The numbers and psychology behind New Year’s gym discounts

life time fitness floor

A Life Time Fitness facility

Mark Reilly
Managing Editor- Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal


Right on schedule, Twin Cities fitness clubs are rolling out promotions to capture new members with get-in-shape resolutions.

KARE-11 reports on the discounts offered by various gyms around the metro, who naturally see January as their big selling time.

Several local companies, including Hastings-based Anytime Fitness and Life Time Fitness of Chanhassen, are offering to waive registration fees for plans ranging from $35 to $70 per month.

But the gyms might not be able to afford those discounts if customers actually kept their New Year's promises.

National Public Radio notes the various psychological and business factors in play. Many gyms have a business model based on most of their members not working out very often ( average attendance is less than 4.8 times per month, Quartz reports) so it's in their interest to sign up people who are unlikely to come.

And consumers, who normally hate year-long contracts, actually like them when it comes to gyms. They think it'll provide an incentive to work out, but it doesn't.

Mark Reilly manages daily and weekly coverage at the Business Journal newsroom.

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