Sales People: Stop Making America Fat

Fitness equipment distributors train their sales force to sell their latest configuration of plastic, aluminum, iron and computer circuitry as “cutting edge” or “state of the art”.

As such, it’s not uncommon for the typical gym or private training studio to start out with an investment of at least $100,000 in the latest & greatest equipment.

Now keep in mind, I’m NOT an equipment salesman – I’m a practitioner.

I’m also a pragmatist.

I ‘get’ that people have certain perceptions of what a gym *should* look like. Heck, they’ve been conditioned to remain deconditioned for the last 40 years. It’s hard to forget everything we ‘know’ cold-turkey.

I also ‘get’ that people want something to show for their investment of time and money. Isn’t that what it’s really about?

In 2004, I contributed a chapter (Is A Health Club Right For Me?) to a book called “The Power of Champions”. While the numbers have likely grown a bit since then, I explained…

  • In 1982, there were barely 6000 health clubs in the US
  • In 2003, there were more than 20,200
  • More than 36,000,000 Americans belong to a health club
  • Total industry revenues exceed $13 BILLION PER YEAR.

State Of The Art = Same Crap (Only Newer)
By creating more of the same, diabetes increased 33%, overweight/obesity is at an all time high and here in 2008, we’re not showing any signs of slowing down.

The “cutting edge” element doesn’t need to be the equipment, the environment or the logo on the door.

It needs to be in the way ACCURATE information is distributed.

People don’t NEED gym memberships.

Nor do they NEED personal trainers.

They need coaches/educators/mentors who can help them make the transition from “then” to “now”

They need accountability.

They need to have a base level of understanding of the consequences of their decisions.

They NEED to re-establish the fitness habit before they worry about the next “best new piece of equipment”.

Most of all, they need to accept RESPONSIBILITY and put what they learn into ACTION.


Seek out quality sources of information. When you find it, share it with your friends, family and anyone else who is tired of struggling to make a faulty system work.

If the fitness industry expects to be taken seriously (and not just as something you buy into while watching an infomercial at 3am), ALL OF US need to re-consider the way we provide our services.

Hear me today and believe me tomorrow, traditional gyms may work for the few, but they clearly aren’t working for the masses.


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