Saturday, January 19, 2008

Giving Up on LA Fitness PT

I've had enough! I will not be signing a(nother) contract for personal training at LA Fitness. Why not? Let me start from the beginning...

I walked in to LA Fitness on January 3rd, worked out, then went to see the General Manager of Body of Change about starting PT. First of all, BoC is essentially a subcontractor to LA Fitness; they aren't part of the gym so they don't have to help out people on their time off as I have heard another gym requires. Minor-ish point. So I sit down all excited and pumped up to get myself some PT sessions. What I wasn't expecting was a sale pitch. I felt like I was talking to the mattress salesman from a year ago who only cared about the hard sell. Actually, the mattress guy was more concerned with putting my husband and I with a bed that we liked in the price range we could afford than the GM was with putting me into a contract that I liked. How sad. I was being asked questions in a manner that made it hard to answer, or realize that she was asking a question, because she didn't use the proper question inflection and was talking so fast that it was hard to me to keep up. And I ain't no dummy!

So after being talked at for 30 minutes or so, we did a quick "here are examples of the ways you could do each workout: limiting the range of motion, manual resistance, drop set, changing speed, etc" workout. The workout was informative and probably the only portion I enjoyed because she wasn't selling me the contract. After that we sat down to sign on the line. Yes, I was played a bit because she played to my excitement for the goal I set; I'll admit that. I ended up leaving with a 12 month contract for 8 sessions per month at $40/30 minute session plus 4 free sessions to cover the $149 registration fee. So you don't have to do that math, that's approximately a $4000 contract.

So I went home and all was well. But then I brought it up to the husband on Saturday (2 days after signing the contract). He was less than pleased, and I was hurt by this at first, but after reality set in we talked and figured out why I wanted PT in the first place. (1) I was looking for a PT to get me started on a strength training program. Someone to help me out with the basics, and after 3 months or so, I would take off on my own with the knowledge I now had. (2) I'm not looking for someone to help get me to the gym; I am accountable to my training log and don't need someone else to be accountable to as well. (3) I'll go lift weights on my own, so I don't need someone to make me do that. A friend of mine has a PT because she won't lift on her own. She understands that about herself and that's great that she knows her limitations. I don't need someone. So those are my reasons for wanting a PT - a short term relationship to pass knowledge thus allowing me to develop my own workout plans.

Armed with my new knowledge, I exercised the contract 3-day cancellation option and on Monday morning (Sundays didn't count as a day), I canceled the contract. This entitled me to a refund of all monies paid towards this contract ($469 in my case). I was told I would have my money back in 3 to 7 business days. Let the counting begin.

With work getting a little squirrelly, I wasn't able to check in with the GM again until yesterday. If you were counting, it's now been 8 business days since I canceled my original contract. I still didn't have my money back. So, take two on the contract. I told her I was thinking something 3 to 6 months, prepaid sessions, and that's it. What does she lay out for me? 4 or 6 sessions a month for a year, with 30 free sessions (their current promotion). She even said it was good that I canceled my first contract because I would be getting more for less now. Did she even listen to what I said? When I bring up my original request, she glosses over it saying sure she could do that, but I wouldn't be able to get the free sessions. I harped on two points while she's not listening to me: (1) I want the refund from my first contract back before I sign up for anything else and (2) I'm going to take whatever she tells me home and chat with my husband first.

Yammer yammer yammer. She continues on, then says "what will it take to get you started today?". Well (in my head I'm thinking): let's see, my refund for one, which you can't do anything about, and at this point, nothing. I stand my ground and say I'm still going to think about it. So she thinks I'm now going off to do my hour workout and think about everything, maybe even call the husband at work and talk to him. Yeah, right.

I go run on the treadmill. Little did I know that her next unsuspecting victim was two treadmills away. She starts sale pitching him moments after approaching him. I'm think I'm going to be sick. Her tactics are just disgusting. So I keep an eye on them. I'm approaching the end of my run, and I see them sit down to put pen to paper. I'm thinking this is my time to make a run for it. I finish my cool down, throw on my sweats, and head for the door. I made it to my car and felt like I had made it out, but drove away quickly just to be sure.

I won't be calling her to schedule an appointment on Wednesday around 4p like we had talked about. If she hunts me down in the gym, I'll tell her I'm no longer interested in PT, which is the truth. I'm not the type of person to tell someone off so I'll probably only do that in my head. And that's why I'm giving up on PT, for now. I have a few other options I'd like to explore, but I need a break. Did I mention that my refund posted sometime last night?

Gonna Lose the Toe!

Back in November, I mentioned my black and blue toe nail that happened while I was riding my first century. Well, it looks like I'm going to lose that toe nail at some point. The new nail is growing in closer to the skin than the old one, so I imagine that the blood underneath the nail pushed the old one up, and now with the new one growing in, I'm in trouble. I'm keeping it cut super short in hopes that I don't do something that will cause it to split where the old and new nail meet. I've had a nail split in the middle before, but it only took a month to grow the split out; I'm easily three, probably four, months away from the old nail being gone. Gross!