Standing in a Cold Shower Ripping Up $100 Bills

by Neil Thomasarticle-2550245-1B225D3100000578-998_634x433

The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.

– Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

What the hell is “luxury fitness?”

Well, in our world today, we’re surrounded by luxury brands from all angles. They’re being shoved down our throats on a regular basis or being used as status symbols.

Ironically, mostly by people who can’t afford them by their own means.

In my early career in finance, I can’t tell you how many times I would help clients decked out in LV bags (Louis Vuitton), Prada glasses and Rolex watches who had $0, or maybe $20, in their bank accounts, but had $30,000-50,000 in credit card debt!

Pure insanity.

People can be so silly don’t you think?

Fancy Perks

Luxury fitness is a niche market. It’s targeted to people who can afford to pay an exorbitant rate.

It conveniently keeps out many people, that perhaps some people don’t want to be in a gym with…

It’s so over-the-top with amenities, that it somehow justifies the outrageous membership fees, initiation dues and private training sessions fees that they constantly push on you.

I swear, my last time at the “health club”, it was like I was strapped to a gurney at Sloan Kettering and being told that if I didn’t sign this form for a new experimental treatment, I’d die.


There are tons of gyms, health clubs and country clubs out there. They can say they’re “different”, but the bottom line is they all have the same basic equipment.

Okay, some places may have TV’s embedded on the walls or machines as an extra perk – fancy!

Say what you want, but a stationary bike is still just a bike no matter where it sits. A dumbbell is a dumbbell all over the world, and a TRX is still the same TRX no matter where the hell it hangs.

Side note: the idea for the TRX (Total Resistance eXercise) interestingly enough was stumbled upon by former Navy SEAL operative Randy Hetrick, while he was deployed overseas and accidentally packed his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt.

His goal was to invent a piece of fitness equipment that could be accomplished anywhere. After retiring from the Navy SEALS and completing a Stanford MBA program, boom, the “suspension training” movement was born. What if Randy didn’t pack his BJJ belt?

The Illusion of Knowledge

So why do people pay such insane amounts of money to do bodyweight exercises what can be accomplished on your own and anywhere?

What I keep coming back to is knowledge.

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If you work with a trainer one-on-one, you assume they know what they’re doing and what they’re talking about.

But what if some gyms have a specific copy and paste routine they require all their trainers to follow?

Cough… 24 hour fitness…cough.

Also, these luxury fitness places are incredibly sticky. They’re so nice you don’t want to leave – ever.

You want to hang by the pool, lounge at the cafe and just make friends while on the treadmill. If you’re there longer, you’re more likely to require their services, buy overpriced t-shirts, or at some point say, “Screw it, my back hurts, I’ll get a massage” as you pass by the spa. They have home field advantage in that regard.

I’ll never forget what a boat salesman told me and my friends once. Before my friends father bought a boat for us to use while on vacation, he said, “This boat is going to be like standing in a cold shower ripping up $100 bills.”

If that’s your thing, have at it. Set up an Instagram account and try to outdo Dan Blizerian. Good luck with that.


If that isn’t your thing, all you need is knowledge right?

How do you get the knowledge?

And don’t you need a trainer around to keep you accountable to make sure you’re following your assigned routine?

NO WAY! That’s just what trainers and gyms want you to think.

24/7 Coach is proof positive you don’t need a personal trainer to reach your goals. All you need is a willingness to try.

Ask any salesperson in the gym (AKA a personal trainer or sales rep) and they’ll stress the need and importance of working with a trainer. As if nothing else will save you from walking the green mile.

Semi-committed and Semi-loyal

A few days ago, against my CEO’s advice, I did a one-on-one personal training session with one of the “best” and “top rated” (and most expensive) trainers in California.

Was he good? Yes. I think he was.

He was supportive, quickly adapted to my current abilities (I’ve just completed six weeks of physical therapy and was cleared to exercise) and kicked my ass into oblivion!

The only problem is the session cost me $250 for ONE hour.

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Side note: since I didn’t agree to buy a minimum of 12 personal training sessions or agree to enroll in a monthly auto debit program for 6 months (WTF!?), the “best” and “top rated” trainer had to charge me an extra $50 since it was just 1 training session. “The discount of $200/hr is reserved for my committed and loyal clients,” he said.  

I don’t care who you are, where you’re from or what you do for a living, that’s a lot of money for ONE HOUR of anyone’s time.

The Wild West

A couple of days later, I decided to try one of the free group classes my gym provides – free in that it’s included as part of my monthly membership.

I took it and just half way in, at exactly 31 minutes and 13 seconds, there was no way I could get through the rest of the class at the intensity the group fitness instructor wanted out of me.

I felt like I was going to die. I tried my best, but it was too much for me.

My heart said, “Keep Going!” and my mind said, “Don’t you even think about quitting you little punk”, but my body just gave out.

I tried to push it, but after one too many push-ups, I pushed with all the my strength only to kiss the ground. I had to fight with all my mental strength to preventing myself from puking all over their beautiful gym floor.

Side note: hat’s off to those of you who love doing HIIT workouts and Bikram yoga!!! But my lord, beginners are surely going to struggle. And likely puke on somebody’s floor…


What’s the difference between “personal training” and “group fitness training?”

One cost me $250 for the hour and the other one was essentially free. Both were challenging and fun. Both had me sweating my ass off. Both were operated by trainers.

Are both those approaches really the best way?

What’s the real answer?

How about you use the biggest muscle in your body, your brain, and find out what works FOR and with you.

What’s being recommended by a salesperson who gets paid a commission on each membership or service sold surely has some bias.

Remember that 24/7 Coach is less than one cup of coffee. 

Be careful, the world of fitness is the wild west.

Work with people who you trust, have proven expertise, show transparency and most importantly, have integrity and operate by ethical means.

What do you think?  Have at it in the comments below!



“If you dream it, you can do it.”

Neil Thomas
COO / “The Connector”

p.s. After the expensive $250 session, our CEO Juan Antonio asked me, “What did you learn?” My story here is what I told him. “Then the research was worth it then. Research is always worth pursuing,” he said. He might be right.


Friends don’t let friends mindlessly “workout.” Friends help and support each other. Help your friends as they try to make positive changes in their life. Give them the gift of 24/7 Coach. If you know of anyone who may benefit from this content, please share it with them.

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