4. Exercise More

Eliminate the Excuses and Make Improved Fitness a Reality in 2019

For New Year’s resolutions, one is the undisputed champion of them all: a pledge to get in better shape. And yet that same resolution is also the most commonly broken, with Time magazine reporting that 60 percent of gym memberships go unused. By mid-February, fitness resolutions are typically discarded like New Year’s Eve party hats, and the crowds around the treadmill or bench press are back to normal.

What happens? People get too busy. Or they feel their gym membership costs too much. Or they get bored with the routine of working out. Or they’re intimidated by the prospect of tiptoeing into an atmosphere so often dominated by tank tops and spandex.

Brian Bobenage has heard it all, too. “Only about 20 percent of people join a regular gym,” says the owner of five Planet Fitness franchises in the Columbia area. “The other 80 percent are people who feel uncomfortable going to a gym or feel intimidated about going to a gym. That’s our niche. All the things that intimidate people about going to a gym, or people see as negatives about joining a gym, we don’t have them.”

One by one, Planet Fitness eliminates the excuses that often get in the way of realizing a New Year’s resolution of getting in better shape, such as:


Being too busy is a top reason people stop a well-intended workout routine. Work and children get in the way sometimes forcing people to skip the gym resulting in failed physical fitness goals.

Planet Fitness offers a solution for that problem by being open 24 hours a day, allowing members to fit their workouts into their schedule when it’s convenient for them. Early in the morning, during lunch, late at night—the doors of Columbia’s five Planet Fitness locations are always open, helping you to keep that resolution intact.


Joining a gym often requires a commitment, and in more ways than one: the average membership cost is around $60 a month, according to USA Today, with fees for more specialized workouts running into the hundreds of dollars per month. In addition, most gyms require members to sign year-long contracts—which equates to a lot of wasted money for those memberships that go unused. Planet Fitness eases that burden by offering no-commitment memberships.

The classic Planet Fitness membership runs only $10 per month and allows members unlimited access to their home club. The Black Card membership is only $21.99 per month and includes access to over 1600 Planet Fitness locations nationwide. Fitness training and Wi-Fi are included in all memberships.

The Black Card also includes free guest privileges and all amenities including massage chairs, HydroMassage beds and tanning. It’s a long way from the $60-$100 per month that many memberships cost, and more likely to keep people coming back.


Another one of the top reasons people fail to maintain a fitness resolution is boredom. They grow tired of their workout routine. Luckily, Planet Fitness offers an array of cardio and strength-training equipment to bring variety to workouts and make them more fun. Working out with a friend also helps motivation. The Black Card allows you to bring a friend for free with every visit.

Members also have access to personalized fitness training that helps them tailor exercises to their individual goals. And, with the Black Card amenities like tanning and massage chairs, a trip to the gym can be a welcomed treat.


Gym anxiety is a real thing, and a quick online search reveals that even bodybuilders and dedicated fitness buffs can suffer from it. Nearly 20 percent of respondents in an NBC survey said they didn’t feel they were in good enough shape to go to the gym while another 3 percent were afraid to ask questions once they got there.

Planet Fitness has built its brand on being a “judgment-free zone” that eliminates the things that can make working out uncomfortable for some. “It’s a place where people can feel comfortable,” Bobenage says. “There is a lot of things people may think about joining a gym. But we sort of provide an environment that caters to general fitness and the majority of the population where everyone can feel welcome and accepted.”

Interested in setting a New Year’s resolution you can keep and taking the first steps down the path to improved health and fitness? Planet Fitness has area locations in Cayce, Dutch Square, Two Notch Road, Garners Ferry Road, Orangeburg, and Lexington with additional openings planned for 2019. For more information, call (803) 590-0212, or visit PlanetFitness.com.