I was stuck in typical Dublin rush hour traffic on the way to the gym yesterday evening and Ben Dunne’s voice came on the radio advertising new membership rates for his gym. It was something ludicrous like €125 per year. It got me thinking (once the feeling of frustration passed), what type of service are people actually getting when they pay that price?!
Now, I think it’s very clear or at least I hope it is, that my gym is nothing like Ben Dunne’s, or Westwood, Crunch, Total Fitness, or any other generic commercial gym. In fact, my gym is anti-mainstream and that is something I will always strive for.
What makes us different?
- We actually want members to turn up – if people aren’t turning up, I’ll be on their case.
- We want members to get results, in fact this is vital – we thrive on word of mouth and community.
- It’s not about stacking the place to the brim with members signed up to contracts that they can’t get out of.
- We actually don’t want members if they are just looking to go through the motions.
- I have a good idea of everyone’s abilities and numbers on all lifts (again this comes back to my unhealthy obsession with work) and everyone will be coached EVERY session.
I’m perfectly happy charging something a month that another ‘gym’ charges in a year. It is about a mindset – I don’t want someone that’s looking to take a short cut or save a penny when it comes to their health. I want to coach someone dedicated and who is open minded and willing to not only work hard but learn at the same time.
I think this weeds out the type of individual that is content to stay at home on a cold December night when they could be attempting a 5 rep max set of Squats or the person that has to go to the pub for Thursday post work drinks when they could be charging through that last 400m sprint – just ask Neil how much more enjoyable the latter is! If the above sounds like you then get in touch for an intro session!
I don’t pick the easy option – the same way I expect you guys to avoid it. Everybody wants to take the easy route, take a look at these people and that should be enough proof that nothing good comes of taking the easy option.
I have a genuine passion for what I do, I am switched on 24/7 and this is both a blessing and a curse. I am constantly thinking, researching and reading about training and ways to advance the gym and myself as a coach (and a really bad athlete).
I’m proud of being so involved in my gym. Business gurus will tell you that you must be a separate entity to your business and have a healthy work life balance – which I think is bullshit if you have a desire to be the best at what you do. Now I’m lucky I have a few great guys I can rely on to step in and take a class if needs be, but I am very much about my business and my balance is so warped that I don’t know which is which.
I’m working 24/7 – as an example, last Sunday evening, a member texted to say they had hurt themselves and were looking for some advice on what to do, I got in touch straight away. To me this is all part of the service and something I am more than happy to do for everyone in my gym, I don’t imagine Ben Dunne doing the same…