071020 Controlled environment by Daniel Pare

071020 Controlled environment by Daniel Pare, N.C.C.P., C.S.O.
St. Thomas Ontario Canada

Hi everyone and welcome back. This time I have decided to make it about what the environment in a gym should be. I know for a fact that a lot of people do not go to gyms or simply will not go, and this is what I am addressing. Why you are feeling intimidated and will not come back?

What is controlled environment? It means going to a gym and having someone there, like a staff member that is constantly watching what you do. That includes your form and your technique for each and every rep you are performing! Unless you are purchasing private sessions, I am sure it is not happening too often.

Here is what is happening in most gyms. You get inside and meet with a staff member, most time it is an in-house trainer. You receive a training program with a few on-the-house sessions to show you how to do the exercises and guide you from one machine to the next. Then, you are on your own unless you decide to purchase one of the different training packages the gym offers.

Does that sound familiar? That is the process that always bothered me the most. That is exactly what I saw and witnessed over the years.

I am a strong advocate of the opposite. That is why I do not do that at my gym. When someone decides he/she wants to purchase a strength training package then I sell it to them. If he/she decides that they are coming to training at my gym and will just follow a program designed for them. The only difference with that is he/she will not be left alone!   

I will teach them how to monitor their heart rate and I will take it for them, if asked. I will consistently monitor their form and technique for each exercise they perform. So, nobody is left alone wondering. They go home satisfied because they had helped every step of the way. They feel like they belong, and they are cared for.

Do not get me wrong, we all do need to make a living. We also have an obligation and we are responsible for our members and clients. They are with us for results and they deserve our help and our guidance.  So, a trainer walking around the gym or sitting behind the counter when people are in the gym working out… I do not think so!

You should be walking around and checking people’s form and technique. They are doing something wrong you let them know as soon as they are done a set unless there is a strong possibility that he/she will get injured and I had that before, and I stepped in right away. You realise that form is deteriorating then, you should get on that right away. I realise that most people like to do high rep sets, so yes, form will go down the tube really fast. At my gym, we do not do high rep range, so I keep my eyes opened and I see things happening all the time.  

When people are training in a controlled environment the chances for injuries are pretty slim, because he/she is constantly monitored. As a gym member, you deserve it.

That is exactly the reason why I subscribe to a controlled environment approach!           

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