The obvious change is the number of gyms that are constantly springing up all over the place. And it’s like anything, if there appears to be a need for something then someone will be there to have a go at filling the need.
But it would seem the considerations for filling the need for gyms doesn’t go past a building and sticking some equipment in it. In other words there doesn’t seem to have been any real thought shown regarding a good wide ranging balance of resistance and free weights. The idea of opening another gym appears to be more a matter of simply catering to the high population growth.
The high increase in numbers of immigrants of all nationalities coming into the country and joining gyms probably make up somewhere between one third to half the membership. And it’s on the rise. If all those new memberships from the very high immigration disappeared, there would not necessarily be the currant demand for new gyms. The immigrants seem to take a greater interest in a moderate level of fitness and strength than the locals so, when they get here, they want to join a gym.
Despite the increased number of gyms and members the overall setup of the gyms has really not changed much, and indeed in some areas whilst they are not going backwards, they are not going forward either. In fact it’s only the presence of the odd very good trainer that can make some observable difference.
Each gym always has its own varied kind of membership although there obviously has to be some overlap as members of a gym will at some stage feel another gym has something better to offer to fill a gap in their personal needs. Although after a while some of them return to the first one.
Change no. 2
The other change is what’s going on inside the gyms. Or rather what’s not going on inside the gyms, and there’s quite a bit of it. And that is a lack of true professionalism amongst the management and staff. A reference was made in an earlier blog entry to Clive Greens Gym situated in Newmarket many years ago. Clive Greens was better than any of the local gyms for hands on management, variety of equipment, and experienced trainers who in the main had competed in some form of bodybuilding and the like.
Also there appears to be a distinct lack of ‘floating trainers’ and that is someone with sufficient experience to be able to assist, where necessary, members with poor technique. The spinoff of this is an increase of members who, through no fault of their own, wouldn’t know technique if they fell over it. This creates a blank in the professional area of the running of the gym. Consequently the gym ends up with a whole lot of members doing their best to build some muscle and increase their fitness level but, without professional guidance to help them on their way.
Unless of course they can get an experienced trainer to help them, which costs money, and the majority of members cannot afford the cost. It goes right back to gym Management to provide some consistent form of technique instruction for those members who have chosen that gym, but can’t afford to pay for a trainer.
This is an area in gyms that badly needs to change but unless the gyms have the right management skills and consideration towards members then don’t hold your breath.