Are you starting to feel the RUSH?(Rush Fitness)

Posted by Andy Durham on August 1, 2007 at 10:49 am under Uncategorized | 27 Comments to Read

There’s a new fitness team in the area and they are poised to take over the local workout market. At least that’s what they are telling us. If you’ve seen the billboards out by the highway then you know, “That there are gyms and then there are Fitness Centers”. Rush Fitness says they are the fitness center of today and that the others around here are out-of-touch.

Rush Fitness is kind of like Rush Limbaugh. They are coming on real strong and they are putting the boots to the competition. Rush is telling perspective members that Fitness Today does not employ certified Fitness Trainers. One of our writers here at greensborosports.com, Doug Cockman, was told just that the other day by a Rush worker. Doug said he had no choice but to believe the guy and he was ready to Rush on in and join up.

Maybe not so fast, let’s give this some thought. Rush is putting together 3 Greensboro locations and one each in High Point and Winston-Salem. In Greensboro, Rush will locate on Randleman Road, in the Brassfield Center on Battleground Avenue, and out on West Wendover near Bridford Parkway. Will Rush be able to stay in business long enough to recover all the expenses that they will incur just getting this RUSH Fitness Center movement off of the ground? Is RUSH the way to go?

Some people that have encountered the RUSH movement are calling this approach PUSH instead of Rush. It has been brought to my attention by more than one person that the RUSH crew is trying to push their product down the public’s throat. In my excercise experiences, that cover over 30 years, I have come to the conclusion that you need a clear passageway so you can breathe. I have been running 4-6 miles per day since 1978 so I would consider myself qualified to talk on the subject of fitness and excecise and I hold a degree in Physical Education, have run 3 marathons and over 100 other road races with distances varying from 1 to 13 miles. I do not like to brag but Jim Thorpe(a true Carlisle Indian) called me the other evening from parts unknown and wanted to know if I was carrying on the tradition. You better believe it baby.

How will this RUSH effect Fitness Today and Gold’s Gym. Ben Derrick owns the Fitness Today chain and Ben is a very smart and successful businessman. If RUSH would have been smart they would have come to our area and bought out the established Fitness Today, added to an already solid formula, and then later changed the name from Fitness Today to RUSH Fitness. Gold’s Gym has a name that’s known all over the United States. Gold’s Gym isn’t going anywhere. Mike Valentino has done a good job of re-entering this market with a Gold’s Gym name that is well recognized.

Jim Modlin, who checks in here at greensborosports.com very often and works with Ben Derrick, knows this Greensboro market and he knows his members. RUSH will have to get to know their people and know the members’ budgets before they can survive in this market. Highway billboards, TV and Radio commercials, mailers, hand-out flyers, and stand-up registration boxes…..

That won’t be enough, RUSH will have to get to know the people and what the people can afford to spend. I know the fitness business, like I said, I’ve been on the road for 30 years and from what I’ve seen, RUSH may be in for a CRUSH if they don’t slow down and cover their tracks. RUSH will offer 24/7 hours of operation, but how many people will be working out after midnight? RUSH will get CRUSHED if they don’t alter their approach and offer affordable services that the customers can handle.

The rich man has his own indoor personal gym with a full line of workout equipment. The poor man is running down the road with his tongue hanging out. The middle-man can afford probably $20-$25.00 per month and I don’t care how you slice it, RUSH the middle-man is your man and the new RUSH sign-up deal is for over $30.00 per month and they are headed for $40.00.

You better keep that truck pointed toward I-40 West with upcoming prices like that or maybe call Ben Derrick or Mike Valentino and offer to take them out for lunch and watch out for the lack of RUSH hour traffic if you don’t head my advice. As for me, I’ll keep waving to all my fans as I run down Pleasant Garden Road with the 7:45am express.


  • NotJimMelvin said,

    You forgot to mention the YMCA’s! they have expanded all of the Triad the last ten years, I think they are a much better option than the private centers. Throw those in with the established businesses, and RUSH is going to have a very tough time of it.

  • Andy said,

    Excellent point NJM…..Downtown, Jamestown, Alex Spears on Horsepen Creek Road, (Hanes Taylor on East Market needs some work) but the YMCA’s are on the move…..

  • bammbamm said,

    The Rush seems to have a pretty good marketing plan in place, and as someone who has met the ownership, they seem to have a pretty good style about them. While I do agree with the comments about the YMCA’s (the West Forsyth facility in Clemmons in the best gym around). I have to disagree about coming in and buying an existing gym operation. To me, that denotes failure, and I wouldn’t want my business associated with failing. Now, I’m not from Greensboro (WinstonSalem) so I’m not familiar with Fitness Today, so please don’t insinuate that I mean failure with their business. I’ve seen other gyms (Powerhouse, Gold’s) etc..come in and burn up in a blaze of glory.

