Club Insider

Out of Chaos Comes Opportunity

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Thomas PlummerThomas Plummer

The classic definition of chaos is complete disorder and confusion. Much of what most of you are feeling in the industry today is a reflection of the chaotic state of the industry at the moment. Even the financial gurus of our industry, such as Rick Caro, declared 2009 as the worst year in modern fitness history when it comes to financial aspects.

Chaos is a direct result of rapid change without a set direction. The industry is definitely suffering from this disease at the moment as illustrated by these examples:

  • The chains, such as Gold's, trying everything from $9 memberships to full service $59 clubs.
  • The equipment guys still trying to sell selectorized equipment training to a rapidly-emerging, functional training industry.
  • There is a lack of leadership on the business side as the old heroes who brought such great talent to the field, such as Mark Mastrov or Tony DeLeede, now choose to work more on private projects rather than being the out front leaders they once were. Even the educators have faded with the NFBA surviving as the only tour left in the industry highlighted by the recent withdrawal of AFIRM from the workshop market. And yet again, we talk a good game about wanting and servicing the aging client. But, if you look carefully, what percentage of most club's total membership are really over 55 and actively engaged in the club beyond just simple circuit training? Alwyn Cosgrove, the training guru, states that we often do the worst thing we can for the older member and that is baby them rather than having them do dynamic exercises, such as slamming a ball into the floor.

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