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Fitness fail: Does your gym really care about you?

Millions of would be exercisers and those who are trying to live up to their New Year's Resolutions are frequenting the gyms in the hopes of losing weight and thus eating healthier to improve their overall health and wellness.
As hard as you're trying to get in shape, you have to ask yourself about the relationship you have between you and your gym or health club of choice.
Do they really care about you?
That question might seem silly, but a lot of what moves the proverbial needle as far as exercise and joining a gym is concerned is equal parts customer service and results. Anyone familiar with the health club industry knows that these two attributes work together almost seamlessly.
In recent years, prices for gyms has dropped drastically, some as low as $10 per month, which begs the question if health, fitness and wellness really have transformed from something that has plenty of value associated with it to more of a flailing commodity that doesn't have the kind of importance or weight put upon it that it once did.

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The price, for some fitness brands, is directly related to just how important you are as a customer. Take Planet Fitness, for example. The successful gym franchises across the country start as low as $10 per month, with the highest monthly fee topping out at $20.
Planet Fitness markets itself as a judgment free zone and wants you, the casual, first time exerciser, to know that they're not going to put up with the "lunk" heads or body builder types within the walls of their gym. They just want you: average Joe or Jane.
In reality, here's what Planet Fitness doesn't want you to know about their business model. They don't want you to come. That's right, they price their memberships so low so that they can secure thousands of members within any one particular club to keep the revenue at a particular point. But here's the catch, most of their clubs can't hold 5,000 or so members, so behind closed doors they want you to not come. The $10 per month price point makes it easy to stop coming and not rush to cancel your membership because, well, it's only $10 (how much is that going to help you if you're cutting expenses?). Chances are, you'll keep it and that's exactly what Planet Fitness wants you to do.
And they're not the only culprit, either. Most of what ails the fitness industry is a propensity to put members first in theory or thanks to savvy marketing, but in reality only are willing to sweet talk you until you join, then banish you to the back of the line if you even think about asking a question after the fact.
L.A. Fitness is one of the more prominent and successful gyms in the world, but their customer service often comes under fire, most notably the personal training staff that won't help you with a simple question on how to use the machine, unless of course you're willing to buy personal training. Then, they become your best friend. Far be it from these staff members to answer a simple question on how this chest fly machine works, unless of course they're on the clock.
Your best bet often is a locally owned and operated club that has modest dues, decent space and a mentality that centers on helping the members and not working in volume as it relates to total numbers. Remember, quality always best quantity, especially when you're talking about just how important getting healthier should be.

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