Is Our Gym Worth the $?

Is Our Gym Worth the $?


There is one common excuse that I hear over and over as to why others do not become part of the Iron Tribe community.  I’ve heard it in many different forms, but it all seems to be the same basic reason- cost.

Some say it this way- I don’t need to pay that much money when I can work out at ________ Gym for $15/month.

Others say- I’m not about to join when I can do all of those moves in my basement.

I’ve even heard- You seriously expect me to pay that much? (FYI: This is a statement in question form.)

I get it. But before you buy this line of reasoning (no pun intended) let me share from some recent personal experience that I believe obliterates it right out the ITF door.

For the past few months I found myself putting these statements, literally, to the test. My work took me to Virginia for 2 months at the beginning of the year. Upon arriving in VA, I realized I was going to have a crazy schedule with not a whole lot of options for workout facilities nearby.  I did find this doozy of a closet, urrrrr, gym near my temporary residence (see pic below). It allowed for unlimited access throughout the week for whenever I could find a 30-45min slot to WOD.


To be honest, my first thought was, “Wow. I am going to save some $ and essentially do the same thing as I would do at ITF.” Sure, there were no bumper plates. And, yes, I had to use Jazzercize step-boxes.  The equipment was broken down, but who needs equipment? Not me when I am working with “functional movements”. I thought to myself, “All I need is my body weight and a few random objects and I can improvise, baby.” Luckily, there was no shortage of random objects.

Well, I just finished up my 8 week experiment in this struggling gym. I would WOD 3-4 times a week and follow ITF’s programming when my equipment allowed.  I mostly ate Paleo. The short is, I stuck to my training regimen, minus ITF.

Results? Not so good. I have lost strength. I have lost endurance. My times have taken a nosedive. I feel like I have taken a major step back in my fitness goals. And to top it all off, I really don’t enjoy working out as much as I did when I was a regular at ITF 280. I saved some money, but the experience was a big, fat FAIL.

Here is how I boil it all down, there are two critical factors missing in the “do it on your own” or “do it at the gym that costs less per month than an Outback steak.”

First off, you will be missing Competent Coaching. In my experiment I performed the WODs. I even pushed myself as hard as I could. A few times I thought I was going to loose my lunch.  But I did not have coaches right there in my ear when I was hunched over telling me to pick the bar back up.  I had no one correcting my form. No one was challenging me to RX the weight. I had no one to give me a helpful tip on how to maximize my efforts while in the middle of the WOD. I have been use to PR-ing most heavy lifting days. I did not PR 1 time these past 8 weeks. Not once. I am confident that the lack of results in my fitness was closely tied to a lack of qualified coaches.

Secondly, I was missing Competitive Community. Let’s be honest, working out by yourself is boring.  But even if you’re the one who enjoys isolation, solo WODs simply do not allow you to benefit from the competition.  Having another athlete push you makes the biggest difference in hitting your goals in fitness. Mark it down- you will plateau if you are the only one pushing yourself.

After these eight weeks I will not make the same mistake again.  I have learned much through this little experiment.  In the end, your fitness regimen should have both of the components listed above. I am confident that they are both necessary in reaching your fitness goals.

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