Dr. Christine Brooks of the University of Michigan’s Fitness Research Centre, along with Club Industry, identified five basic human fears as core barriers keeping people away from health clubs and fitness routines. These human emotions require help from a club if they want to retain indiviuals as long term members.

Although clubs use many techniques to conquer these fears, structured assessment programs offer the best approach. They combine the best of personal training and group exercise, addressing each fear head-on.

Welld offers a diverse selection of these structured assessment programs (www.welldhealth.com/programs), all of which alleviate the five fears of fitness.

1. Feeling stupid?

For people that don’t know how a club works, or have no idea how fitness equipment works, they often steer clear of fitness clubs because they fear they’ll likely do something that will have them feel stupid in front of others.

But the programmatic instruction from structured assessment programs promotes familiarity and comfort. Participants gain the knowledge they need from the scripted instruction.

2. Feeling isolated?

When people hear the word “club,” they feel the word “connection.” They imagine that the members know the staff and know one another. Not wanting to feel alone and isolated, they avoid the “club” experience.

With structured assessment programs, a welcoming partner, coach, and cohort provides a built-in social circle. Participants find comfort knowing other participants are also in the program.

3. Feeling like a klutz?

Many people have had bad experiences with sports and fitness. They have never felt confident or competent playing sport or participating in fitness type activities. These people do not want to enter an arena where they feel they will stand out as being uncoordinated and unathletic.

Structure and routine provided during structured assessment programs quickly build confidence. Proven milestones and personal goals give users a sense of accomplishment early and often in a program.

4. Feeling physique anxiety?

Many people are embarrassed about their bodies. They avoid any arena where their physique could be more visible. They are even more uncomfortable in an arena in which they imagine that everyone else is in perfect shape which is a common (mis)perception of people in fitness clubs.

Structured assessment programs focus on accomplishment and goals. They are designed to overcome body image fears with a sense of purpose and defined milestones.

5. Feeling “forced” to join?

Many people have heard stories about clubs that specialise in “high-pressure” sales tactics. They have also heard stories about clubs that are “only interested in their money.”

Structured programs use defined start and end dates to separate sales from coaching. Offers to join the club typcially happen whenever the participant is most comfortable.

We're here to help

Human emotion often prevents better health outcomes. But with a little structure, a little expectation-setting, and bit of support, health clubs can create routines to ensure their audiences learn to conquer their barriers.