When searching for a gym, you have a choice between independent gyms and commercial gyms.
There's a difference between the two, and only one of them is the best choice for you.
You see independent gyms have heart and are built on community spirit. This is not to say that all commercial gyms, especially corporate ones, are in it for the money, but a majority of them are.
So it's not a surprise that independent gyms have the opportunity to beat the competition. While it's true that the membership fee is a bit higher, the cost easily outweighs what this type of gym offers.
What is an independent gym?
As the name suggests, it is independently and, in most cases, locally owned. Some are even owned by former trainers similar to the Temple Gym that is owned by Mr Olympia champion Dorian Yates.
It beats commercial gyms for several reasons.
What independent gyms have that some commercial gyms lack
A sense of community
As already mentioned, an independent gym is built based on a sense of community, where trainees are not just members who come in and out and get lost in the commotion.
It has a more intimate setting. Because it has fewer members, you see the same people often and makes it easier to make new gym friends.
These people will help you stay dedicated to your fitness and workout routine. And if you don't show up for a couple of days or more, someone would care to ask around or even check on you.
According to Temple Gym shareholder Jimmi Caan, "In order to beat the big commercial gyms, like Pure gym, you have to have a USP.
Here at Temple gym in Birmingham, we have a lot of history. I mean for a start, Temple is the Home of Mr. Olympia champion Dorian Yates. People like that. People like to hear a story, you have to give your gym an identity and tell its story.”
It is also this kind of story that will help you stay motivated to follow through with your training. This is especially true if you are training to be a bodybuilder. Use Dorian Yates as your inspiration and the best person to emulate. Then, use the original equipment he previously trained with and harness its power.
This is worth repeating due to the fact that a smaller client base means a trainer will be able to provide ample attention to trainees.
Whether you need a little or a lot of help, a professional readily available to guide you during your scheduled workout makes for a worthy investment. After all, a trainer will hold you accountable and push you to achieve your desired body shape and weight.
Most independent gyms offer specialised training, such as MMA, Pilates, martial arts, cardio kickboxing, and bodybuilding. If you join one, you're sure to learn new skills.
With commercial gyms, you take a pre-programmed class, hit the boxing bags for a few minutes, lift a few weights, and you're done. You're also going to do the same routine every time you come into the gym. This leaves little opportunity to learn something new unless there are trainers available who specialise in the new skill that you want to learn.
In reality, however, most commercial gyms can afford to keep their costs low because they don't offer new skills or programmes. Even with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, the services are usually generic.
Owners of independent gyms care about what they do and what they offer their clientele. Most of them even dedicate their lives to helping aspiring bodybuilders or kickboxers rather than focus on the financial and business aspects.
This is one of the reasons they often open a gym in a place they call home and in a community they belong.
Their involvement in the gym enables them to better understand your needs and to provide the appropriate solutions. Owners are also invested in your health and success, which is why they go out of their way to ensure your comfort and to meet your needs.
You may not find fancy facilities in an independent gym, but you will find the very equipment that will help you achieve your goals. The Temple gym in Birmingham, for example, has a separate posing room for bodybuilders who want to check how their body looks with a specific pose.
If you are training in the gym to compete and there are other competitors around, you're guaranteed to feel that competitive vibe. After all, there are only a few of you who are training at the same time, making it easier to spot who you should beat.
This will make training even more fun, and you will push yourself to do more if you want to beat the competition.
Independent gyms may not be perfect. But the positives easily outweigh the negatives. So be a member of an independent gym today.