There are 4 different types of gyms that you can join. You will be familiar with a conventional gym, but you may not be familiar with a Personal Training Gym.
- A Budget gym: £10-£30 per month
- A High-End Gym: £40-£100 per month
- A Small Personal Training Studio with 1-1 classes: £5 pay as you go -£200 per month
- A Personal Training Gym with small group personal training and classes £200-£300 per month
Over the next few weeks, we are looking, at each gym and scoring them based on our “Training Experience” criteria.
The sales team at each gym will tell you that their gym is best, but that is not based on any sort of clear, customer-based experience.
Here we are going to review each kind of gym to give you a good idea of the experience you will get in each of the gyms.
Our intention is that this should help in making an informed choice when working towards your health and fitness goals and finding the right environment for you to thrive.
Last week we looked at the 1-1 Personal Training Studio, this week it is the Hybrid Training Gym that gets the review treatment.
The criteria –
Training Experience Score: The quality of the training experience using 4 criteria each scored out of 5 points.
- Environment: Feeling safe from judgment and feeling safe from harm – scored based on a gym that feels friendly and accommodating which would be a 5 versus intimidating and unwelcoming, which would be a 0. Safe from harm is scored based on the safety of the coaching, set up, and kit to keep people free from potential injury.
- Kit: scored by usefulness and quality of the kit along with its availability through the day including peak times, not necessarily amount of training kit
- Coaching: scored by professional coaching qualifications and experience of the coaching staff – higher professional qualifications equal a higher score and experience of coaching throughout the session.
- Cleanliness & Amenities (changing facilities) – unavailable or dirty amenities scores a 0, great amenities and cleanliness is a 5
The total score for each gym is out of 20
This week, we will look at the Personal Training Gym
Personal Training Gym: £200-£300 per month
All gyms are businesses that aim to make a profit, but they go about it in different ways.
The Personal Training gym is a new kind of gym that you may not be familiar with. It is different than a small 1-1 Personal Training Studio as it is bigger in size, yet smaller than a regular gym. Sessions are done in small Personal Training groups rather than 1-1 and larger classes are available taken by the coaches.
The Personal Training Gym differs from most mainstream gyms as they are not driving for a high volume of memberships. The Personal Training Gym is focused on the quality of your workouts, your training environment, the results you get and building a supportive community.
The Personal Training Gym usually has a very involved induction month which includes personal training sessions 2x per week, including personalised nutrition coaching, on-going training tracking, assessments, and individualised reviews. This is pretty much everything that should happen when you join any gym but doesn’t because the business model of regular gyms doesn’t allow for the staff to take care of you in such a way.
Memberships at Personal Training Gyms are capped at 200- 400 members to keep the community small and personal. This type of gym is set up to help, support and guide you in detail with every aspect of your fitness.
Personal Training Gyms have experienced, friendly trainers that are assigned to you from day one working together with you with movement assessments to get to know your individual wants and needs.
The aim of this Personal Training Gym is not to just sell memberships but to tailor the training experience around you.
The Personal Training Gym is here to help people train properly, regardless of experience, confidence or fitness levels.
With 200 members paying around £200 per month the Personal Training gym can focus on fewer people and more attention on the individual as the £40,000 in monthly revenue and £480,000 of annual revenue means that this type of gym can turn a profit whilst investing considerable amounts of money back into the training experience for members including kit, environment, changing facilities and paying salaries for the top trainers and coaches in your area.
The whole basis for the Personal Training Gym is quality. Here you pay a monthly fee for access to all your PT sessions, team training and access to the Gym whenever you want it. It is analogous to the all-inclusive option when you go on holiday. Everything is taken care of under one roof.
Instead of joining a gym and ending up looking for a Personal Trainer at some point. Here you hire the top Personal Trainers in your area that have their own high-end private facility for you to train in. None of the challenges of a regular gym such as overcrowding and no assistance. with all the benefits of expert coaching every time you come in for your session.
Personal Trainers who run this type of facility will be more likely to be established and experienced with up to 15-20 years of experience.
This type of gym is strong on the experience and the community aspect so expect monthly events and a strong sense of camaraderie in the gym.
The schedule will also be a plus as the small group PT sessions mean a coach or trainer can see up to 4 people per hour whilst maintaining the highest standards of coaching you will find in the industry.
The Personal Training Gym takes all the best bits of a large gym such as the kit and puts them together with the best of a small 1-1 Personal Training Studio, such as the great coaching and support and closeness and community.
It takes all this and pulls it all together in a quality training environment.
The characteristics of this gym tend to be
- 2-4 quality experienced and educated Personal Trainers that have a minimum of 5-10 years experience in the industry
- Quality training kit of the same level you would find in a commercial gym and the trainers to coach you how to use it properly.
