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RANT Time Mgmt: Opportunity Cost Of Gym Membership

cjac9chris

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May 15, 2018
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Hi Fastlaners,
I’m curious how you’d handle this problem:

I train as a powerlifter and spend 3-4.5 hrs. per week in the gym. I’m not a professional - this is just what I’m into.

Currently, I train at LA Fitness. The equipment sucks for what I’m doing though it IS possible to train there.

The people there are usually doing dumb exercises and are uninspiring to be around.

The only plus is it’s a 3 minute drive time.

On the flip side, the best lifting gym in town is 9 minutes away.

The equipment is exactly what I need and the people there are the strongest in town.

It’s very inspiring to be there even though I’m one of the weakest people there.

Lifting there is pure joy and, honestly, I can lift more weight there just because of the environment. (I think it’s a psychological thing.)

Talk about surrounding yourself with successful people! When it comes to health and fitness, they’ve got it.

Problem is: is it worth the drive time?

How does a fast-laner handle this problem?

Here’s the opportunity cost breakdown based on my time being worth $200/hr.

LA Fitness: $3,490.20/yr.
Other gym: $9,120.00/yr.

Which one would you go with? Less joy and inspiration but more time to build your biz, call prospects, hunt for opportunity.

OR more joy, inspiration, possibly better fitness with slightly less time to be productive.

Thanks for your input!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Kyle T

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MJ mentions in Unscripted about how he drives farther for the specific gym environment similar to the ideal one that you described. The environment that energizes you is critical for productivity.

Plus....If your time is really that valuable, then I don't think you'd be hung up on a 6-minute difference. The time that you have spent on this post and making this decision has already surpassed that.

Make the decision and own it. If a 6-minute drive is going to make your health & your workouts better than that is a trade that I would make any day of the week.
 

DennisDuty

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This is a BS problem and I hope it's just a thought experiment.
Opportunity cost doesn't work like that.

It only applies if you would have ~realistically~ spent that exact same 6 minutes making money at the suggested rate, and there was absolutely NO WAY to schedule/consolidate your time in a way to free up 6 minutes.

That would mean your waking life is BOOKED SOLID making $200/hr nonstop with no wiggle room.

It means you make $416k a year with a standard schedule or $728k with an extended schedule. It also means that 6 minutes of your time is worth $20.

Of course your health and happiness is worth $20 a day.

However I don't think that this is actually the case. I think you're making the mistake of working in hypothetical/arbitrary value. I suggest reading some of Billy Murphy's stuff from Forever Jobless. I sense that it will be helpful to you.

You can listen to it on your commute to the gym as a way to lessen the guilt of the commute.
 

Neng Her

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Hi Fastlaners,
I’m curious how you’d handle this problem:

I train as a powerlifter and spend 3-4.5 hrs. per week in the gym. I’m not a professional - this is just what I’m into.

Currently, I train at LA Fitness. The equipment sucks for what I’m doing though it IS possible to train there.

The people there are usually doing dumb exercises and are uninspiring to be around.

The only plus is it’s a 3 minute drive time.

On the flip side, the best lifting gym in town is 9 minutes away.

The equipment is exactly what I need and the people there are the strongest in town.

It’s very inspiring to be there even though I’m one of the weakest people there.

Lifting there is pure joy and, honestly, I can lift more weight there just because of the environment. (I think it’s a psychological thing.)

Talk about surrounding yourself with successful people! When it comes to health and fitness, they’ve got it.

Problem is: is it worth the drive time?

How does a fast-laner handle this problem?

Here’s the opportunity cost breakdown based on my time being worth $200/hr.

LA Fitness: $3,490.20/yr.
Other gym: $9,120.00/yr.

Which one would you go with? Less joy and inspiration but more time to build your biz, call prospects, hunt for opportunity.

OR more joy, inspiration, possibly better fitness with slightly less time to be productive.

Thanks for your input!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
BARBELL BRIGADE?
 

MTEE1985

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I suspect you already know the answer and just want confirmation. First of all, based on what you said you won’t “possibly” have better workouts at the further gym, you definitely will. I’d argue that the better workout, better health etc. will more than add 30 productive hours to your year.

