Creating the Habit, Part 4: Find a Studio That Feels Right

If sticking with an exercise remains an elusive goal, maybe the problem isn’t you after all, but it’s the studio you’re going to and/or who you’re seeking help from to start and or continue on your fitness journey.

We have all seen them. Maybe you are going to one now. A gym or studio whose sole focus is on classes. When I started FOR in 2004, I was literally it. The only strength and resistance training small studio in Alexandria. Now, there are over 20. People are interested in specializing between spin, strength, Crossfit, Pilates, Core, etc.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s great that folks are exercising, but as a purveyor of fitness industry trends and data, Ill be honest, this trend of ‘specializing in group classes’ only feeds the fad tendencies of the fitness industryAnd you know what happens with fads – in today, gone tomorrow.

The problem: Very few studios and trainers are invested in you. Okay, that’s not entirely fair – they are invested in you… getting you into their classes.  If youre getting your exercise in these classes, why is this a problem? Because there is so little individual attention and little to no accountability for the results you achieve or more often than not – don’t achieve.  How are you supposed to create a new healthy habit (discussed in part 4 of this series) when the system you’re going to for support and guidance doesn’t deliver on key habits to changing your behavior?

You think you’re doing everything right by joining a gym or studio (i.e, paying money to go, or not go, to classes) and committing to a fitness plan, but what you don’t realize is where you’re going may not have your best interests in mind. Why? Because…

  • Coaches are not responsible for your success 
  • There is no client evaluation prior to starting a class
  • There is no 1-1 session before to teach the exercises expected during the class 

What is the result? Injury, frustration, stagnation, weight gain.

The business model for a classes only gym is hinged on filling classes. The more people the more they make. This business model doesn’t put you first. Trainers typically don’t know your goals, much less any limitations (i.e, current or past injuries) you may have. When the emphasis is on class size there’s little to no incentive for trainers to help you achieve your results.  Unfortunately… at the end of the day, many coaches simply:

…are not responsible for the success of the client.  

Even if a trainer or coach has the best intentions the system is stacked against them. In fact, ‘proper client evaluation is impossible” in the class only model. “Assessing and tracking mobility, strength, movement, weaknesses, or nutrition in a group class is ludicrous. Group training violates the “CrossFit pyramid of fitness” and a core training principle (mechanics, consistency, intensity). 

“Coaches first need to learn to train clients one-on-one before training people in a group or class.  Teaching movements like gymnastics, sprinting, rowing, and Olympic weightlifting to newbies in a group class is ineffective and exhausting for coaches. 

We think there’s a better way that can give you the results you’re looking for. 

At FOR we evaluate every client in 3 one-on-one personal training sessions for $99. Why? Because every single one of us moves differently. We all have a history of exercise or lack thereof; we have a health history that dictates the kinds of exercises and the programs that are right for you. In the class-only model, the client is not evaluated.  

After the evaluation, each client is taught the fundamental movements that will be required in our classes if the client chooses to join our class program. Many clients choose our one-on-one training approach while others choose our small group program which maxes at 4 people. Regardless of the avenue you choose, we have a thoughtful program of strength training, cardiovascular work and lots of FUN in between.

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In Strength,
Adrien