Luxury fitness club Equinox controversially banned all new membership applications on 1 January, leaving potential customers divided.
Explaining that “we don’t speak January”, the high-end gym aims to make a statement about the temporary nature of new year’s resolutions.
Equinox has 300 locations in major cities in the United States, as well as in London, Toronto and Vancouver.
On 1 January, Equinox’s memberships page read: “We aren’t accepting new memberships today. It’s not you, it’s January.”
The gym, where membership costs approximately £200 per month, continued: “January is a fantasy, delivered to your door in a pastel-coloured box. It talks about change. It needs a new outfit before it can begin. Short-cutting, giving up just a few weeks later.”
“You are not a New Year’s resolution. Your life doesn’t start at the beginning of the year. And it’s not what being part of Equinox is about,” read its website.
“We go beyond what’s possible. We defy expectations. We are not in moderation. We want it all, every day. And you deserve it all.
“At Equinox, we don’t speak January – and neither do you.”
The website went on to state that it looks forward to welcoming new members from 2 January.
The campaign has been met with divided opinion, with some branding the PR move as “super bold” and “super smart” while others have called the campaign “cringe” and “pointless”.
One person criticised the campaign, writing: “Equinox charges too much money to be this exclusionary.”
As part of the campaign, the brand posted a TikTok video that has since been criticised for “mocking” newcomers to the gym.
In a video captioned, “Take your resolutions somewhere else,” the clip shows a gymgoer pretending to work out.
Equinox later deleted the video from TikTok.
One person wrote on Twitter: “This is elitist af. And very much gym bro energy.”
“This is a pretty sh***y stance to take. Shaming people who go into the new year with a want to get healthier. Equinox isn’t one of a kind anymore,” wrote another person.
Someone else added: “I don’t like this for several reasons: Habit forming is hard for some. 1/1 is the push many need to get healthy. They’re being told that’s not enough,” before adding that they have an Equinox membership but would go “elsewhere” as a prospective customer.
Other people, however, have praised the fitness company, with one Twitter user celebrating the messaging as a “phenomenal brand moment”.
Some are confused by the desired effect of the campaign, referring to how Equinox banned new members for only 24 hours on 1 January, and quickly reopened membership applications on Monday (2 January).
“The fact that you can sign up the following day... This is a joke,” one person wrote. “But I’m sure there are people this will appeal to.”
The Independent has contacted Equinox for comment.