Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The best customer for budget gym chain Planet Fitness (and most gyms in general) is the one who never shows up. Proving that fact, NPR's Planet Money chatted with a manager at one Manhattan Planet Fitness location, which boasts an incredible 6,000 members but only has enough room for about 300 people to work out. Half of Planet Fitness's members never set foot inside the gym at all, NPR reports.
Once the annual contract is up, people tend to wise up and quit after realizing they never go to the gym. Most gyms lose about half their customers every year, according to NPR.
But Planet Fitness has a few tricks to convince people who don't really want to work out that their gym membership was worth it. That comes in the form of non-cardio related perks like massage chairs. They also throw in free food, with pizza nights and bagels breakfasts once a month. Those are Planet Fitness's busiest times. "The idea is that folks will look back fondly on the year of pizza and bagels and renew that annual contract once again," Planet Money's host Stacey Vanek Smith said.
· Episode 590: The Planet Money Workout [NPR]
· Inside the Down 'n' Dirty Boutique Gym Wars [Racked]
· Flywheel Continues to Blanket the US in Cycling Studios [Racked]