I’ve recently come across a few posts on social media advertising local gyms. In particular, the gyms claimed to be the best in town and to have the best equipment a customer could ever dream of. I’m aware gym owners have to market their facilities and equipment in an enticing way but I have a few problems with such boastful self-marketing.
Firstly, self-promotion is subjective and at times misleading. If you are a gym owner, yes I do want to see pictures and videos of your facilities and equipment, but don’t tell me how great you are. I can talk to your customers about their experiences and formulate my own opinion. Even if your equipment is brand new and top quality, it won’t give me better results than the same equipment in an older gym. A dumbbell is a dumbbell regardless of its year of manufacture, and results are dependent on how I use it.
Secondly, I get uneasy when gym adverts promote a bodybuilding type of training, equipment and supplements because such things lead people to believe they can’t get fit without going to the gym. For years, the fitness industry has been brainwashing people into thinking they should lift weights and drink protein shakes in order to grow muscle and look good. Beginners are particularly vulnerable to this propaganda because they buy a gym membership with the illusion that bodyweight training is inferior to working out with gym equipment.
Instead, I would rather gym owners/marketing managers focus on promoting the fact that prospective customers will receive some kind of invaluable advice and guidance in relation to their fitness goals, or that customers will meet like-minded people and become part of a unique fitness community.
At the end of the day, a gym is just a place and its equipment a tool designed to help you achieve your fitness goals, but the tool itself is less important than the way you use it. Not to mention your body is a fully equipped gym itself. Progress is not dependant on the size of your gym, its equipment, personal trainers or membership fee. You are 100% responsible for becoming a better version of yourself. To see long-lasting success, you must understand yourself first, especially your values. You must become your own personal trainer who’s able to generate motivation internally. You must learn to research, experiment and educate yourself whilst staying dedicated and consistent with your self-created workout program or diet.
In conclusion, I must clarify that the bodyweight training mentioned in this post refers to gymnastic and calisthenic exercises which, unlike most gym-based exercises, build agility, flexibility and muscle coordination (in addition to muscular strength, size and endurance). Also, I’m not completely against going to the gym. I see many benefits in lifting weights if done purposefully, for instance when professional athletes supplement their sport with a few gym sessions in order to enhance their performance (but never doing it for the looks and always prioritizing their specific sport as main training). So, if you are an average person who’s fairly new to exercise, maybe you should consider working out with your own bodyweight first before picking up that dumbbell.