Shakedown at the gym

After a month of cancelled appointments I finally made it into the gym for my "fitness consultation" today.

Going to the gym for a "fitness consultation" is sort of like going to a used car lot for a "transportation consultation." No matter what your circumstances, you absolutely, positively should buy one of these lovely rustbuckets.

In this case, instead of slimy salesman trying to hawk me some piece of crap Buick, he was trying to sell me personal training.

I have no problem being asked if I'm interested. It's a service that every gym offers, and certainly a legitimate one. But my gym forces you to go in for this goodamn sales pitch just to get your membership card.

It started out well enough. He asked what I was doing, what my goals were, and so forth. Measured my body fat, took me upstairs and checked my form on a few exercises. Then we went back to the office and he drew up a suggested program.

The weird thing is, the program he drew up would've had me spending six weeks working on my "core strength" before I moved up to a more advanced program. By more advanced, I mean the program I'm doing right now.

Quite frankly, it's a gay gym, and this represents a fundamental misunderstanding of why gay men go to the gym. Does a guy ever say "Wow, check out the core on that guy!" No. So we don't care. We're a very superficial people. Actual strength gain is secondary to improved appearance. Know your audience.

If you really want to sell the program, tell me I'll have a six pack, and rock hard chest and ass in six weeks. Make me feel like I'm going to get laid more thanks to you. Not that I'll be better able to balance on a fucking rubber ball.

Of course after he was done designing the program, just as fellow gym members had warned me, the axe fell. "Now if you really want to get the best results, it's important that you have a trainer with you."

I feigned poverty to no avail. Just $75 a month! You'll make so much progress! I told him I like working out alone, which is true. And frankly personal trainers annoy me. They're so artificially upbeat and they're always making this forced go-nowhere small talk to appear personable.

Anyways, it took me a good five minutes to convince him he wasn't going to sell me anything. I should've just told him the money would cut into my ecstasy budget. That would've shut the bastard up.

Once he'd finally got the message his friendliness suddenly vanished. He took away the paper with the program he'd just drawn out, and filed it away. Isn't that a little bastardly? Like let's try to maintain the illusion that we're going to help you whether you pay for sessions or not. Apparently at this place you don't get the bait unless you bite the hook.

That wasted a good hour of my time, and by the time it was done I was so hungry that I just headed home and didn't get a chance to actually work out. The funny thing is, he acted like I'd just wasted an hour of his time. I didn't even want to do the fucking thing, I just wanted to get my membership card already.

Of course they don't care if you're pissed off or not, because they've got you by the balls with your contract. It's like the cell phone industry. Except Rogers didn't make me attend a session on the benefits of picture messaging and mobile web browsing before they let me use the phone.

I'm already a paying member of your gym. If you're going to pout because you can't sell me extras just leave me the hell alone.

Image courtesy of Xtreme Simpsons.


  1. Jeff Skybar said...
    I think someone tried to pick me up at the gym on Saturday. He's hot and his name is Jordon. (He introduced himself within seconds of making eye contact with me). And really, looking good and finding a man are my only two reasons for going to the gym.
    Danifesto said...
    Hey- what you went through is pretty shitty I have to say. My partner and I just had our "fitness consultation" at the Y and it wasn't anything like what you went through. Just some helpful suggestions, stuff written down, tips on how to maximize your workout (for complete dumbass novices like us!) all given in a really down-to-earth non-condescending way. I came away feeling like it was totally time well spent.
    If I were you, I would complain. Like you said, you DO already pay a membership fee. The 'tude needs to be checked. I hate being pressured into buying a service or product that I didn't ask for, need and furthermore, can't afford. No actually DOES mean NO.
    Too Hotty said...
    How horrid. At the first gym I ever joined in Chicago, they set you up with a trainer for 3 or 4 free sessions, which you didn't have to do... but if you did them, they gave you a free 1-hour massage at the spa. So I did them, but there was no pressure to continue. The guy I was working with mostly made sure I wasn't doing anything that would get me hurt. That's the way to do it.

    He was also in his 50's, which was nice. I didn't want some buff young obsessed-with-himself gym bunny who assumed I wanted to look like him.

    At least it's over with and you never have to do it again.
    J said...
    You should've told him to shove it! Hard sell types are asshats.

    Just whisper to a friend about nothing the next time you see the guy around...give him a complex, he deserves it. ;-)
    Kevin said...
    Yeah, I just want to look hot, but don't make me sit through a sales pitch. That'll ensure i DON'T follow through.
    Anonymous said...
    You guys are so superficial...worse than women.
    Jeff Skybar said...
    Thanks for your opinion anon. But seriously, if you must hide behind anon, It makes me question how superficial YOU must be?
    Kevin said...
    Can't we all just be hot and muscley without being superficial? :)
    Threnody said...
    Is there something wrong with being superficial? I think straight guys would be just as superficial if they could get away with it.

    I won't complain to the gym just because it's not my nature. It's over forever and I just want to forget it.
    Jeff Skybar said...
    I can't be superficial because I'm an elitist. That's Cowtown.
    Threnody said...
    You really like saying Cowtown, don't you?
    altmike said...
    Wow...not making excuses for him because he was definitely an asshole if he just turned stone cold when he realized you didn't want to buy sessions with him. However being a former Personal Trainer myself, I have to agree with him about the core strength training. It isn't "sexy" but a strong foundation (and good diet) is what will get you the results. I applaud him for actually being honest with you. He could have promised you the six pack in six weeks...and that would have been really slimy.
    Steven said...
    At least he didn't charge you extra for towel use...

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