Did I hear you say you’re joining the gym?

Now that 2017 is here and Michael Bublé has crept back into his cave, only to return again this December, the only thing left for you to do is get your New Year’s resolutions going.

Most people promise to become better people this time round, right? The first thing most resolutionists also do is join the first gym they see. Is it a good choice? Not always. The all-inspiring spark will now have to compete with an exhausting work schedule and most resolutions become a thing of the future and you find yourself in a very expensive binding agreement between yourself and your gym.


“I will stick to my gym routine and get the physique I have always dreamed about.” Well, like The Hunger Games, the odds are not always in your favour. According to Statistic Brain, the percentage of individuals who were successful in achieving their resolutions during 2016, amount to a dingy 8%. “Losing weight” was listed as the top resolution for the year.

Losing weight is an admirable goal, but it could only be in your best interest to invest some thought into your new gym membership.

Gym memberships can be very costly. The average cost of an annual membership nears R6 000, including the yearly levy some “forget” to mention, hiding it deep within layer upon layer of fine print. Some gyms even base business plans on the New Year surge, with increased applications in most cases in the region of about 30 to 50 per cent.

Economists even have a name for this phenomenon; they refer to it as hyperbolic discounting or in simple terms, it boils down to human nature. We want things now and place preference on short-term rewards, overlooking the long-term consequences of our actions – The ever popular “buy now, pay later” principle.

VeuMOZFMThe consequences of paying for something that is of no use to you any longer or even worse, finding out that the gym debit order you cancelled a year ago has now resulted in you being blacklisted on Transunion and credit bureaus, and having to pay back fees in addition to attorney costs.

So, before you put pen to paper, read through your gym contract and educate yourself on the consumer law pertaining to gym contracts. If you still want to join your local fitness club after some contemplation and a lot of research, do it and please for the sake of all those who have fallen before you, stick to it!


Jonothan Hen-Boisen
Digital Content Creator

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