As a business owner you can influence your clients behaviour by setting up signs. For gym owners the signs tend to be about respecting the property, keeping things clean, adding motivation or ducking potential law suits. Sometimes people get creative and do signs that are a bit out of the ordinary. Here are some random ones that sparked controversy, at least in my little head.
Signs may convey conflicting signals. Outside of the gym it says 'Training is Good For Your Health' and inside 'Train At Your Own Risk'. In the reception the first sign shouts 'EAT CLEAN - TRAIN DIRTY' and in the weight lifting area another one suggests 'Please Use A Towel'. You might end up suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. (I've visited a gym in Germany that has actually solved the towel issue in a really impressive way. If you train on the machines without a towel, an employee will hand you one for free. It appears as good service while indirectly humiliating the client.
Speaking of cleanliness, I'm sure you have run into the classic 'Your Mother Does Not Clean Up After You Here'. Kind of offensive, if you ask me. My instinctive response is 'does anyone?'. For some reason, I feel like I'm blamed and not like I'm encouraged to keep things tidy. Similarly, some gyms have the sign 'Only Lift Weights That You Are Strong Enough To Rack'. Instead of talking bad about my mum, they are pushing my ego. I like it.
I spotted this one in a locker room in a Swedish gym: 'Please be considerate and don't use too much cologne'. First, I had to check that I was in the right locker room. Secondly, I had to check if there were any women in the gym or if this was some kind of men-only gym. The sign was probably needed and it was not offensive. But somehow it just caught me off-guard. I guess I'm just too accustomed to seeing the typical 'EAT, F#%KING KILL IT, REPEAT'-signs in the gym.
If you ever drove a car in France, you might have seen the snide speed limit signs. Some might find these offensive. The text 'Rappel' (reminder) is added to the speed limit sign if the sign is repeated. The legal meaning is defined by the number, so what exactly is the added value of the text? Maybe it's a way for the state workers to let out some steam. Maybe you get two tickets, because after all, it was a reminder. I really don't know. But I just feel that the traffic budget could have been used on something else than expressing an attitude.
Good or bad signs, all the above signs worked well. After all, the measure of success is how many read them and consequently apply an action. I don't know about the action part, but hell, I remembered them.
I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite gym signs: 'Birthday Suits Tailored Here!'
If you have seen any weird signs that have caught your attention, please share them below.