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Should You Join a Gym?

It’s the beginning of the year. You want to change things. You want to improve your health and fitness. What’s the first step? Lock yourself into a gym membership. If you spend the money, you’ll HAVE to go, right? Committing your future self to better choices than your present self is a strategy we have all tried.

It doesn’t work. I know this from my own experience. And I actually LOVE exercise.

I joined globogyms in every city I’ve lived in. I’ve bought my own equipment for my apartments. I have a library of books laying out scores of different fitness programs. I have financed so many gyms and authors for things I never used.

When I opened New Moon Fitness, I considered whether I wanted a gym or a studio; that is, should I create a place people could drop in and work out on their own or one where all exercise was supervised with a personal trainer?

No rows of treadmills for me.

I wanted to focus my business on service not equipment. From personal experience, I knew that my exercise routine only became a routine after I got a trainer. That was the first time in my life that exercise finally became consistent for me.

Every gym you see around town is oversold by like 90%. Your 5pm work out time will be packed for January. By February, it will be less than half as busy. Your gym owner knows this. That’s why he offers terrific discounts in January. He knows full well you’re really donating your money. You won’t show up, but he keeps your membership fees. On the bright side…you’re financing the guys who really do show up.

If your globogym had to support itself only on the membership fees of those who actually showed up, your membership fees would be in the thousands. Your membership fees to a globogym are paying for the equipment and maintenance, not service. If you want a personal trainer, you will pay extra for that.

If you’d like to explore the financial details of the fitness business more, check out this terrific piece published recently at The Hustle “Do you even waste money, bro?”

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