Imagine if we took the same approach with food? I could stop by McDonalds for dinner. Spend 5 minutes and say $7....or I could stop at Whole Foods for salmon and vegetables, pay $15 and then spend another 20 minutes preparing it. Which one is ultimately a better use of time and money? Go to the gym that will get you the best results and the best health.

To beat a dead horse, like @DennisDuty mentions, IF you make $200/hr then $6,000 a year is a paltry sum for better health.
 

RazorCut

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“You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with,” - Jim Rohn

Maybe not completely accurate statistically speaking but close enough for what you require. There is also the:

“show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” derivative.

Need I say more?
 

lowtek

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I would go with neither. Forget having to wait around for someone to finish curling or shrugging in the squat rack (you ARE squatting, yes?).

I built a gym in my garage. Titan fitness T2 power rack, titan fitness incline bench, iron plates from the local fitness store and an olympic bar I got off amazon. 2 horse stall mats to protect the floor, and we're all in for under $1,000.

This saves 20 minutes driving x 3 times a week, or about 50 hours a year. Even at $20 an hour it pays for itself in the first year, not even including the gym membership.


No gym rage, no waiting on people to finish sets, no worrying about getting the herps from some skeevy gym rat... it's a no brainer.

Oh, and yeah. I'm renting and I drilled holes into the concrete in my garage. Whatever. I'll just patch them when we leave. Still not worth going to the gym and dealing with it.
 

PureA

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I have a similar issue.

I attend a gym that is £16 per month, 2 min drive (literally) - guaranteed 0 traffic. You can easily get a workout in but the gear is budget.

There is another gym down the road £90 per month, 10-25 min drive (traffic dependant). It has better gear but mostly the same crowd...

I have stayed with the budget gym since I hate traffic.

Contrary to my own decision - I think you should opt for the better gym. Especially since it's a hobby and spending extra could add who-knows-how-much to your productivity and bottom line.

Smell the roses, enjoy the climb.
 

RazorCut

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This saves 20 minutes driving x 3 times a week, or about 50 hours a year.
The issue I have with this analogy is it predisposes that the 50 hours a year would be spent doing A1 type work rather than taken out of your leisure time. In other words the time is wasted.

We don't/won't/can't work 24/7 (delete as appropriate). What you are saying is you don't want to drive to and from a gym. I totally get that. There are pro's and con's however and a home gym is not for everyone. Aside from the cost/space issues a home gym is a solitary activity. Many Entrepreneurs have a fairly solitary life in the first place. Maybe working from home, tied to a desk most of the day pounding out the work as they build their business. The social aspect of a gym can be very beneficial. It can serve as a reward for a hard days work.

Also a commute is not always a negative thing. My current commute is around 10 mins. Up until recently it was maybe an hour. The hour was far more productive in my mind as I would listen to podcasts or language courses and often get to my destination wishing it had taken another 15 mins. But even 20 mins can be super useful listening to audio books etc. It's time you know you won't be interrupted and, as we pretty much drive on autopilot, it allows the brain to mull over the information much more thoroughly. Personally I tend to get my best ideas, courses of action etc. from either driving or walking.
 

lowtek

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The issue I have with this analogy is it predisposes that the 50 hours a year would be spent doing A1 type work rather than taken out of your leisure time. In other words the time is wasted.

We don't/won't/can't work 24/7 (delete as appropriate). What you are saying is you don't want to drive to and from a gym. I totally get that. There are pro's and con's however and a home gym is not for everyone. Aside from the cost/space issues a home gym is a solitary activity. Many Entrepreneurs have a fairly solitary life in the first place. Maybe working from home, tied to a desk most of the day pounding out the work as they build their business. The social aspect of a gym can be very beneficial. It can serve as a reward for a hard days work.

