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Why we don't do inductions

For years gyms have done inductions.

You join a gym - you get an induction. Simple enough. You get shown the kit, possibly even get a programme of exercises. Job done.

Having been in gyms - big and small - for over 20 years, I've seen all sorts and styles of inductions. Unfortunately, for many people the old fashioned induction just doesn't cut it.

When people join us at Oakwood we ask "why have you joined?". The answer is normally "to lose weight and tone up". Completely understandable.

Simply knowing how a treadmill turns on won't be enough. Knowing how to change the pin on a seated leg press won't either.

Inducting/introducing/onboarding a new member to a gym isn't about showing the member how a few particular pieces of equipment work. It won't help the member build confidence, it won't provide the guidance or support necessary and, ultimately, failure to achieve the desired goal is likely.

Starting out at any sort of fitness club is super-daunting. Equipment can seem complicated, everyone looks more experienced than you and the abundance of differing advice on the "best way to lose weight" that you've probably read online just makes knowing what to do in the gym sooo much more complicated than it needs to be.

At Oakwood all new members have a starter session and are also encouraged to take on our 8-week Kickstart Plan. We've had it in place for a few years now, and it works. Really well.

The Kickstart Plan is essentially three sessions across your first 8 weeks with us. If you include the Starter Session, that's four. Time-wise, that's three hours of one-to-one with an instructor. Considering our start-up fee is £25 and covers your Starter Session, the Kickstart Plan, eGYM band and more, we're pretty good value for money! To be honest, it costs us a lot more than £25 to deliver the Kickstart Plan which show that we see it as an investment. That's how confident we are that it will work for you and make you stay.

Our main aim with new members isn't to show you how to use the kit. It's to get you comfortable and help you build confidence. When you're comfortable and confident you'll be ready to learn new exercises, try new classes, work harder by pushing yourself and you will - we're certain - see results.

You have to look at your first few months at a new club as just the beginning. Improving your health, getting fitter, reducing your body fat, increasing muscle and all the other benefits that come with a regular and progressive programme takes time. You need to be ready for the long haul. You're creating a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise - the first few months is just laying the foundation.

The reason we don't do inductions (we favour our loss-making four sessions!) is that we know it will often lead to the member leaving inside a few months. That's because they haven't seen results, because they don't know what to do.

If you're considering starting a new healthy and active lifestyle then we'd love to see you at Oakwood. We're currently offering a two-week Club Pass for £15, which might be a great way for you to try us out.

Dan Morgan

General Manager

Oakwood Sports Centre, Horley

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