Home Culture Fitness Clubs and Gyms Turn to Booze to Retain Clients

Fitness Clubs and Gyms Turn to Booze to Retain Clients

While it might seem counterintuitive, gyms and fitness clubs are turning more and more to alcohol as a way to build a sense of community among clients. The Washington Post recently spoke to several gym owners and representatives who described the influence occasional booze sessions have on their businesses.


“If a Spindler (our name for our members) knows the other people in the facility, they become comfortable here and show up more,” Jeff Shapiro, owner of Spindle Fitness in Chicago, told the Post. “The deeper these relationships grow, the more their basic psychological need for belonging is met and the more motivated they become. For us, alcohol accelerates the process of creating and deepening these relationships. Also, we are normal humans who like to have fun, so a party here or there makes us all happy.”

Amy Williams, a spokeswoman for Life Time Fitness, said many gym goers were already drinking together after workouts, so it made sense to offer it as part of the official package. “They do a hard Warrior Sculpt class and they find people in that class who want to go out and have a glass of wine or a beer afterwards,” she said. “So, they were doing it all along, and bringing it into our place just allows them to do it without having to get into their car and drive somewhere else.”

Some boozemakers are getting in on the action too, the Post reports: Yuengling sponsors a 5k and a marathon, and Michelob Ultra has built an entire marketing strategy around responsible drinking after a workout.

But what about the health aspects of drinking so soon after a workout—won’t downing a beer or two cancel out all the hard work you just did? Not according to Susan Whitbourne, a psychology professor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“Really, the balance comes out in favor of your health,” she told the Post. “Even if you have a glass of beer or wine afterwards, it’s not like you’ve completely undone all the good you just did.”


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