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How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes When Choosing A Charleston Workout Facility...Read This Page Before Signing A Membership Contract!
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Hi, this is Shane. There’s no question that doing some homework before choosing a Charleston workout facility will go a long way to helping you stick with your exercise routine and see the results you want.

If you're searching for local gym don't make the mistake that a lot of people make and commit to a long-term contract after being sucked in by some "daily deal" or other special. Hey, I'm all about you taking advantage of a special but just make sure if that special entails a long term contract that you already know you'd be happy being there a while.

Mistake #1: choosing a Charleston workout facility solely based on price

While I know cost is certainly a factor, just know that in an attempt to grab market share several, but not all, of the bigger Charleston gyms and health clubs are aggressively marketing their facilities based on price these days.

Unless you’re a hardcore workout fanatic, bodybuilder, or someone who only wants “free weights and chalk” the last thing you want to be doing is selecting a fitness facility solely because it's cheap or due to some special offer. Most of the larger gyms require a long term contract (somewhere between 1-2 years) to get their special pricing, so just make sure you’re thinking big picture.

Could you see yourself working out in the facility long-term? Think about everything from convenience, parking, cleanliness, the availability of equipment during the times you like to workout, friendliness of the staff and other members, etc.

Mistake #2: choosing a Charleston workout facility exclusively out of convenience

It amazes me how many people tell me they picked a gym just because it was close to work or their home. Often times without really giving it much thought or shopping around for the best options. Big mistake as you should never make a decision that involves something you’ll likely use every day, or at least 2-3 times a week, without really thinking it through and evaluating all the pros and cons.

But that’s the problem as most people don’t take the time to do this. But that won't be you because I know if you're ready this article you're someone who likes to do their homework and make sound decisions. I'll help guide you through the process.

A 24 Hour gym, fitness studio, or big health club...which Charleston workout facility will be a better fit for you right now according to your wants and needs? If you’re just looking for available equipment and “room to move” then search for the gym that has hardly anybody in there during the times you’ll workout.

For the larger Charleston health clubs this will only be during the late morning and middle of the afternoon. Mornings and evenings will be way more crowded in these facilities, so if you don’t like being around a lot of people, this won’t be a good choice for you.

The smaller 24 hour type gyms will be way better in this case as they’re seldom crowded and have everything you’d need to get in and out without wasting time. Same thing for the smaller neighborhood fitness studios around town. The fitness studios are much better when you're looking to learn how to do exercises correctly, receive coaching and personal training, or do niche exercise routines like yoga, pilates, etc.

The bigger health clubs and gym may offer all these things to try and draw people in but make no mistake the core business is selling memberships. The level of personalization, attention, and hands-on care will almost always be less in a larger health club compared to a smaller, more private facility.

Large Health Club

If you know what you're doing and don't mind being just a number, a large health club will work just fine. However, if you'd rather feel connected to the group you exercise with and have support, accountability, and the personal touches, I'd look at the smaller Charleston fitness studios.

fitness studio

Mistake #3: choosing a Charleston workout facility without thinking about RESULTS!

A good starting point in choosing a fitness facility is to decide what kind of results you want from exercise, and what type of exercise do you want to perform to see those results?

Do you REALLY want to improve cardiovascular endurance, build strength, lean muscle, flexibility, etc -- or just make it through workouts without getting bored?

Do you want to do things like yoga, pilates, spin class, swimming, racquetball, etc, or would you be more into just doing resistance training and using the cardio equipment?

These are all things you want to be thinking about as obviously results matter for most people and let’s just be honest here…you’re not going to get the same results from just doing ANY type of exercise.

While you may think you’re getting a great workout in that yoga or pilates class, don’t be fooled into believing it’s doing much for cardiovascular endurance for example. I’m not trying to knock either yoga or pilates as they’re both great forms of physical exercise. It’s just important to understand that you may not be able to reach ALL your fitness and weight loss goals by doing one single modality of exercise.

If you choose a form of exercise you like, you’re likely to stick with it. We’ve all heard that before. But I want you to think about it in another way...

If you choose a form of exercise that will best help you reach your specific goals, you’ll be more likely to stick with it because of RESULTS.

