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Health and Fitness Clubs Prepaid Option

Updated on October 9, 2016
Slow down.  Eat right.  Exercise moderately. Don't kill yourself.
Slow down. Eat right. Exercise moderately. Don't kill yourself. | Source

Health Clubs And Networking

December is an interesting month. Folks make new year resolutions about going to the gym and eating right. But December is also a time for indulgence, buying more than you can cook or cooking more than you can eat.

Shedding off the extra pounds at the gym costs money. That is why we should have pre-paid gyms or health clubs. Everything is prepaid nowadays, even love. Why not have pre-paid fitness clubs?

Eat Right 2015 Resolution

I will once again make some New Year resolutions, as 2014 wanes into the sunset to make way for 2015.

Execution is still a problem. I always resolve to continue with French lessons and sign language, but I never follow through.

Maybe it is time for re-modelling the language. Move things around, put the Queen Anne chair under the window and hang the massive Meshu (painter from Lesotho, Africa) tapestry in the hallway.

Re-modelling means ditching resolutions. I will borrow some terms from business plans and call them projections. I can even make short term and medium term projections.

The first short term projection for 2015 with be colour on my plate, including carrots, which I never long for. I figure that if it is colorful, it must be healthy.

Mama tried to have at least two colours when we were growing up: pumpkin and spinach. You call it greens? Great. Beetroot used to be the third colour, especially Sundays.

2015 Personal Health Projections

A medium term projection would be to join a gym for some pumping and lifting. I thought of getting a personal fitness trainer, but I shelved that to avoid embarrassment.

What would I say if personal trainers asked me who I was? I’m not on CNN, MTV, YouTube and I was never on The Queen Latifah Show before they canned it. I also have a name and a surname, not one name like Seal or Prince. I am not famous period.

Going to the gym is a medium term projection because I am waiting for some revolutionary business strategies from health and fitness clubs.

The current method of payment does not suit me because I’ve taken gym membership in the past to eliminate December gourmandizing, only to stop midway because it gets dark early in winter in North America. I associate the dark with home, so I hurry home and not to the gym.

That is money down the drain because most fitness clubs want payment upfront, via my credit card. They are pretty slick aren’t they? Workouts can happen anywhere. Summer fun includes watching people working out in parks.

Pre-Paid A Way of Life

I imagine that the revolutionary business strategies health and fitness clubs will adopt, will include pre-paid gym services, like cellphones.

Some people prefer contracts. Others are happy with pay-as-you-go (pre-paid). The second option is a problem because people who use pay-as-you-go can drive you crazy.

  • The conversation is cut because they have run out of units or air-time.

  • They send please call me text messages because they have no units.

  • They expect people with cellphone contracts to use their phones to give directions to a party. Please use GPS.

  • They expect people with cellphone contracts to use their phones to talk to parents.

It is not only cellphones. There is prepaid VISA or MasterCard. In some countries pre-paid electricity is the norm. Therefore, prepaid health clubs will not be anything new.

Your compact Buick Verano or BMW Mini Cooper uses prepaid because you buy gas. No gas, no showing off your car outside hotels or your cousin's wedding.

It is the same thing with public transport. You buy two tokens for the subway: one for going to Bay and Bloor in Toronto for some i-shopping (as in i-pod) and another one for taking the subway home.

Pre-Paid Workout Cards

The logistics of getting some workout using your pre-paid card might be complicated, like trying to cross the street around the Tour Eiffel circle in Paris.

  • First of all. There would be two kinds of membership, contract and prepaid, just like mobile phones.

  • Contract members will have a platinum card that gives them access to both the entrance and all the iron and chrome they want to lift in the club.

  • Pre-paid members will have two cards. A platinum card for the entrance and a gold one for pre-paid services. They will load work-out units at the front desk when they pick up their towels or buy them on-line.

  • The pool will be the first workout for me because water is my thing. I was born in a city where we stood on the beach and watched sharks bopping up and down in the distance. Good lord! That still gives me goose pimples.

  • The pool will have a turnstile like subways. The computer will tell me how much is left on my pre-paid card, and the balance will decide whether I swim for fifteen or thirty minutes.

  • I cannot cheat because there will be a beeper, that will tell everybody in the pool that I do not have a dime to my name. It happens at the mall food court. You order some burritos and it beeps when your order is ready.

Fitness Equipment

Treadmills. Stairmasters. Weights. How do we incorporate prepaid there? We could require members to insert their prepaid cards in the treadmill itself but that is a bad idea because the machine was manufactured somewhere else.

Health and fitness clubs buy equipment in bulk, about 50 treadmills using bank loans. Manufacturers will be very reluctant to go back to the drawing board and insert prepaid electronics. Don’t even think about weights. Can you imagine an 8 feet barbell with an electronic chip that beeps when workout money runs out?

So what is the solution? Turnstiles for the all sections of the gym.

Disadvantages of Prepaid Health Club Membership

  1. Class divisions. Members with year-long platinum cards will think they are superior to those using gold prepaid cards

  2. Embarrassment. It will be embarrassing when the gold card beeps because it has run out of units.

  3. It will be expensive for health clubs to install turnstiles with software to track prepaid balances.


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