The Difference between having a Gym Membership and a Personal Trainer

and what that has to do with your business

I had already planned on writing this post with the overall same idea, and then Nicole from Nicole in Bold gave me the idea to focus more on the personal trainer side of it than just the OTF color zones.  The video is a brief overview of today's blog, and the blog goes more in-depth with strategies and ways you can implement them. For me, accountability plays a huge role in my life and in my business. 

Gym Membership vs. Personal Trainer

Most of the time when I've had a gym membership, I've rarely gone there. Why? Because it was generally low-cost and low-accountability. Growing up I had a YMCA membership but barely used it. In college, we had an amazing gym, and I only went with my girlfriends. I didn't start going to the gym consistently until I got a personal trainer right after college. 

Why? Several reasons - I asked for my parents to invest in one for me as my college graduation present, so it wasn't just my money being spent, and two because my trainer was counting on me being there. I trained with her 2x a week for 2 years, and then I moved to Atlanta and immediately got a gym membership, because hey! I love working out now, right?

If you watched the video above, you'll already know that I paid for 6+ months of a gym membership and I never went. Not even once. When they asked for my ID # on my card to cancel the account, I had to tell them that I didn't even have a card. They canceled my membership right away. I had no accountability for going to the gym, it was less than $30/mo, and even after 2 years of working out, I felt so insecure and unsure of what I should even be doing. I thought everyone would look at me weird and think, "that girl has no idea of what to do, why is she even here?", even if I was following an online workout plan. So I just never went. 

My roommate started Orange Theory Fitness (OTF)  just over a year ago. Not only was she becoming more fit and toned, but she was always talking about the coaches on a first name basis. They would jokingly ask her why she missed a day, and celebrate all of her successes with her. That. That is what I wanted. So I joined Orange Theory last fall, but started getting really consistent there in March. Since I started, I've not only seen physical changes, but I got the accountability back that I was missing from my regular gym (not that you can't get this at your regular gym). 

I could talk all day about accountability, and even have a program designed just for it, but I'll wrap this section up and move on to the theory behind OTF.

The Difference between having a Gym Membership and a Personal Trainer (and what it has to do with your business)  |  The Social Walker Agency

The Orange Theory Theory

We wear heart rate monitors at OTF that display on a large TV above the treads (which I originally thought was very intimidating, but it's not). Its a 5 heart zone structure - grey, blue, green, orange, red. The classes are 1 hour long and a coach leads you through every single minute of your workout (hello, not having to think about a workout plan!) Its broken down into 2 main blocks - treadmills and floor/rower - and every day's workout is a bit different (kind of like Crossfit). Today I am mainly going to be focused on the tread block along with zones green, orange and red. The theory is that you should spend at least 12 minutes (shown as splat points) in the Orange zone (some red) in order to #keepburning for the next 36-48 hours. You can spend more time there, but you want to spend the majority of the time in the green zone. The coaches will coach you through how you should be feeling and when to push into orange and when to back down into green. It has taken me a while (and every time I increase speed or weight I have to start over) but I've finally reached a perfect pyramid!! 

Green Zone - Base Pace

The majority of the workout should be spent in the green zone. What this means is that it is a pace you should be able to maintain for almost the whole hour (or at least the 30 minutes on the treads) with a comfortable pace and level of breathing. After most push pace blocks on the treads we go back down to base pace. We've got to get our breathing back on track and get ready for the next push or all-out paces that are coming. There is always a base recovery. I know its coming, and I look forward to it. We cannot skip going back down to base pace.  

The same is true for your business. I like to think of these as admin days or prep work days, even some client work that is just easier for me to do. This zone is not your launch week zone. It's not your wedding day photography zone or even your editing/delivering zone. This is your comfortable every day maintaining zone - emails, scheduling social media, coffee chats, etc. 

I think our biggest problem as entrepreneurs is that we end up living too much in the next zone

Orange Zone - Push Pace

This is the zone that OTF coaches say allows us to have that longer post workout after-burn. However, we were not made to stay in the orange zone. Trust me, I tried that my first two classes. I thought I had to keep my heart rate in the orange for the whole hour. Y'all, I could barely move after those two classes! It is just not healthy nor possible to maintain an orange zone push pace for 30 minutes much less 60 minutes. I think the longest push pace I've been instructed to do at one time is 3 minutes. Then it's right back down to base pace. 

We, entrepreneurs, use the word "hustle" a lot. And while I definitely think there are times we are working at a push pace (launch weeks, for example), we cannot maintain the push pace for long. The longer we put ourselves in orange, the closer we get to entering the red. We will reach burn out. Take some time today to look at your calendar (life and business) to determine when you need to be in push pace and make sure you have time built in to get back to base before the next round of push and all-out paces come around. 

Red Zone - All-Out

"We've got a 30secs all out coming up next and then you'll walk it out and be done with the treads for the day" are my favorite words to hear. We will have all-outs built in to other sections of the treads, but the one at the end is so great because I can give it more than I have in other all-outs because there is nothing coming next. If I've paced myself correctly for the first 29 min then I know I can truly give it my all on these last 30 secs. But it has to be because I listened to my coach the whole time and listened to my body. 

When it comes to your business, launch day, product delivery day,  or client deadlines, and the day after will be your red zones. Again, you have to know your schedule and yourself to make sure you don't have too many of these red days close together. You will cause burn out if you are not careful. If you look back at my OTF results, you'll notice that I was only in red for just over 3 minutes out of the whole hour. That is all my body can handle. And I know it.

Accountability, Coaching, and Your Business

Accountability groups and masterminds are amazing! I was in one last year with 3 women (Rosemary, Dannie, & Jana) who are wayyyy beyond me in their business zones. My all-outs felt like their green zones, but they never made me feel any less than them. 

I just don't think you can get everything you need only out of a free group. I love all of the business groups I'm in on Facebook, but none of them held me accountable to writing this blog post (which I had drafted weeks ago). No one will truly care as much about your business as you do, however, by having someone who is invested into your business with you can go a long way. 

Over 50 business owners filled out my survey a few weeks back with their biggest business struggle. Most of them said "I know what I think I should be doing, but I don't know where to start." That's how I felt about the gym. It wasn't until I got a trainer in 5 years ago and then again at OTF that I began to make those physical strides in my health. You, like me, need to put some skin in the game and decide its time to be held accountable in your business. Let's take our businesses seriously and start seeing the results we want! 

Most gyms and studios offer a guest or buddy pass. So here's mine for you - starting, Monday, July 24th, I'm giving you a OTF "guest pass" to try one session of my accountability program. See all the details below.


I want you to know how successful you can be with just a little bit of accountability. For the week of July 24, 2017, you'll get a glimpse into what it is like to work with me inside my accountability programs. Say you'll join me?