Media Assignment: What to Expect in a Coaching Gym

A confused women holds a yellow kettlebell in a gym.

I opened this article with a sneer:

“What to Expect the First Time You Go to the Gym.”

I had been reading about government-mandated gym closures and struggling fitness entrepreneurs, so I was looking to lash out at something. I figured the article would be a fluffy piece of clickbait I could ridicule.

But it was actually good—and it gave me an idea for microgyms.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

The Lifehacker.com article lays out all the stuff a neophyte needs to know: what to bring, where to put your stuff, how to access the facility, how to find things, and so on. It’s designed for someone who has no idea at all, and I thought this tip was a great way to help nervous people get the lay of the land:

“Sit on an exercise bike (or the machine of your choice). Ideally, pick one that faces the main gym area so you can gather more information about what equipment is out there and what people do with it.”

Later, the writer, Beth Skwarecki, offers a decent “Day 1” routine a reader could try. It’s 2 sets of 10 reps of about six exercises for a nice introductory full-body workout.

The interesting thing is obvious to anyone who owns a microgym:

A writer actually had to figure out a clever strategy to help newbies reconnoiter the facility in hopes of figuring out what the hell to do in the gym. And then she had to provide a general workout routine that applies to everyone and no one all at the same time.

What’s clear is that members of the public have several problems: They don’t know what to do in the gym or how to do it, and they don’t understand anything about how a gym works.

The opportunity for microgym owners: rewriting the article to explain how a coaching facility solves almost all the problems the article covers:

  • We talk to you about your goals.
  • We create a perfect plan.
  • We coach you rather than abandon you.
  • We adjust the plan as needed.
  • We show you around.
  • We tell you what to bring and where to put your stuff.
  • We show you how to sign in.
  • We call you when you don’t show up.
  • We have a person dedicated to answering your questions and making you feel at home.


All the issues the article addresses are solved instantly in a coaching gym—but if people don’t even know what shoes to bring to the gym, they won’t have a clue what a “coaching gym” is. And they won’t understand why it’s more expensive. Your job is to explain everything to them and build value.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Write a blog called “What to Expect the First Time You Go to a Gym in [YOUR CITY].”
  • Briefly list all the problems in the Lifehacker article—all the things that make people avoid or fear gyms. You can even link back to that article. You want readers to know that you understand their concerns.  
  • Tell the reader that you’ve set up a business that solves literally all the problems.
  • Detail your intro process and explain how it helps people succeed.
  • Mention that your gym is more expensive but will provide a vastly improved experience and better results.
  • Ask the reader to book a free consultation to talk about goals.


This article doesn’t have to be long or complex. Start a clock and crank it out in under an hour. Even if you aren’t a writer, it shouldn’t take that long. After all, you’re basically just describing your intro process, which I’m sure you know very well.

If you create this article, anyone who reads it will know three things:

1. You’ve solved the most common problems for new gym members.
2. That solution costs more but is well worth it.
3. He or she can meet with you for free with a few clicks.

Those are three big wins for a coaching gym.

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