Dealing with different gym personalities at your fitness business...
As individuals we have our own personalities... the same holds true for our members/clients of the fitness industry. A guest post on my blog got me thinking, how do gym owners, operators, managers, and personal trainers deal daily with different gym personalities? Are there certain strategies or tactics you use to keep the peace at your fitness center?
For example, one personality detailed is the The Faux Trainer...with most of his exercising being done laying/standing on and a large inflatable exercise ball, this guy learned everything he knows from every fitness magazine on the shelf. No matter what exercise you are doing, he will loudly exclaim to you that you are doing it wrong. Then he will aggressively share with you why his results on his self-created exercise routine are better than your own results and why you need to start doing exactly what he is doing. When asked why he is not a trainer at the gym, the typical response is something to the extent of his methods putting the actual certified professional trainers out of a job and his staying out of the fitness industry is an act of kindness to everyone already involved. In reality, he is currently studying for his 20th attempt at a personal training exam.
How do you deal with your encounters of the Faux Trainer?
How do you limit your liability as a gym owner but also try and keep the Faux Trainer as a member?
Please comment on any of the personalities outlined. I just mentioned the Faux Trainer as a starting point.
Are there any gym personalities that the post is missing?
Find out at: http://blog.gyminsight.com/
LOL..The "Faux Trainer" is pretty funny...fortunately, I have not come across that type however, I have come across the "One Arm Leaner" and the "Two Handed Pocket Stuffer".
It has always amazed me how these trainers get clients and how they got their foot in the door, got a job and actually kept their job.
I'm not the only one who notices these types of trainers but I must say that I would'nt continue their employment if I had a say in it.
I focus on my clients and less on the "Faux Trainer" types as most gyms have those types of members and I think most people can see right through them.
As long as he's not hurting anyone, PT'ing on the side or disrupting daily business, then he can stay as a paying member.
When in doubt....I use a phrase "Kill Em' With Kindness".
Very funny story!! Well, here is how I would approach a guy/member who is acting above his "paying grade":
Sir, I really appreciate your business and being part of our gym. However, we have a policy against trainers who are not part of our gym which doesn't allow them to perform any type of personal training or instruction to any of our members due to liability reasons and of unwanted competition. If you continue with this type of attitude, we will have to revoke your membership and ban you from the gym. Thank you for your understanding."
It's simple and straight forward. If he doesn't want to stop the on the side training and providing advises then you really don't need him in your gym. If someone gets hurt then it will be on you and your facility. Also, members like him steal business from your trainers which means your gym is losing potential income.
I hope that this helps.
I can recall a similar encounter when I instructed @ a local club here in TN. I diffused the tension created by taking the opportunity to demonstrate for the interested crowd the technique being used. Admitting it's difference but offering the opportunity to "try something new" to see if it worked for each individual over what they may have been already utilizing. I think the confidence in my instruction and the fact that @ the time I looked like a s@#tbrickhouse (that's how my southern friends described it). More people operate off this than rats to cheese.
If your tryna keep'em as a member know that you cannot control another's need for attention. Some crave it especially in that environment under certain conditions. Allow them their "gym science" while you cash their monthly check and continue to demonstrate effective & competent service for all.
Make your point and allow for response when confronted. I would not allow it to distract me from business but, it is a good way to validate new info, create a culture of open dialog w/members or let "them" stick their foot in their own mouth.
Idea of reflective/ing force...
Haha, very funny. I am lucky to be in a relaxed area where those personalities are not the norm. I have seen at least one of each, though. I do my own thing until someone approaches me or I see a situation in need, then I play it by ear.
I think you missed the 'gym potato'. This person is - in almost all cases - male, goes to the gym pretty much every day but really does not do anything but socialize. He pats himself on the back for the fact that he goes to the gym so very frequently.
However, as an owner, I would suggest implementing certain standard across the board in order to ensure safety, professionalism, and a cohesive workout environment.
I'm wondering if you have ever invited this person to a one to one chat session where you explain your concerns, interests, values, and they explain their motivation and you co-create something that meets both your needs?