currylove

Gym Math is not Real World Math

Posted on: April 22, 2012

My membership to LA Fitness expired and I need a new gym. I went today to check out a fancy new-ish one, super sleek, gorgeous views – I was actually really excited about it. Here’s the problem… somehow, we don’t do basic math the same way.

I told them I was willing to sign up for 2 years up-front and what was the best deal they could give me?

  • Them: We can do $399 for 18 months, plus we’ll throw in an extra 6-months for free. So, $399 for 24 months, which comes out to about $16.63 per month.
  • Me: Sweet! That sounds great. So, to be clear, *if* I have to move before the two years are up, then I’ll get refunded back the remainder of the time I didn’t use, right? So if I only use a year, I’ll get $200 back?
  • Them: No.
  • Me: Ummmmm, what?
  • Them: Well, you’re not paying for 24 months. We’re giving you 12 months for free. So really, you’re paying $399 for 12 months, and we’re throwing in an extra year.
  • Me: But you told me the break down is $16 per month, which is only possible if you use the full 24 months to do the math.
  • Them: Right, that’s the breakdown. But you’re only paying for a year. The other year is free.
  • Me: Really, it’s not. According to your sales pitch, I’m paying $16 per month for 2 years. But now, I’m not paying that?
  • Them: Right. It’s free. We’re giving you the LUXURY of paying for it up front.
  • Me: But still… I’m losing money if I sign up for this and have to leave.
  • Them: Not really, it’s still cheaper than the month to month.
  • Me: But I still lose money, given what you told me the payments would be.

So basically, to make me want the deal, it was $16/month for two years to make the sale. But when I started asking questions about getting money back, then all of a sudden, it’s $33/month for a year only? Fuck that. I totally did not sign anything.

This is similar to what happened when I started at LA Fitness many years ago… I used my free personal training session and he did a body fat assessment. I came out to 22% – which turns out is in the normal range for girls, but it sounded super high at the time.

  • So the trainer says: Ok, 22%! So that means we need to turn about 20 lbs of fat into muscle.
  • Me: What? I’m 22% fat??? HOLY HELL. Also, I’m only 110. Where is this 20 lbs coming from?
  • Him: Right, we’ll work it out. No worries. So we need to convert 2o lbs of fat…
  • Me (near tears): Ok…

The next day, when I went for my session and after doing some research:

  • Me: I realized I can’t lose 20 lbs of fat, because I would be dead. I would be 0% body fat if we did that.
  • Him: What?
  • Me: Girls have more fat than boys, typically. Also, under a certain percentage, we stop getting our periods. So, I can’t really lose 20 lbs of fat.
  • Him: Oh! I didn’t know that. But let me explain this math to you.
  • Me: No, it’s ok, I get it. Let’s just talk about the workout.

I never went back to him, but clearly, shitty math skills are a prerequisite before you get hired at a gym for anything.

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