White lab coat wearing PhD types seem to be so concerned with their research on actin and myosin and how it works on a cellular level, that they have no idea what it's like to get regular people moving towards results.
What I have found in my fifteen years in the industry is that almost all exercise programs are just that, “Programs.” I am sorry, but programs are meant for computers, not humans that need to perform dynamically.
Humans by nature are very social animals that do things much better in groups. The idea that a person can follow a program and get results out of it is, for the most part, laughable. Humans have overcome great things together: ice ages, plagues and diseases. Now, more than ever, the world must fight the epidemic of heart disease, depression, diabetes and other fitness related disease by joining the movement.
The way to get people to do things they do not want to do is to get people that lead by example, and for those leaders to not leave anyone behind. Just by getting people together the cream will rise to the top, and the whole group will always improve.
In all, the industry that needs to be changed is flawed at best. The people that write the book and steer the industry are not wrong, they have just lost touch with the people on the street. They have applied their physical therapy methodology to personal and performance training. The problem is they only documented the tangible parts of the workout. The rest of the reasons why people push themselves have been lost somewhere in the alphabet soup.
This is evident with the birth of the independent gym becoming so popular. The problem is that even 90% of these places that have the independent gym things right have not figured out the people aspect of it. Many places have made small breakthroughs on this level but few, if any, provide an experience that is more than just a workout.
If you want to find a place that is more than just a workout then find a place that talks about what they believe in before they talk about what they do or how they do it. Find a place where the owners and trainers workout with you, and do things outside of the gym with you. Not just 5k's and fun runs, but happy hour, BBQ's, and other things people actually do to get to know each other.
This is where real relationships are made and nourished. When people at your gym know you, like you, trust you, and care about you succeeding in your purpose, cause and passion, you know that you are in the right place.
In all, find a group of people that believe in the same things you believe in and it will all work out in the end. And if the place you work out at does not deliver an experience that is truly “More Than Just A Workout”, then find some place that does!