6 years ago in Dublin, there was one gym with bumper plates, platforms, squat racks and real weightlifting bars. The only way to get into that gym was with a wink and a nudge from an existing member.
Weightlifting, powerlifting, prowler sleds, rings, kettlebells and all the stuff we take for granted now in 2016 simply didn’t exist. The shift has been transformative. You can thank social media for that.
Now, it seems that unless your gym has 5 squat racks and hundreds of kilos of bumper plates, you’re a nobody. Even if you’re running a “big” gym like Flyefit or Ben Dunne it’s the minimum standard. Those guys have done a great job of setting expectations for the minimum equipment you expect to see in a gym now.
But.. is it a good thing? The fitness landscape in Dublin is a constantly changing beast, one which will see some big upheavals over the next 12 months.
1. Loads More “Big” Commercial Gyms Will Open
Raw and Flyefit have both opened new gyms already this year. I haven’t been in either, but both look great, if you know what you’re doing.
I’m sure others will follow suit. They will all get deeper into their price war. With gym memberships now available at < €30 per month, anyone can afford to get in shape. It looks so cheap you think you’re stupid not to join, so you join, but you don’t go.
When you do go, you don’t know how to use any of the machines, and you can’t find the equipment you want. Despite the gym staff’s best effort, the place is a mess because the people that join have no respect for the equipment and just chuck it on the floor before they go and take selfies in the jacks.
You might look around for help, but you won’t get any – you’ve paid rock bottom membership to come into the gym and use their equipment. If you want coaching – that’s extra. Find a personal trainer.
2. Loads More “Boutique” Style Gyms Like RevFit Will Open
Trainers fed up with the the problem outlined in point 1 will try to do it better by opening their own gym. Some will be successful. Most won’t. 80/20.
The problem with opening a gym is that unless you’ve a really deep level of experience across a number of fields, and have a great team to support you, eventually you’re gonna end up pissed off, disenchanted, sick of working for less than minimum wage and too exhausted to help anyone. The quality of training will suffer. Your attention to detail will slip. And if you’re the client, you’ll leave after a month or two because you realise you’ve been duped.
They’ll claim to be against “stupid” training and poor technique, but after a few months of graft when funds start to run dry, the special offers start. And they never ever stop. They end up priced d so cheaply that they don’t have enough time or attention to build good training programs and teach great movement. Now, they’re just an expensive parody of the thing they were trying to fight against.
I don’t blame them for getting pissed off – they don’t value their time or expertise, so no one else does either. Because the Irish gym market is such a price orientated field where you can get gym memberships for €30, it can difficult to justify charging €150-200 a month to yourself unless you REALLY believe in what you’re doing.
3. Lots of Gyms Will Close
2016 is the 3rd year of the “everyone’s a gym owner now” trend. Over the last 4 years in RevFit we’ve seen it building, and this year it will hit a crescendo.
It’s been good and bad.
– there’s a lot more noise – so how should you know what a good or bad gym is?
– everyone’s competing on price, rather than results and experience – it makes the better gyms look expensive, until you join up and realise the difference
– there’s way more bitching and fighting on the internet – instead of building their own house to be the tallest in town, trainers try to rip down everyone elses so theirs is the only one left standing
But it’s also GOOD because;
+ when someone leaves RevFit and tries another gym that promises similar service, they quickly realise just how good they had it, and normally ask to come back
+ there’s more exposure for semi private gyms in general, and the shit ones just make us look so much better!
+ more people are lifting weights and getting stronger than ever before
I’m all for competition, it keeps everyone sharp and helps us innovate. But I’m just not looking forward to seeing loads of people out on their ass because their gym closed down 🙁
4. “Fitspo” Will Die A Death (I hope)
2016 will be the year people stop worrying about counting macros, training twice a day, doing punishment cardio and posting half naked post workout selfies on instagram.
There’ll always be a subset of obsessive nutters, but I’m hoping the trend will die out and people will get back to eating good food 3-4x a day, adding weight to the barbell each week, picking movements they suck at and getting better on them, and doing some sort of maintenance work on their body like stretching and rolling.
…until the next big social media trend comes along anyway. Remember box gap?
5. 2016 Will Be The Year People Realise Your MINDSET is Really The Thing That Will Make You Happy
Said another way, 2016 will be the year of The Better Life Project.
About this time last year, I was at a training course on the mindset of fitness, and one of the things the tutor said was “why not just try and get people to feel the way they think they’ll feel once they’ve lost weight NOW” .
As in, if you think you’re gonna feel happy and confident once you’ve lost weight in 3 months, why not immediately start working on things to make you feel that way now.
50% of our “happiness” set point is genetically predetermined, 10% of it is down to circumstances, but a MASSIVE 40% of it is easy to change thru different tasks and activities day to day.
“50%” being ‘set’ probably sounds ominous, but remember – if you’re a miserable c*nt now, you’ll still be a miserable c*nt once you’ve lost some weight.. You’ll just take up less space, and have found something new to moan about.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking just being skinnier or more muscular is the key to happiness. It’s not. Those people you idolise have all the same body issues you have.
They just filter the shit outta it on instagram.
Do yourself a favour, go over to The Better Life Project website right now and download Sarah’s free 21 Day Happiness Plan, it’s right there on the front page waiting for you http://www.thebetterlifeproject.ie/
Save this blog post, set a reminder in your calendar for this time next year and call me out on it and see if I nailed it, be my guest.
I’m confident I’ll be at least 80% right 🙂