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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

How do we do it at Castro Valley Fitness and why

The purpose of this post is pretty simple:

Show you step-by-step what it's like to join Castro Valley Fitness.

Step by step illustration

And if you're thinking something like, "They're just trying to get me to join up!"'re right!

We're a business and we like when people join. It's nice and it keeps food in our puppy's and kitty's dinner bowls.

But that's far from the only reason we do this. The truth is that the way we do it isn't the way that'll make us the most money. It's not all that quick and easy, it's not the way that'll get us the most members, and it isn't the way that takes us the least amount of time.

We do it because it IS the best way to get our members the best results with the lowest chance of injury.

This is, step-by-step, how to join our gym and why our process is the way it is.

Step 1. Contact us by email, or by phone at 510-755-9191.

The first step is asking a few questions about what you want to do and see how we may be able to help. We're not a 24-Hour Fitness kind of gym. All our sessions are coached and scheduled and we want to be sure that everyone understands that. If we both agree that Castro Valley Fitness may be a good fit, we'll schedule a time for you to come so we can meet and talk one-on-one.

Why not make it so people can join online?

We need to meet all of our potential members in-person to determine if we are good fit for your needs and what kind of program, exercises and schedule is appropriate for you, your life, and your condition. While we're experienced at working with different injuries and conditions, there are some that we wouldn't feel comfortable taking on.

At our initial meeting, we talk one-on-one with potential members about your goals, your life, exercise history, likes and dislikes. We want to get to know you and be sure you'll benefit from joining. We don't do the high-pressure hard-sell stuff. If you aren't sure about joining, just take your time and let us know when you decide. The last thing we want is someone in our gym who isn't a good fit and/or doesn't want to be there.

Step 2. The physical assessment.

At our initial meeting we'll do a short 5-10 minute physical assessment. It's completely voluntary but it's important to see how you move, especially if you have some kind of pain or injury. That way we can better determine what kind of program is appropriate.

It's important to note that the assessment isn't hard and is designed and flexible enough to be appropriate for people of pretty much any condition from a 20 year-old athlete to a 92 year-old just off hip replacement surgery. Also, before we start the assessment we're always sure to mention that if you don't want to do something, or if something hurts, please tell us. We're not trying to make you do anything that's not right for you.

Why not just let me join and figure it out when I start?

A lot of gyms take this approach, but we feel pretty strongly that the way we can best help you is by being as sure as possible that what we ask you to do will help, not hurt. We never want to be a gym that leaves people worse off then when they arrived.

Step 3. Let's talk schedule.

If after the assessment, we agree that we're a good fit for each other, we'll take a look and mutually determine a starting schedule that will work for you and your life. We offer several spots in the mornings, late afternoons, and Saturdays. We have a maximum of 4 members per time slot, which means some sessions are busier than others, but you can choose either a different schedule each week, depending on your availability or, if there are openings the the sessions, you can set your schedule for the entire length of your agreement right away.

Why not just let everyone in whenever they want?

It's important to all of us that we can properly coach you to use the correct form, do the correct exercise, and push yourself appropriately, possibly even pulling back at times. If there are too many of our members in the gym at once, it becomes more difficult to give you the attention you need to be sure you're getting everything out of your workouts.

Step 4. We write the program.

Based on what we talked about at our initial meeting and saw during the assessment, we write a program for you, which we update every 4-weeks or so. That way we're sure to keep your workouts interesting and keep you progressing consistently, and most importantly, safely.

Wouldn't it save time to have everyone just do the same stuff?

Yes, it would. It would also mean that our members would be more likely to get hurt and not reach their specific goals. That's not what we're about.

Step 5. Come on in.

Even though we have up to four members in each session, you'll have someone working with you one-on-one for your first two. We don't expect you to know what to do right away. No one does. Starting one-on-one ensures that you get to know the best way to perform your program and that we can make immediate changes if something's not appropriate.

That's our initial process.

There are plenty of gyms that do it differently. That's fine for them and it may be fine for their members. There's no such thing in fitness as one-size-fits-all, but over the past 12 years we've found that our way works pretty darn well.

If you have any questions, or want to experience this for yourself, feel free to email us at


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