In or around the year 1999, could have been actually late 1998, but I had made the executive decision to jump from Powerhouse Gym to Golds Gym. I had nothing against Powerhouse, and as a matter of fact was quite fond of the brand, and my experiences. It was more about the opportunity to work at The Most Famous Gym in the world. I got this opportunity due to a good friend of mine Maurice Murphy. I had worked with Maurice at Powerhouse, he was/is a great guy who everyone liked, very good at his position as well. Maurice put in a good word about me and set up an interview with Manager at the time Andy Lambert.
I met with Mr. Lambert and we got along quite well, nice, intelligent, in shape man from South Africa. Andy was a small framed, lean, cyclist, who had a very calm nature about him. He was clever, seasoned fitness industry veteran. I was appreciative for the opportunity and did not want to let him down. I was leaving a Management job to come over as Fitness Consultant, or simply a sales guy. I was lucky because I would be working side by side to Maurice who was my friend, other guys weren't so excited to have another one on the team. This took more time to earn respect, and eventually I did just that because I could produce big numbers.
What I found out fast was how much easier it was to sell a membership at Golds compared to Powerhouse. The main reason of this was how famous this gym was, it was the first time I had experienced people buying memberships without needing to think about it, or quite often even tour the gym. That's right, some folks just walked in the front door, or over the phone people would call and just say here's my credit card, please have my membership ready for me so when I come in it's already in the system. Coming from Powerhouse Gym where every sale was built on touring, explaining results, how we can help them reach their fitness goals. For 5 years I had to work my ass off for every membership, helping folks understand the benefits and results, and why to join us over the most famous gym in the world two blocks away. Many times they would say, before I buy a membership (at powerhouse) I want to go check out Golds, if that happened, I know that was more than likely the last I see of them. Golds had(s) amazing equipment, tons of space, and an atmosphere like not other, you can feel the energy at all times.
Touring Golds Venice, 3 massive warehouse style rooms, an aerobic room, an upstairs spin studio, and a very big outdoor area (that I would make into a big part of the gym later). While on a tour of the gym with a perspective client, just watching their faces in aww as we walked around this massive gym. The folks inside this gym were literally specimens, many of the members, and trainers were on the covers of all the fitness magazines, from bodybuilding, fitness, world class athletes. This doesn't even mention the celebrities, it's literally endless. Imagine touring a person through the gym as they are thinking about their fitness objectives and they see Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lou Ferrigno working out. When would get back to my desk to discuss options is was just a brief show them the rates, the plans, they pick one and that's it. This is not how it works in the fitness industry, most folks know they need to exercise, but it doesn't mean they are ready to get started. Most fitness centers, you must go through a process in order to show why this will impact their lives in a positive manner. How without fitness it's actually dangerous to your health. I've read that the surgeon general equates not exercising daily is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. Point is I was in utter disbelief on how easily folks would just join Golds.
Golds Venice would be my home for the next decade. I have thousands of stories about fitness, celebrities, bodybuilding, fighting, fights in the gym, athletes, and how I progressed career wise. I started as a Fitness Counselor or in sales, by the time I left Golds Venice I was a Regional Manager responsible for the California Corporate gyms and Hawaii. My office was in the Venice Gym and I would travel quite often. The GGV experience was one I will never forget, I appreciate it now, but then it was what we called "Organized Chaos".