While I am obviously completely biased in my opinion – the days of the regular globo gym goers are starting to slow down. With more and more local fitness hubs opening up (especially here in YQR), the options are endless for people looking to either get into the fitness scene, or switch gears a little from the usual routine. As usual the ladies have led the way in that, they were (and always have been) trying new things and straying further and further away from the typical “Golds” or GoodLife” gym. This has not only been a blessing for every small business owner ever, but also giving those small business’ a chance to teach a wide variety of people a completely new set of skills. Some of which have become a HUGE part in peoples lives which is absolutely outstanding. But where’s the guys? There’s a good percentage of men who are definitely switching it up now a days, but still an even larger number that are still hitting chest on Mondays with the same weight they’ve been doing for the past 2 years, at the same gym, wondering why they aren’t “yoked” yet, bro. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with a good chest swell, but we’re here for a different reason. Grab your marshmallows kids, it’s story time.
I’ve owned Villains Strength & Conditioning here for just shy of 5 years (5 years in June). And while that isn’t a very long time what so ever in the grand scheme of things, I do tend to notice things. Sometimes. As it stands currently we are operating with a majority of women who attend the facility at 72% compared to the men. And it was even higher until recently. So why such the high number? Well we can chalk this up to many different reasons; majority of our marketing is targeted towards women (4 out of 5 times men as well though), we run a highly sought out all ladies program every 8 weeks, but after 5 years of data through these doors and attention to the fitness market in general in the Regina area – my little “hunch” still holds true.
Men are still men. Traditionally we are hardwired to be independent and still carry this “I have to put food on the table” or “I don’t need a manual I can figure it out” notion. And guess what? Not much has changed. Over the course of my career I noticed the pattern of more women flooding into the gym than men. Thinking that maybe it was just my gym, I kept a close eye on the fitness market in general in town here – but still noticed the same trends. I tried different marketing techniques, compared strategies, worked on my communication skills, etc etc. There was a small spike in male interest whenever I put a heavy focus on all the above strategies, but nothing over the moon what so ever. For the most part I’ll get an influx of males into the facility for 1 of 2 reasons:
1. Their wife/girlfriend comes here already and they told them to join in on the fun
2. They have a close friend who already comes here and can vouch for them that we are, indeed, the real deal yo.
So after just about 4 years of test and adjust I started to look a little deeper. With my new found love of the brain and how it operates and what causes human behavior, I started reading and studying neuroscience early last year. For those who have graced the walls here at VSC, you know that our front plank time is usually occupied with some interesting stories and facts about why we do the things we do according to psychology and neuroscience to help pass the minutes from yours truly. What originally started as some research into how I can better understand human behavior and every angle of cognitive thinking, spiraled into a bit more on traditional male thought patterns as well. I know right, a dude who lifts and reads – weird. While most studies I’ve read apply to both men and women, they tend to lean more so towards men in most cases. To say it simply; we as humans resist change. Changing our attitudes and/or ideas usually implies that we should also change our behavior to match those new ideas. But trying new things and behaving differently usually comes with a big risk of either failing – or being made fun of for being weird. So rather than take the chance of being wrong, or failing, it’s much easier for us to justify to ourselves continuing to do whatever we are accustomed to doing. Continuing to do the things we always have been makes it easier for us defend ourselves and believe that we’re “right”, whether we are or not.
Okay, get to the point.
Men still hold on to that fact more than women in that they still refuse to be told what to do. We stick to the things we know and we rarely stray off course. Couple that with a firm sense of pride in what we believe in and you’ve got one tough man cookie to crack. ESPECIALLY when it comes to something so close to mans heart – lifting weights. For the guys out there who come to Villains Strength & Conditioning, or any other local strength & conditioning, CrossFit, powerlifting, weightlifting, whatever gym – you get it. You know that if you want to get the most out of your training and if you’ve been kind of stuck for a while, something needs to change and you need to go talk to someone who knows what the hell they’re talking about. And while I sit here preaching about resisting change and refusing to let anyone tell me what to do – I still struggle with it almost every day. Everyone does. But I continue to work on it every day as well. The simple act of letting go of control can be a scary feeling, but in the hands of someone who knows where you’re headed and can confidently get you there, I promise you’ll get there so much faster. Or even just straight up get there.
So to all my fellas who are still banging away at the same globo gym and not seeing the end results they seek, I beg of you. Toss the ego aside and seek out some help for whatever you’re looking for. You usually don’t have a problem heading to the local Ford or Dodge dealership and chatting up the salesmen as to which truck would best suit your needs and what they all entail – so why treat yourself and your fitness any differently? When I finally made a switch just over 6 years ago to getting some sound advice from people who truly knew what they were doing, and assumed my role as a forever student of basically everything, it opened up a completely new world of physical fitness. It felt like I had FINALLY just discovered what working out actually was. Here I’d been messing around not really getting anywhere, and then one day I decided to stray into Narnia and my mind exploded. Not only did I learn how to move properly, execute lifts correctly and hit countless PR’s, it also gave me a piece of mind that I knew what I was doing and I truly enjoyed it.
There’s some amazing talent in this city just waiting to be unlocked. Don’t hold yourself back by not exploring. Get out there and learn something, worst case scenario you come here for an intro class and you learn how to squat more effectively, in which you take back to your cave and hit a new squat PR.
Wanna give it a shot? Find out how you can score a no-sweat complimentary intro session.