- The Personal Training Gym also has full changing and showering facilities to ensure a fully comfortable and convenient experience for its members.
- The professionalism of the gym is high due to the professionalism of the trainers that run it. The focus is on the member experience.
- The gym is friendly and welcoming due to the attitude of the Trainers and the people that have memberships. There is an air of progress and purpose to the gym as well as fun and enjoyment.
- there is a full training plan to follow every month that is adapted to you by the coaches. So you have a clear progression each and every month. You are never left wondering what to do in the gym
In this Personal Training Gym, you will actually pay less than hiring a Personal Trainer in a gym because the membership, personal training and classes price is included in your monthly fee.
That combined with the fact that you get a friendly, safe non-judgemental gym is what attracts people who want a Trainer to join this sort of gym rater than having a gym membership and then finding a trainer who offers just the training sessions.
2 sessions per week with a Personal Trainer in a gym can be in excess of £300 per month for only the 2 hours contact per week. Whereas 2 training sessions per week plus all group classes and access to the gym are available for £250 at a Personal Training gym.
So the cost is less and the contact and quality of that contact greater.
Environment Score 5/5
The Personal Training Gym scores highly on the “emotional safety” factor in comparison to the budget or high-end gym because of the type of person this gym tends to attract and the small personalised environment run by the coaches. The coaches and trainers usually work hard to ensure the environment is a positive and welcoming one and include everyone.
This type of gym is largely associated with building confidence due to the personal contact providing the trainer matches your preferred approach. There is a good blend of individual coaching with teamwork and community to get the best out of you.
There is usually an appropriate level of challenge based on your current comfort level without pushing too hard or too soon.
The trainers have done the research and have the experience to know what is needed to make sure you won’t be overwhelmed by the expectations including training difficulty and diet plans. There should are no restrictive diet plans as nutrition is based on step by step progressed delivered at the members preferred pace.
Kit Score 5/5
A Personal Training gym will have set the budget up and invested money in the quality training kit. The kit is usually commercial gym grade so there is no compromise and you should be impressed with the “look” of the gym in comparison to a small 1-1 breeze block PT studio, but with the benefit of a small, safer environment.
The coaching, the kit, and the training experience and programming are the selling points for this gym. Along with the sense of community and belonging it is easy to see why more and more people are starting to use Personal Training gyms.
The Personal Training Gym takes care of the members individual needs that conventional gyms just can’t manage whilst maintaining a sustainable business model that small 1-1 Personal Training Studios struggle to keep up with.
Because the personal training gym has a set training system for all its members they can have the quality kit and plenty of space and the coaches manage the flow of people between the kit meaning there is no waiting for kit or missing part of your workout due to busy periods.
There is no trade-off because the trainers manage your workout every time you are in the gym.
In the large gym, you get lots of kit but little assistance on how to use it and progress your program. In the small 1-1 gym, you get little kit but are instructed how to use it within a training system that the gym uses.
In the Personal Training gym, you get the best of both worlds.
Again, because of the budget 1-1 Personal Gyms usually have quality measuring kit in place to track your progress.
This includes Inbody body composition measures which ore the top body composition measures on the market costing in excess of £10,000 to install for the Personal Training Gym.
This indicates the level of investment the Personal Training Gym will go to invest in kit that matters.
Coaching Score 5/5
The Personal Training Gym is, of course, all geared around the coaching you will receive. This is one of the big 3 selling points that attract people to this type of gym over the others.
The coaching is a big factor and the Personal Training GYm has the benefit of being able to extend its service to the kit and products on offer as well as the environment and amenities.
You should find trainers that have been going for 5-10 years plus before opening this sort of quality facility.
The product and processes of this type of gym should be clear and simple and make training there enjoyable. The trainers will be passionate about what they do and also reasonable about their expectations of people living busy lives.
These trainers are usually ahead of the education and professional development curve of the industry and undertake their own career progression because they value it.
Cleanliness & Amenities Score 3/5
The Personal Training Gym will have spent significant money in this area to take care of clients needs. The changing facilities are usually clean, well presented and the small details like shower gels, lockers, and quality showers are taken care of. They may not have the often 5 star quality of high-end gyms but you have everything you need in a tidy, clean environment.
Of course, there is no pool, sauna or steam room as there is at a high-end gym as the Personal Training Gym is focused around the training experience.
The Personal Training Gym aims to bridge the gap between the quality of the high end gym and the personal contact and coaching of a 1-1 studio. When this is done well you have perhaps the best training experience available across the industry.
Personal Training Gym Overall Score = 18/20
Training Experience Score 90%
Jack & Patrick have worked out of Gyms for the last 15 years and now own and run Thrive: Optimal Human Performance Personal Training Gym in Bamber Bridge, Preston PR5 6EW. Momentum Business Park next to B&Q.
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