Also a commute is not always a negative thing. My current commute is around 10 mins. Up until recently it was maybe an hour. The hour was far more productive in my mind as I would listen to podcasts or language courses and often get to my destination wishing it had taken another 15 mins. But even 20 mins can be super useful listening to audio books etc. It's time you know you won't be interrupted and, as we pretty much drive on autopilot, it allows the brain to mull over the information much more thoroughly. Personally I tend to get my best ideas, courses of action etc. from either driving or walking.
Whatever works for ya.
 

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fvcorp

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Would you rather $6000 in your pocket or results and motivation?

Can't you listen to an audio book on the drive and use your time wisely?

Will the motivation and results that come from a better gym increase your hourly rate from $200 to $220?

The mindset that makes you ask this question needs to be changed.

First, you're describing your value as time based. And while it's good to know your hourly value, you've missed the point that we're trying to make about time versus results.
 
OP
OP
cjac9chris

cjac9chris

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May 15, 2018
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San Antonio, TX
This is so helpful - thank you for responding! Moving over to the good gym.

To the home gym guy, I did consider that but I like having a reason to leave the house (I work from home and can get that whole lonely entrepreneur thing going.) Also, I like parking in the garage. Once I get a three-car garage, I’ll probably get one for mornings that I’m rushed.

Thanks everyone!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

DustinH

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I've got a buddy at my gym who likes to compete in local bodybuilding competitions. Nothing big time. More like a hobby, but it is important to him. He has memberships at 3 or 4 gyms around town so he can get to the gym from wherever he is nearest or pick the one that he wants to go to.

I always thought you could only be a member at one gym at a time. Then, he told me about all his memberships and I thought to myself, "yeah, I guess you could do whatever you want and be a member anywhere."

So, if it's important to you then go for best investment in your future. That might be being a member of the gym that's 9 min away or being a member at both.
 

unaided

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There's more to the extra cost. Relationship opportunity can be beneficial too - you're going to be around a different demographic than at LA Fitness. You're going to likely have less "tolerances" to deal with like trash on locker room floor or old stains on locker room carpet. You have to bring your own lock to most of LA fitness - where it can be more efficient at other gyms.

Plus 95% of our behavior is patterned from subsconscious modeling - you might rather be modeling the others. You can also utilize the extra drive time for podcast /deep breathing- whereas the LA Fitness drive is too short to matter. Additionally, you might be able to buy a locker to cut down the time at the gym - while it might seem ridiculous. When your time is $200+/hr, the savings in decision power and convenience are worth it as it saves time finding/choosing a locker, gathering your stuff before & after workouts and makes the habit more mindless & routine.

I go to the Lifetime that MJ talks about and it's much more worth it for the relationships and cleanliness compared to LA fitness. My peeve now is that it has become too populated and I can't get on the equipment I want consistently unless I go at off hours. We're also moving, which adds 5-7 minutes one way to the gym. So I'm considering a premium club so that I have better access to equipment, the relationships I make can be even better, and they offer premium services like laundry that might be beneficial for cost-benefit savings. I really enjoy basketball and Lifetime has a great rec league and pick-up game opportunities that the other gym will not offer, so I may actually join both at the same time so I can enjoy the aspects of both. If I enjoy playing bball 2x/week, I can go like 6x/month. the 80-85/month membership can be cheaper than a round of golf or a decent dinner out for something I enjoy that boosts my fitness and gives me something to workout for.

So it's ultimately case by case back to values assessment - ultimately why do we make money? To buy back time and to buy experiences/happiness/efficiency. Seems like the other gym is worth it.
 

ZCP

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Home gym for the win. Setup a room or portion of the garage. Then you can put your workout into the time periods for most effectiveness as a whole. Walking into the other room should be enough of a mindset shift.
 

rogue synthetic

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Hi Fastlaners,
I’m curious how you’d handle this problem:

I train as a powerlifter and spend 3-4.5 hrs. per week in the gym. I’m not a professional - this is just what I’m into.

Currently, I train at LA Fitness. The equipment sucks for what I’m doing though it IS possible to train there.

The people there are usually doing dumb exercises and are uninspiring to be around.

The only plus is it’s a 3 minute drive time.

On the flip side, the best lifting gym in town is 9 minutes away.