  • Still Looking said,

    A PT has me looking for a gym. I have tried Gold’s several times and it let me down as much as my just giving up. So, I thought maybe Rush as going to be the place to go. Now I’m not so sure.

  • Cindy Hawkes said,

    We have a family membership (2 adults and 3 teenagers) and we couldn’t be happier. My husband and I both train 3 days a week at the Brassfield location and we have been thrilled with everything from the equipment to the music to the trainers. The trainers are extremely qualified, many in the exercise/fitness field, and are completely dedicated to their jobs. The atmosphere is friendly, the machines are always in good working order (unlike the Spears Y where we were before) and it’s clean! Some people might be scared off by the training contract (optional) but it is definitely the way to go! It will make you get that exercise in and there is no better way to spend your money, in my opinion! Take a look at The Rush – it is awesome!!! (and I’m particular)!

  • Cindy Hawkes said,

    correction to my last comment: “many have degrees in the exercise/fitness field”

  • Don Hawkes said,

    I appreciate and am impressed with the author’s exercise history. My wife’s comment is above and I echo our experiece. Here’s the bottom line, as I understand it, with The Rush. I’ve asked the local head at the Brassfield office about the “business” behind the facility. As told to me, this is their marketing plan…The Rush is currently in the “branding” phase of their marketing plan with their initial entry into the triad. The billboards, full page newspaper adds, etc. are there for a reason at this time…branding. Also, as told to me, The Rush has no debt, is backed by venture capital money and the goal is to creat a fitness chain on the east coast similar to those on the west coast (ala “Curves”). My guess is that a public offering may be a long term goal.

    Either way, as my wife has commented, our experience has been great. The Rush’s goal is to provide a place with friendly, educated people with equipment that is superior. Cindy’s and my trainer has a Masters Degree in exercise physiology…there’s your expertise. Whenever we go to The Rush, when we walk into the door, we are greeted from multiple people with “Hey Don (yes, by first name), glad you’re here today”…there’s your friendly people. Finally, we are working out on state-of-the-art equipment in the temporary space…there’s your superior equipment.

    This is a simple marketing concept…educated people, providing an “above and beyond” friendly attitude with state-of-the-art equipment. Shouldn’t this be a goal of all service oriented businesses?

    Test drive The Rush. We’re sure glad we did.

  • Suzanna Creasman said,

    Along with Mr. Hawkes above, I appreciate your experience outside The Rush, however, my experience inside The Rush is totally different.

    I have been a member for about 2 months and love it. Over the past 15-20 years my fitness experience has varied. I was a member of a local YMCA for a time, member of Fitness Today for a time, and had a personal trainer in a private setting. I am a fairly outgoing, friendly individual and found it very difficult to connect at the YMCA or Fitness Today and that was my reason for ultimately seeking a personal trainer outside a fitness facility. My trainer recently moved out of state and I was looking for a new opportunity.

    Because of the marketing by The Rush, they caught my attention. A friend and I from work went in and met with the Manager in High Point. He took his time in explaining all the programs and options and did not pressure us. We were encouraged to think about what we wanted in a fitness plan and were not pushed or rushed to make a decision.

    We not only joined, but are taking advantage of the Personal Training. My friend and I are doing Personal Training for two. The staff took their time to make sure we were at a similar fitness level and then our program began.

    I can tell you right now that more individuals greet me by name and I know more staff by name at The Rush than I ever did at Fitness Today or the YMCA. Everyone is friendly and all of the other members that I have met during my workouts are friendly.

    I never thought I would join a large Fitness Facility again after my past experiences and was nervous that I would experience the same. The Rush far exceeds my expectations.

    Everyone treats you like a friend and not a client or number to get in the door. The workouts are tough and mirror or exceed those that I experienced in past one on one situations.

    For anyone thinking about visiting The Rush, don’t let the article above or all of the name dropping in the article scare you. Go into The Rush and just meet the staff and learn about the facility and all they offer. If after that you don’t want to join, at least you made up your own mind. Just think of all the movies critics condemn, yet the public loves them.

    I am a Customer Service Manager and as a result of being in the service of others, you find you expect more when you are receiving service from others. The staff at The Rush has always provided top service. I could name drop from the staff at The Rush in High Point, (Mike, Katie, Chelsea…), but names will not tell you enough about the people behind them.

    Go in and meet the team!

  • Andy said,

    Looks like The Rush is on.

