A Client-Centered Approach to Fitness
You have probably heard someone say “If you build it, they will come.” This phrase is adapted from a famous line in the classic baseball movie ‘A Field of Dreams.’ In the movie, Kevin Costner’s character Ray hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield. Once completed, his ball field attracts many of the past legends of the game, who come to re-create their love and passion for baseball. It has been used in many contexts to describe the theory that if you provide a space for something, people will be attracted to come and use it.
This seems to be the prevailing philosophy in much of the fitness industry today. Gyms and fitness clubs build giant facilities complete with indoor and outdoor pools, dozens of sports courts, multiple fitness rooms full of equipment, and locker and shower facilities that rival a professional football locker room. All of this is designed to give the consumer more choices, more ways to exercise, and a feeling that they could do anything they want to while they are there. Essentially, the facility itself is the draw to bring in business.
While these clubs are architecturally impressive, and they do have a lot of options, they fundamentally fail to focus on what is most important when it comes to health and fitness. When you are looking to get stronger, lose weight, feel better and improve your health, the myriad of options at the large clubs become distractions from what really matters. Not to mention the time it takes to find a parking spot, change in the locker rooms, and navigate you way through the maze of equipment to find what you want. What you really need to succeed is a focused approach, one that puts YOU at the center of the workout.
The Exercise Coach has spent more than a decade designing workouts that focus on you, the client. We don’t offer pools, daycare, kickboxing classes or hot yoga. You won’t see large rooms filled with treadmills, racks of dumbbells, or acres of tennis courts. What you will experience is a semi-private studio with experienced personal coaches. From your initial consultation, you will notice that we are most interested in discovering your specific needs and the results you have determined to be the most important. Our staff will teach you why so many of your previous efforts to get fit haven’t worked, and how our ground-breaking approach to exercise will help you succeed. We don’t advertise a myriad of choices, but have tailored our entire fitness and business model on the most effective exercises, backed by the latest in scientific research.
Often, the message we get from most fitness places is that we are too lazy or not serious enough about getting in better shape. While I’ll be the first to admit that it does take commitment to get fit, the reality is that standard fitness approaches have failed to provide the results people truly want. So instead of tailoring their services to focus on what the client really needs, they build larger and more elaborate facilities, hoping to impress us with their offerings. There is a lack of leadership and expertise in the industry, and what most of us need is someone to teach and guide us as we journey toward greater health and fitness.
Let me give you a quick example of how our client-centered approach differs from the large gyms. We had a gentleman in his late 50’s come into one of our studios. One of our personal coaches took him through an initial consultation, which includes a presentation about how the body works, what types of exercise are most important, and how training the muscles of the body is crucial to the results he was looking for. Then he was given a brief sample workout. As he came out of the training room I asked him how it went.
He told me that the last time he walked into a fitness business, it was one of those 24 hour centers. He was greeted by a nice young lady at the front desk, and the first question she asked was what type of equipment he wanted to use. He told her that he was unsure what he needed, and she proceeded to describe, in detail, each piece of exercise equipment they had, where they were located, and what they were supposed to do. She didn’t offer to help him put together a plan or program, didn’t ask him what results he was after, if he had any previous injuries he should be mindful of, or even how long, or in what order he should use the equipment. This new client then shared with me that he was very impressed with our consultation, and felt confident that we really knew how to get him in shape.
His previous experience at the larger fitness club is indicative of the industry at large. They build a building and fill it up with stuff that’s supposed to get you in better shape. The unfortunate reality is that many of their clients have had their membership fees automatically deducted from their bank account, month after month, without stepping foot in the club. Why? It’s not because they don’t WANT to get in better shape, but because the focus of these facilities is not on the individual client and their needs. No one takes the time to coach and guide you to achieve your goals. It’s almost as if they are really saying “Here is a big space with a bunch of machines. Go ahead, use them. Good luck.”
When our founder and CEO, Brian Cygan, opened his first Exercise Coach studio 12 years ago, he was committed to a client-centric approach to personal fitness. Over the years, the type of equipment has evolved and improved, he has had trainers and coaches come and go, and has started to expand through franchising the business model. Yet if you ask him today ‘What makes The Exercise Coach better than all the other fitness facilities?’ he will tell you that it’s our passion for empowering unlikely exercisers to achieve their fitness goals. The Exercise Coach approach focuses on you, the client, and customizes each moment of the exercise to help you achieve your goals.
So if you want to play basketball or zip down a waterslide, by all means, join a large club. But when you are ready to focus on fitness and health, come visit an Exercise Coach studio and we will get to work guiding and coaching you toward a stronger, healthier future.
For more information, please visit www.exercisecoach.com. On the front page, we have a short video with some of our clients telling their Exercise Coach stories. If you would like to check out a studio in person, visit our Locations page. If we aren’t in your area yet, consider becoming an Exercise Coach franchisee. Our passion for putting people at the center of our business extends to how we coach and empower our franchisees to achieve the business goals they are looking for.
As always – Enjoy Strength.
Jesse Hudson – Director of Franchise Operations: The Exercise Coach