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Are you overpaying for group fitness classes?

Are you overpaying for group fitness classes? Peel back the curtain and understand the difference between cookie cutter classes, and professional training.

Whether you love or hate CrossFit, there is no doubt that it has completely shaken up the fitness industry. Both in the way everyone is training and by how gyms structure their business models.

Before CrossFit, the business model was low price, low attendance. “How many people can we get to sign up for $10-$30/month, and how can we encourage them to never show up and take up space in our facilities.” Then CrossFit started making people realize that paying $150-$200/mo for professional training and results is a better option than paying $20/mo for a tag on your keychain.

Now we see the group classes and boutique gyms popping up everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you are getting professional training; it just means the market is adapting and big business is trying to get a piece of the fitness revolution that CrossFit started.

So how can you tell the difference? Is your gym in it for the revenue or in it for your health and fitness? The easiest way is to look at the type of training you are getting:

-If you are on a bike or treadmill the whole time that doesn’t require a professional trainer, it just requires someone to entertain and cheer you on.

-If they avoid teaching complex (but important) lifts. It requires a huge investment in the trainers to coach lifts like the squat, clean, snatch, and deadlift. It requires more 1-on-1 attention, which means you can’t fit as many people into classes. It also means that it costs more money per person. I just read a blog post by a local gym titled “The 4 exercises adults should avoid”. They were 4 of some of the most functional movements you can do - jump, sprint, deadlift (pick something up of the ground), and overhead press (lift something overhead). This is a perfect example of a lazy trainer avoiding to teach difficult, but highly effective movements because it limits the amount of people you can pack into a class. It requires you to dig in and fix the underlying issues, not just avoid them. At CrossFit Nashua and CrossFit Souhegan our goal is to restore you to a fully functioning human being, not avoid deficiencies.

-If they use gimmicks and theories on perfect heart rates, rowers with water in them, and long term contracts, then chances are their product can’t sell itself so they need to rely on those gimmicks to get your money.

All of these are signs of going back to the old ways of low costs for low service, only right now they are getting away with charging the same (or more) as a facility like ours.

I am not saying all CrossFit gyms are great and everything else is bad. There are horrible CrossFit gyms out there and there are really good boutique gyms that aren’t affiliated with CrossFit. I am trying to give you some insight so you can make a good decision as to where to spend your time and money working towards your health and fitness goals.

So now, what does professional training look like?

1. Constant feedback. Someone should be watching you move and correcting your form whenever there are flaws.

2. The trainers should have extensive education and experience. If you see a revolving door of trainers, chances are they are new to the industry and are entry level positions.

3. A variety of exercises. This will depend on your goals but chances are it will have something to do with wanting a lean, strong, capable body. If these match your goals you should be lifting heavy (relative to your strength), getting your heart rate up often, and doing a wide variety of movements.

4. Your trainers should be fixing the underlying issues, not avoiding them. If your trainer says you can’t do a movement because you lack the range of motion do they try to restore your range of motion and fix the underlying issue or do they write it off as if you will never be able to function like a healthy human being should? There are obviously circumstances when certain exercises can’t be performed safely, but the goal should be to get as close to a functional body as you can, not just ignore it and move on to a different movement.

Our facility is not for everyone, but we can guarantee you will receive professional coaching. If you are interested in trying out a free class, or talking to one of our coaches about how we can help you reach your goals with a "No Sweat Intro" please click one of the links below.

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