  • Naomi Harkey said,

    I have to say I was a little surprised at this article, especially since the author said that he actually had no personal experience with this gym. He mentioned that it was a poor business move for the RUSH not to take over the failing fitness realestate already in Greensboro, but if he had looked at the new floor plan that was given to me, and anyone who’s actually visited the gym personally, he would have seen that those structures would have been too small. Most, if not all of the gyms noted, don’t even have pools, so where would the pool, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, lounges, juice shop, air tunnal, rock climbing wall, backetball trampoline court, and Women’s only work out facility go exactly?

    Another comment was that the RUSH isn’t affordable. I got my membership for $25 per month and the new rate is $29 per month, and I’ve been attending 3 months. The training is extremely affordable. I’ve wanted a trainer for years (and by the way I consider myself noteworthy too- I have a had a membership to 4 gyms in the Triad). I have never been able to afford training until now.

    Lastly, this article spoke of The RUSH not knowing their clientelle. Again, I have seen nothing but the complete opposite. Not only do they know their clients, they prove every time I’m in there, that they are consistently trying to know their clients better. It is, in fact, the only place I’ve been in 6 years that doesn’t treat me like a dollar bill. Instead of dreading the gym like I used to, I look forward to going. The staff make a huge effort to learn people’s names, find out about their goals, and create a positive atmosphere. I believe they are becoming the benchmark of what all other gyms will aspire to. Not only do they have cutting edge equipment, but fun and innovative ideas. As I mentioned before they have an all women’s workout area (with free child care). Who else has that with all the other perks too? Curves, can’t bring the kids, and any other “all women’s ” gyms are holes in the wall. I could go on and on about the employees who have left there families in Tennessee (Rush hub) to pave the way in North Carolina or the ones that always ask me about my family… My point is is that these people actually care about their clients. They want to help you establish and conquer your goals with you. They are going to do very well.

    I hope that is somehow gives back a little of what they’ve given me.

    Thanks guys

  • Kathy Andersson said,

    I have been most pleased with my RUSH experience (joined RUSH Brassfield in May). I joined at a very affordable rate, have signed up for 50 training sessions and getting ready to re-sign for 100 more! My husband and I are both training 3+ times a week with our respective trainers and we couldn’t be happier. The only criticism I have is that I have to wait until December for the permanent space – looking forward to introducing our toddler to a healthy lifestyle of “moving” with the KidKare and KidZone features. I’ve been a member of 3 other gyms in Greensboro since the mid 1990’s including a personal trainer at 2 of them. Nothing compares to my RUSH trainer (Erin) who is most attentive to any injuries and who also adjusts my workout weekly to keep me challenged rather than me getting stuck in a plateau. My workouts are never the same and I thrive on that variety. Kudos to the team who cares about me as an individual – always greeted by my first name and usually asked about my daughter by name too! Keep up the great work Brassfield.

  • Lisa Litaker said,

    I can’t say enough positive things about the RUSH. Extemely affordable ($43/month for a family), convenient location, EVERYTHING you could want (pool, basketball courts, spinning room, wind tunnel to cool down, saunna, and I could go on and on). RUSH was much more appealing to me than the Y’s mostly for the price and that I’ve heard a lot of the Y’s (Horse Pen Creek) are very crowded…I have to say that I have not personally expereinced the Y and cannot make too many judgements. I have, however, been a member of Fitness Today in mid to late 90’s and hands down RUSH is superior. Yes, RUSH does promote their personal training program, however you have the choice. For financial reasons I am not able to now but hope to train in the future. I have trained with my sister’s trainer…ERIN and I have never seen such a professional, high energy, very creative, motivating and importantly, cautious and safe trainer as she is. Their equipment is cutting edge and I ditto what the other responders have said about their friendliness. The staff makes it fun, they are very approachable and seem to take a genuine interest in your well being (more than Fitness Today). I encourage anyone who is curious to check it out.

  • Tami Spence said,

    I can’t say enough great things about the Rush. My husband and I are members at Brassfield. Every time I go, I am greeted by name. The members are of all types…older, younger, well-trained, never-trained, body builders and goal-setters. Our trainer, a 21 year old powerhouse named Brittany, pushes my husband and I further than we thought possible and then pushes a bit more. She has been fabulous and only occasionally laughs at us. (We give her plenty of opportunities for laughter) I see the other trainers there working just as hard developing challenging individualized programs to fit the needs of their clients. The Rush has big plans for this Greensboro. I can’t wait til it all is finished!

