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  1. #1
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    Training men and women

    I am considering closing my gym to any new males, unless their spouse brought them in. Most are too irresolute and disorganised to get started, let alone keep on. 9/10 women who start make it through 3 months, but only 1/3 men.

    Fellahs, you're letting our side down.

    Thoughts?
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    SnapCity siclorraine's Avatar
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    There is a gym that opened up across the street from my gym called "Miss Fit", its women only and the entire gym is pink, and looks like a Barbie doll house lol. There's a market for it for sure..
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  3. #3
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    Mine's a brick garage, unpainted. I don't believe in patronising clients whatever their gender.
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  4. #4
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    Good idea IMO. Males are annoying.
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    In my experience unless you're bugger than the "bro" you're teaching they don't want to know anything about you. Many men (not all) are so egotistical, arrogant and stubborn that they won't allow themselves to learn something new from a legitimate source unless it's from Arnold himself. I train hundreds of personal trainers in my academy each year, all across Australia, and I reckon I have a two to one ratio of females to men. I prefer women, they are more often than not always open to learning and will apply what is taught. Men take much longer. It may be because the world has drummed into men from a young age to ask for help is weak or it could be they're insecure in themselves for asking for help, I don't know but a lot won't ask for help. Again this isn't everyone and I'm not saying that but as an educator to personal trainers, it's a common thread I see.


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  6. #6
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    My friend who is in the throwing world writes,

    "Exactly what Larry Judge found out. He coaches only females. He had to convince 18 year olds with near zero experience that an Olympic coach who had produced multiple athletes into world championship finals knew more than their Youtube source. The women just went with the program. Other thing was compared to the guys they would train harder. Sad but true."
    "A fox has many tricks, a porcupine has only one trick - but a very good one."

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  7. #7
    Registered User SUTTER3's Avatar
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    Interesting idea... It makes sense. I am a high school teacher and coach both basketball and soccer. Before this year I had only coached boys, but I coached one of the girls' teams this year, and noticed a big difference. The girls are way more positive and caring toward one another, and are really helpful with setting up equipment and getting practice going on their own, before I even make it to the field.

    There is another teacher at my school who actually only coaches girls, for similar reasons. He has found that girls have less egos, and are more willing to listen to what you have to say to them. Instead of questioning why they should do what you say, they just go out and do it.

    As far as personal training goes, I have only trained one female, and it was just for a few sessions to help get her started in the gym. I cannot really comment on how they are different trainingwise, but I imagine that it would be similar to my coaching experiences.
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  8. #8
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    I wouldn't strictly shut my door to men in this situation, but if your business model is much more successful at attracting and keeping female clients, then it makes sense to focus your immediate business-building efforts on women.

    Meanwhile, it may be worthwhile trying to figure out why the men don't stick around. Given that most gyms that prioritise strength (as yours does, last I checked) tend to attract and keep more men than women, the situation does raise questions about which men you're recruiting and why they aren't sticking around. It's quite possible that you might only need to adjust a couple things in the way you operate in order to dramatically increase retention rates.
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  9. #9
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    Nah most black iron gyms have massive churn with the males, too - they just don't have many women. So it's not that mine is particularly bad with men, it's ordinary - it's just good with women.

    My friend who has a lot more guys and women both in his (much larger physically) gym says the key is to appeal to guys' desires to be a Special Snowflake (which often manifests in "I can't squat cos I have bad knees" and similar nonsense). He says, don't give them 3 sets of 5 like everyone else, give them 4 sets of 4, or 2 sets of 8 followed by a backoff set of 12, "um, for conditioning." Make up some bullsht to justify it. Give no two males the same programme, and change it every 4 weeks. He says: for noobs it won't make much difference anyway, and it makes the guys feel special.

    I'm sure he's right, but I don't really care. The other day my 5yo son said, "Papa, do you know? Huw said, you get what you get and you don't get upset."
    "Was this at lunch?"
    "Yes."
    Later, I congratulated Huw's mother on a job well done.

    I don't care if you're a Special Snowflake. You get what you get and you don't get upset.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by siclorraine View Post
    There is a gym that opened up across the street from my gym called "Miss Fit", its women only and the entire gym is pink, and looks like a Barbie doll house lol. There's a market for it for sure..
    Sounds like an abomination
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    Stereotypically boys and girls learn differently in school. More pronounced the younger they are but still no reason to think they'd not train differently

    Females are more self critical so open to correction. So form becomes more important. Females will naturally see you as an ally and that makes it easier to develop a relationship that will lead to longevity

    Males are more competitive and have higher belief in their own abilities
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  12. #12
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    I am considering closing my gym to any new males, unless their spouse brought them in. Most are too irresolute and disorganised to get started, let alone keep on. 9/10 women who start make it through 3 months, but only 1/3 men.

    Fellahs, you're letting our side down.

