Is it just me or is everyone noticing a big change in the landscape of the health, fitness and weight loss world?
Lots of changes. Locally and internationally, huge chain gyms have gone out of business or been sold off to another chain. How does that even happen? Quite a few of the big name chains have changed hands, not just to new franchise holders but taken over by a new chain. In some cases, multiple times.
You can only conclude that there’s an issue with member retention. People’s membership expires, they haven’t been training regularly anyway or if they have, they haven’t been seeing results, so they don’t go back.
This seems to tie in with my own observation that people have become perhaps just a little bit cynical about the fitness and weight loss industries. For good reason in my opinion, and I actually think this is actually a good thing believe it or not.
People have gotten sick of hearing about the latest restrictive gimmick diet that’s supposed to work miracles just like the last one was supposed to, except that no one who requires sustenance throughout their busy day will be able to stick to it. They’re sick of hearing about the latest trend in fitness classes, which every trainer needs to go and get qualified in and every client needs to start doing, because we now understand that we were wrong when we said exactly the same thing about something else six months ago. They’re cynical and disillusioned with personal trainers who’ve only been taught how to make workouts “fun and engaging”, but don’t know how to design a program to deliver results. And even more so with instructors who don’t appear to be in particularly lean, athletic shape themselves.
Oh I almost forgot a big one! People are cynical and distrusting of all the fat loss and diet products on the internet, with those before and after photos who always turn out to be stolen from someone who points out “I never even heard of this product before, I just fixed my meal plan and started doing some training”.
Obviously this is a good thing, right?
In fact, it’s a great thing that people are moving away from gimmick diets and exercise fads, and finding out what really works instead. People are starting to ask “well, what are the people who are actually IN shape doing?”, rather than “what’s something not too ambitious for someone in my shape to be doing?”
When you want results, you simply have to do what it takes to produce those results. You can’t make changes in your life by limiting yourself to actions that seem to fit in with what you don’t want to be any more.
So the result of all this is that more people… and in particular more women and adolescent girls are getting into serious training, for serious results. More people are joining old school or “hardcore” lifting gyms, rather than the chain gyms. More women and girls are starting Olympic lifting, power lifting, or even Crossfit style training. My own style of training is not so technical as Olympic lifting, and a lot more slow paced and methodical than Crossfit, and it does employ some elements of power lifting… but regardless, any of these approaches means serious training for people who want to see results.
And the results are… people are empowered. They get stronger physically, they not only create aesthetic changes in their body as they become lean and athletic, but begin to realise and appreciate what their body is capable of. Success breeds success, so in my opinion success in training carries over to success in other areas in life, due to increased confidence, health and vitality, and feeling like an achiever. A winner.
Perhaps most importantly, as people get into serious forms of training rather than just “exercise to burn calories” they realise that restrictive dieting is counter productive to their goals, and this fosters a much more positive, healthy relationship with food.
The tide has begun to turn, and rather than the latest fad, gimmick or “tricks” for dubious short term results, people are becoming more interested in going back to the tried and true, almost traditional stuff that we all know works.
For me this is great, because that’s been my message all along.