11th Annual TJ’s Rodeo/Community PARTY!
WEEKLY NEWS FROM TJ’s GYM
Message from TJ:
TONS of announcements this week, so be sure to scroll all the way down! Don’t miss the awesome new apparel order way down there! Here’s this week’s message:
The story of Curves has always been fascinating to me. Curves International was started by Gary Heavin in Waco Texas in 1992. By 2006, Curves had grown to over 10,000 worldwide franchises. Curves has the distinguished record of being the fastest franchise to 10,000 locations. It took McDonalds and Subway 25 years to hit 10,000. Curves did it in 8. Unfortunately, they also hold the record for closing the most number of franchises in record time. Today, only 562 locations remain.
There is no definitive article or book on this phenomenon, but I would imagine it had a lot to do with marketing. Marketing ruled the fitness and diet world until 2002, when Greg Glassman wrote an open-source journal linking science and fitness, destroying the myths and exposing the charlatans who were looking to cash in on this thing called fitness. My hope is to link the history of fitness, fad diets, and marketing in this country to figure out how Curves failed in what is now a trillion dollar industry. Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane with my unofficial timeline.
In 1936, Jack opened the first “health club” in the United States, in Oakland. He parlayed that into a television show and eventually into a chain of gyms. He designed equipment and performed amazing feats of fitness. He was a pioneer in fitness whose goal was to get people fit and moving. He preached the benefits of a low-calorie diet, heavy in vegetables and fruits, with moderate protein. He lived to 96 while performing his exercise routine up till the day he died. He kept his message as simple as possible (eat clean and workout every day), while also embracing that, as a nation, the jobs were moving away from farming and factory work and towards a desk. . He knew people were becoming sedentary. Absolute stud.
Joe Gold opened Gold’s Gym in 1965. He was a merchant marine machinist who was a hardcore Venice Beach weightlifter when he was in town. He built a cinderblock box for the bodybuilders and strongmen when the city closed the original “Muscle Beach.” A young bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger had joined the gym in 1969. The gym made zero dollars, so in 1970 Joe decided to sell the business, the building, the property and HIS NAME for $50,000, so that he could go back into the merchant marine. Thirty-five years later, the gym chain was bought by a hedge fund for 160 million. Sigh. Fun fact: when Joe returned from the high seas, he sued to get his name back but lost. He promptly opened Worlds Gym, which quickly became the second largest gym chain at that time.
In 1977 this seminal documentary starring Arnold was released. While it didn’t blow the doors off the box office, enough people were intrigued to start walking in the doors of the gyms where these “meatheads” trained. More and more gyms started opening and drawing in a crowd of mostly men, but some women braved the terrain. Joe Weider’s magazine company started to boom, and “bodybuilding” started to become a term most people recognized.
Jim wrote the Complete Book of Running in 1976. He had been a heavy smoker and had become obese. This book was his story of how running cured him of his bad habits and also contributed to his better psychological health via what he called “the runners high.” A million copies were sold, and people like my dad, who were overweight, put on their tennis shoes, their Rocky sweat pants and V neck t shirts, and started pounding the pavement. Within a month of running in either Chuck Taylors or Stan Smiths, most folks threw in the towel. But some stuck with it and became addicted, and one company in particular took advantage of this new craze.
An enterprising young track fan, Phil Knight, along with a long-time collegiate track coach, Bill Bowerman, started Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. Phil and a few salesman sold sneakers out of the back of their cars at high school and collegiate track meets for more than a decade. In 1977, they changed their name and took the big leap by hiring an advertising company. Kismet! Knight noticed that most people ran like crap, but it wasn’t his responsibility to teach them how to run, so he did the next best thing and started padding the slipper-like shoes that pro runners still wear to this day. Soon people were running on mattresses, and by 1980, Nike owned 50% of the recreational shoe business. You know the rest.
Richard Simmons/Jane Fonda/Aerobic Studios
In the late 70’s, Richard Simmons was a maitre de in Beverly Hills. He became very interested in eating healthy and lost over 100 pounds by listening to Jack Lalanne and by shunning the other fad diets that had become popular. He opened his first “aerobics” studio in 1980 and began building his business around his personality, which he quickly realized appealed to people who were very uncomfortable walking into the gyms that were opening like crazy. His idea of having a place where anyone could come and be supported started the group exercise craze. In 1982, Jane Fonda found “Aerobic Classes” to be a great way to stay in shape after a ballet class injury. She wrote a book and quickly moved into the burgeoning videotape business by launching the exercise craze that swept the nation into the next frontier: American living rooms.
By the mid 80’s through present time, large facilities housed everything from weights to cardio machines to racquetball to swimming pools. They were huge warehouses that had everything you wanted but didn’t need. Large chains like Golds, Worlds, and 24hr Fitness started the trend of selling equity to large investment firms. Celebrity endorsers were hired, more locations were opened. We’ve all been there, seen that. Not much has changed in that arena, except now these chains are traded by hedge funds to each other to show diversity in their portfolios.
