Fancy Buildings Don’t Equal Training
Everyone knows that LA Fitness is in the middle of a massive push to gain traction in all the major metropolitan areas of the United States. Just look around and you can see these big-box facilities popping up everywhere. This is happening in the middle of the global economic slump no less.
Whoever is running the ship over at LA Fitness world headquarters is a pretty slick cookie. Traditional gyms such as Bally’s and Powerhouse are closing up left and right. This means that people are quitting in such numbers that these smaller facilities can’t stay open. In swoops LA Fitness with new buildings and new equipment and they start snatching up members (and their monthly dues) left and right.
But does this mean that these people are going to see significant results now? Is there some magic pixie dust that is sprinkled on these new, bright, shiny gyms that insures results? Will places like LA Fitness single-handedly break the growing trend of obesity in this country?
I think not. Just because someone saw the new LA Fitness South Arlington TX being built and were impressed enough to stop in for a test-run and got pressured into becoming a member doesn’t mean that they are a changed person. They didn’t actually show up at the old gym and do the work necessary to see changes in their life and health and once the new feeling of this gym wears off they’ll most likely do the same.
In the end, LA Fitness is just another globo gym with a new coat of paint. It’s following the exact same playbook that’s been used by Bally’s for years. Get as many people to sign up as possible, make it as difficult to quit as possible, and hope they don’t show up. These older gyms worked this model for more than 30 years. They screwed up by not figuring out what LA Fitness did….namely that they needed to tear down their smaller, older facilities and build bigger and better clubs. Unfortunately, I think that the size of the LA Fitness-type gym is going to enable it to milk this model for a lot more than 30 years.