You may enjoy doing water aerobics for example, but if your goal is losing weight and after a while you’re not seeing any visible changes in your body, you’re probably going to end up losing interest and quitting. My recommendation is a little different.

Learn to love the exercise that will best provide you with the results you want...and then simply add all the other activities you really enjoy as extracurricular exercise.

You may love riding your bike and tell yourself its great exercise, which it is, but if you keep complaining about your flabby arms and lack of upper body muscle, no amount of additional time in the seat will make a hill of beans of difference. You get my point.

The next factor is something very few people think about, but it's very important.

Mistake #4: choosing a Charleston workout facility without examining emergency response training of the employees in CPR

You’d think this would be a "no-brainer" for every fitness facility to have employees trained on how to respond in a medical emergency. Unfortunately, most staff at health clubs don’t even know how to perform CPR. The problem is employee turnover is so high the clubs don’t want to spend the time or money training everyone.

Make sure you inquire about whether or not the staff is certified in CPR and ask to see credentials if you’re at high risk for cardio respiratory failure. This is no joke, as it could one day be the difference between life and death.

Another thing you could ask is whether or not the fitness center has an automated external defibrillator (AED), machine. Some workout facilities will, but then again don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because they have an AED you’ll be in good hands.

Who has been trained on how to use the machine, when do they work? How long has it been since new employees have been trained?

There’s no question that an AED can be a very valuable tool in helping to save someone’s life. But having the choice between an AED in the corner that only the manager has been trained on (and he’s out to lunch while you’re having a heart attack) or several people in the facility properly trained in emergency CPR, I’m choosing the latter.

Mistake #5: choosing a Charleston workout facility without inspecting cleanliness and maintenance on the fitness equipment

When touring through local Charleston fitness centers and gyms take a good hard look at the equipment and cleanliness. Look for signs of maintenance or the lack thereof. Ask the manager about the procedures and policies they have in place for maintenance and inspection of the equipment.

Once again this is no joke as people get hurt everyday in health clubs from faulty equipment breaking during use. I knew a guy from another gym in Charleston who wound up in MUSC a few years back with a cracked skull after a cable broke during a set of lying triceps extensions.

I don’t tell you this to scare you but rather reinforce that yeah, exercise can be pretty dangerous when you’ve got weights and moving equipment! Don’t overlook the little details when selecting a gym as they mean a lot.

I recommend you test out the equipment and see how it feels and operates. Is it clean, does the movement work fluidly, are there any signs of cable fraying or wear? These are all clues to the bigger picture with how much care the owner places on the little things.

Why select Shaping Concepts as your Charleston fitness facility over other options?

As an owner of a Charleston gym, of course I’d love to have the opportunity to earn your business. The reason I’ve put up this page and others like it on this site is to simply provide some insight and tips on how not to make the most common mistakes people make when joining a gym.

The little things you may have overlooked in the past. It's my intention and hope this doesn't happen again. I want to become a trusted advisor first, and then if things are such that I have the opportunity to earn your business as a client of Shaping Concepts, I know I’ll have positioned myself in the best possible way.

The biggest difference in my Charleston workout facility is we’re very hands-on and personal with the clients. It’s got more of a family feel than the larger health clubs, where they probably don’t even know your name when you walk in the door.

The other big difference is Shaping Concepts is all about RESULTS. We may not have the swimming pools, racquetball courts, and all the other amenities but what we do have is a dedicated, caring, and extremely knowledgeable staff of certified fitness professionals ready to help you see measurable results.

"I'd Exercised All My Life But My Turning Point Was Making The Decision To Work With A Coach Who Kept Me Accountable And Pushed Me To Give My All"

"When I began the workouts with Andrew Duffy, my personal trainer, it was difficult mentally and physically but his push to work hard and encouragement kept me coming back for more. He is the reason I have come as far as I have with my fitness. Shane Doll also had a huge impact on me and how I would move forward with my fitness. His nutrition seminar hit a cord and changed the way I live.

I decided to not only eat healthy but live healthy, which has made such a big impact on my physique. I am much leaner and have more muscle mass than I ever had before, not to mention feeling better than I have in a long time. Everyone supported me in my quest for healthy living and I am so proud to be a part of such a great group."

