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Five Things To Watch Out For When Looking For A New Gym In Appleton

Five Things To Watch Out For When Looking For A New Gym In Appleton (or questioning your current gym)

Looking for a new gym in the Appleton area?  Well, I have owned gyms now for over 10 years (6+ in Appleton)…and here are a few important questions that you should think about and ask the owner/manager of any potential gym.  This isn’t going to be a post claiming that my gym is the best (it just is)…this post is about the things that piss me off about the fitness industry, and things that ALL fitness enthusiasts like yourself should think about.  Agree, disagree, questions or comments…please feel to reach out to


The first two gyms I owned were with a franchise in the Minneapolis area.  “Corporate” was always trying to get us to push contracts, and I always refused.  This was one of many sticking points why I sold those gyms to open my own.  Anyway, contracts are gross.  They are sold (pushed) on you in the first couple weeks during your honeymoon period.  They dangle the ridiculous month to month price and tell you to SAVE BIG by signing up long term.  I call bullshit!  These gyms work the same as those big box gyms…sign up members long term and hope they don’t show up.  Keep them on auto-pay while selling more and more spaces.  Me personally, if someone doesn’t want to come to my gym anymore…why should they still have to pay?  I have members that have been here for years, paying the same price.  I have members that have came and left numerous times.  If you love your gym, great!  But that doesn’t mean you should be forced into a long-term commitment.

Gym’s Touting WEIGHT loss

I get it, most people join a gym with the initial goal of “losing weight”.  Here is the problem, body weight doesn’t tell you anything about health or results!  With my clients, we only focus on body composition using the industry leading InBody 270…we look at maintaining muscle mass and shedding BODY FAT. Water is heavy and weight can fluctuate drastically with sleep, inflammatory foods, menstrual cycles and strenuous workouts.   The scale will drop fast in those first few weeks (4-6 pounds) as the body levels out and sheds excess water weight.  After that, on average the goal for ladies should be to burn .5-.75 pounds of body fat weekly…for guys, .75-1.5 pounds.  Anything more than that is unhealthy and not sustainable.

Calories Burned Per Session/Class/Workout/Camp

This one might be the most misleading and is right up there with “weight loss”.  There is a national franchise with the initials O.T. that has been playing these games since their inception 8-9 years ago.  I don’t usually call anyone out…but they flat out mislead people.  I constantly see their ads come up “burn 1000 calories per workout”.  Here is the thing.  Calories burned is completely dependent upon muscle mass, gender, experience, age, etc…   I am 6’3″, male, 205 pounds with 8% body fat…and it might kill me to burn 1000 calories in an hour!  I have been tracking this for years and know for fact that experienced ladies on average can expect to burn around 300-400 calories in 45 minutes with men burning approx 550-600 for 45 minutes.  Those numbers are for the general population, which is the majority of gym goers.  If a trainer promises you more…run away.

Workouts Created For A Certain Gender

This is the hotness right now in marketing from many of these new popup franchises…”Hey Appleton Ladies”…”Calling All Ladies”…”Our workouts are specifically designed for you mom’s”…etc….    I am not bashing gyms who market to ladies…75% of MY clients are female!!  I am bashing the gyms that make ladies think that they need to train different from men.  Men and women, your muscle works the same way!!  Men genetically have more muscle and can grow muscle a little more efficiently, BUT men and women CAN and SHOULD train the same way!!  Some of those gym owners will write-off that marketing as creating a “safe environment” for women…and I get that!  Nobody wants to deal with a creep.  I have owned a gym for over ten years and in that time I have NEVER had to deal with any person, male or female, making another person feel uncomfortable…that is not the environment we have created here or is tolerated.

Gym’s that shout “Never the Same Workout”

If you want random results, then do random workouts!!  The “never the same workout” shtick drives me crazy!  How the hell do you ever improve if you are always doing something different?  I get it…working out can get monotonous and sometimes it is hard to keep that spice in your workout relationship.  But here’s the thing and my favorite analogy…if you want to be good at shooting free throws, you have to PRACTICE SHOOTING FREE THROWS!!  If you want a lifted booty, you have to do lunges, work on those lunges and progressively push yourself on lunges (among other things).  The point I am trying to make and the workouts I preach and practice, is that you have to master the basics and consistently DO the basics.  Lunges(front, back, static, side, walking), push-ups, presses, rows, carries, etc…    No, we DON’T do the same exact workout every day…but we intermix the same important exercises every workout.  We will change reps, rest, tempo and order…but sorry, you are never going to get “Booty Busting Tuesday” or “Guns Sculpting Saturday”, leave that for the flashy franchises.  My workouts have purpose and focus on results while working the whole body every day.

Experience Matters

Okay, I said five points at the top but this one popped into my head while typing the other five.  When I sold my first two gyms years ago and left the franchise world, the main reason was that the franchiser was selling rights to anyone that could come up with the money.  At that time, I didn’t feel like many of those people had the qualifications to run a gym.  This doesn’t mean that all franchises are bad. I know many franchise gym owners that do a great job and I know many that leave a black mark on the industry.  I just know that I am going to be 40 soon and my training has completely changed from when I was 30.  That is why this bullet point reads “Experience Matters”.   The average age of my clients is 35-45. I know how there bodies are going to respond, I know how to push them.  Just be cautious with that trainer who is in their mid 20’s and doesn’t know what it feels like to get out of bed with their back, knees or feet hurting for no other reason than just getting older.    Make sure your trainer, gym manager/owner has succeeded, failed, grew and changed over the years…make sure they practice what they preach.

If you made it this far, you must be extremely bored!  😉   Those are my two cents (6 cents I guess) on things to think about when looking for a gym or questioning your current gym.  Agree or disagree, feel free to let me know anytime.  Thanks for reading…stay strong!

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