Gyms and fitness centers are more than places where one walks in to a dirty weight room, throws weights around for an hour, and heads home. Today, there are multiple places to choose from and while those underground gyms still exist, fitness centers are literally on every street. You may ask yourself, as I once did: What sets them apart? Isn’t a gym a gym? Some think this way and will never be told otherwise, while others who’ve done their homework know beyond a shadow of a doubt no two gyms are alike. In fact, even under the same brand name, no two are alike, and that’s saying something.
Have you ever belonged to a gym consisting of endless cardio equipment, thousands of members, waiting lines to use certain cardio equipment, a front desk person more interested in their social media than they are at their current job, and it feels like your already long day at work isn’t over? Is the equipment unkempt? Should American Horror Story should do a season on the happenings within ninety percent of gyms in America. As for the remaining ten percent, we’re the voyagers, innovators, and solutions to the problem.
Isn’t the gym supposed to relieve stress? Don’t you deserve to workout with and see some friends in a nice, clean, welcoming, upbeat atmosphere where everyone from the office manager to the trainers know your name? After a long, ten-hour workday, wouldn’t it be nice to simply see smaller crowds, while the gym manager unveils the big event coming to the club this spring? Half the gym regulars are more than excited for this event to take off, and you’re no different, hopping on board. Oh, and this comes after the time where most of those making their New Year’s Resolution tail off, only they’re now staying because they want to partake in this competition also! Lifestyles have not only been changed; these people are here to stay because they love the atmosphere and they now get a nice taste of the club culture, which appears to be doing at least two events per year: A Spring Event and a Fall Event. Furthermore, every summer there is a nice prize raffle where the couple who’ve won last year’s grill are still on the gym’s Facebook page and their picture is hanging up in the gym member’s area. Quite the club!
Does the second or third paragraph sounds more appealing. If you chose the third paragraph, it’s what we’re all about at Anytime Fitness. Look, I’ve been with this company for nearly five years, at several locations, and my experiences here have left me willing to stay for the long term. Why? Because Club Culture, such as what I laid out in the above paragraph, is one hot reason. You don’t see this at other clubs, typically because they’re so large you may be a number to them, and nothing else.
We’re the ‘Cheers’ of fitness. Remember the show Cheers? I shouldn’t remember it due to my age but shows such as Frazier spawned directly from Cheers, so I have a firm grasp on what the show is about, as it’s in the theme song. That catchy theme song kids often hear their parents, or these days, their grandparents, to an extent, sing whenever the song hits the classic rock, soon to be oldies station. And when I say everybody knew everybody’s name, I’m not kidding. I knew what kind of car my members and clients drove, and I could see them coming from (literally) a quarter-mile away, as they had to take a quarter-mile stretch of straightaway to get there.
Up here in Pennsylvania, I can tell you right now I’m taking everything I learned in my first club back in West Virginia, and bringing it here. Different place? Of course, but it’s only a forty-five minute hike from my old stomping grounds located beyond the West Hills. Today, I want to talk of how our Club Culture skyrocketed in West Virginia, how a Revolution was created, and how the Revolution is among us today. First off, I was the architect behind this experiment, and at only twenty-one years of age back in 2013, it was my first big project regarding anything fitness-wise.
I called it Survivor, pitting the client bases of mine, our two other trainers, and the new client bases headed up by our manager. Four teams, or tribes, thereof, one tribal winner, but more importantly, one Survivor Champion. The three-month event was up and ready to go, whereas we offered one team challenge, and one individual challenge weekly. Both challenges added up points to your tribe, but the individual challenge added up points for yourself in addition to the tribal points. Each month, there was a tribe challenge, where the entire tribe would partake if they chose to, which also added tribal points at the end of each month.
Survivor did many things. For one, it allowed not only members of the same tribe and client base to get on first name terms; it allowed opponents to become friends and even do challenges together! Secondly, it made members lifelong friends to the point to where they wanted to train together in a group fashion (enter small group and team training a few months later) as at the time we only offered one-on-one sessions for thirty minutes apiece. That quickly changed. This happened back in March 2013. It had the clients talking so much the members wanted a challenge they could be included in as well, just like we wanted.
We put tables in the club, where members and I would be talking for hours as spring raced into summer, and the days were longer. Heck, I would host group workouts before there were group workouts among my clients. We ran on the Trail, behind the plaza, and did workouts in the back of the gym making Pizza Hut complain to the landlord about us bringing equipment into what was supposedly their drive-thru!
Back in 2013, that old club in West Virginia was in its infancy, being open for only a year, but during that time, we built a culture which served as the basis of something I would take to all my stops along the long, winding path called a career. My only question to you is: Are you ready? A Revolution is Among Us!