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Overcoming Member Objections to Strength Training for Weight Loss

It’s now February and by now you’ve already seen many people with New Year’s resolutions come…and go. Unfortunately, the statistics show that no matter how motivated gym members are at the first of the month, they very rarely hang on to their resolutions past January. For many, the results just aren’t coming fast enough. Those who choose to go it alone, as in, believing a gym membership is all they need for success, often think that cardio and a low-fat diet will give them the results they want. Unfortunately, as any professional in the fitness industry knows, that mindset only leads to hunger and even weight gain! The common misconception that cardio exercises burn fat the fastest isn’t necessarily true, and research continually proves that strength training is significantly more effective – with results that last.

As a fitness professional, the beginning of the year is always an exciting and lucrative time as membership numbers skyrocket. People join gyms because they are motivated and ready to accomplish something that they didn’t do last year. As a club owner, you need to help your new members stay motivated from day 1 so by day 31, they are just as motivated. Education is an absolute must and one way to do that is helping members deal with common objections about strength training. Through education, you may just sell more personal training sessions, and you’ll most certainly get a gym member that won’t be jumping ship any time soon.

Dealing with Common Objections
For some, strength training can seem uncomfortable from the start. Objections are usually more about perception than anything else. Weights and the weight room can be intimidating for those with a lack of experience as they worry they will be judged based on the size of the weights they choose, their form, or their own body shape. As a gym owner, it’s a good idea to help members become as comfortable as possible by offering an introductory personal training session (often free with membership). This will help members overcome some objections that would otherwise hinder their weight loss or make them quit the gym completely.

“I don’t want to get too bulky”
Many members, often women, worry they will get too bulky if they strength train. This common misconception can be squashed by helping clients understand that it takes a long time to gain muscle size and that a stronger body will only help them look leaner – even drop a size or two before the scale shows a different number.

“My weight isn’t going down”

Speaking of the scale not changing, those that start weight training may notice that their weight isn’t changing. Unfortunately, many people use a scale to measure their progress. Help your members to understand that strength training not only helps the body burn fat faster, but it can help change the body composition without losing weight. The body will look leaner even if their weight doesn’t change – it may even go up! Help them to switch their focus away from what the scale may say to how their clothes are fitting and their overall body measurements.

It is a common belief think that cardio is the fastest way to lose weight. While it is certainly important, it’s not the only way. Those new to the gym may even hit the elliptical every day, get bored or frustrated and then quit coming. Help your members see that a variety in their workouts with a mix of cardio and strength training can be the key to their weight loss and fitness success.