What I Hate About the Fitness Industry

When I was a student at BYU, I went to every gym in Utah County as part of a business project. I either spoke with the owner of each gym, or the most senior manager I could get in touch with. The data I gathered and lessons I learned were invaluable before starting RxFIT.

One of the gyms I visited, however, has always left a sour taste in my mouth. The manager said to me,

You want to market to the people that psychologically depend on a gym membership, but never actually show up. Your key indicator should be, therefore, Paid-In-Fulls (“PIF’s”).

Honestly, most of the large commercial gyms I visited had similar input.

I had a couple who said “Charge anything less than 10-bucks and then tag on fees every month. Start with an ‘Initiation Fee’, then a ‘Quarterly Cleaning Fee’, and an ‘Annual Renewal Fee.’ You can find justification for just about any fee you want… in that way, your Average Revenue per Member (ARM) increases.”

Gosh, that just felt slimy. Not only are you looking for the people that you know won’t ever get fit, but you’re sneaking charges past them… I quickly began to get a bad taste in my mouth for the players in the fitness space.

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