By Gary Holdon
I have been to a few fitness centers during my life. As a foreigner from a small country I had become familiar with a standard that is not precisely overwhelming, but have given me decent training tools, exercise equipment and fitness coaching good enough for me. When I entered the USA a few years ago I couldn’t stop exercising, so I had to find a fitness center or a gym there as well. A few blocks from where I lived there was something called 24 Hour Fitness and I didn’t hesitate entering their door. Once inside I suddenly realized that I had never been spoiled with such outstanding workout facilities, until now. I couldn’t believe it; this was just marvelous!
There are lot of different fitness clubs that a person can go to in order to get in shape. Some of these gyms are single-unit clubs or small chains, while others are veritable giants of the fitness industry. One of these chains that would likely fit into the ‘giant’ category is 24 Hour Fitness. 24 Hour Fitness is a large health club and gym that started as a single health club and has grown into one of the world’s largest privately-held and operated fitness chains in the world.
24 Hour Fitness was established in 1983 as a single club. It has grown to a company with more than 16,000 employees that has a presence in four countries. 24 Hour Fitness has it’s headquarter San Ramon, California and currently has around 3 million members. Over the coming five years, 24 Hour Fitness plans to expand to have over 1000 locations all over the world.
One reason this club has been so successful is told by the name; they offer their members the ability to use their facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This convenience factor has been a big drive to help them expand their member base. Because of this fact, many other chains are now following them by expanding their hours of operation to try to meet this convenience factor for their customers.
Since the establishment in 1983, 24 Hour Fitness has gained public reputation for accomplishments that are outside of the fitness chain norm. In 2004, the 24 Hour Fitness company became the sponsor for the U.S. Olympic team and in the same year they worked with NBC to develop a television show called “The Biggest Loser”. This show revolved around helping people to use workout and diet to lose substantial amounts of weight. Contestants competed in teams to lose the most pounds overall.
Like many big companies, 24 Hour Fitness has not been lacking in their share of troubles alongside their success. In February of 2005, a lawsuit was filed against the company that alleged they were conducting illegal business activities. The specific illegalities cited were that the fitness club continued to charge members after their contracts expired or were cancelled and that they did not use proper font formatting for their contracts.
Near the end of 2006, 24 Hour Fitness company settled the class-action lawsuit. They granted all complainants their choice of either about $30 in cash each or a free 30 day pass to the club.
Even with 24 Hour Fitness being in the middle of a lawsuit that was filed against them in 2006, alleging that the company continued to take money out of their customer’s checking accounts as well as bill credit cards after the contract expired after being notified by the customer, it doesn’t change the fact that this fitness chain has set a new standard for what I consider as high quality training facility, and I have yet to see a gym or fitness center better than 24 hour fitness in any respect.
About the Author: Gary Holdon is a writer and internet publisher. Read his popular weight loss and fitness articles at http://www.11-weight-loss.net/
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See the article here: 24 Hour Fitness: A Trendsetter Of Fitness