Tourist season at the gym is upon us. Whether folks are inspired by hitting the restart button for 2014, or disheartened by the tightness of their jeans post-holiday binging, it’s no secret that January and February bring an influx of treadmill neophytes to fitness centers.
But despite an inclination for gyms and studios to incentivize new members with seasonal specials, ACAC Membership Director Joe Schwar said the bulk of the January workout rush is not made up of new clients.
“All the gym rats complain about how many people are in the club, and think we’re selling all these new memberships with incentives for people to join, but we really don’t,” Schwar said. “The people you see in a health club in January and February are folks who have been paying all year long; they just really haven’t been using it that often. If their New Year’s resolution is to drop weight, their thought process is they might as well start coming in.”
I’m guilty of it myself. Even as an avid exerciser, it’s easy to fall off the wagon between Halloween and December 31. So once I renew my monthly membership—at a discounted price, no less—I’ll be right there with you, swearing up and down that this is just the motivation I needed to start the new new year on the right foot. Luckily, Charlottesville has workout facilities out the wazoo, and most of them are more than happy to help you out with your resolution.
All three ACAC locations are offering “the gift of wellness” through December 31. For $50, try out a four-week membership that includes access to the pool, fitness centers, and group classes. You must purchase the special by the end of the year, but can wait as late as January 31 before starting. There’s also a $79 six-week membership available that must be activated before the end of December.
Carver Recreation Center/ Smith Aquatic & Fitness Center
Buy an access pass for two months at Carver or Smith and get the third month free. This offer begins on January 1 and runs through February 16.
Vinyasa studio Opal Yoga is taking 20 percent off all five-, 10-, and 20-class passes up until December 31.
Ring in the new year with Anytime Fitness in Charlottesville and Ruckersville, which is offering new members an enrollment fee of $14 in honor of 2014.
The 24-hour gym with two Charlottesville locations has dropped the $149 enrollment fee to $29, valid through the end of the year. Or, sign up for a six-month membership and get three months free, with no initiation fee.
Want to kick off the new year by running with a wheelbarrow of sandbags? CrossFit Charlottesville is offering new members a three-month, prepaid membership—which includes access to all classes—for $299 up until December 31.
If you’re looking for intense interval training and conditioning, keep an eye on MADabolic Inc.’s Facebook page. Sometime between now and the first week of January, it’ll announce a two-day flash sale with a hefty discount on memberships and packages. New clients can also try 10 days for $10.
Starting January 1, the national chain will allow new members to pay their first month dues on committed terms with no enrollment fee, or they can pay an enrollment cost and not be under a binding contract.
For the seasoned veterans
For those of you who are already active and looking for a new routine, a smaller, boutique-style gym may be up your alley.
“Unfortunately the industry has inundated people with New Year’s resolutions,” said Jana Burnett, co-owner of Success Studio Fitness Facility. “We definitely have more of a commitment thing instead of just membership.”
Burnett said Success Studio runs a special program in February, which she’s found to be the busiest month of the year for serious trainers who need to get back into a regular routine now that the kids are back in school and the holidays are over.
Other specialty studios and gyms like Solidarity CrossFit*, The Gym, and M2 Personal Training will hit the ground running in January, with regular priced boot camps and long-term goal-oriented programs. They also stress that members should prepare for a committed workout regime, not just a month-long stint.
ACAC is one of many gyms in the area offering discounted memberships and packages for new clients who want to drop weight for the new year.
*Solidarity CrossFit is not offering a New Year’s special, but enter discount code C-VILLE when registering online and get $10 off.