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Area gyms and trainers are preparing for the new year, which annually brings in a slew of new members trying to lose holiday pounds and get started on New Year’s resolutions.
A few new businesses in the county will be part of the local rush to the treadmills for the first time.
VIP Fitness owner Randy Campbell said he dislikes when he hears some people in the fitness industry say they hate when people trying to keep new resolutions rush to the gym, only to stop coming soon after.
The exercise physiologist of 21 years thinks clients stop going to gyms and trainers because they don’t get the results they want. That’s why it’s important for those in the fitness industry to set reasonable goals and make sure customers understand the importance of diet and various forms of exercise to meet those goals.
“It’s our job as trainers to make it an all-year resolution,” he said.
Gyms and trainers attract about 70 percent of their clients between January and February, Campbell said.
“Most gyms survive on the New Year’s resolution,” he said.
VIP Fitness on North Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown, which has been open about three months, is among new businesses aimed at improving residents’ health, trying to get some of the January business they count on to make it through the year.
That’s important, but making sure customers get healthy and stay on the right track is more important, Campbell said.
“As a business, we survive on clients, but we want clients who are going to stay with us long-term,” he said.
Planet Fitness Health Club on North Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown is the newest area gym expecting a January rush.
General Manager Lisa Tucker said residents’ desire to shed holiday pounds and get a fresh start becoming healthy is an opportunity to grow for the business, which opened Dec. 17.
There also tends to be a membership spike in the fall, as people try to lose weight before the holidays, she said.
“As long as they stay consistent, it’s important for everybody,” she said.
One reason new members don’t always stick to workout goals is they often can’t afford high membership rates long term, Tucker said.
She said one of the goals at Planet Fitness is to offer affordable and nonjudgmental facilities so a healthy lifestyle is available to everyone.
She thinks that will help new business draw January customers and keep them throughout the year.
New competition might not mean much trouble for existing fitness-based businesses.
Susan Hinds, membership director for E-town Swim and Fitness Center on Ring Road, said the gym has clients who have been there for 25 years.
Customer loyalty and a good reputation mean the business still is planning for a membership spike in January, she said.
“We count on people wanting to make that commitment, wanting to make it to the gym,” she said.
The gym is packed with new members for about six weeks, Hinds said.
“They think, ‘This year, it’s going to be different. I’m going to do better,’” she said. “They do have good intentions.”
Some of those new members drop off in attendance near Valentine’s Day, when they start to lose interest in goals that got them to the gym, Hinds said.
Some return by summer, and there tends to be an increase over each previous year in patrons using the gym, even after the January honeymoon is over, she said.
The gym offers programs and classes meant to keep members’ goals in sight because the membership spike is as important to community health as it is to the business’s bottom line, Hinds said.
“We want happy members,” she said. “We want healthy members.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.