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Perks Of Working Out At A Smaller, Private Gym​

Looking for your fitness community? Private-owned gyms help athletes forge a sense of family and belonging while offering the special attention big fitness chains cannot. 


Choosing Between a Private Gym and a Franchise​

For most athletes, choosing which gym to join is a very important decision. After all, your fitness center will become a significant spot for you: It’s where you’ll build your strength, work on your health, engage in self-care, and spend a significant amount of time! A partnership with a fitness center is both a financial and physical commitment, and it’s crucial for any athlete to consider these elements when making this investment. It’s a choice that matters. 


When it comes to deciding on a fitness center, athletes have two main options: private-owned gyms and franchised workout chains. From the outside, these two choices have much in common — both tend to offer equipment, classes, and coaching programs — but the way these factors are executed differs wildly. It’s a similar concept to shopping at a farmers market vs. a big grocery chain or visiting a local business instead of making an Amazon delivery order. The general idea is the same, but your experience will be completely different. 


Which Do Athletes Prefer, Private-Owned Gyms Or Big Box Chains?


The truth is, this decision depends entirely on the individual athlete and their own needs and preferences. However, in our time running our own small, private gym, we’ve noticed a distinct trend: a number of our new partners chose to join up with us after having a lackluster experience at a big gym chain. Swapping their old-fashioned, big-box membership for a private gym has allowed these athletes to take control of their own health and fitness in a way that the chains simply couldn’t allow. 


Some of the most common reasons athletes have cited for switching to a private gym?

Flexible Sign-Ups


Have you ever noticed that multiple sitcoms and comedies have plotlines that revolve around a character unable to quit their gym? Generally, these plots involve the protagonist being charged monthly for a membership they never use, with a pushy gym employee bullying or even body-shaming them into staying onboard. 


Though sitcoms are fiction, these storylines aren’t far off from real life. Many athletes have complained that after signing up with a big chain, it was nearly impossible to sever that membership. Some gyms even required members to send a cancellation letter all the way to their head office if they wanted to stop being charged. Needless to say, this is an infuriating situation — signing up for a gym should be an act of self-care rather than an indelible contract. 


Private-owned gyms are likely to offer a much more flexible sign-up option than the chains. For instance, we have multiple membership options to choose from, and will never bully you into signing up or staying aboard, all of our membership options are no term (month to month). Like many private training gyms around the country, we opened our doors to give our community a great resource for their health and well-being, not to get rich.


A Sense of Community


With a local, small gym, athletes are far likelier to forge a sense of local community. Many private-owned gyms like to get involved with special events in their area by hosting athletic events that raise funds for local charities or causes. Athletic challenges and courses are an especially popular — and fun — way for local athletes to raise money for charitable causes in their area. 

Participating in these events won’t only promote a sense of giving back to one’s home through philanthropy — it will also encourage a larger sense of community. After all, by participating in a localized charity event that combines community effort with health and fitness, athletes are likely to find many peers with aligning values. These peers can become gym and accountability buddies —  or just great friends! 

Personal Training and Tailored Programming

One of the most common reasons for choosing a small, private gym over a large chain is that the personal coaching options at the former are often way better. Though large gym chains hire very talented and experienced athletes as their trainers, those coaches don’t always get to utilize their full skill sets. After all, with a large corporation, uniformity is important. So, if you sign up with a gym chain in Calgary, and visit the same one in Toronto, it’ll likely look pretty much the same — and its programs might be identical. Though this is great for consistency, it doesn’t allow for personal trainers to fully show off their many talents while working with their clients. 


A Unique Experience


When you visit a small private gym — or any locally-owned business, for that matter — you are participating in a one-of-a-kind experience. After all, though elements of a small gym can be reminiscent of something you’ve seen before, there are bound to be many unique and personal touches throughout the facility. Remember, the person who opened and owns that gym likely lives nearby and spends a fair amount of time on the premises. They might want it to reflect themselves and their love for fitness.


On the other hand, the CEO of a chain gym will likely spend most of their time at the head office, and most of their franchise locations will follow the same general blueprint. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it doesn’t allow for the same personal feel of visiting a local business. 


What Is the Best Small Gym in Calgary?

Calgary is home to many athletic facilities, but there’s only one GoPerformance Fitness Lab. At GoPerformance every workout experience is curated to suit the needs of each athlete: nothing cookie-cutter here! We offer a state of the art facility, custom, private, team, and group coaching sessions and a caring local team ready to help YOU unlock your greatest potential.


Get in touch with us today to learn more, we invite you to come in and meet us in person, have a peek at the facility, meet our team, and even try your own FREE fitness consultation. 


We can’t wait to meet you and see what you’re made of. Welcome to the family! 

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