Hi, I am Kris Stokes, a personal trainer in Amarillo for almost two decades now. I have worked at most of the gyms in town over the years, I also ventured out on my own working from churches, and even out of my garage at one point. I have been blessed to work with clients from all around the Panhandle who have exposed me to various walks of life. One thing I realized while honing my career with these individuals is that people live by habits. Humans, by nature, love to repeat the same things day in and day out because it gives us a sense of comfort to know where we are going each day and what will happen when we get there.  Are you ready to shake up your gym habits or have other questions not answered in this post? Give us a call: 806-322-3188; our trainers would be happy to help.

Today, let’s talk about your gym home. There are all types of gyms out there today:  “big box” gyms, specialty gyms like CrossFit, private gyms, community gyms like the YMCA, and so many more. Some gyms are the perfect fit for you where others may leave you wishing for a better experience. This right fit is a personal preference; gyms cannot be a one size fits all approach when the clients they serve are so diverse. Se end up at the “wrong” place and either don’t see it or don’t know what else to do.

So, I ask you today, is it time to break up with your gym?

Let’s assume you’ve been going to your gym for at least 6 months now and are starting to feel the “routine” of doing it. Now, let’s look at a few key things that might be cause to begin searching for a new fitness home:


Okay, look at your key ring right now and tell me right now how many of those decorative gym key tags do you own? Okay, maybe they don’t all belong to you, but I am almost certain you know someone who does seem to “collect” those things. Did you know that most commercial gyms oversell their memberships by at least 4-6 times their quota be able to accommodate? The gyms look to volume for their revenue. They know there is an extremely high chance that you won’t actually attend the gym after signing up (at least not after a few months), so they really don’t mind selling you something that will waste your money because they also know that once they have you on auto draft, the effort of calling the bank and the gym would just be too much (people are inherently lazy afterall). Are you one of the people who keeps their gym membership throughout the year spending between $810 – $1020 on average just so your family can enjoy the outdoor pool during the 3 months it’s open? Did you know that if you cancelled your membership (let’s assume without penalty) and reopened it in June (even with the upfront enrollment fee), you’re still likely to pay only about $300 for the year? Take a hard look at your actual usage of the facility and run the numbers. If you’re not going, it’s not worth the money you’re paying them! It might just be time to break up with your gym!

The place is not well kept up.

Hopefully you haven’t experience this but if you have, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You walk in the front door and all seems well. The people are nice and they take you on a quick tour of the facility. They only walk you around the perimeter though while bragging about how wonderful it is there and how much people really love it. You go back to the front office and fill out your paperwork and bam! You’re a member. Now here’s the part where things go south. You come in excited for your first workout that you really don’t pay close attention to your surroundings. Rather you are focused on learning how to use the  equipment and the layout of the place. But then you come back, and back again, and you start to notice that perhaps things aren’t as clean as they could be and the equipment pads have tears in them or maybe one of the machines has been down ever since you can remember. You bring it up to management but nothing really seems to change. Upkeep of a gym can be a daunting task but if the gym managers and owners aren’t willing to take care of their equipment for their PAYING members (which, might I add is why the members are there in the first place), then perhaps it’s not the right place for you. Having unsanitary conditions such as rips or equipment that isn’t wiped down is actually a health concern for anyone who uses the equipment.  Who knows what the person before you had going on in their system before they sweated all over that machine?

I have personally worked for a commercial gym in the past that didn’t feel it was necessary to clean their yoga mats more than once every month and they used those things for EVERYTHING! (needless to say, my OCD self cleaned those things throughout the month and highly encouraged my students and clients to do the same….or bring their own!) Cleanliness and general upkeep of equipment are two very important things that truly need to be assessed. If you have experienced something like this and brought it up to management more than once and they still haven’t done anything about it, it might be time to break up with your gym!

You really don’t enjoy the equipment, classes or amenities you are paying for.

If the place you are paying a membership to does not have or stops offering the equipment, classes or amenities that you truly enjoy and you aren’t able to find a suitable replacement, then it might be time to break up with your gym. Find something you love and do it!

You feel like a number instead of a person.

No matter where you are, if you are a paying member or client, you should feel as though the place you are regularly visiting cares about your health and wellness rather than just your monthly dues. Too often, the big commercial gyms get a bit too focused on the financials and not focused enough on the people who they originally got in this industry to help. If this is where you are, it might be time to break up with your gym.

The instructors aren’t or don’t seem to be qualified/certified to perform their jobs. Certification and qualification are two very important things when it comes to injury prevention, efficiency of work and efficiency of time. I have to wonder why the gym would feel that it didn’t matter that their instructors or trainers weren’t certified. This trend thankfully is changing in the industry but it’s still something to be cautious of. This isn’t to say that someone new to the industry isn’t worth working with, but rather knowing what you’re getting into and being able to make a conscious decision about it would be preferable. I highly encourage working with individuals who have been certified by one or more of the following: NASM, ACSM, NSCA, ACE, AFFAA. The personal trainers in our Amarillo studio are required to be certified. Curious which ones? Just ask us.  If your gym doesn’t require certification, it might be time to break up with your gym.

The childcare center makes you cringe.

If you have children they are your most precious commodity. In the state of Texas, there are no licensing bodies that cover gym nurseries. Gross. This means there is no set of standardized rules or regulations for these entities. Case in point, when you leave your child in the nursery, YOU are considered to be watching your child since you are still on site. Therefore the nursery can well exceed the normal number of children per adult rule many schools and daycares must abide by. In summary, If you walk in and don’t feel comfortable with the person watching the kids, environment, activities, or anything else, it might be time to break up with your gym. Protect your kiddos.

You have to pay extra for just about everything.

From towels to lockers to nursery service, etc. I understand that there are many expenses that gyms have but when they begin to nickel and dime you for all of the little things, it can become troublesome. Do you factor in your gym membership plus all the extras in your budget? If you belong to a traditional gym, you are probably experiencing some of this. It might be time to break up with your gym.

The facility’s location or timing of the classes is inconvenient.

When it comes to exercise, humans have a built in fear mechanism that goes off which is capable of making up an instantaneous excuse of why they can’t, shouldn’t, etc. do it. If what your gym is offering isn’t right or convenient for you, you won’t do it which will lead to a frustration if not getting results and a waste of time and money. It might be time to break up with your gym and find a better option.

That’s all today everyone.  Hopefully this allowed you to take a closer look at your relationship with the “other guys”.  If you’ve decided your gym isn’t fitting all your needs, give us a try.  Our all inclusive studio comes equipped with state of the art equipment, certified trainers with a caring demeanor, and a children’s playroom.  We offer group classes, personal training, nutrition counseling and more.  Give us a call 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz for more information. At Custom Fitness we are your personal trainers in Amarillo.  Have a great day!