I've tried a couple different gyms over the last few years and ended up throwing a lot of money down the drain when my motivation flamed out and I stopped going.
I was exhibiting at a trade show in Chicago a few months back and met the founder of the Exercise Coach, Brian Cygan. Brian was there demonstrating some of his equipment and during a short break, I gave it a try. Thought I'm not a workout guru, the equipment was more high-tech than anything I had worked with and after 5 or 6 reps on a couple different machines, I was exhausted. A couple days later, I could still feel it. You could say that I was way out of shape - and I wouldn't argue.
Anyway, Brian, after only spending a couple short days around me, learned that I lived near TJ Lux, and his dlux training location on Broadway in Crown Point, Brian offered to set me up with a few free workouts. Well, I went home after the weekend and didn't really think twice about it, but lo and behold, just a day or two later, I received a call from TJ inviting me in for a few sessions.
Little did he know, that I had taken advantage of an offer they had put on Groupon that morning, offering 8 highly discounted personal training sessions. So, with the Groupon and the free sessions, I was able to get a fairly low-risk trial of the workout, and the results have been far better than anything I could hope for. dlux has also taken advantage of a few psychological-type issues that have kept me coming back:
- Instead of just letting you come in at any time of day, you have to make an appointment. For me, this makes me put it on my calendar and I show up. I've been going twice a week for nearly 3 months - far longer than I have ever lasted at any of the gyms I attend.
- By setting an appointment, they are also able to limit the number of people in the facility at one time, allowing more personal service, even for those of us that don't purchase the full personal training package. I feel like I get to know both of the owners/trainers well - a personal touch that I appreciate after going to gyms where the only time anyone seemed to care about what I was doing was the day I walked in to sign up.
- The workout lasts 20 minutes and they only encourage 2 visits per week. For me, this has been plenty of work to keep me in shape and help me lose a few pounds.
- The cost is much more expensive than anything I had experienced at other gyms. While this was a hurdle I had to get over, it has turned in to a strange positive for me. For the money I'm spending I better get my ass to the gym at least twice a week - and I have.
Since I started going, my wife has also begun working out there (also with the initial Groupon) and is excited to continue going when her initial 8 sessions are up. The cost, again, is prohibitive, but after thinking about all of the unhealthy things we regularly spend our money on, it was easy to find ways to cut back in other areas and spend a little money on something this new year that would actually get us in shape.
I'll keep you posted on my progress, but I've already seen a difference in my own fitness, which has also made me more conscious of eating healthy and finding other ways to exercise. And most recently, I've been talking to Dave, one of the trainers at dlux about my diet as well as some supplements I can take to keep me healthier. Don't know the results of those yet, but I'm happy to be a bit more healthy in 2012!