  • Alecia Smith said,

    I am in agreement also that I can’t say enough “GREAT” things about the RUSH. I joined at the end of May and try to visit at least 5 days a week. And I have had nothing but positive experiences with the entire staff, all are friendly and always willing to assist. I am so glad to be a part of a gym that is truly interested in their members…..after we join. Thanks again, for RUSHing into Greensboro!!

  • Kevin Shanahan said,

    I’m going to be yet another person on here praising The Rush. This is by far the best fitness center I’ve been a part of. The new, permanent location at Brassfield is HUGE and never seems to get packed (granted, it hasn’t even been open a week yet so, we’ll see).

    I understand what this article is saying about “how many people will be working out after midnight?”, but not everyone is blessed with a 9-5 job and no kids to take care of so I’m sure it’ll get used more than people think. Not to mention, with all the college kids around here, I’m sure they’d rather go late at night. I know I would’ve when I was in college. Personally, I take advantage of going at 9:00 and sometimes end up leaving around 11:00. Fitness today closed at 10.

    Anyway, I’m definitely a believer in this company/concept they’ve got going. Go check it out for yourself .

  • Donna Trivone said,

    I am from Delaware and had great experience with some nice fitness centers/spas. Finally THE RUSH came to NC and I again felt like joining an upscale, affordable place to exercise and swim or just sit in the ladies area and lax out and read a book.

  • Yankees Suck said,

    Go back to Delaware. Here in the South, we don’t need fancy over-priced gyms. “Regular” gyms are just fine for about 99% of people. Unless you’re a hardcore bodybuilder, which I doubt.

  • Brianna said,

    I have been a Rush member for just about a year now. So far my every experience has been great. I only pay 24 for my member ship and I can take someone with me everytime I go for free if I want. I have done the personal training and it was excellent. My trainer Rachel (at the High Point location) is great and becase of her I purchase not one but two 26 session packages. My son also has trained with them to get ready for football. He had absolutely no problems making the football team after only 5 sessions with his trainer – Brandon. They showed him what he could expect out of practices and taught him enough things that he could do during his own workouts to keep him motivated. The Rush is always clean, the employee are always pleasant, the trainers are always there ask a question about a machine, they have a pool, spinning, a hot box, a sauna and a wide variety of classes you can take at no extra charge. They have a Kid care zone for people with kids to young to work out with the big machinery, and they have a great setup with tv’s, music, a lounge and locker rooms with all the necessities.

    They have membership specials and personal training specials all the time, so go check it out for yourself.

    I think you should definitely check this club out before you dismiss it!!!

  • lynne Hawkin said,

    Wow, I’m surprised of all the great and wonderful things people are saying about the RUSH. I have actually been three times. Once on my own when it first opened and a second time a few months later which my employer sponsored. Then a third time was to use the “free 14 day pass” (unfortunately there was no one available to activate our passes for that day, and were treated badly so we never went back). I think their equipment is great! However, I can’t afford the RUSH. At $70 a month for my husband and I to join (we only want to join for a year at a time)…that is just too rich for my pocket.

  • Mitch said,

    Well after reading the original article, i was frustrated by the negativity. Once I saw the more recent positive comments, I was pleased. I am a Personal Trainer at the Rush and love my job! I hope to see you come check out the Brassfield location and ask to see me! We are here to help!

  • Laura C said,

    The RUSH is just another fitness scam, decorated with bright colors and lots of selling energy.

    I signed up in September 2007 (shortly after this article was written). I was promised classes that never manifested (martial arts, I wasn’t picky about the type). I was promised that I could sell my contract when I decided I didn’t want to pay for the 3 years any longer (when I tried to, corporate smacked me down and told me it was impossible until my three years were up!). My contract says I can cancel early and pay a portion of what is due for the rest of my contract (corporate disagrees and says I need to pay the full BALANCE of my contract to cancel – good thing I still have my original paperwork!).

    In summary, great equipment, friendly people, but a horrible contract. Do not buy into the hype – there is NOTHING about the Rush that is special or worth signing on to for three years, and the salespeople who get you to sign that magical contract WILL LIE to you and ensure that you hear whatever you want to in order to get their commission. Planet Fitness is a much better deal with no contracted time applied, and is cheaper per month.

