Local gyms see growth in attendees since the new year

Jenny Rohl/The News Deric Hyman, sophomore from Shelbyville, Ky., works out in the Wellness Center after New Year’s.
Jenny Rohl/The News Deric Hyman, sophomore from Shelbyville, Ky., works out in the Wellness Center after New Year’s.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Deric Hyman, sophomore from Shelbyville, Ky., works out in the Wellness Center after New Year’s.

Many Americans use the new year as a catalyst for their new and improved self. They strive to resolve anything from increased recycling to world peace.

The most popular resolutions are losing weight, eating healthier and getting more fit according to USA.gov.

In Murray, this phenomenon is ever present according to the owners of CrossFit Murray and the director of Campus Recreation at the Murray State Wellness Center.

Angie, McCord, co-owner of CrossFit Murray, said the workout facility has had to increase the amount of classes they provide to accommodate for the influx of people during the new year.

“What we find is our January groups are always bigger,” McCord said. “We normally do (offer classes) every month, but a lot of times, we’ll do January, February, March.”

Because CrossFit is such a rigorous activity, McCord said they always start new members in a beginner class to observe how they move and what kind of shape they are in currently. She said they increase the class size in January because a lot of people decide to make a drastic change come the new year.

“We definitely increase,” McCord said. “People take time off in the fall because their kids are in sports and then they’re back in January. We see a 20-25 percent increase in membership either from new people or returning members.”

That is not necessarily true for the Murray State Wellness Center. Director of Campus Recreation Steven Leitch said their membership does not show a large increase at the beginning of the year.

Leitch said because their membership is based on the semester, many people buy at the beginning of August and keep it throughout the school year.

Although their membership does not increase, Leitch said he and his staff notice an extreme increase in attendance during the first week of school.

“Last night (Monday night), was more than the first day in August,” Leitch said. “We had 289 people here at 5:30. The first week will always be our highest week and then the second week won’t compare to the first week.”

People who start attending the gym at the beginning of the year only last the first week, according to Leitch.

After that, attendance begins to decrease exponentially. Leitch said he believes the reason people are so motivated to work out at the beginning of the year, aside from New Year’s resolutions, is because they have more free time on their hands than usual.

Professors are not yet assigning homework, and people have time to socialize and spend their free time in a healthy way.

McCord said she noticed that people who begin their membership at CrossFit Murray in January seem to stick around more than people who sign up later in the year.

“We’ve found that the January people tend to stick around,” McCord said. “I think it’s because in January, your motivation is really high, so you really establish that habit, and you’re committed. Before they know it, they’re really hooked.”

When people begin going to the gym during the fall, McCord said life gets in the way.

Intramurals are just beginning, parents are busy with their kids starting a new school year and new sports teams.

January has less distractions and more room for motivation and starting good, healthy habits.

Story by Madison WepferAssistant Features Editor