Resolved to Exercise? A Big-Box Gym May Not Help

by Taru Fisher on February 8, 2017

Are you newly determined to get more exercise this year? You may think joining a gym is just what you need. But consider whether a “big-box” gym is the best choice for you.

Big-box gym attendance: dismal

In January 2012, 80% of people who joined a gym stopped attending within 5 months.

Year long contracts can lock you in, forcing you to pay for something you aren’t using. Your mind can keep you paying for a gym membership you don’t use because you think, “I’ll start again, soon.” In my experience, “soon” rarely happens.

Big-box gym crowds

Most gym regulars know January and February as crunch months. The New Year’s Resolution people are “clogging” the workout machines and taking up class space.

As a result, the regulars can be snobby and rude to the newcomers. Lines for using the equipment and packed classes can be the norm for several months.

As someone new to a gym, a crowded, unwelcoming atmosphere might turn you off the whole exercising experience.

Boutique Studio

What is a “boutique studio”? A small exercise studio focused on one-on-one training. In a boutique studio you pay for your time with a highly-skilled personal trainer.

In a big-box gym you pay a general membership fee that covers group classes, kid-care, water facilities, showers, basketball courts and tennis courts but no personal training.

Scheduled attention

In a small studio, your time at the studio is scheduled. Your trainer is focused on you, your goals, your progress.

Having a regular appointment and paying for the appointment can improve your attendance. And your progress.

Remove the guesswork from exercise

To a new exerciser, a big-box gym offers overwhelming possibilities for exercise. What do you do? When and how much?

Even experienced exercisers need a plan. They also need an understanding of their bodies and proper exercise protocol.

All of that can take more time than you want to invest. In a small studio a trained professional takes you through the exercises. You don’t have to know what makes good exercise for you.

Safety and effectiveness

Probably the best reasons a small studio can better serve your exercise goals are safety and effectiveness.

Dabbling in exercise is a waste of your time and money. Big-box gyms encourage this dabbling DIY method of exercise.

You see what others are doing, what your friend is doing and you do it, too. Often, you cannot figure out how to use the machines safely and effectively.

The biggest problem with this method is injuries. A lesser problem is never reaching your exercise goals.

When you are working one-on-one with a professional you can:

  1. avoid injury,
  2. rehabilitate old injuries and
  3. make significant exercise progress.

Smaller could help you achieve your goals

The smaller, intimate environment of a boutique studio with focused personal attention, could be what keeps you on your exercise track.

Not just this month or this year but for years to come. Consider the type of exercise experience you want before you reach for your nearest big-box gym.


Image Attributions
"Personal Trainer Means Physical Activity And Athletic" Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
"Training Concept" Image courtesy of hywards at

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2013-2024 Alive Fitness Studio LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service