Paying for nothing?

Unused gym memberships should be canceled


Going to the gym can be a difficult task—whether it is a long commute, a busy schedule or simply a lack of motivation—there always seems to be a reason not to go. Paying for a gym membership but never actually going to the gym is not uncommon. In fact, according to NPR, the average Planet Fitness has around 6,500 members per gym but has only the capacity for 300 people. Subscribing to a gym but never going is not only what the gym wants, but it is also cutting costs for people who actually go. 

To begin, gyms want members not to show up. If every person subscribed to a gym went, even if they only went once a week, gyms would be so crowded it would cause a health violation. Gyms that seek out customers who would not usually work out often cost less than those that are made for bodybuilders and athletes, and there is a clear reason why. Planet Fitness is a great example of this, with the slogan “Judgement Free Zone,” they are trying to attract people who already do not feel comfortable in the gym. These people who would usually stay away from exercising in public are much more attracted to gyms like Planet Fitness due to low costs and genius marketing. But, just because the gym attracts these people does not mean they will end up going. Planet Fitness is able to charge their customers only $10 a month because the majority never show up. 

 Of course, other factors play into this lower cost, such as less expensive equipment and less staff needed, as Planet Fitness does not offer any kind of personal training. This lack of staff may also be another reason why so many people do not continue to come back to the gym. With a cheaper gym, there is no one but the gym member who must motivate themselves. There is no trainer to encourage people to come back, therefore people who lack motivation just won’t. 

 Many people will buy a gym subscription and never go. Although these people are losing out on money, they are keeping prices low for people who attend the gym regularly. This is especially helpful for young people who otherwise would be unable to afford an expensive gym. 

If you haven’t visited the gym in over a month, it may be time to drop the subscription, for you are probably falling into a brilliant marketing trap. If you want to get serious about your health, you may want to consider a more serious gym where trainers will encourage you to come back. In some cases, you may just not have time for a gym or feel comfortable exercising in front of others. In these cases, you may want to consider other plans, such as exercising at home or going on runs outdoors. Finding an exercise routine is important, but having a gym membership that never gets used is not.