Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Boxing for Fun and Someone Else's Profit

I went to another boxing class today at the gym. I really enjoy the class and it is an awesome workout – I really feel my muscles working during the session.

The trainer is really knowledgeable and has a great personality. The people in the class are friendly and it really is a blast to be a part of.

But today, the trainer was pushing his services a little too much. First he was offering for sale high-end boxing gloves.

“You can get cheaper ones at Wal-Mart for about $45,” he said. “But these – these are the good ones, you can’t buy these there.”

He tells me his gloves sell for $85, that’s almost double what you’d pay at Wal-Mart.

“You don’t have to buy my gloves to take the class,” he confesses. “But you’d be better off because then you’d have your own pair of professional gloves protecting your most valuable investment – your hands.”

Pretty slick sales pitch. I asked him jokingly if he took credit cards, and he made a joke about having to swipe it in his ass.

I laughed – figuring he’d say something like that.

He’s got a great personality, which is important in having a trainer. I don’t take the boxing class to learn to box professionally – at my age, I’m too old to enter any sport professionally. I take the boxing class because it is fun, an excellent way to burn off stress, and a very good physical workout.

After the class, the trainer begins his pushing again. He tells me I’d get more out of the class if I signed up for some one-on-one sessions. I have had one-on-one sessions with personal trainers before – many years ago when I first started working out.

If you spend most of your time eating, working and sleeping, and suddenly decide to join a gym and drop a few pounds – then a personal trainer is an excellent idea. They will help you learn how to do something you’ve never done before – workout safely and efficiently. They will also motivate you and get you started into a routine.

But if you’re like me, and you have been working out for a number of years, you have your own routines and you know how to do things safely – then you really don’t need to pay extra for a personal trainer. It would be nice to have, but so would a private jet. Can you afford your own private jet?

Me neither.

So I declined this trainer’s first push to sign up for personal training sessions.

“I can only give so much advice during class on form and technique,” he offers. “In class I have to focus on everyone, so I can’t spend time on each individual’s training.”

I understand that – and I expect that. I don’t want him or any other trainer to single me out in a class and provide one-on-one coaching. That would just be weird.

I told him I’d think about it.

I enjoy chatting with this trainer – and he does provide excellent training. But I’m not really looking at entering boxing professionally, so a prodigy I am not.

And if I could afford my own private jet – I’d settle for that over a personal trainer. I’ve already done the personal training thing. At the time I needed a personal trainer and I enjoyed his company and advice.

These days, I enjoy working out for me and my needs.

I just hope I can continue to enjoy the boxing class without having to listen to more sales pitches for products and services. I don’t go to the gym to buy anything – I go for me.

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