It’s late January, which means you’ve by now long abandoned any aspirational “fitness” “goals” you may have declared at the stroke of midnight on the fist of the month. The good news is that, at worst, it means you’re saddled with a modest gym membership, a few pieces of unused exercise equipment or maybe some workout clothes that look, like, SO CUTE at brunch. That’s good, because it means you’re unlike these idiots, who all (despite varying degrees of employment) spend a goddamn fortune on fitness every year.
The New York Post found people — inexplicably — who were willing to admit to the princely sums they spend every year to stay in shape, mostly via horrible bullshit fitness classes. The pictured interview subject, Jeremy Lindy, spends ten thousand fucking dollars a year on various fitness expenses (gym, trainer, stupid bootcamp classes) despite making an estimated $40k-$50k per year.
“It eats up a big part of my earnings,” says Lindy, who’s depicted doing shoulder presses with some weak-ass 30 lb dumbbells.
For starters, if you only take home $50k per year and live in New York City, your biggest fitness expense had better be “that cinder block I found over there, which I use to get stronger.” Otherwise, you’re not paying rent, or eating, or drinking, or riding public transportation, or watching television, or using an iPhone, or buying clothes (workout or otherwise).
You also fall victim to something called “diminishing marginal returns,” meaning what you get out of something begins to level out the more you put into it: Spending more than zero on fitness will infinitely improve your results; spending more than what many, many people on this planet earn in a year on fitness will not get you any fitter.
Believe it or not, the Post found people who spend even less sensibly on fitness, including an unemployed person who spends $14k annually to attend something called Orangetheory, and an “aspiring restaurateur” (same) who spends an astounding $20k per year on classes, sometimes going twice daily.
This is nonsense. After a certain point, exercise will not help you achieve your goals. If you want the “perfect” body, you need to eat an incredibly restrictive diet full of health meats and vegetables, which you likely cannot afford due to your exorbitant fitness habits. What’s more, fitness doesn’t have to cost ANYTHING, let alone the price of a new set of boobs. Here are some cheaper alternatives to spending more than your value as a human being on exercise classes:
Apps: Maybe you belong to a reasonably-priced gym, but you feel adrift because you don’t have a $100/hour trainer telling you which weights to lift. That’s okay. There are many, many fitness apps out there to help you achieve practically any goal, be it running a marathon or being stronger than a child. Most of them are free, and your phone’s already in your hand anyway.
Dailyburn: For $12 per month, Dailyburn gives you access to a brand new live workout 7 days per week, 365 days per year. If you want something more challenging, they have maybe a dozen or so pre-planned programs that guide you for 60-90 days. They’re good, hard workouts and you don’t need much equipment. Maybe some dumbbells which, while not cheap, are still cheaper than going to SoulCycle every day.
Beachbody On Demand: Exactly like Dailyburn, except the workouts are better. For $12/month, you get access to all of their programs (these are the people behind the “P90X” and “Insanity infomercials”), which is nice. It’s also kind of bullshit, because it’s in beta mode right now so you don’t have ALL the programs yet. But, just like Dailyburn, they put together new workouts for you to do every day. Their workouts require more equipment, but not much.
Planet Fitness: I know, I know. This place is kind of the worst. They’re awash in gaudy purple and yellow hues, do nonsensical bullshit like give members free pizza, and one time they even kicked out a pregnant lady because her tanktop showed a bit of her belly. But they’re only $10 a month, and ostensibly have all of the things you’d need to be fit. Plus, because the average Planet Fitness member is a fatass who never actually goes, you’ll usually have the place to yourself.
ClassPass: For $125/month, you can do all of the chic, trendy workouts your heart desires because ClassPass gives you access to a ridiculous number of fitness studios. You can even visit the same studio 3x in the same month if you find one you really like.
Outside: Exercising outdoors is free, minus maybe the cost of shoes and clothes (not 100% necessary). Run up some hills. Do pullups on playground equipment. Deadlift parked cars. Do pushups over a pile of dog poo in the dog park, using it as motivation to not give up. All of these things are free, mostly-legal, and will get you far fitter than any stupid damn $1,000/month “fitness studio.”
I suppose none of these options carry the same cache as, say, being able to tell people you work out at Tracy Anderson, but you can also afford the occasional alcoholic beverage. That seems much more vital to your sanity.