Let’s talk about a hashtag. When Arkitect first opened in 2015, some of our clients started using the hashtag “BestgyminNH” when posting about us on social media. Although flattered, I had some hesitations. Afterall, there is no such thing as a perfect gym. Every gym has its strengths and weaknesses, and of course some gyms are better for different people depending on their circumstances. But our clients kept using the hashtag, and it just kind of “stuck” so we unofficially adopted it as our slogan. While we don’t think we are necessarily “better than everyone else,” there are some things that make us unique in the fitness industry. This has been both a blessing and a curse. On the flip side we have something to help differentiate us from the competition, which is very important in business. The downside is because we’re so unique, it takes a lot of client education to get people to understand what we do, and why we do it that way.
A New Concept
In the fitness industry you typically have 3 options:
At a globo gym, you are paying to use the equipment. That’s it. There’s no community aspect, there’s no coaching aspect, you are essentially gaining access to equipment, which is why a “regular” gym membership is usually the least expensive of the 3 options. Next is group fitness, this can be anything from a “follow the leader” style class like body pump, spinning, or Zumba, or it can be a circuit training style class like CrossFit, Bootcamps or Kickboxing. These classes are great for community, they are a bit more expensive than a traditional gym, but are cheaper than working with a personal trainer, and you have access to some coaching.The downside to classes, is the class schedule. Even if you’re 15 minutes late to class…sorry! Try again next time! Classes also have one other big problem…they have everyone doing the same exact workout regardless of their goals!
Lastly, with personal training, you are paying the coach for their time with you one-on-one, as such this can be very expensive. At Arkitect it’s $35/hr if you’re a member, and $60/hr if you’re not a member. The upside to personal training is you get a lot of hands on coaching. The downside is some trainers at other gyms still make you pay extra for a program, or don’t have a program at all and just make it up as they go. Personal training is also good for keeping clients accountable, which is why we offer it at Arkitect. Some people really enjoy the accountability of knowing they have an appointment.
I felt these three options left a big gap in the fitness world. What about clients that want some coaching, but didn’t need a coach to be there for every workout? What about clients who were serious about their long term goals, and wanted a dedicated plan specifically for those goals? That’s how I came up with the concept of Arkitect Fitness. We offer 24/7 access, but we have coaches on staff throughout the day to help you with your workouts. You get your own training plan based on your goals and needs. At over 120 clients, that means a lot of work for the staff at Arkitect. When we opened in 2015 people told me I was crazy for not offering classes. In the small “boutique” gym world, group fitness is considered the best business model for gyms. But I believed in offering the best results for clients, and that if I did that, then the success in business would follow, and that has proven to be true. I didn’t want to put my profits above my client’s results. I truly beleive we have done that, with a “best of both worlds” approach to how our membership works. It has also forced me to become a better coach. Working in a bootcamp facility you see many coaches coming up with the workout only minutes before the class begins. Writing programs for over a 100 people each month, all with various goals, has forced me to become more organized, streamlined, and to think more long term about client programs.
More than the Membership
Although we have some truly unique ways of training clients, our services aren’t really what makes Arkitect stand out. It’s the community. If you’re a member, or if you’ve been following our story, you will know that over the past few years I’ve had some serious health issues that have caused me to miss a significant amount of work. Every time I would come back from a surgery the gym would be taken care of by our members. Everything was neat, tidy, clean, and exactly where I left it. I would also return to stories from new members about how a more experienced client stepped up and helped them with their program. Sometimes I joke and say that I have “100 assistant coaches” at Arkitect. And it’s true, even during unstaffed hours, if a new client isn’t sure about something, an Arkitect vet jumps in to save the day.
Calling ourselves #BestgyminNH isn’t to put anyone else down. There are some truly great facilities in NH. In fact I’m friends with some of the people who own and operate these wonderful gyms. What #BestgyminNH means to me is way to pay homage to all the wonderful people in our community, who have trusted in us to help them reach their goals, and in the end, taken care of me when I needed it the most. So while we do think our Arkitect stands out in the fitness community, I truly believe it is YOU, the member, who make it the #BestgyminNH