    Thoughts?
    Maybe I missed it but what is the reason you are considering this? The commitment ratio between men to women is not a reason, it is only a statistic

    ...assuming a decision has not yet been made.
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  13. #13
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    It's effort vs reward, which is represented by the statistics. If I get an enquiry, it takes as long to write an email or talk to them on the phone whether they sign up or not. If I spend an hour teaching someone to squat, press and pull in their first trial session, that's an hour whether they sign up or not. If I write a programme for them, it takes as long as it takes whether they come for 3 sessions or 30. If I have to rearrange appointments for someone, it's the same time and effort rearranging whether they ultimately come or don't come. If I have to chase them up to see when they're coming...

    You get the picture. The men are just much, much more effort to market to, sign up, get committed to training, get to show up, get to actually do the workout and not pike out or max out when I'm not looking, and so on. Now, if I make a big effort and get a likeable, reliable and hardworking client out of it, all good. But if I don't...

    The statistics are important, because they show that it takes 2-3 times as much time and money to get and keep a male client as a woman client. Whatever their gender, age or ethnic background, would you like to put in X effort and Y money and get and keep 2-3 clients, or 1 client? Unless the former are paying 2-3 times as much...
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    It's effort vs reward, which is represented by the statistics. If I get an enquiry, it takes as long to write an email or talk to them on the phone whether they sign up or not. If I spend an hour teaching someone to squat, press and pull in their first trial session, that's an hour whether they sign up or not. If I write a programme for them, it takes as long as it takes whether they come for 3 sessions or 30. If I have to rearrange appointments for someone, it's the same time and effort rearranging whether they ultimately come or don't come. If I have to chase them up to see when they're coming...

    You get the picture. The men are just much, much more effort to market to, sign up, get committed to training, get to show up, get to actually do the workout and not pike out or max out when I'm not looking, and so on. Now, if I make a big effort and get a likeable, reliable and hardworking client out of it, all good. But if I don't...

    The statistics are important, because they show that it takes 2-3 times as much time and money to get and keep a male client as a woman client. Whatever their gender, age or ethnic background, would you like to put in X effort and Y money and get and keep 2-3 clients, or 1 client? Unless the former are paying 2-3 times as much...
    Yea, I think you can effectively do this with your marketing message, while not "excluding" all guys. For instance, a marketing message that emphasizes learning good form, and a studied, proven, customized training plan appeals to both men and women who are willing to admit that there are things they don't know - and that you can help them with. It also allows the guys who already "know it all and won't admit that their form sucks and is holding them back" to not bother you. (Though a separate approach that says "let me help you maximize your growth/lifts" might attract some guys who feel like their workouts are somehow lacking by saying "let me help you get even better at something that you're already really good at!" ;-) It basically positions you as a "consultant" instead of a "trainer" to these guys.)
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    @Kyle

    Perhaps consider expanding your new client intro techniques. You seem to have one way of doing things and perhaps if you designed a completely different new client approach (for lack of a better term) for the men, one which involved far less work on your part, you may then find it to your benefit. Additionally, it may in fact be the elaborate nature in which you introduce your services which is scary them off. Men may not want all that. So, in other words, spend far less time, do far less in the beginning and see if that changes things. If it doesn't improve retention rates for the men, then at least you have reduced the frustration you experience which may be all you need to accept this low number of men deciding to stay.

    You have little to lose because the other alternative is to lose them altogether. And we may both agree one client is better than no client providing there is little disparity in the effort exerted.
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  16. #16
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    Man or woman, all I do in the first session is ask them about injuries and such, and teach them to squat, press and deadlift - or appropriate regression. It takes one hour.

    This is also the case with big box gyms, where 2/3 of people never seek instruction: men are a greater retention risk, and injury risk, as they're less likely to seek and follow instruction, and less likely to join group classes or engage with other members; on the plus side they're less likely sue when they do injure themselves.

    The issue doesn't seem to be the nature of the instruction, it's being instructed at all. Thomas Plummer talks about this with his fitness business advice, saying: the women follow the advice to the letter for 18 months, then come back saying "this worked, that didn't" and they adjust as appropriate; the men go off and change everything straight away, then 6 months later complain, "your advice didn't work."

    I think some of the above may be key: part of the appeal of any gym is community, and this is amplified in a small gym, but men aren't as interested in community. Precision Nutrition reports a similar issue, with twice as many women as men signing up, and the men taking much much longer to start engaging in forum discussions etc.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    We're talking about group sessions, right?
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    You really need to sit down and consider figures:
    -How many male members do you have?
    -How many male members participate in classes or PT sessions?
    -How many supplement/apparel purchases are by the men?
    -Can you afford (even temporarily) to change the gym to female only?

    I believe there is money to be made there, as a lot of women will actively avoid going to the gym because of the men there (Sorry boys!)

    You would need to look into rebranding and marketing to boost memberships again...perhaps throw a few offers in there.

    It's a tough play but I would be very interested to see how it turns out if you choose that option.

    I have seen it go both ways.
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