T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o


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Booty to the Max, Here I Come!

2006-11-28    11:16 a.m.
Last Wednesday I looked on Craig’s List and saw that someone was trying to get rid of his gym membership. No transfer fees, no sign-up costs, and no monthly billing until 2009 if I signed up through him for a completely reasonable amount.

I made an appointment and showed up at the gym at 3:00 for a tour. Frances showed me around a tidy little gym with plenty of machines and weights galore. When we went back to the sales area, I said that the gym didn’t meet my needs since I already had a gym in my condo building with ample weights and treadmills.

Despite this proclamation, Frances continued with his spiel, laying it on me. If I signed up today, there’d be a huge discount. He could switch around the schedule so there were better classes in the mornings and evenings. I could always hire a trainer to work me out instead of relying on classes.

I’m adamantly against the hard sell where gyms offer special prices if I go with them that day. If they can offer it then, they can offer it two days from now when I’ve toured other gyms and shopped around. I seriously doubt that any schedules will be switched around to accommodate little ol’ me, but fine, thanks. But that last one got me. If I’m hiring a trainer to work me out in place of classes, what’s the point of having a gym membership? If I wanted a trainer to help me out, I’d have him or her come to my condo gym.

He didn’t like it what I said this, even though I kept my cheery disposition. He really didn’t like it.

Now, I realize that it’s his job to sell as many services as possible. Personal training is easy cash for trainers, so long as they have the client base. However, to tell me that I need a trainer to make up for the gym’s deficiencies is out-right ridiculous.

He asked about my work with a trainer, and I said that I got a consultation every 3-4 months. This is partially true, as my brother tells me what to do, what to change, and how it’ll affect my workout to improve what I want to accomplish. Two or three times a year he even takes me into a gym and fixes my form, gives me pointers, and tells me (in the nicest way possible) that my arm flab isn’t going anywhere unless I actually do something about it.

Frances started repeating, “Science says that your body adapts to your workout every 4-6 weeks! You need to meet with a trainer then!”

Okay, I get it. Yes, I understand. My body would adapt to these workouts every 4-6 weeks... If I did them consistently. Truth be told, once my mileage goes up, weights are dropped. Hell, once I get cold and grumpy, all workouts stop. Don’t tell me my needs when you’re not me every day, day in and day out.

I sat silently as he ranted about how spending $400 a year to see a trainer every three months was giving me zero results. I glanced over at the other sales guy, and his mouth was open and eyes wide. Frances continued, telling me that if I worked out every 4-6 weeks with a trainer instead, I’d only be spending about $1100, but I’d have 100% results. And then the words came:

You’re got to be an idiot if you don’t want to spend $1100 for 100% results.

I gave wide eyes to the other sales guy, who at this point looked like he was going to have an aneurysm, and calmly said to Frances, “Thanks for your time. I’m gonna go check out other gyms now.”

The sale guy with his agape expression laughed aloud and gave me a wink as I left.

So long, Frances. May you insult someone else and make a commission off of him or her instead.

The next gym was seen on a whim, as my friend gives it high marks. Seriously, y’all. Nicest. Gym. Ever.

I oohed and aahed at everything here. Lots of shiny things on the walls. Lots of classes. Lots of machines. Lots of beautiful people.

With all of these Lots, of course it was lots of money.

I messaged my friend for a negotiation bone, and he told me that they’d go down only $10 a month if my employer had a contract with them. Cripes. No such luck, despite working for one of the largest companies in the world.

Now, this absurd monthly amount makes sense for him. He works across the street and squeezes in a lunchtime weights workout since marathon training during the evening makes adding in weights difficult. From his desk to when he hits the floor, it takes him 7 minutes.

I, however, work out in the mornings or evenings, giving me the luxury of accepting a gym that isn’t two streets from my house if it saves me a significant amount of cash.

My hopes for the world’s most beautiful gym were then smashed, but I soldiered on.

I took a wrong turn and ended up at a gym across the river. I really just wasn’t impressed at all. Once you added in court fees for racquetball, it was $4 more per month than the absurdly expensive (for me) but beautiful gym right by my house.

I was a bit dismayed, hoping against all hopes that I wasn’t going to end up paying the entirety of my paltry raise on a gym membership.

Then I stopped at Crunch. They’re known for their classes -- what I wanted. They’re half a mile away -- not too shabby, even in the cold. They’re open early and late -- the only times I’ll grace them with my presence. Now add to it that they have boxing (I get to hit things!!!), the sales guy was 100% pressure-free, and that my company discount netted me no initiation fee and brought the monthly price to exactly half of what the world’s most beautiful gym was charging.

Of course I signed up right then and there. And so far, I love it.

In other news: Britney Spears, be warned. You have just received a downgrade.  

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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