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Why People Sign Up for Gym Memberships but Don’t Go to the Gym

Published: 4/6/15

Every year hundreds of new members flock to their local gyms, sporting the latest fashion in workout wear, with brand new membership cards peaking out of their wallets. Their intentions are pure and their resolve, seemingly strong. But something happens after those first few visits, and before long, those pure intentions have turned to excuses. The fees are still being paid, but the outfit sits idle at the bottom of the drawer, and the card is buried and forgotten.


So why do some people sign up for a gym membership, but then neglect to actually go to the gym? It seems the answers are mostly psychological, and have nothing to do with how busy you are at work or how much you gorge yourself on goodies over the holidays. If you fall into this category, with the best of intentions, but not the willpower, take heart. You are far from alone, and there is an answer to this age-old problem.


Here are the real reasons why you might be neglecting your gym membership, and a solution for getting back on track … and this time for good.


Human Beings are Naturally Optimistic

Gym members commit to a set monthly fee for their membership, expecting that the fact they automatically pay for a gym membership each month will provide all the motivation they need to go. If they’ve already committed to the payment, they will certainly feel the obligation to make the most of it, right? These same members will then visit the gym an average of four times each month. Many optimistically assume that this will be the month that they commit to a turn around and make daily workouts part of their routine.


Going to the Gym Takes More Effort than You Can Spare

Of course this isn’t true for everyone, or we wouldn’t have gyms at all, but for many people, it is much easier to talk themselves out of going to the gym than it is to actually pack a bag and go. People falsely assume that just the financial burden of a membership fee or the allure of a new outfit will motivate them to workout. What they eventually realize is that a financial bribe or a superficial reward will never be enough to convince them to go to the gym if they don’t want to go.


We live in a world where immediate gratification is the new normal. We can shop online, buy drive-through dinners, and pop a pill to stay thin. In comparison, working out, at least initially, is a lot of work. There’s the scheduling of course, but also the sweat, the sore muscles, and the patience you need to see results. It may take months to lose a few pounds, and for many, that is just too long.


You Must be Internally Motivated to Workout

This is what it comes down to – internal motivation. Paying for a membership is not enough to get you to the gym. Buying stylish workout clothes won’t help much either. You have to want to work out because you enjoy it and it makes you feel good. This motivation can only come from within. You can wish for a bikini-ready body all you want, but you won’t see results until you embrace a lifestyle that revolves around total health and fitness.


Find a workout and a schedule that you love. When you start to hit the gym and work out for the sheer joy of it, you will never miss a day. Instead of rewarding yourself for going to the gym, you will go to the gym as a reward. It’s that simple. An hour workout becomes time for you, when you can be selfish and focus entirely on your own health and personal goals. Before long, you won’t be able to do it any other way, and your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.