Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Gym Follow Up


Sometimes we ask for what we want and it doesn’t work the way we expected.  Case in point:  I decided at my WW meeting yesterday that I would be brave and go back to my gym and ask to set up a real orientation session to learn how to adjust the machines.  It seemed easy enough and how threatening could it be, to just go in and ask some questions?

I stopped on my way home from work, all bundled up with cold weather clothes and with a bad case of hat hair which doesn’t do much for feeling pretty.  I went to the fitness desk with the little blue-shirted young perky trainers and asked about getting one or two paid sessions with a trainer to make sure I know how to do the logistics of the machines.

The next thing I knew, I was talking to a manager – who turned out to be the same 24 year old guy who did my original orientation, the one that had consisted of a quick tour and a hard sell on the packaged trainer sessions.  He did say that individual sessions were available at $60/ea, up to 12.  But if I were to pay that, it would be cheaper to just sign up for the smallest package, which is twice a month at $40/each.  But then I would need to also pay an enrollment fee.

The numbers got me muddled because, let’s be honest, what I wanted wasn’t what he was talking about.  I can appreciate that they want to see us achieve our goals – as long as that means they sell more training packages.  And I admit that having a trainer twice a month could be very motivational, assuming I went.  Since I’ve been particularly good at avoiding the place completely, I just didn’t want that option.

I left having not signed up for anything.  I’m saving up for a new car (more on that another post) and think that I’ll just try again to go back and figure it out on my own.  And if it’s too hard for me to make sense of it, or to get over feeling intimidated by all the men and perky toned youngsters, well, we’ll see what happens.

Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies sounds better all the time.

7 thoughts on “Gym Follow Up

  1. Hmmpf! I’m not very impressed with your gym – and I wouldn’t have signed up for anything either!

    They should show you around and how to use the machines FOR FREE. But most machines have instructions and illustrations on them showing you how to use and adjust them, so it’s not too hard. Or perhaps you could watch what other people do and/or ask someone who looks friendly how to adjust the machine?

    Do you know how to use free weights? They’re better than machines anyway.

  2. Sorry that you got a hard-sell when all you wanted were a few answers. I am totally confident in your ability to figure the machines out on your own (you can always cheat and watch someone else doing it too). The only trick is if you need to adjust things to fit you, but considering all the desks you’ve put together, I think you’ll be OK.

    If you happen to be there when Mr. Hotshot isn’t, maybe someone else can give you a better answer.

  3. Short time reader and I never comment. Read this post last night, and today I asked my trainer if my club, Lifetime, had that kind of hard-sell policy and she said no. In fact, while I was doing biceps, she showed a new member how to adjust a nearby machine. She said you should ask the manager for a real orientation, which should include all the machines you want to use. It should be free at any reputable gym. I have been at this one, 24 hour fitness and the Y, and none of them charged extra for showing you how to use or adjust the machines.

  4. I’m certainly not understanding the “enrollment fee”, just for getting a few sessions. I have a feeling that this was yet another arrogant, high-sell dipstick who didn’t listen to a word you said.
    Why are you staying with this club?
    I think that’s the real question here. Exercise has to be a daily function in your life, scheduled in just like a job, play dates, dentist appointments, etc…
    Maybe the gym isn’t for you? What else can you do to move a little and build some muscle tone? It doesn’t have to be olympic training.

  5. Anne, good for you for walking in to ask for some assistance! I know that doing something like that can be a bit anxiety-producing. You definitely showed you are committed to figuring this thing out, and your gym should have met you halfway.

    If you can’t get out of your gym contract (if you have a contract) and find a more helpful gym, then I would suggest you do one of three things:

    1. Ask someone around you at the gym how to adjust the machine you are working on. Wait till someone finishes using a machine and say, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m new here and you really seem to know what you’re doing. Would you mind showing me how to use this machine?” People LOVE to feel knowledgeable. I have found that often really hardcore gym guys especially love to show a lady how to use the machines.

    2. Find out whether you can get a ‘friend pass’ for a day, and then email all your friends in your area to ask if any of them know someone who could come in and show you how to use the machines. Offer to pay that person if you feel it is appropriate. (It doesn’t sound like you actually need a trainer, after all–just someone who knows what they’re doing in there).

    3. Visit Craigslist (craigslist.org) and click on the city you live in, if it’s a fairly large city. Look through the different types of personal posts you can put up there, and ask if anyone who attends your gym/gym chain wants to be an exercise buddy and show you how to use the machines.

    The gym people were total butt-holes to you, but I do think this is a case of ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you push a little harder against the system and against your comfort levels, you’ll be the one able to assist people on those machines in a month or two.

    P.S.–Good for you for not giving in to the pressure when you are saving up for a new car!

  6. Hey – those were some creative ideas, Sally! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Boxing » Gym Follow Up Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

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