If you’re a regular gym go-er, you probably hate the months of January and February, when your club is suddenly swarmed with well-intentioned newbies who have vowed to begin dieting and exercising as part of their New Year’s resolutions. The flock of new members means longer wait times for popular workout equipment and more competition for class reservations, among other irritations
But for business owners in the fitness industry, January and February are like Christmas all over again: industry estimates put the seasonal membership increase at around 30% for this time of year, making it a prime revenue-generating period for health clubs. There’s even a slang term for these January joiners: Resolutionists. (As UrbanDictionary.com notes: Resolutionists can be spotted by their pasty white skin, excessive fat, poor form, and blank look on their face as they stand next to any piece of gym equipment.)
So how much business do these Resolutionists generate here in Westchester? And are local gyms rolling out the red carpet to entice them? We asked around to find out.
“In the industry, there’s always a burst of membership around December and January,” confirms the general manager (who declined to give a name for legal reasons) of Apogee Fitness & Wellness in Bedford Hills. The manager adds that Apogee sees roughly a 10-percent increase in memberships during that period. A post-holiday membership surge is also seen at the Clay Health Club & Spa in Port Chester: “For the first three months of the year, and sometimes even into April, we have a 20-percent increase of new members,” says General Manager Lance Root.
Resolutionists are also flocking to spin classes at trendy SoulCycle, which has Westchester locations in Scarsdale, Bronxville, and Rye Brook. Soul Cycle spokesperson Kristyn Clark says, “We’ve definitely seen an increase in ridership post-holidays across all three of our Westchester studios. We’re excited to see people ready to make changes and commit to healthier choices.” The studios are also using special events in January to help entice riders, including a third-year anniversary party on January 31 at the Scarsdale location, and a “battle of the DJs,” which took place on January 20 at Bronxville’s Soul Cycle.
LifeTime Athletic in Harrison has another tactic for luring Resolutionists: its 90-Day Challenge fitness event, which includes a personal consultation, weekly support, motivation, new workouts, and the chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. “The 90-Day Challenge event at the club starts next month,” says Susan Setna Mistri Sr., general manager, who confirms that “yes, memberships here generally do increase in January, due to New Years resolutions.”
So while you’re waiting patiently for a treadmill to open up, you can take comfort in the fact that these Resolutionists are bringing new money to your local workout spot. And don’t worry—they are usually gone by March anyway.