Sherry Pearson
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Click here to see Sherry's video testimonial

See how we stack up and compare against other options for changing your shape, losing weight, etc, in Charleston.

Comparing Shaping Concepts to other options available in Charleston, SC.

Critical components for a successful body transformation:
Weight Loss Center/Clinic
24 Hour
Other Private Fitness Studio
Big Health Club Or Gym
Structure & Support
Motivation & Encouragement
Nutrition Coaching & Food Journal Tracking
Metabolism Testing
Not Likely
Not Likely
Personalized Diet Planning
Not Likely
Medical Professional Advisory Board
Not LIkely
No Long Term Contracts- Month To Month
Not Likely
Guaranteed RESULTS!
Not Likely

As you can see we're much more than providing you with some equipment and letting you figure out how to achieve your goals on your own. Our business model is nothing like that of a larger health club or fitness facility.

Instead of focusing on "how many members" we can sign up each month, we focus on the RESULTS we can get for the ones we've already got.

Big difference...

If you think that a big gym or health club might be the best option for you at some point, then starting with a fitness trainer or coach in the beginning (without a contract- very important) is probably the best strategy you can take.

This way you learn how to do the exercises correctly, how to change up your workouts, how to do the right amount and type of cardio, nutrition, and all the other fundamental building blocks of a routine that produces RESULTS.

Plus you'll have help building your new habit with exercise by having the accountability and structure that only a fitness coach can provide. He or she will be waiting for you to come in for your workout and when you're late or don't show, they'll be on the phone wanting to know what's up.

When's the last time you've heard somebody talk about the Charleston gym or health club they go to call them when they didn't show up for a workout?

For that matter, how many times have you EVER been called at all when you stopped coming to a gym, and we could be talking for months or years and not just days?

At Shaping Concepts we'll call you each time you don't make it in for a workout to check on you!

It's the little differences once again that help an individual stay connected to their new habits and goals and lay the foundation for success.

You want to go to a big health club so you can swim, do spinning, and all of that, ok, but before you do that, think about starting out with a month or two of hands-on coaching and accountability with the help of my fitness professionals at Shaping Concepts.

"9 Good Reasons To Give My Charleston Personal Fitness Programs A Shot"

1. Accountability: We educate, support and guide you every step of the way, applying just the right amount of pressure to make sure you follow through.

2. Science: There's NO gimmicks- our system is based on the proven methods of using high intensity, short duration "burst training" to develop lean muscle, improve cardiovascular conditioning, increase metabolism, and optimize the hormonal systems in your body for fat loss.

3. Track Record: We've helped over 1000 Charleston area residents lose weight, look great, and feel like a million bucks. Follow our system and you'll get the same!

4. Motivation: We know how to get you going FAST and keep you going so the results come quickly!

5. Expertise: You're coached and trained by a certified, highly knowledgeable fitness professional. All of our Charleston personal trainers are required to be certified by a nationally accredited organization. Unlike at a gym, not just anybody can be a trainer at Shaping Concepts. We select only highly educated, passionate, and dedicated fitness professionals (not some college kid trying to make a buck)!

6. Structure & Consistency: Let's face it, this is where the breakdown almost always occurs. We keep you on track, moving forward, so you see and feel the results quickly.

7. Customization: Your program is created for YOU, based on what YOUR body needs, ensuring that you reach your goals quickly and with 100% certainty!

8. Efficiency: We know you're busy so we get you in and get you out, at your convenience, so you can continue with your day.

9. You Are NOT Alone Anymore: Going it alone doesn't work...our programs are guaranteed to work if you simply follow the system!

en At 48 Years Old I Was Able To Lose 30 Pounds And Go From A Size 12 To A Size 2. When I Get Up In The Morning I Can Wear Anything I Want!"

"When I came to Shaping Concepts I was 48 years old, 157 pounds and I wore a size 12. Getting dressed in the morning was depressing. I looked and felt fat in all my clothes. Looking in mirrors was something I avoided.

