Over years of running CFNYC, we discovered that, on average, our members attended the gym about 2.8 times a week. Talking to coaches at other CrossFit boxes, to yoga, pilates and spin instructors, and to private trainers, that seems about par for the course. In a committed, workout-attending population, people seem to hit the gym about 2.5-3 times a week.
And, indeed, that’s great. If you’re smart and focused, that’s often all the gym time you need. Though that depends, entirely, on what you do with the other 165 hours of your week.
There’s an old fitness maxim: you can’t out-train a bad diet. You also can’t out-stretch days full of sitting, standing and moving in terrible posture. You can’t out-caffeinate a lack of sufficient, high-quality sleep. And your three hours at the gym are only enough if they’re just the far end of the power curve – the small percentage of time you move at high intensity, paired with the large percentage of time outside the gym in which you’re still moving, albeit at a lower pace.
The problem is, gyms aren’t really set up to address those other 165 hours. Sure, trainers and coaches will sometimes give homework; but we know from research on adherence in physical therapy that people just don’t do their fitness homework, even if it’s literally hurting them not to.
Which, I think, is an opportunity for technology. Pair a great in-gym experience with a well-crafted app that extends that experience to guide the other 165 hours of the week, while still tying back to the expert accountability and community support you have in the gym, and you’ve got a far more effective way to help people make positive change in their lives.