In the interests of getting the perspective of those who use the services of the fitness industry, the following post was written by avid gym-goer Clara Richman.

Ever since I was in high school and enrolled in a three-month sports training program at my local gym, I’ve been hooked on working out. For many, like myself, the gym is a personal safe-haven; a place where I can eliminate stress and a day’s (sometimes week’s) worth of frustrations in a single lifting/cardio session. As an avid user of numerous gyms all over the world, however, there are a number of things that myself and many others find extremely annoying. Not all gyms are alike, of course, but the following problems are common to many facilities and are the sorts of thing that could prevent less-enthusiastic individuals than myself from attending your club altogether.

1. Membership Hassles

Before signing up for a new gym, I like to shop around and compare prices between my local gyms, and weigh the costs and benefits of each of their different membership plans. Unfortunately, this is usually never a straight-forward task. Gyms love to include things like enrollment fees, membership cancelation fees, first and last month’s membership fees, ‘fees for being alive’, fees, fees, fees.

2. Pushy Sales Rep

What’s worse, is that when you’re signing up for a new gym, you have to go through a pushy sales rep who’s always urging you on for a higher membership class, personal training sessions, performance products, or some other purchase that you weren’t interested in to begin with. Many times, I’ve gone to a new gym that offered a free 3-day pass, or two-week membership – but in order to use it, you have to give this ungodly windshield-repair-guy-at-a-car-washsalesman the time of day in order to use it. And if you show even a hint of interest while meeting with him, but don’t yet sign up for the membership? He’ll call and email you three times per week for the rest of your life. Seriously, I’m still getting voicemails from Ross, the ‘Member Specialist’ from over two years ago. It never ends.

3. The People

If you spend enough time anywhere, such as your work, school, or other hang-out, you’ll begin to make certain observations of the people you like, and don’t like. The gym is no exception. The Grunter, the Weight-Dropper, the Space Invader, the Show-Off, the Cell Phone Fiend, the Sweaty Non-Wiper, the Treadmill Stomper, the Lovey-Dovey Couple, the Chick Wearing Too Much Makeup, the Equipment Hog, the Smelly Guy, the Casanova, the Run-In Acquaintance Who Wants To Talk, the Unwanted Advice Giver, and The Guy Who’s Just Sitting There Watching TV are all examples of some of the people you’d rather not be spending your time with.

4. Overcrowding

If you’ve been to a gym during ‘Happy Hour’, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The treadmills are all taken, and there’s eight guys on one bench press. Fitness classes, too, can overflow in a heartbeat, meaning that your 45-minute power workout turns into an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting for open equipment and waiting in line at the drinking fountain.

5. Inconvenient Bathroom Locations

Seriously – where is the bathroom?! At almost every gym I’ve been to, bathrooms are always located about five miles away from the weight room. Many times while working out, I’ve decided to ‘hold it’ just to avoid the long trek down the stairs, around the hall, passed the ‘KidZ Zone’ daycare, and through the sauna doors. Gym owners – consider your patrons, and please install more bathrooms.

Of course, the many positives of attending the gym outweigh these annoyances, but by considering some of these points, club and studio owners may be able to create more inviting workout environments.

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