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Fitness Business The Unhealthy Gym Membership

The Unhealthy Gym Membership - Mel Tempest

I sit here this morning not feeling 100% a nagging cough that I get every few years has emerged and is not giving me any relief at all. So I can promise you this blog is not scripted at all, just my inner thoughts typing away.

The industry is changing at a rapid rate, so fast it’s ridiculous! Small studios no bigger than an oversized garage are opening on every corner, fitness staff are hard to find not because they are not coming into the industry but because they too have dreams to open up their own business and they are certainly entitled to that. Sadly thou, in short, it leaves us the club owner with little access to fresh, exciting faces! Yes, the industry is changing new boutique studios are opening up, and independents are now taking a leap of faith and either becoming the franchisor or flipping to becoming the franchisee.

I often kick myself that I didn’t follow some of my ideas and concepts ten years ago. I clearly remember telling many people I wanted to open a group fitness studio that was just focused on HIIT and being laughed at, don’t be ridiculous who would come to a venue that had little gym equipment…… a lot when I look around now. I kick myself every day; I just wasn’t surrounded by the right people to push me across the line, I kick myself that I made people feel intimidated with my ideas my thoughts and I feel sad that people disliked me because I can and do think more significant and I promote others to do the same. It’s a tough gig staying on top of it all; it’s a harder gig when you do it alone.

People have an expectation that you have all the answers when really your answers are just your opinion, they need to go out and find their answers just like I did, get it right get it wrong they have to experience both to find their way.

I look at the boutiques coming into the market and the equipment involved; it’s just an oversized group fitness room with fancy circuit equipment… isn’t it? Instead of grabbing a circuit card from reception to book, you just pick up your phone and press a button. Technology made it fancy, every aspect of it, from the clothing to the colour of the equipment, to the pretty printed brochures and mobile apps. To the new consumer who is young and knows nothing else its sparkles, it’s unique, it’s expected, its all about the community, their friends all doing something together. After all, isn’t that how we raised this generation to be more confident to help each other out to work in teams and not alone? Perhaps we as an industry can learn from this. The struggle of the new era is real but struggle together they do in groups with common agendas, to survive.

I kick myself for every idea or concept I have seen another person deliver; I kick myself for every speaking opportunity missed out on that I couldn’t control, never got the chance to share those ideas. My thoughts, my experiences, I kick myself for being so passionate and in love with what I do, I kick myself for giving so freely to an industry that doesn’t always give back.

I sit and look at where we are heading and I often give my opinion and it’s not always supported, but its an opinion and its something that every person is entitled to and it should be heard from start to end, it’s unfair to dislike a person or cut them off because they don’t think and act the way you think they should, they alert you to what you have ignored … Is that how we run our clubs? We only offer what we like; we ignore the obvious, we don’t listen to feedback or opinions or do we only listen because they pay us? Do we treat our consumers different to our business peers? Should I pay people to listen to me should I pay to play?

I look at the industry and feel sorry that those we seek to help become the victims, you see we as an industry in some ways are so busy trying to protect ourselves that we are not protecting those that need us. Our clients, our members, those that are overweight, suffer from chronic illness, those that have mental health problems and just those every day people who want time out, just like you and me. I look out there and see so many things we could be doing I look out there and ask myself how much longer do I want to be in an industry that fails at its message on every platform. I look at how falsified we have become.

We can have all the pretty stuff in the world; we can keep opening clubs, boutiques and running 5000 hot yoga classes a week. We can meet at the biggest conventions in the world and cheer each other on, but the one thing we don’t have is a solution to the industry’s biggest problem – unhealthy humans, this is the world fastest growing membership, and we have to ask why? Perhaps we are to blame, so busy delivering to our own needs and silent egos, so busy giving to what is comfortable so busy staying in the politically correct zone and not opening the doors to new thoughts. Maybe we as an industry created the new era of the unhealthy gym membership?



Mel Tempest will speak at

Ignite Women’s Fitness Business Event Melbourne August 23rd

Fitness Business Event For Women Gym Owners, Personal Trainers, – Melbourne