Although simplistic, we can classify gyms into two types: neighborhood gym and gym belonging to a franchise. Not necessarily one is better than another, it will depend on many factors: personnel that manages it, monitors, equipment and materials, offer of activities …
We will try to do an analysis of the different aspects to take into account when choosing a gym and see what strengths and weaknesses have both the neighborhood gyms as the franchise gyms or chain gyms.
Today we have so-called low cost gyms, where for just over $20 a month we can go to get fit. It is also true that many times these low prices have specific conditions behind: price without VAT, register for a minimum of one year, have only access to certain activities or timetables established.
A few years ago it was difficult to find a gym for less than $30 a month. Today, especially in certain chains of gyms, low prices prevail so that people do not suppose a big payout to go.
Neighborhood gyms have also had to adapt to price issues and rates are more flexible than before. There are neighborhood gyms that, like the big chains, sell session bonuses or put cheaper prices if you only do one type of activity or you go only in the morning.
Before what the gyms offered was a single price and flat rate. At most, discounts were made for quarterly or annual inscriptions. Today, what is wanted is to retain the user by offering a rate on demand where he is the one who chooses schedules and activities.
Fitness activities offer
Here, except for occasional cases, the big gym chains are winning because they offer many types of fitness activities, especially at the level of collective classes. Of course, not always more offer of activities is better.
Sometimes there are such a number of classes that one does not know what they are or what they are for. If we are looking for a gymnasium with the idea of doing only weights or spinning, the rest of the classes will really do. If what we are looking for is variety, surely in a chain of gyms we find it.
Deal with the customer: the crux of the matter
For me, the most important aspect when choosing fitness. The deal with the customer is fundamental. And with customer treatment I mean a group of professionals who know their users to be able to track optimally over time.
In the treatment of clients, neighborhood gyms probably have a lot of cattle, since they do not have as many users as they can get to know people better . In a chain of gyms surely we do not have a treatment so personalized, to have so many people dealing with monitors or coaches is usually more impersonal or punctual.
Schedules: many times it is what determines the choice of gym
The opening and closing times and the fitness activities schedules tend to be a lot of weight when choosing a gym. While in neighborhood gyms there is usually a limited time, in certain chains of gyms even there is open 24 hours .
A gym that opens 24 hours is sure to have more pull in people who finish late to work or who prefer to train before heading to work. That neighborhood gyms do not have it, where, at most, they can play with closing late, but not much more from 22: 00-23: 00 hours.
Equipment and materials: something in constant innovation
Fashions also command in the gyms and with them come different equipment and materials. Gym chains, because of their economic support, are more likely to absorb new fashions and, with them, acquire ** new materials and equipment **.
Neighborhood gyms are often simply wanted for an optimal number of machines in the room. There are even neighborhood gyms that have to resort to buying second hand material to have the basics.
Having the latest fitness equipment is not cheap, but there are certain types of fitness users who demand it. If we use a pair of dumbbells and a bar to train, practically any gym will be worth. If we are of those who like to try the latest in material or fitness methodology, surely the chain of gyms can offer us.
Neighborhood gym or chain of gyms: each has advantages and disadvantages
It is not easy to say if one type of gym is better than another. We can say, in any case, that one is better than another depending on the user and what he demands: schedule, activities, material, personalized treatment, objectives, price …
If it is true that many of the neighborhood gyms tend to disappear due to the chains of gyms. These have had more capacity, either by price, quantity or quality, to reach the user.