If I had a penny for the number of times a client has gotten my hopes up by saying, “I have a friend who wants to join,” (yet that friend, or sister or husband never ends up showing up) I would be a rich coach.
Recently, I retraced my steps and asked clients why that friend of theirs never followed through. All of their explanations were more or less, “Oh, he was just really scared because he isn’t very fit.”
I have also learned in seven years of coaching that the hardest part for many people about joining a gym is just walking through those doors on their very first day. The fear and apprehension of the unknown can be crippling.
So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m about to reveal exactly what the process will look like from the moment you contact our website and the end of your Day 1 one-on-one introductory session with a coach. Here goes:
After you contact our website, or call us, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours and you will be paired up with a coach. You’ll likely have a back-and-forth e-mail with this coach, or better yet, a phone call. You’ll compare your schedules and will settle on a day and time for your intro day.
Then, you will walk, drive, bus to the gym and damnit, you will walk through the doors.
You will be greeted by your coach. At some point you’ll probably sign a waiver, but more than anything you will talk. That’s it—talk!
You won’t be weighed and measured (unless you want to be), and you won’t be thrown into the fire of a group class workout with experienced athletes.
What will you talk about?
To a large degree, this will be up to you. But the end goal is simple: To see if you’re a right fit to train with us.
To do this, we will ask you about your wants and needs, and what brought you into the gym. The only thing we ask for is honesty on your part. If we’re going to help you, it will help if you let your guard down and be a bit vulnerable (that might be the scariest part of the whole day for you).
Why are you really here today? What do you really want to get out of this? (We don’t want the PC answer; we want the REAL answer).
The reason we do our intro days in a one-on-one setting with one coach and one client is to allow the two of you to get to know each other and truly discover if you will work well together. Discovering this in a group setting with 8 to 10 new athletes all sweating together chaotically is next to impossible—and is what sets us apart from many other gyms in the area.
If at the end of your conversation—be it a 20-minute, 45-minute or hour-long chat (some people are chattier than others)—if you want (and if time permits), you will be put through a short fitness assessment—just some basic pushing, pulling and squatting. Or if you prefer, the fitness assessment can be done during your second session.
The assessment will give your coach a chance to see where you’re at physically, and will help him/her decide approximately how many personal training sessions you will need before you’ll be able to graduate to group classes (This decision will be made together based on your wants and needs).
Then if you’re game, you’ll book session number two and then the real fun begins…
That’s it. That’s as scary as walking through the doors is going to be.
If you have a friend or family member who has been considering joining, but is terrified to take the leap, don’t hesitate to forward this to them if you think it might give them the nudge they need to get fit.