Sales Resistance at Gold's Gym

So, the other day I happened across a Groupon offering a month-long membership to Gold’s Gym, including two personal training sessions, for only $19.  I had been flirting with the idea of going back into the gym for some weight-lifting, as I had sworn off of the activity five years early and was curious about what it might do for me now.

So I brought the voucher into Gold’s and was sent to a sales desk, where the girl there tried her best to ‘upsell’ me. Unfortunately for her, I have worked at gyms all my adult life and I know the hard sell tactics.

She started by first trying to build rapport with me, but she has a self-defeating habit of not listening to people when they answer her questions. This causes her to re-ask the same questions and instead of creating a bond, actually creating a rift between us.

I had no intention of buying anything but the free month I came in for, but I let her run her spiel and even enlist the support of her fellow salesman when I balked at the ridiculous concept of a $29.99 maintenance fee.  

My original plan was and is to lift weights for three months. I intended to use this free month first and then see about what kind of rate I can get for two more months. And if there was nothing forthcoming in the way of manageable rates, I’d switch to another gym. My first choice was this Gold’s Gym however, due it being a short, four block walk from my house.

But when the salespeople started talking money, they couldn’t understand my hesitancy to accept the $29.99 fee.  I tried to explain to them that it was just like adding $15 to my monthly payment, since I was only going to be paying for two months. I told them that the extra $30 was a ‘deal killer’ but they acted as if their hands were tied and couldn’t do anything for me. 

I know that they can write any kind of contract they want, but were trying to strong-arm me. And they lost. In the end, I walked into the gym using my Groupon and making no further purchases.

I’ll give them another chance to offer me a decent rate for December and January, but if they remain adamant about the extra fee, I’ll have to go somewhere else. 

The gym suits my needs, which are minimal.

I don’t need classes and I don’t do cardio machines. I am not interested in personal training, nor do I use weight machines. I won’t even be using the locker room. My routine consists of walking to the gym, doing four exercises and walking home. A no-frills gym is perfectly suited to me. 

This gym has a bit of a funky smell. I know the smell all too well from being a highschool athlete. The unmistakable smell is of unwashed, sweaty clothes and/or carpeting. I don’t mind it, but I can understand how it would be very off-putting to many people. 

The equipment I used is fine for my need. All I wanted was a power rack for doing barbell squats, a pull-down or assisted pull up machine until I work up to free pull ups, a bench for dumbbell bench press and a piece of floor and some weight plates for weighted crunches.


I started very light today, basically just going through the motions and setting a baseline. I could easily lift more than I was doing today, but this type of progressive overload works best for me when I start easy and build up momentum going into the challenging stuff. If I went right for the challenging stuff right away, I'd end up progressing a lot less in the end.

My plan is to go back about every other day and very slightly increase the amount of weight I’m lifting. Once I can do twelve repetitions in good form, I increase the weight slightly. If i cannot do at least five good reps, then I lower the weight. By slightly increasing my reps or my weight each time, I will safely, gradually and systematically be increasing my muscle size and strength.

I’ll check in after a few sessions and report my progress or anything of interest that might come up.


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