The Daily Times visited local fitness centers this week to see how they compared to national reports of increased memberships during January. We asked similar questions to those interviewed about the services they offered and what brings people out to the gym.
Going to a fitness gym is something that members do almost daily in their lives. However we found, people do not just go to the gym for fitness, they may go for other reasons, such as socialization.
The managers we talked to agreed people do go for fitness, but most of the local managers added, people like the socialization involved with going with a friend or meeting people at the gym.
Getting fit is most popular in the early months of the year, and 2018, is no different. Gyms across the nation have been known to have the most memberships sign ups during this time of a year. However, it is widely written that some people only go a few times or a good percentage of people stop going by February or early March.
US News and World Report states that many of the regular members in gyms get frustrated in January, because unlike most times in the year, in January they may have to wait on their favorite piece of equipment due to the influx of ‘newbies’ who members do not think will not continue throughout the year.
Signing up for a gym membership in December-January can have its perks for those wanting to become a gym member. Anytime Fitness and Planet Fitness in New Boston, Old Firehouse Fitness on State Route #139 in Rubyville and the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Life Center have or have had a special running sometime during this time period.
When first entering Anytime Fitness, one is immediately greeted by an enthusiastic manager, Zack Reed, who walks right up to the person entering and greets them with a smile and asks what he can do for them.
Reed said like most gyms across the country, in January they do see a rise in membership. He says that ideally they would like to see all the new memberships continue coming all year, but again, like most gyms it does seem to gradually slow down after January.
He said he tries to greet everyone who comes in as an effort to make it feel like a family atmosphere, so people feel they belong and they know people’s names. One of the reasons he said he feels some people stop going to gyms is because they may not know anyone and may not feel comfortable starting a conversation.
He says, “My goal this year is to become acquainted with everyone who is a member and even become friends with them. Every person who comes in, I’m here for them, out there talking to people, and answering questions.”
As for their special at this time, he says they have a $1 sign-up, which saves people money right off the bat. Another thing they offer, is guaranteed results, where Reed says he doesn’t know any other gym that is doing that.
He says, “It is available to all new members or existing members, by providing workout advice, nutritional advice, one on one coaching, weekly check ins for each member involved in this, for six months.”
Together they set goals and once the six weeks is over, they revisit those goals.
Reed quoted “We are so confident with what we can provide for the six months, that they will see results, because if our program doesn’t work, we’ll refund their money.”
The members have to put in the work, because Anytime Fitness has a tracking system, where they can see when the Guaranteed Results members come in and their work effort, along with the measurements and working with a trainer.
He feels that the men vs. women in membership seem to be pretty balanced at Anytime Fitness.
“As for the socialization, I see a member bring a friend or become acquainted with other people in the gym and then they all kind of meet and work together. The best part about this (bring a friend offer) is to get people in and see what we have to offer. We also offer, where someone can come in and workout for free for a whole week and those people do tend to continue coming (after the free period),” said Reed.
Planet Fitness, also in New Boston, also has the $1 sign-up as their special among other perks including tanning with a special membership.
The manager of Planet Fitness in New Boston, Tim Hutchinson, talked about social interaction in the gym as ‘like everyone knows everyone else’ type of atmosphere.
“It’s a place to come, to talk, to work-out,” Hutchinson stated.
Hutchinson says, “that is something that Planet Fitness is about, making sure they feel welcome, that we are going to do whatever we can to help them out. We’re part of this community now, we want to be able to be personable with the members that come here, and start relationships with the people.”
Hutchinson says the size of their gym and the amount of equipment they provide plays an important role to their memberships. He added, it truly depends what the individual person is looking for in a fitness gym.
Something that stood out in Planet Fitness, was those “pop” type colors, that may be an added attraction. Whatever the attraction, Hutchinson said that our local gym is doing well, as they had 142 sign-ups on Tuesday alone. As far as it being the January spike in membership, only time will tell for this new location.
Old Firehouse Fitness manager, Alysia Adkins, said that it is kind of a hit or miss as to whether they see a large January spike, but they have seen new people come in so far this month. She said, “we ran a special in November, where we offered a free month, plus a free T-shirt.”
Adkins too, was in unison with Reed that the men vs. women ratio is pretty even.
As for the social aspect at Old Firehouse Fitness, she said, “people usually meet people when they’re here and they build a relationship that way.” She said their staff are very friendly and that makes people feel comfortable.
SOMC Life Center manager, Jim Kolar said, “We really haven’t seen that yet,” as for the January membership, “of course we don’t start seeing the hit until about the second or third week in January, we definitely do see a spike in our membership and fitness from maybe, mid January until mid March.” This trend is a bit different than some of the other local gyms had mentioned.
As for the men vs. women status, the SOMC Life Center is pretty much the same as the other gyms’ responses.
The Life Center’s demographic for the ages of members, they are a little different than the others, as Kolar said they probably see an average age from probably 35-60, whereas the others that were asked, seem to have relatively, an age range from 14-60 or older across the board.
When it comes to socialization, Kolar said he felt the seniors seem to be a bit more social than those younger in age.
The Daily Times found there is someone at all the centers interviewed, ready to greet people as they walk through the door at our local fitness centers and are willing to help in anyway they can based on the individual’s need.
If someone is bored, or just can’t find anything to do, maybe this is the time to visit one of our local fitness gyms, some were mentioned but there are many others in our area, who will suit just about anyone’s wants or needs.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928
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