By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Resolutions give gyms a workout
Zach Bradbury works out at American Bodyworks. Local gyms see an increase in business during the beginning of a new year. - photo by Jim Dean

It’s the same story every year.

People make New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape, so they join a gym and start working out.

Unfortunately, for many that resolve dries up quickly.

Rick Roth, manager of American Bodyworks on Bethelview Road, said that’s OK, because his business still reaps the benefits.

“We’ve got about 500 or 600 members, and in January and February we’ll probably add another couple hundred members,” he said.

The gym offers year-long contracts or month-to-month memberships.

“The initiation fees and everything are all still the same so a lot of people tend to do the month to month and then they can cancel after 30 days. But some people get the contract and they’re in it for a year,” Roth said.

“Some people stay and end up seeing the results and realizing they like it and everything, so they end up staying. But the majority of them do dwindle off.”

Roth said the rush lasts about three months.

“It’ll last probably January, February and March and then it’ll start slowing down and then again when summer gets here, it’ll pick back up again,” he said. “For the first three months of the year it’ll be bombarded with people getting in shape for the new year.”

American Bodyworks member Rob Gagliano, who works out all year, said he’s never surprised by the rush in winter.

“It’ll be pretty normal working out and then all the people start crowding in,” he said.

According to Gagliano, however, many of the newcomers won’t even last the three months Roth predicted.

“It lasts probably about two weeks and then people, I’d say, kind of die out,” he said, noting that for regular gym-goers those couple of weeks can be an annoyance.

“Usually people are taking up the machines and you just have to kind of wait around for people who don’t really know what they’re doing,” he said.

Jim Brennan, recreation manager for Forsyth County’s Parks and Recreation Department, said he’s interested in seeing numbers of people who flock to the county’s fitness programs in the weeks ahead.

In early 2012, the county opened two new recreation centers at Fowler and Old Atlanta parks, joining the one at Central Park.

The system also changed the format of its fitness class program.

“2012 was the first year that we went to the Fit Class Pass,” Brennan said. “In years past, if you wanted to take an aerobics class, you paid your $50 and then there were eight sessions on a certain night each week … but we saw that the public needed more of a flexible schedule.”

Under the new program, residents pay a flat fee and are issued a card. With that card, they can go to any class offered at any of the three recreation centers.

“We just have a whole slate of cardio classes, pilates, spin at Central Park, yoga, zumba, all these types of things,” Brennan said. “We put out a monthly schedule of when all the classes happen and … you can take as many fitness classes as you would like.”

The recreation centers offer full weight and cardio rooms as well. Residents can purchase memberships for just the weight rooms or a combination for those facilities and classes.

While the Central Park recreation center is the only one that has been open at the start of a new year, Brennan said he expects all three facilities will draw crowds.

“Just [in 2012] we probably signed up 600 or so just to the weight rooms and since we changed over, we’ve already had 2,700 Fit Passes, so there are a lot of people who see the benefit of signing up,” he said.

“The month of January, probably from 5:30 to 8:30 in the evenings at the weight room at Central Park in years past, that’s been just slammed. And then after about a month or so, some people stick with it and others fade away.

“So yeah, January is going to be a very busy month for us as far as our exercise classes and weight rooms.”

Roth added that his business will enjoy the new members as long as they last.

“I think the No. 1 new year’s resolution is for everybody to get in shape for the year,” he said. “And we’re happy to help them for as long as we can.”