The Case of the Serial Grouponers

groupon intervention
January 2015 |

Are you or your significant other guilty of being Serial Grouponers?  You may be a Serial Grouponer if:

  1. You only workout at gyms/studios that run Groupon/Living Social deals.
  2. You ask your partner/friends/family members to gift you a Groupon deal so you can get double the benefits.
  3. You purposely hold off on trying any new fitness location with the hopes a Groupon will be run so you don’t get denied for not being a “first time client”.

Happy January 16th!  It’s officially mid-month. In the wake of the new year with resolutions and upcoming events in 2015, such as weddings and vacations, getting fit is at the top of a lot of people’s minds this time of year.  And if you’ve already taken my advice to play the fitness field and use this “honeymoon period” to explore fitness options that are right for you, then you may have already started checking out what’s in your neighborhood.  One way people are becoming more adventurous with their fitness is checking out group buying deals.

Over the years, “group buying” programs such as Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, and a ton of copycats have popped up with the intention of offering discount deals to bring in new business.  To give people a taste of what the gym/studio has to offer, patrons can now purchase a certain number of classes or a month membership for a fraction of the cost. They are certainly a great “try before you buy,” low commitment option.  The gym/studio hopes they’ve hooked you enough that you can’t live without your new routine and must join.  However, like dating, many times patrons just want to be friends with that workout or facility.

Excuse #1: “I love the workout, but I just can’t afford it right now.”

Money is certainly a concern among individuals and couples alike. Especially those that have major expenses, such as planning a wedding, vacation, or purchasing a house. However, when you’ve found the right fitness routine for you, you’re actually making an investment in your health. In the end, that gym membership still works out cheaper than the cost of doctor visits, medications, and hospitalizations.  And while a home fitness plan is certainly a less expensive option, are you also getting the same level of motivation that gets you to workout and pushes you to your max?

Excuse #2: “I like to mix it up and don’t want to commit to just one thing.”

Variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s also very important when it comes to your fitness routine. To be physically fit, you should be doing cardio activity at least 5 times per week, weight training 2-3 days per week, and flexibility training 2-3 days per week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  Many facilities offer classes and programs that meet all of this criteria.  Plus, it can get boring doing the same thing over and over- even our muscles aren’t challenged anymore if they’re always doing the same thing.  If you like to visit different gyms/studios during the week to change up your routine, find out what membership packages are available that allow more flexibility with your commitment level.  And yes, do a little math to find out what it will cost you to visit Bob’s Gym 3 times a week and Sally’s Pilates 2 times a week over the course of a month.  You may find you’re wasting more money on those “drop-ins” than you realized.

Excuse #3: “There are other gyms closer to my home.”

Ok, but if that’s the case, why are you here in the first place?  Do you think you’re going to find a better deal, or is this same workout just not close to home?  In the end, you have to decide if you like the workout enough to make the trip.  We have members at my gym who drive an hour each way just to take class with us because they love the workout or the trainer that much.  So if your heart is truly in it, you’ll find a way to make that long-distance relationship work.

Groupon Plays with our Hearts

As a fitness trainer, I have a love/hate for the Groupon system. On the one hand, it brings in new faces to our gym.  Myself and my fellow trainers take the time to orient you to our workout, give help with your form, and learn your name.  We get excited to have classes that are full of energy from enthusiastic new people trying out our gym.  We’ve invested time to make sure you have a fun, safe workout and see improvement in your form and fitness abilities.  And then, you dump us and move on to the next facility that waves a deal at you.  We try to replay over in our heads where it went wrong and what we could’ve done differently to get you to stay.  And in the end, we know why: “It’s not you, it’s that your gym doesn’t run this deal every month and I need to move on to somewhere else that can satisfy my need to not pay full price.”

Time to Settle Down

When you’re young it’s fun to jump around and go from gym to studio to gym. If you just graduated college, you’re probably low on funds and need those fitness deals so you can afford that overpriced studio apartment in NYC you share with 5 friends from college. You’re probably pretty experimental and may even try some weird stuff.  Heck, when I was in my 20’s I took a cardio sword-fighting class because I thought I’d be as badass as Uma Thurman in Kill Bill–  but in the end I felt like a spastic baton-twirler.  BUT that desire to be a badass is what lead me to try boxing and kickboxing… and the rest is history.

Just like there are Serial Daters out there in the world, every gym/studio hopes the can tame the Serial Grouponer.  And as you get older and determine what you like and don’t like in your fitness life, it becomes a little easier to narrow down where you’d like to settle and call your home gym.  Eventually the laissez-faire Groupon lifestyle must come to and end.  If for no other reason than you’ve explored all the Groupon options in your area and are now forced to make a choice.

Sooo…should I delete the Groupon app from my phone?

Of course not! Groupon has great deals that are intended to expand your horizons.  However, when it comes to fitness, if all you do is visit gyms that run Groupon deals, then you wind up in a perpetual state of no change. It’s ok to Groupon every now and then to help figure out what you might like when it comes to your fitness interests. I certainly can say Groupon has introduced me to some studios I might otherwise not have visited or known about.  But once you find that thing you like, stick with it, otherwise you’ll never grow and never achieve those fitness goals.  Don’t be on the perpetual fitness hamster wheel  of never getting anywhere.  The only way someone gets stronger, faster, leaner, toned, or more flexible is through repetition and encouragement.  Let those instructors match a name with a face, give you feedback, and help you become better.  If you’re constantly Groupon Voucher #XYZ123, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to grow and see what you’re capable of doing.  And then after your workout, you can use your Groupon app to check out a nearby restaurant with your honey for a post-workout date.

What are your thoughts on Groupon fitness deals?  Did it help you find “The One”?  Or are you still searching for that perfect gym?  Sound off in the comments below!

Leave a Comment