There were a number of different companies that jumped into the fitness space at this point. Curves was far from the first but was the most aggressive in its franchise model. The problem that I see is that there was no pivot for these types of gyms. The Curves or Spinning or Aerobics style of workout didn’t work for one simple reason: it didn’t get people fit or healthy. Yes, it provided a place for people to come and be social. Yes, it made you good at the activities inside of the studio, but it didn’t translate into results you wanted OUTSIDE of the facility, for the most part at least. When folks started to realize this, they left. The franchisees began screaming at the corporate office to let them to try new things, new moves, nutrition, stretching, anything! But Curves International wouldn’t budge, and poof, they disappeared.
So What’s my Point?
Your individual goals are our lifeblood. Without us constantly asking and without your constantly telling us, we aren’t living up to our end of the bargain. Health, performance, and aesthetic are our jams. We want to connect you with the satisfaction you’ll get when you achieve your goals. Our greatest strength is complete honesty, by way of empirical data and science. It’s our vision to help every person who is willing to ask for our help, and we will continue to preach to anyone and everyone who is pretending not to listen. We won’t get caught in the trap of the past–the marketing of bad science, or the selling of our ideals to the highest bidder. We can’t, because science doesn’t lie. We are here to help you get where you want to be. You keep telling us what you want, and we’ll keep finding a way to offer it.
I’ll leave you with a quotation from Jack Lalanne:
“Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”
I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane. Stay tuned for next week when I write about how the end of WW2 changed us forever.
It’s fire around here, with TONS going on, so be sure to check out the full post below so you don’t miss out. Mark your calendars with the important events coming up!
Our TJ’s GYM 2018 4th Quarter Calendar is HERE!
TJ’s Gym LEGENDS FITNESS FOR AGES 60+
We are thrilled to announce our TJ’s Gym Legends fitness program, a new curriculum designed for the needs of 60+ people. We will include work on strength, balance, mobility, stamina, and general functional life movements. Coach Nick is a perfect fit for this work, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word to all 60+ people you know who want to join (existing TJ’s members can join, as well!).
*Inaugural LEGENDS session: Wednesdays and Fridays, October 3rd-November 16th from 10:30-11:30am at TJ’s Gym San Rafael. The work will continue in sessions from there…
Women’s Group with Dr./Coach Allison Starts September 27th! Sign up NOW!
This will be a great forum for women to come together for a whole bunch of camaraderie and support as we bounce around thoughts on all sorts of topics related to being a woman (fitness, health, kids, work, body image, sleep, nutrition, relationships…). Open to non-TJ’s members, as well, so please spread the good word! We need more bodies to make it a viable group!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to register.
The MAKE-IT-HAPPEN Fall Lifestyle and Nutrition Program with TJ.
We are a few days into the program, and everyone’s doing great! There is still time to join in on the fun and progress! Email email@example.com to MAKE IT HAPPEN now.
YOUTH FITNESS at TJ’s Gym
Our new Teen/Tween session started on Tuesday, September 4th. No worries…we prorate for late starts! Here are the details:
Session Dates: September 4th – October 28th
Session Pricing – 8 Weeks
$176 (one day a week)*
$320 (two days a week)*
$430 (three days a week)*
Please reply ASAP to secure a spot. As always, we also have monthly options available for our year-round teen members.
Our current class schedule will always be posted on our schedules page HERE.
*Corte Madera – Monday/Wednesday (ages 12 – 16) 4 pm
*Mill Valley – Tuesday/Thursday (12 – 16) 4 pm
*Corte Madera -Tuesday/Thursday (10 – 13) 4:30 pm
*San Rafael – Tuesdays (12 – 16) 4 pm **(New offering with Coach Nick!)
*Mill Valley – Wednesday 4:00 (12 – 16) – Girls-only **PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME
*Corte Madera – Saturday (12 – 16) 11 am
*Classes expire at the end of the session. Make-ups can happen as needed throughout the session. Schedule subject to change based on registration numbers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
TJ’s Gym T-Shirts, Tanks, and Champion Hoodies for the Fall! ORDER YOURS by 9/20/18!
Don’t forget about our awesome BOOTCAMP classes in Mill Valley! It’s a great class for people who want to get fit without using a barbell!
SOCCER BALLS BENEFITTING KIDS WITH CANCER
If anyone in your family needs (or wants!) a new soccer ball, please consider buying this one. 100% of profits go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just click on the image above to order yours from our great friends at All Season Soccer, THE place to go for all of your soccer needs!
You can also support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the upcoming Miracles on the Bay Gala, where Hollis of Juggling for Jude will be speaking as honoree. Email email@example.com for discounted tickets to this super-fun night out in San Francisco, or if you or your company is interested in discounted table sponsorships. They also need auction items! Thank you for considering!
If you’re on Facebook, please request to join the TJ’s Gym Members Facebook Page (current, active members) for all of our most up-to-date announcements and offerings. You can also follow us @tjsgyms on Instagram.