5 Reasons Why You Should Dump Your Big Gym & Go Local!
For awhile now I've been wanting to step into a field of service where I get to help people. I enjoy going to the gym and staying in shape so when an opportunity presented itself to work part time at a local gym, I knew it'd be the perfect small step in the direction of reaching my goal of helping people through fitness. Working at a locally owned gym changed my mind completely on the idea of big box corporate gyms and had me kicking myself wondering why I had never made the switch to go local before. I, like many others, figured that I needed all the bells and whistles that came along with being a part of a big gym.
But who was I kidding? I can’t swim - so I don't need a pool. Public hot tubs gross me out, so I never utilized them. And sure, having a gym with a full-sized basketball court and sauna is great and all, but realistically my basketball career and dreams of being the first woman to be in the NBA are long gone. Plus I sweat enough during my regular workouts so the need to bake myself in a sauna or steam room isn't all that beneficial for me. Essentially I had been wasting money when I was only using half of the “perks” that my gym offered. What I really needed was a place to simply workout, not a health spa.
If you are a swimmer, it makes perfect sense that you would need a gym with a pool. Or if you really just enjoy the spa atmosphere of big gyms and can afford it all, or get to be a member for the low price of free99 - by all means, stick with your big gym! But if you’re a simple ‘ol girl like me who just needs a few cardio machines, some weights and a generous space to get a good workout in, then here are a few reasons why you should dump your big gym and go local!
1. You'll Save Money!
This is the most obvious reason to go local. Not only would you be supporting locally owned businesses, but you most likely will save a lot more money long term while doing so. Most big gyms cost an arm and a leg to join and to keep a long term membership. Not to mention big gyms tend to raise your monthly dues because, well... they can. They'll give you the excuse that the increase in dues will be used to “help maintain," their equipment and machines, but who knows if that's entirely true. Just don't be too surprised when your monthly payment gets a little bit higher & higher each year (and sometimes without notice).
*This has happened to me far too many times to count which eventually led me to promoting locally owned gyms and making the switch.
2. More OPPORTUNITIES to have Fun!
Locally owned gyms tend to have a much more vibrant and friendly atmosphere. And though some local gyms may appear to be compact, what they lack in size they make up for in what they have to offer. Often times many local gyms will offer incentives (free trial memberships/classes) and rewards for joining or referring members to their gym. Also, some gyms have personalized workout classes and plan fun events for their members like outdoor boot camps, softball games, and member parties. This, in turn, helps members get to know each other in their fitness communities while helping local businesses continue to thrive!
3) You Can Actually Workout.
Yes! That’s right. You heard me. You can actually utilize the machines and don’t have to wait your turn for the squat rack because Mr. Wanna-be Body Builder over there is too busy taking a self-recorded video of himself squatting 280 lbs. #sigh. If it’s one thing I've learned about attending big gyms is that it always seems as if you have to put your name down on a waiting list if you want to use certain machines. If I wanted to wait in line to workout, I wouldn’t have even come to the gym. And don't get me started on the parking lots! The awesome thing about locally owned gyms is that they normally are not packed to the max, people are more concerned about actually working out rather than how they look while working out, and it’s not a meat market (aka a place for dudes to hit on girls and vice versa).
4) You Gain A Sense of Community.
If you've ever been a part of a big gym you know that It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the gym atmosphere, but with smaller and more personalized gyms you are more likely to gain a sense of community, building relationships with the trainers and staff. Forming these connections may even give you more motivation and excitement to get off the couch and consistently go to the gym.
5) You're Not Tied Down To A Contract.
Some big gyms will have you feeling like you're signing up for a new cell phone carrier. The start-up and hidden fee's can often be off the charts. And let's face.it You just want to work out, not sign your life away.
At the end of the day it's not about what gym you decide to join or are apart of, what's most important is that you are making strides towards a healthier and better you. So gym it up my friends & let me know your thoughts about gyms you've been, or are a part of. I'd love to hear your stories! :)