Everything I learned about the gym…I learned from the prison yard!

by Hossein Noshirvani

(I’m talking Shawshank Redemption not actual jail time served!)

We take it for granted. We (gym people) walk into a gym, any gym, and instantly we know what to do, how to do it, and where to go. The reason, for people like us going to a gym (working in a gym) is second nature.

But let’s think back to a time when it wasn’t second nature. For me that was just 5 years ago…before going to the gym regularly was part of my routine. In fact, I can remember very vividly my first experience; I just don’t want to look like a fool.

So I did the first thing that seemed to make sense…I sat down on a bench and began pushing some iron (read that last part with a deep voice). The question is why did I do this? What would drive me to the bench when there are hundreds of other pieces of equipment to choose from? Let me go through the thought process (it was pretty short):

I had never been in a gym.
I knew I hated running on a treadmill.
I prefer my bikes to move.
All the other equipment looked like a torture device.

I had watched enough prison movies to know if I used the bar with the weights on the end and lay on my back, I could pretty much reach all my goals. Worst case scenario, if I ended up in prison, I would know what to do in the yard!

So let’s not forget that most people don’t feel comfortable in the gym. A lot of people are intimidated (I would guess one of the biggest reasons that retention rates are so low)! They have taken the first step, they joined your gym, now help them get the most out of it. Learn about them. Talk to them. Understand why they are there. Help them reach their goals!

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The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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2 Responses to Everything I learned about the gym…I learned from the prison yard!

  1. You are not alone. Once inside, new members should make sure bad habits don’t get started and gym etiquette is important. Wipe sweat, your sweat off all cardio equipment after using. Put weights back where they belong. It takes a team effort to keep a gym clean and organized, so don’t rely upon the gym staff to tidy up after you. We all get the same 24 hours each day.

    • Scott DeLong says:

      Well said John. In all areas. We humans seem to have a problem cleaning up after ourselves these days in general. Just look at the side of the road and empty parking lots. And we tend to carry this proclivity into our personal lives as well. It never fails to amaze me when I see someone get up from a piece of machinery and just waslk away with the padding just glistenning from their sweat. I suppose this would be the equivalent of peeing on a fire hydrant on the prison yard but thankfully we are not there

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