workout and the wear and tear would be tremendous. Gym owners know that on average, only about 20% of members will use the gym on a regular basis and about 70% will never go at all. That is a sad statistic.

Fitness, health, and a quality physique are like a ferrari, a lot of people would like to be given one but few people are willing to do what it actually takes to earn one. I am not going to tell everyone they need to train 5 days a week and measure out their chicken and rice. But everyone can make one step in the right direction. Whether it’s just going for a walk outside instead of watching TV or eating more vegetables and drinking more water, for the love of God, please do something to change the fact that we are a society of fat and lazy people who can’t even commit to the simple of act of trying not to die sooner rather than later. Sure someone is gonna get their leg cutoff due to diabetes and someone is going to have to have the wall removed from their house to get them out of it and someone is going to have to ride the scooter at the grocery store because walking is too much like exercise and exercise doesn’t taste like bacon but THAT PERSON DOESN’T HAVE TO BE YOU!!!

So if you want to join a gym that lures you in with a cheap rate and no commitment, that’s fine. If you want to go to a gym that offers you free pizza, that’s fine. If you want to go to a gym that doesn’t allow fit people and sets off an alarm when people grunt, that’s fine too. But your ass better go! You better be at that gym at least three days a week getting after it. Otherwise, you’re just fueling the problem. Not only are you making America fatter, lazier, and less healthy, but you’re funding the corrupt fitness entities that would much prefer to take your money than to actually help you change your life for the better. So, if that’s you; save your money, give it to charity, spend it on more bacon, or better yet, spend it at a gym that actually gets results. A gym that is willing to be honest and tell you the truth that no commitment=no results. Maybe once in your life, actually commit to something and see it through and in doing so, you will learn that delayed gratification is far sweeter than instant pleasure (even though bacon is pretty tasty).

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