Loneliness and the reintroduction of New Year’s resolutions have brought more bodies to the gym revealed Planet Fitness and Virgin Active gyms.File Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - Loneliness and the reintroduction of New Year’s resolutions have brought more bodies to the gym.

This is according to the sales manager at Planet Fitness, De Waterkant, Zayd Eagleton, who said the club has seen a surge in new members in the first week of January.

“In December, we averaged three or four sales a day.

“We’re averaging 14 to 16 a day now,” said Eagleton.

Eagleton said some clubs owned by the fitness group have already acquired 40% of their budget for the month.

“Some clubs in Joburg, the majority of the clubs there, are soaring. They are doing 20 to 25 gym memberships a day.”

Eagleton, who has been in the fitness industry for the past four years, working at various gyms across the city, said that one of the biggest reasons people tend to join gyms is because they are lonely.

“Fitness is not always the main reason why people join.

“They join because they are lonely, so people come here to meet new people.”

He said: “There are members who have been with the club for the last seven to eight years, so people will stay and others will obviously never come back again because their goal is just a New Year’s resolution, then they get caught up with work and you never see them again.”

Planet Fitness personal trainer Goosain Mathews attests to the trend at the brand new club, situated at 117 Strand Street, which opened its doors last month.

Mathews explained that the majority of the new members are women between the ages of 25 and 40.

“They’re at the age where they become more conscious of themselves. By being more conscious of themselves, they want to get active and lose weight, lose the belly or something like that and that’s why they end up joining the gym.”

He said: “Especially with it being a new decade, every year it’s a New Year’s resolution to get fit, but this year, if you look at social media for example, it just blew up in terms of personal trainers and courses popping up.”

Mathews said that it is a yearly trend for membership increases to sustain a high level at the start of the year and then to drop significantly prior to winter’s arrival.

“Sessions get cancelled. Most people want to stay at home.

“But you do get that few, I’d say perhaps 10% of people, who are dedicated.”

Virgin Active South Africa commercial director Tsholo Kubheka attested that the increase was visible at their end as well.

“January typically ushers in a renewed interest in getting active and achieving goals, be they improved fitness, greater strength or weight loss,” said Kubheka.

“It may only be a week into the New Year but we are seeing good numbers in terms of new memberships.”


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Cape Argus