A friend of mine told me she went to Shaping Concepts. She was in her 50's and she looked hot! How many times had I joined a gym? How may times had I purchased fitness equipment? I decided this might be my last hope. Depression had clearly set in.

Although I was skeptical at first and it took me a while to get my nutrition and cardio on track, then end result was nothing less than amazing. Even at 48 years old I was able to lose 30 pounds and get down to a size 0-2. Now, when I get dressed in the morning I can wear anything I want.

Yes, outside I look good but the biggest change for me is the inner peace and comfort I feel within. I'm a content person today, no more inner chaos, and I'm truly loving life. Shaping Concepts is so much more than a gym. Every time I walk in the the door I feel love, support, kindness and encouragement."

Sarah Parker
Isle Of Palms, SC

"With The Help Of My Personal Trainer I Lost 18 Pounds And 7% Body Fat Before My Wedding Day! I Think It's One Of The Best Investments You Can Make For Yourself."

"I started working out at Shaping Concepts to lose weight for my wedding day. With the help of my trainer, Andrew Duffy I was able to lose 18 pounds and 7% body fat. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I loved the fact that he took the time to build workouts just for me and he knew the best way to push me.

Everyone at Shaping Concepts makes you feel so comfortable when you're in the studio. It's not intimidating like a traditional gym. The personal trainers here are wonderful and they do a good job of targeting the areas you want to work on.

The functional exercise routines and Shane's nutrition strategies provide a great combination of working hard and eating right that can change your life forever. I think it's one of the best investments you can make for yourself. Hopefully people who see what I've done realize that they can do it too."

Laura Smith
Johns Island, SC
Click here to see Laura's video testimonial

"My Personal Trainer Andrew Duffy Has Helped Me Lose 37 Pounds, 10 Inches, And 10% Body Fat. He Coaches Me, Pushes Me, And Most Of All He Cares."

"Since joining Shaping Concepts, my trainer Andrew Duffy has help me lose 37 pounds, 10 inches, and 10% body fat. I was faithful in following his advice in regards to how to eat, what to eat, and how to do my cardio outside of the studio. And what can I say, it worked!

I've been a member at several Charleston gyms but I never pushed myself like my Andrew does and that has made a big difference. He coaches me, pushes me, and most of all, he cares. I don't feel like I'm just a number on a list with him. He wants me to succeed and he helps me do that.

I love being thin, but more than that, I love seeing the definition in my body. I feel strong and healthy but best of all I feel younger at 41 than I did when I was 20. I can't thank Andrew enough for helping me change my life!"

Kim Hulsey
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Click here to see Kim's video testimonial

What to do next before joining a Charleston gym...

I understand nobody wants to be sold on anything and that’s the last thing I want to do here, or anywhere else for that matter! We all put up natural barriers and resistance when we think we’re being pitched something.

After reading what makes my Charleston workout facility different and checking out the other information on this site, I’d love to have you sign up for my free no-obligations consultation and trial.

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No pressure, no pitches, I promise. We’ll sit down and talk about where you’re at now and more importantly where you want to go. If we’re a good fit we’ll get started, if not we’ll part ways friends and I’ll be happy to give you my recommendations on what gym to go to.

If nothing else you'll have learned a lot about how to get the results you're looking for. Why would I do this if I thought you'd end up going to some other Charleston gym? Simple, because I'll have made a friend and I know if you consider getting some coaching or personal training in the future you'll think of me.

How many Charleston gyms and fitness facilities will provide you with a guarantee?

If you decide to give my programs you can rest assured knowing that not only are there no long-term contracts but also I provide a guarantee for your full and complete satisfaction. If you're not absolutely thrilled with the results in the first thirty days I'll provide you with a full refund, no questions asked.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions...

If you have any questions at all I want to give you the opportunity to contact me directly. As an owner I feel it's important to personally address any issues or concerns you might have.

You'll find a button at the top of this page that says "E-Mail Shane." Hit this button and a web-form will pop up where you can send me your question or comments. I'll get back with you as soon as I can, normally within 24 hours. I hope to see you soon and I look forward to earning your trust and business.


Shane Doll CPT, CSCS
Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios
1009 Anna Knapp Blvd #101
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843-971-8665