  • Ashlee said,

    Do NOT join the Rush. I stopped by the other day, only to inquire about their prices. All I wanted was a brochure, not too much to ask right? WRONG! The girl told me I had to speak to a manager…..really? I had to fill out this visitor form and this guy who looked like he was on steroids came to get me. I told him I only wanted to know the cost, but he insists on giving me a tour. After the tour, he sits me down and asks me what I thought. I said, “it’s a gym”. He didn’t like my cold, not easily impresses demeanor, so the other “manager” was called over. He tells me the prices and all of the “perks” that come with joining the Rush. The enrollment fee is $149, and the “best” plan for me would be the $29 contract. Mind you, the contract is for 2 years. He goes, “so you ready to sign up?” I tell him I did not set out to join today, I was only shopping around for prices. That was the WRONG thing to say. They ask me where I work, then all of a sudden they have a compny discount. “Well how about it we make this $149, $99?” Again, no. Now the manager tries to throw in 3 sessions with a personal trainer. They can give me a “discount” on my enrollment fee. Its only $292 with everything! Oh yea, thanks for the deal. “Are you ready to do this?” NO, I am just shopping around. They bring in a THIRD person, a woman who can set me up with a personal trainer. NO, NO, and NO. “Will you do it if we make this $149 go away?” No, I am not looking to spend anything today. I ask if I could get a copy of all of the prices and discounts they wrote down – “Sure, but what is the hold up, what can I do to make you get it today?” What the hell! “Nothing, at all”, I responded. Tired of my resistance, the manager thanks me and excuses himself (not politely, I may add). The lady then insists on giving me a free trial with a trainer and schedules me an appointment. I told her that was okay, but she did it anyway. After they got a card in my hand, after all of that pressure, they do “Thanks” and walk away. Let me tell you, I have NEVER been in such a high sales pressure situation in my life, and I bought a car from a used car lot! Don’t get sucked in, this place is BAD NEWS!!

  • Honey Mills said,

    My experience with The Rush Fitness Complex specifically at their Greensboro site is fantastic! I never have any regrets at enrolling in their facility. I’ve been a member for more than two years and their service just got better. They really see to it that they live up to their clients’ expectations. Of course, we did pay a lot for that.

    What I love with The Rush is not only the place and the equipments. The fitness coaches made everything worth it. They really are devoted in changing my views on a healthy lifestyle. Now, I can say that being fit is already a part of my system. Thanks to them.

  • RUSH said,

    I dont know who the guy is who wrote this article but what an idiot…your eating your words now arent ya buddy! Fitness YESTERDAY is out the door the only thing left standing is Golds and the senior citizen center (YMCA). The Rush now has 10 locations in NC!! 1 just added this month in Wiston Slem and 1 was just added in Georgia. The Rush is still one of the fastest growing health clubs in the US in a down economy!!

  • The Rush Member Experience Team said,

    We’re disappointed some of your experience with The Rush was less than ideal. We do everything we can to prioritize our customers. We feel badly that you feel that we didn’t address your needs but we also want to make it right for you. If you would simply call our Member Experience Dept at this number, 800-324-3279 we will do everything we can to address your issues and win back your confidence. Again, our apologies.

  • Mike4747 said,

    Hey Andy, I am new to Greensboro but like it so far. I am impressed with the amount of running you have done.

    I did not know there were committed runners that run every day, which is something I have done sine 1967. I started when in high school and continue today.
    I run 5 mi., which does not sound so unusual, but I run at 3 am. Even though my neighbors think I am a little off the deep end, I really enjoy the early morning hours of solitude. I know the people that deliver the morning newspaper pretty well, especially the lady that brings the High Point paper. She comes reeeal early, the Greensboro paper guy comes later.
    I am 61 and have never run a marathon, you got me there (back 1/2 of one marathon is it). However, I seem to get stronger and have a desire to compete in one. I do not know the runs scheduled in and around Greensboro, but hope find a marathon for the spring this year. Thanks, and keep running..!!

  • Xelda said,

    I honestly don’t know what to think of The Rush. It sounds good and appears to have a lot to offer. My biggest problem is finding out cost before I go and check them out. Both my children are under 10, so should I bypass the family membership? My husband is not much for working out, but I have hopes that this will change, and the late hours might be more convenient for his schedule. Does the basic contract cover everything offered (other than the trainers and classes)? When you sign up for an added guest (I am guessing this is part of a different contract), how often is that guest allowed to attend, and can they visit the facility without me with them?
    I basically want to find out as much as I can so that I can get the lowest monthly rate possible. They are offering a special for $10 membership, but there is no mention of enrollment fees or if the $10 membership runs the length of the contract – they don’t even metion a contract that I see. I am interested in working out to slim down – nothing fancy, maybe some cardio and light strength training, and of course I would like to take advantage of things like the pool and that type of thing.
    Thing is, like one of the people commented on, I simply want prices, I don’t want to sign up today. Do they bill you, or do you HAVE to put it on a credit card?
    So many questions, and no answers unless I go to the facility.