Friday, January 23, 2015


So while riding the recumbent bicycle at the gym this past week, one of the headlines on the CP24 newscast declared 56% of people who sign up for gym membership never ever go to the gym. Now I had to wonder about that statistic, is it one of those 'over half the planet has never made a phone call' statistics that get bandied about as if it was true. As for the phone call thing, it might have been true at one time, but now that we are living in the mobile age, there's probably only a handful of people who have never made a phone call. I believe at the time the consideration was based upon land lines. We know that the way to go is mobile, the costs for infrastructure is far cheaper then running phone lines everywhere. I digress.

It is also known gym owner enjoy this time of year, all those people rushing to get membership because they've made yet another New Year Resolution that contains the words 'lose weight', 'get fit'. It's also why most of the parking lots of gyms are crowded during the peak hours and for regulars, it's a time to curse. Or we wait until the end of March, when things return to normal.

I realize this sounds a bit cynical, but it's nothing compared to one article I found entitled Why We Sign Up For Gym Memberships But Never Go To The Gym. The author mentions the fact that one gym franchise averages 6500 members, but can only hold and this is also due to fire regulations, 300 members at a time. Which means a lot never go, or they are amazingly fortunate at the stagger rate. In some ways, this is not fair, with most gyms going 24 hours at least most of the week, you can have 300 around the clock and discern that the majority of members do use the facility. Although I should point out the last paragraph of the article does give this good word:

The reason gyms can charge so little is that most members don't go. People who don't go are subsidizing the membership of people who do. So, if you don't work out, you are making gyms affordable for everyone. If you are one of the brave few who actually do go to the gym, you are getting an amazing deal.

As a person who goes to the gym at least once a week, and usually twice may I say 'thank you' to all those who make it possible for me to enjoy $10.00 a month membership. I used to go more often at another gym, but it was far closer. It was a plain gym, resistance machines, some free weights and cardio. There was also a place for tanning, for a few extra dollars. It worked because the understanding was that this is a place to workout that was basic, if you wanted the latest and greatest go somewhere else and be prepared to spend more money.

This may be a dangerous time, the ads are still out there, the colourful brochures still appear in the mail, which may be good because in them they need to disclose some of the cost, such as monthly fees and initiation fees. One came in the mail, I won't say which one and it stated the initiation fee was $149.00. They still charge over $30.00 a month for membership and apparently they have a lot of hidden fees for different things. I have family that use the chain but may I suggest one thing, stay away.

By the way, I did find the source of the number, it is here. So it comes down to this, if you want gym membership, do your research, check out the place and ask some questions. I don't mean questions about the layout or the equipment but important questions,

1) Will I use this membership. In other words, can I put this into my weekly schedule. Forget the nice equipment or interesting classes, or other things such as juice bars and cool t-shirts. Will I actually show up. Perhaps the way to figure this out is to sit down with the calendar and start looking at the days of the week, what days are usually the ones with the least interruptions over the course of a year. Can you find two days like this, and can you put this into your weekly events. This is where lifestyle changes come into play, will I incorporate health and fitness into my life.

2) Can I afford it and, what will it really cost me. Do the research. This means looking at all the cost. For example usually gyms will include an extra payment or two throughout the year- the idea presented is this goes to upkeep and new equipment. If the new equipment comes, no problem. How long is the contract, figure for a year you are locked in, and then discover what are the steps to terminate, Usually they are not onerous. A letter might suffice or just a notification.

3) What do I really want to do there? What is my strategy and what do I want to do. If the place had an open house or gives a coupon allowing so many visits before deciding, then figure out what you want to use to achieve the results you want. One great site, called Nerd Fitness has an article entitled: How to Work Out Properly In a Commercial Gym. It's worth the read before signing anything.

At the end, if you decide to join a gym then one word of advice. Use it. Even if it's only an hour or two a week you will feel far better and just getting there will do more for your will-power and lifestyle change then anything else. If you don't then the key-fob that gives you entrance will stare at you each and every time you pick up your keys and it will have one message for you, and that message is "Loser". You will have something that reminds you that you can't even do something simple as go to a gym. Do you want that? No you don't. You want to pick up your keys and say to yourself, 'right after work, I have time to stop at the gym'. Right then and there, pack the gym bag that has the name of the gym on the side and then head out the door. You will feel far better about yourself and you will have something to think about throughout the day. I believe if there is already a plan, it has already happened in your mind. The whole thing of getting there is now secondary. For once you will be in the minority and glad you are.

No comments:

Post a Comment