What Kind of Gym is Right for You?

Over the last decade, America’s interest in fitness has exploded. This is good news for the health of our nation, but with that increase interest in fitness, more and more gyms have opened to try to meet that demand. That means even in markets like Concord, NH, or Tyngsboro, MA where our second location can be found, there are dozens of options for people to choose from.

You may think having a lot of options for a gym is a good thing, but it can be overwhelming when shopping for an option for your next gym. In this article, we’re going to go over the various types of services that you’ll find in most markets, including here in Concord, NH, and in the Tyngsboro, MA area. Hopefully, this will help you choose the right gym for you!

Traditional Gyms

The traditional gym is a model that we’re all familiar with. In your standard globo gym, you pay a monthly fee to get access to the facility. These facilities are typically equipped with a lot of machine-based training. The reason for this is simple: Machines require very little expertise to use.

In this model, you are essentially “leasing” access to gym equipment. On the pricier end, these gyms will keep up with getting the latest and greatest machines, while lower budget facilities may let their equipment wear out for a few more years before replacing it.

These facilities can cost as little as $10/month or as much as $100/month depending on where you’re located. Here in Concord, there is a gym that is just under $100/month but doesn’t really offer any more amenities or services than your typical Planet Fitness, which is only 1/10th of the price at $10/month.

These gyms are great for people who have a lot of exercise experience and don’t need any additional instruction, or specialized equipment. They also might be a great option for someone that just wants to walk on a treadmill, but not do it outside in the hot humid summer, or snowy and cold winter months.

While these gyms can be attractive due to their low price point, you typically get what you pay for. Back in the day, Bell Helmets used to run an advertisement that said “If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.”

Here at Arkitect Fitness, we feel the same way about health!

Group Fitness

Group fitness is now likely the most popular style of fitness facility in the market today. This is especially true for Concord, NH. If you want to do group fitness in Concord, there are an overwhelming amount of options.

Group fitness can be broken down into two different categories. There’s “follow the leader” style group fitness, and there is your more interactive/HIIT style of group fitness.

Follow the leader group fitness is exactly what it sounds like. This would be your spin classes, Les Mills’ Body Pump or Zumba type of class. In a follow the leader class, the instructor stands at the front of the class, and everyone follows along while the instructor does the workout themselves.

There are several types of benefits to this type of group fitness. First, they are usually high-paced and a lot of fun. They are usually also heavily aerobic-based, so if improving your endurance and aerobic fitness is your goal, these might be a good option.

However, this style of group fitness also has its drawbacks. First, because the instructor is doing the workout themselves, they don’t typically take the time to walk around the class and make sure everyone is doing everything correctly.

Secondly, because these classes are usually quite large in size, it’s common that most of the movements are not with any additional training tools like kettlebells, barbells, etc..That means most of the movements can be bodyweight (which might be difficult for beginners) and the movement options usually aren’t skill-based either. While learning new skills might not be at the top of your priorities, it’s always a peripheral benefit of an exercise routine, as better athleticism allows you to more easily participate in a wider variety of activities and reduces your risk for injury.

In other types of group fitness like Bootcamps and CrossFit, typically the class is broken into smaller groups who rotate through a variety of exercises, so in a class of 20 people, not everyone is doing the same thing at once.

The benefit here is it allows the instructor to move around during the workout to address different issues people have throughout the workout.

The other benefit to group fitness is that the structured class times keep your workouts short and to the point.

The drawback here is that because the instructor has to keep the class going, they may not always have the time to dedicate to someone who is really struggling with a particular movement. The coach may then have to make an adjustment on the fly, one which might not be ideal given the client and situation.

Group fitness also has a few other drawbacks, such as fixed class times, which means if you typically go to a 4pm class after you get out of work at 3, even a 15-minute delay at the end of your workday could mean you miss your class time.

If you don’t need the flexibility of being able to go to the gym whenever you want, then group fitness might be a good option for you.

In general, group fitness can be seen as somewhat of a step up from a traditional gym, because even though you aren’t getting a program specifically tailored to your goals, you are at least getting some professional instruction.

You can expect most group fitness facilities to cost somewhere between $100-200/month, and often they charge you more the more times you go. So a membership for 4 workouts/week will be priced higher than 2 workouts/week.

Personal Training/Semi-Private Training Sessions

You’re probably already familiar with traditional personal training. This is a straightforward concept, you pay a trainer for a block of their time, to work directly with you. These are typically 60-minute sessions, but some facilities offer 30-90 minute sessions as well.

The benefit of personal training is that you get a lot of 1-on-1 attention. The entire session is completely catered to you, which is nice, but this again has some drawbacks.

First, personal training is expensive. If I have a group fitness class of 20 people, where each person paid $10 to be there, the facility just made $200 for that hour. However, if you have one coach working with one client, they’ll need to charge quite a bit. You can expect most personal training sessions to cost somewhere between $40-100/hour with discounts coming for people who buy multiple sessions at once.

Semi-private training is a way for clients to lessen the cost per session. Instead of working 1-on-1 with a client, in a semi-private session, the coach may be overseeing up to 5 different clients. This means you’ll still get a lot of individual attention, but you won’t have the coach completely to yourself. Semi-private sessions can range from $20-70/hr per client.

Much like group fitness, both private and semi-private training can be limited by scheduling.

Arkitect Fitness

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in the Concord, NH or Tyngsboro, MA area, there likely isn’t a facility like Arkitect nearby, but while we’ve covered most of the traditional options for fitness facilities, Arkitect is quite unique in the marketplace.

Arkitect was designed from the ground up to address all of the drawbacks to the traditional options in the marketplace. At Arkitect Fitness you can come into the gym 24/7 just like a traditional gym. You also get your very own workout program, just like you would if you did personal training.

We have blocks of time throughout the day where our coaches are available to help you with your workouts.

In this way, you get a lot of the attention that you would in a private or semi-private session, but you can come whenever you want, and it’s a fraction of the cost compared to personal training.

The workouts are more specifically tailored to your goals compared to group fitness, and you have the flexibility to come whenever you want, like a traditional gym, and the best part is, you don’t pay more just because you want to workout more.

If you are in the Concord, NH, or Tyngsboro, MA area, and you are looking for a truly unique gym experience that can help accelerate you to your goals, Arkitect Fitness might be the perfect fit for you.

AUTHOR

Dr. Brett Scott

Arkitect Fitness

"We help athletes and active adults
lose weight, get fit, and optimize performance."
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