The equipment is exactly what I need and the people there are the strongest in town.

It’s very inspiring to be there even though I’m one of the weakest people there.

Lifting there is pure joy and, honestly, I can lift more weight there just because of the environment. (I think it’s a psychological thing.)

Talk about surrounding yourself with successful people! When it comes to health and fitness, they’ve got it.

Problem is: is it worth the drive time?

How does a fast-laner handle this problem?

Here’s the opportunity cost breakdown based on my time being worth $200/hr.

LA Fitness: $3,490.20/yr.
Other gym: $9,120.00/yr.

Which one would you go with? Less joy and inspiration but more time to build your biz, call prospects, hunt for opportunity.

OR more joy, inspiration, possibly better fitness with slightly less time to be productive.

Thanks for your input!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Two things:

1. Back when I was still powerlifting, the #1 thing that made the difference between crushing it and "meh" was being in a gym full of strong people.

There is nothing -- let me repeat this in big letters, NOTHING -- that can improve your training more than being in a gym full of beasts where you are low on the totem pole.

The flip side of this is that being the strongest guy in a regular-folks gym is guaranteed to sap your energy and put some serious limits on what you can do.

This has nothing to do with availability of equipment.

2. You're running an opportunity cost valuation on 12 minutes (9 minutes - 3 minutes * 2 trips) of your time.

No further comment. Just let the awe of this calculation sink in for a moment.
 

Sonny Decker

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I used to go out of my way AND pay more to go to a bodybuilding/powerlifting/strongman gym, and trust me it was WELL worth it (I've since built my own gym though).

Get a membership at the better gym and listen to audiobooks on your way there. Problem solved.

EDIT: just saw that you're moving over to the better gym. Get those gains OP!
 

jon.M

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I would go with neither. Forget having to wait around for someone to finish curling or shrugging in the squat rack (you ARE squatting, yes?).

I built a gym in my garage. Titan fitness T2 power rack, titan fitness incline bench, iron plates from the local fitness store and an olympic bar I got off amazon. 2 horse stall mats to protect the floor, and we're all in for under $1,000.

This saves 20 minutes driving x 3 times a week, or about 50 hours a year. Even at $20 an hour it pays for itself in the first year, not even including the gym membership.


No gym rage, no waiting on people to finish sets, no worrying about getting the herps from some skeevy gym rat... it's a no brainer.

Oh, and yeah. I'm renting and I drilled holes into the concrete in my garage. Whatever. I'll just patch them when we leave. Still not worth going to the gym and dealing with it.
One thing to note when setting up your own gym, is to go for a good barbell. Just going with the cheapest alternative is sometimes a bad move.

Stiffness is important as it will affect your lifting experience quite a lot. If you're doing powerlifting, you generally want it stiff. Weightlifters prefer more elastic bars.

Personally I prefer an olympic bar when high-bar squatting. IMO it feels more comfortable as I usually prefer to ride the whip. And a more stiff powerlifting bar for deads/bench.

I have no idea why, but some strange people use more elastic, deadlift-specific bars to decrease their range of motion and put more weight on. It's not allowed in most powerlifting federations, to my knowledge, but maybe it's a strongman thing.

Knurling will affect your grip strength and hence, your entire lift. More agressive knurl - better grip as a rule of thumb. But to some people, the most agressive kinds of knurling can feel unpleasant. The chance of ripping up your calusses and bleeding all over the place is also bigger. It's a balancing act and depends on your needs.

Rotation. IE if you're to have a bar with bushings or bearings. Bushings make your weights rotate less, and is more suitable for slow lifts such as in powerlifting. Some bars can actually rotate quite good even if they're of this kind, so you'll need to do some research to make sure a product fits your needs. These are cheaper.

Bearing bars let your weights rotate more freely, and save your wrists when doing weightlifting. A bit more expensive.

A lifting bar is like a wife. It's an investment for life, so you might as well pick right the first time.

Eleiko is in my opinion the golden standard.


(I'm sure you're aware, @lowtek, but I just felt like ranting a bit)
 

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