Why do we register gym memberships but never go to the gym?
The gym built their business model around us and didn’t show up. The gym has more members than they actually hold. Low-cost gyms are the most extreme example. Planet Fitness charges between $10 and $20 a month, with an average of 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can accommodate up to 300 people. Planetary fitness can do this because it knows that members will not appear. After all, if everyone who has a gym appears at the gym, it’s the Thunderdome. If you don’t go to the gym, you’re actually the best customer at the gym.
So the gym is trying to attract people who won’t come. If you’ve never been a “gym guy,” the chances of buying a gym membership won’t change. The gym knows this and does everything it can to attract people who traditionally don’t have exercise mice. In a flat view, the gym tends to hide the weight room and other devices, rather than displaying challenging devices such as platforms and mountaineers. Many gyms are now designed like hotels and fancy restaurants. “For the longest time, design is perspiration,” says Rudy Fabiano, an architect who designs gyms around the world. “Twenty-five years ago… The club can be scary. Remember everyone has baggy pants. Does the bodybuilder get a pitcher of water? Once the gym starts to look more like a hotel, a coffee shop and a restaurant, those who are not bodybuilders start to feel comfortable in the gym. The leisure gym was born.
Our brain wants to sign an annual contract with the gym. Normally, we hate locking up long-term contracts (cell phones, cable packages), but gym membership is an exception. Kevin Volpp, director of the centre for health incentives and behavioural economics at Wharton, says: “joining a gym is an interesting form of what behavioural economists call pre-commitment. Volpp said, we actually like being locked in the gym contract idea, no matter how, first of all, “they think is three times a week to go to the gym,” new people “and become a physical fitness machine.” We convinced ourselves that we would go to the gym by ourselves now that we had promised to put down the money for a year. And then, of course, we don’t.
Just as we were trying to get out, they fed us, massaged us, and gave us alcohol. The gym has a big problem with retention, with most people losing about half of their members each year. Once we realize we’re not going to the gym, maybe $20 a month might feel too much. To solve this problem, gyms look for ways to provide value to customers who don’t necessarily need to exercise. Planet fitness has a one-month bagel breakfast and pizza dinner. This is the busiest period. And a massage chair. Other gyms have blender and movie nights and spa treatments.
Without slackers like us, the gym would be more expensive. The reason the gym can charge so little is that most members don’t. Those who do not go are subsidising the membership of those who do. So if you don’t solve the problem, you’re providing affordable gym for everyone. If you’re one of the brave people who actually go to the gym, you’ll get an amazing deal.