When it comes to selecting a way of getting in shape, you have a lot of options. Fitness is a growing trend in America and across the world, and there are more fitness “solutions” than ever before. As a small “specialty” or “boutique” gym we are often compared to gyms like CrossFit or bootcamp facilities (even though we’re nothing like them). Occasionally, however, we are also compared to more “globo” style gyms like Planet Fitness. In the eyes of the casual consumer, “a gym is a gym” and folks often can’t understand why you’d pay $129+/month when you can pay $10. To those who understand what we do at AF, that may be like asking “why drive a Mercedes when you can take the bus?” but if you aren’t a client,it could be hard to understand.
What Your Money Buys
- Planet Fitness
- Access to equipment
- Assortment of cardio equipment: Treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes
- Weight Training Machines (which are arguably less effective than free weights)
- A small amount of free weights, but no barbells, which is the most effective training tool in the world.
- Free instruction on how to use machines. Planet Fitness advertises that these training sessions are “unlimited” but there really isn’t a whole lot of need for them beyond the first session.
- Tootsie rolls
- Pizza once a month
- Bagels once a month
- Access to equipment
- Arkitect Fitness
- Free fitness consultation: Even if you don’t sign up, we help you to identify your potential areas for injury and movement dysfunctions, as well as help you more clearly define your goals, and weaknesses.
- Individual fitness program, created for you, based on your goals, schedule, health history, and gym experience.
- Unlimited Coaching: We’ll teach you how to do every single exercise on your program, and monitor all of your workouts on an ongoing basis. Clients get new programs every month.
- Nutritional Guidance: We tell each client how many calories, proteins, carbs and fats to eat. This is based on their age, height, weight, gender, activity level, and previous diet habits.
- A staff that knows all of its clients by name, and cares about your success. Most Planet Fitness locations have a membership in the 5-10 thousand range. At Arkitect we have less than 150 total clients. That means we get to know all of our clients on a personal level. We know your story, the names of your kids, and that you want to get in better shape to be a role model for them, or that you want to look your absolute best in your wedding dress, or that you’re trying to make the varsity soccer team.
- No gimmick equipment. You won’t find endless rows of cardio equipment in our gym. While those training tools have their place, the bulk of your training should come from moving your body naturally, the way it was designed to move, not strapped onto hamster wheel. That means lifting free weights, doing bodyweight exercises, and performing a lot of your training standing on your feet, not sitting on a machine.
Exceptions to the Rule
At this point you may be thinking “but my friend ______ workouts out at Planet Fitness, and he’s in great shape.” That’s awesome! We’re very happy for him/her. But the fitness industry is oversaturated with gimmicks and misinformation, and most people need some guidance and direction to succeed. No matter which gym or program you choose to follow you must have the following:
While I think gyms like Planet Fitness have serious shortcomings in their equipment and also the type of training they allow (for example they don’t allow deadlifts, largely considered one of the best exercises of all time), the people who really want it, will find a way around those obstacles. Many people who have succeeded on their own in traditional gyms have spent a long time (sometimes years) experimenting on themselves. They’ve found success through sheer determination and trial and error. Having a coach and a program like we do at Arkitect Fitness takes the guess work out of it.
Budgets and Priorities
At Planet Fitness you are paying to have access to equipment. At Arkitect you are paying for professional guidance, which covers not just what exercises to do, but how to do them, and also assistance with your nutrition. Is it worth it? That actually depends on you not us. We’ve had people tell us they can’t afford our facility, and as a premium service, we acknowledge that may be true for some people, but we’ve had clients who have canceled their cable tv subscriptions to make room in their budget for our program. Does that sound extreme to you? If you think so, maybe you aren’t as serious about your fitness goals as you think you are. It’s all about priorities. The fact is, if you do join our program, stay consistent, and follow your program, you will see results, and that is what makes it worth it.