The fitness industry is booming, and for good reason. People are seeking ways to stay healthy, fit, and active in their daily lives. However, the rapid growth of the fitness industry isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. There are several dark sides to this industry that people need to be aware of. The fitness industry is saturated with a variety of gimmicky products, hidden fees, and unscrupulous business practices that are rampant in the community.
Many of these issues stem from faulty marketing tactics by manufacturers as well as a lack of accountability within the community itself. So if you plan on getting into the fitness game or already own a local studio or gym, here are some things you need to know about the fitness industry that could help you level up your operation:
One of the biggest issues within the fitness industry is the practice of charging excessive “overnight’’ or “setup” fees. Almost every fitness business will charge you an overnight fee whether you request one or not. While this fee may seem harmless, it can actually add up to a lot of money over the course of a year. There have been several cases where a studio owner charges an overnight fee for an item as low as $75.
In a community of hundreds of locations, this fee adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Most of these “overnight” setups are actually due on Saturday. Not every studio on a Friday and Saturday is meant to be open all night. So why does the fitness industry think the public and customers need to suffer because of their lack of market knowledge?
Setting up a facility is a costly process and should be handled by professionals. If you want to open your own studio, you need to be aware that opening a small gym is a multi-billion-dollar industry that involves a lot more than just putting up a few pieces of equipment. You also have to hire staff, buy a lot of supplies, and have the facility inspected and compliant with all of the local regulations.
Confusion Over Types of Equipment
Another issue within the fitness industry is confusion over the types of equipment that are being used in a workout. In almost every fitness article and blog, you will see comparisons between a typical CrossFit workout and a standard cardio routine. While these two styles of exercises are different, many manufacturers and gym owners will conflate them together and use the same terms to describe both.
This can lead to confusion among members and customers. For example, during a cardio class, you might see: “Perform 10 minutes of Tabata Interval training, followed by 30 seconds of steady-state cardio for 10 minutes.” This may confuse a customer who might think that this is a CrossFit class since the cardio is used to make up the Tabata interval training. The confusion continues when you get into other classes, like Piloxing. The Piloxing class might have a combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises that are similar to those in CrossFit or muscles blaze classes, but with a focus on Chinese martial arts.
Another dark side of the fitness industry is the proliferation of gimmicky products. While many of these products are marketed as a way to help members lose weight, many are really just a way to make money. Many gym owners will sell these products as a way to supplement their income. These products usually fall into one of three categories: meal replacement bars, supplements, and fitness equipment used to create entire workout programs.
The fitness industry is saturated with marketing scams. The goal is to create a new product or brand that makes money by selling these products. To be successful, these products often have little to no scientific evidence supporting their claims. The most common of these scams are:
– Meal replacement bars: These bars are marketed as a way to help members lose weight because they provide a quick and easy way to get a nutritious meal.
– Toners, hydrating products, and supplements: These are usually marketed as a way to help cleanse the Musclesblaze, improve skin health, or help with energy or metabolism.
– Workout programs: These are often designed to create programs that can be used in a variety of settings, such as at home, a park, or the gym.
The Dark Side Of Marketing
Another issue with the fitness industry is the use of dark marketing tactics. Most gyms and studios will use traditional marketing strategies like advertising on social media and newspaper ads. However, there are more unethical means of marketing that are becoming more common. One of the most common dark marketing tactics is the creation of fake user reviews.
This is a problem that is even acknowledged by the Better Business Bureau. In order for a business to get a fake review, it needs to find a person who is willing to write one. While there are a number of ways this can be done, one of the most common is to pay a person to write a fake review. Another common industry practice is the use of targeted Facebook ads. These ads are often designed to push people towards specific messages, including the creation of fake online profiles. Many of these profiles are designed to appear as if they are real people. These profiles are then used to promote gyms and other fitness businesses.
Gym Fees Aren’t Always Necessary
Another issue with the fitness industry is that many people believe that they need a certified facility to exercise. This is not always the case. Many places are able to get away with just having a few pieces of equipment, like a treadmill or elliptical machine. This can be just as effective for cardiovascular exercise as a full-size gym with cardiovascular machines and free weights. If you are looking for a low-cost way to stay active, some local parks and public spaces offer free outdoor fitness classes. Additionally, many cities also have free outdoor walking paths and trails that can be used for walking or jogging.
Hidden Costs In Listings And Contracts
Another problem with the fitness industry is the lack of accountability within the business world. Many gyms and local studios will charge you a monthly fee or a one-time upfront fee that is buried in the fine print of an online listing or the terms and conditions of a contract. If you are buying a new gym, make sure to read the fine print and ask any questions you have about the costs. If you are buying an existing studio, you will have to dig deeper to find out exactly what the owners are charging you. Oftentimes, the contract or terms and conditions will be buried in a few paragraphs at the back of the contract. Make sure to read them carefully, and don’t sign anything until you are sure you understand all of the terms.
This article was intended to bring awareness to the dark sides of the fitness industry. The fitness industry is a great way to stay active and healthy, but there are several things that you need to know about the business. Some of the issues discussed in this article include misleading marketing tactics, excessive charges for setup fees, and the use of dark marketing tactics.