Three Types of Gyms: Which Is Right For You?

As cities and towns begin to open up, and life slowly returns to “normal,” we are all finding out that things we didn’t previously prioritize may now take a front seat.

While we know that life can’t “return to normal” yet (and it might never go back to the way we remember it) many people are finding themselves in one of two situations:

  1. You have concerns about returning to your previous gym for safety and sanitary reasons, or;
  2. You haven’t been exercising and this pandemic has shown you how important it is to start to make your health and fitness a priority.

While many states shut down “gyms” as a broad category, not all gyms are created equal. When considering different fitness facilities, there are three main types of gyms to consider.

Here’s what each of them offer, and how to decide which type is right for you.

Globo Gyms

These are large gyms that operate as chains or franchises. Think places like Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym or similar.

These gyms operate on a large scale model. They take on more members than they could ever have capacity for, based on the assumption that many people will pay, but won’t show up.

And they’re usually right. Fees are often low ($10-40/mo) and are simply the cost for accessing the space. They usually involve a lengthy contract that’s near impossible to get out of, so they’re guaranteed your money for the term of it.

Inside, you’ll find endless rows of treadmills, ellipticals, stair steppers, and a circuit of weight machines, with a few free weights as well. There’s no assistance or coaching once you’re inside, and you’re on your own to put together your own workout and decide what it is you need to do for the day.

While some of these gyms may include group classes, they are often on a large scale and will be elbow to elbow. The classes move quickly and no correction or personalized attention from the instructor is offered.

Who it’s for: Anyone who is an intrinsically motivated gym goer who doesn’t require much oversight, help, or accountability.

Who it’s not for: Those just getting started out with exercise, or anyone who needs assistance with what to do and how to do it.

Boot Camps

These gyms are going to be a bit smaller square footage wise, with a higher attendance rate. Think of businesses like Orange Theory, Burn Boot Camp, and Fit Body Boot Camp.

This category of gym will operate on a slightly smaller scale model than the globo gym. They’ll take on a lot of members, but not more than they have capacity for.

These gyms will have a higher price point than globo gyms ($99-199/mo). They almost always have an initial offer of some free access in the beginning to help get you in the door.

Getting started at these facilities is a relatively simple process and once you’ve joined, you can start jumping into classes immediately. Common complaints of these types of gyms are that the classes are too large or there is not enough individual attention towards the members needs and goals.

Some of these types of gyms will sell branded supplements, but most of these places do not offer any kind of individualized nutrition coaching program.

All in all, these kinds of gyms are super popular and do a good job motivating people to make a change who might need a step up from the globo gym to get moving.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a bit more of a personalized experience and schedule accountability. While you won’t get “coaching,” you’ll get encouragement, and you might get to know some of the other people in your classes. There’s no “open access” so you can’t just go in on your own schedule – you’ll have to attend a pre-scheduled class time.

Who it’s not for: Anyone looking for coaching technique, one-on-one attention, looking to lift heavier weights, or looking to watch TV while they walk on a treadmill.

Boutique Gyms

At these facilities (like ours), memberships usually start with a conversation. We need to start with a conversation to learn your needs and goals first.

From that discussion, we prescribe options for the best way to reach your goals. This may include one-on-one personal training, individualized nutrition coaching and/or some group classes.

We also collaborate with other wellness professionals, and we may refer someone to massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, nutrition coaches, and more to best meet the clients needs.

Facilities like these have monthly rates starting at approximately $150 and going up to $1000+ if they include personal training, nutrition, or other programs.

These types of facilities take a more holistic approach to health and wellness. It allows the client to work with a team, so that the professionals can discuss potential pitfalls and keep open communication to best meet the needs of the individual client.

Who it’s for: Someone looking for accountability, one-on-one attention, and a personalized plan to help them reach their goals. You’ll always be greeted by name and with a smile, and you’ll receive personalized attention and coaching every single time you set foot in the door. You can expect regular check ins, goal setting sessions, and shifts in focus as you progress.

Who it’s not for: Someone who is looking to come in and “throw around some weight.” Anyone with an ego of any kind does not fit in here. You’ll need to be receptive to coaching, personal attention, and ready to grow and learn.

Which gym is right for you

Depending on the individual and their specific needs, each of these three options can be beneficial.

At the end of the day, the truth is that none of these options work if you cannot show up consistently. The best facilities in the world, with all the top professionals and equipment, don’t matter if you’re not willing to show up.

If you’re curious and have questions, book a No Sweat Intro with us to find out more. This free meeting will allow you to meet with one of our expert coaches, see our facility, and chat about your goals.

We’ll be the first to admit we’re not for everyone! If we think we can help, we’ll tell you how. If we don’t think it’s a good fit, we’ll tell you what we think would be.

What do you have to lose? Book your No Sweat Intro today!