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Fancy Gym Syndrome

Recently someone posted the following comment on a fitness-based Facebook page:

“just started @ boxing gym, love it no fancy workouts just hard hard work.”


As someone who has spent a lot of time in various martial arts gyms, I could relate exactly to what this woman was saying. Some fight gyms can be very plain, don’t have much or anything in the way of fancy equipment, and yet are almost always filled with clients who are very committed and serious about their training, and working very hard

At most regular fitness gyms, on the other hand, it’s quite a different story. It’s very difficult to compete as a gym these days without the very latest and greatest in high-tech exercise machines and facilities. It’s simply what most people have come to expect. And, quite frankly, it’s the often only thing that attracts clients in the first place.

Think about it.

Someone decides that they need to make serious changes in their life, and they eagerly show up at their local gym. In their ambitious state of mind they’re quickly seduced by the sight of all the beautiful, modern equipment laid out in front of them, and are instantly convinced that the place will change their life.

In that moment of excitement it’s easy to forget however that it’s not the shiny machines that will transform their body, but rather their own hard work. When that reality hits them days or weeks later, suddenly the dream isn’t so rosy anymore, and their conviction starts to wear thin.

Modern fitness gyms are certainly well-equipped to train anyone who’s prepared to put the hard work in, but unfortunately they also attract their fair share of dreamers as well. This is why they traditionally have quite a high client drop-out rate.

The plainer, more run-down, no-frills gyms on the other hand don’t experience this so much because their clients haven’t been drawn in by the gym itself, but instead are there with the full intention of working hard, and that’s it!

In boxing and Thai boxing many present and past champions come from very shabby-looking gyms – places where the average weekend workout warrior wouldn’t consider good enough to even step into. In Thailand world champions train in Muay Thai alongside local kids in gyms housed in wooden buildings with dirt floors. They run on dirt tracks and climb coconut trees. The training is basic and raw, but it’s real. And it works.

So what does all this mean to you? Does it mean you need to find the rattiest possible gym to train in, and to avoid the modern facilities if you want to succeed in losing weight?

Of course not.

What it means is that if you don’t need fancy equipment or facilities to be a world champion, then you don’t need them to lose weight and get into shape. Don’t let lack of facilities or the lack of a good place to train hold you back. If you’re ready to put in the hard work, then you can do it, even if it means using the most basic of equipment, and working out in your own living room, if that’s all you can manage.

Remember that ironically, it’s often the least serious and most casual of exercisers that tend to insist on the very best of everything in a workout environment, whereas the serious ones are usually happy to settle with just the basics.

So modern or old, high-tech or no-frills, it’s what’s inside you that determines your outcome, not the equipment you’re using!

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Gloria Kaneko is a lifetime 100% natural IFBB Figure athlete, certified gym instructor and personal trainer, and fitness model. She has also studied clinical psychology, is an NLP Master Practitioner, and has several certifications in Hypnotherapy and the Silva Method. Gloria is a co-owner and co-founder of Million Dollar Baby Fitness.

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  1. Brenda Hamilton
    12 July, 2011

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

  2. jayne b.
    13 July, 2011

    really interesting article! thanks 😉

  3. Hillary Lemcke
    17 July, 2011

    Thanx For Nice post, i hope to come back with new updates


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