How many of you have a gym membership but only use it a few times a week? Or maybe even a few times a month? Either way, with the cost of living in the dire state it is, chances are you don’t like paying for something you don’t seem to be getting much out of. I do.
In fact, recent research has revealed that Britons have wasted up to £4billion a year on unused gym memberships, and some of my friends are considering pulling the plug completely and going back to home workouts , but it is not necessary. The new Athlo app gives you the option to rent your gym membership when you’re not using it. A bit like AirBnB, for fitness rather than travel.
It’s completely free to download and members can get 60-90% back on their dues when rented, provided the gym you’re a member of is an ‘Athlo Partner’. You will earn 90% if the user you are selling to is not member of a partner gym, and 60% if they are already a member of an Athlo partner. This is because someone buying a membership/class from an Athlo partner gym they are already a member of will pay at cost, while someone who is not a member of an Athlo gym will pay a premium, which goes to the seller. and represents 90%.
Currently this includes some of the best gyms in London including F45, MoreYoga, Sweat, Paola’s BodyBarre and The Manor. Other gyms currently integrated into the platform include KXU, One Ldn, GRNDHOUSE, Metabolic, Arc Athletics, Myoset, Rowbots, LondonCryo, Rathbone Boxing Club, Camden Boxing Club and Bermondsey Boxing Club.
If you are already a member of one of them, not only can you rent your membership, but you can access all the other gyms at the price of the membership (i.e. the price at which the seller bought their membership/course pack), rather than paying the one-time fee you would pay if you just had to show up. It’s genius.
Those who are not members of an Athlo Partner can still purchase temporary memberships and one-time courses from vendors, but will be charged a premium. This is to encourage Athlo users to join a partner gym and/or encourage the user’s gym to partner with Athlo.
Matthew Mansell, the app’s founder, says, “You may be an avid gym member who goes to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but your membership isn’t used on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sunday. So you can pre-fill these days to rent for the rest of the year.
Download the app for free via the App Store or Google Play.
As for what gyms get out of it, my first thought was that it would only make them worse, but Mansell says it gives them a better chance of retaining customers, while attracting potential new members.
Alex Nicholl, Director of BXR, can attest to this: “Athlo’s offer will help us grow our membership even further and give existing members more freedom to use their membership in a way that suits their lifestyle. From the first conversations with the Athlo team, we could really see how the platform would add value.
At present the app only lists gyms in London, with Mansell adding: “We want to focus on smaller shops, which are much more vulnerable to inflation and the cost of living than larger businesses. ” But Mansell is in talks with larger gym chains and plans to expand internationally so users can access gyms while on vacation or on a work trip.
The app, really, couldn’t have come at a better time.