Hard Body: A Place for Pumping

By: Rick Andreoli

“What’s your workout routine?” the gym membership consultant asks.

“Each week I do boxing, weight lifting, and some kind of outdoor activity,” I respond matter-of-factly. Then I bust out, “And I do trapeze.”

He nods but doesn’t respond much, which is only odd because doing trapeze is awesome and everyone who hears me say that usually gives some kind of acknowledgment.

Needless to say, I’m already kind of hating this guy.

He quickly guides me under the bright lights, blaring music, and critical eyes of gym members before performing services I didn’t request: a weight and body fat analysis. It’s horrific, like being at a circuit party without drugs.

“Well, you’re basically healthy,” he sighs, scanning my chart. “Like someone who works in an office and hits the gym three days a week. You should join our A-list program, which gets a gym membership, trainer, free classes and...”

“Hold up, Lady,” I snap at him. “Perhaps you were too busy reading your sales script to hear me. I work out six to seven days a week, I boxed this morning and just ate lunch, all of which can screw with a body composition test. And I do trapeze!” I practically scream, which gets the attention of every sales person and would-be client in the office area. “So stop trying to intimidate me into a membership I don’t need!”

Moral to this story: Never piss off a queen who’s finally rocking abs for the first time in his life.

Eduardo_mendez2 This was a true story, and I fortunately knew enough about fitness to not get caught up in the tricks sales associates often employ. But others don’t, and since the gym is practically a second home for many homos, here are some tips for purchasing that new gym membership.

Have Goals – Whether you’re losing weight, gaining muscle mass, switching facilities or starting a fitness program for the first time, you need a concrete goal. With that in mind, it’s easier to decide if a particular gym suits your needs.

Do Research –
A supportive, drama-free gym that falls within your budget means more pleasant workouts; friends are good resources for this info.

Be Nice – Yes, the salesperson is trying to make money, but being nice sets a positive foundation and provides a possible contact person if you need gym-related assistance in the future.

Be Firm – Know what you want and don’t buy anything else. You can always add to your membership later.

Do a Test Drive – Always try the gym before plunking down your dough. If they don’t offer a free trial, ask if they’ll deduct the price of a week’s membership from your total fee when you sign up. If they won’t, move on.

Everything Is Negotiable – Feel like you’re getting a bad deal? See if they’ll negotiate. Many gyms offer incentives to sign you up.

Be Prepared to Leave –
Do you really want to work out in an environment where being pressured is the norm? No. If you’re feeling bullied, walk out. If it’s really bad, speak with the manager because rude behavior shouldn’t be tolerated.

Enjoy Yourself – Gym memberships aren’t cheap, but once you’ve signed up, take advantage of everything the facility has to offer. It’s the best way to make both your purchase, and every workout, feel successful.

Images courtesy of Men Machine.