Gifting a gym membership to the wrong person is a one-way ticket to a throat punch. But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with gifting a gym membership to the right person.
Just like giving a subscription for a meat of the month club won't fly with your die-hard vegan friends, giving a gym membership to a friend or family member who has never expressed any desire for a gym membership is going to go over like a lead balloon.
It bears repeating: if the person you plan to gift the gym membership to has never asked for a gym membership, then you probably don't want to give it to them. Not only is it a waste of your money, but it's socially awkward at best. At worst, it could put a dent in your relationship. This is probably not what you want around the holiday season.
Gifting Gym Memberships: When Good Intentions Go Bad
Getting in shape is a personal decision and it should stem from a personal desire. Just because a person has expressed a desire to lose fat, gain muscle, be healthier, and/or feel better about themselves does not automatically mean that they want or are ready for a gym membership.
Committing oneself to working out can't be forced, and even though your decision to gift someone a gym membership may be coming from a place of love and concern, it can also come across as insensitive.
A gym membership can be interpreted as a sign that you see and agree with all the perceived faults the recipient of your gift sees, and even when this is not the case—even when you are just trying to give that person what you think they want—it is a confirmation of painful insecurities.
But that doesn't mean gifting a gym membership is always a bad idea. For instance, if someone has asked for a gym membership, then it's a great idea. Or, if someone has voiced a desire to get in shape, but lamented they don't have the money or time to look into themselves, then go for it.
AND if (and we can't stress this enough) IF you have a close relationship with that person and they aren’t someone, for instance, you just started dating, then gifting a gym membership shouldn't be awkward at all. It will be the show of support you intended it to be.
Gifting Gym Memberships Isn't the Only Option, Though
Supporting someone's health and fitness goals doesn't begin and end at the gym, however. You can support someone's goals without making it so they even have to leave the house, which may actually be a better idea for someone who struggles with motivation and insecurity. After all, if you are paying for the membership, it won't be their money on the line so the motivation to head to the gym may not be as high. And if they are self-conscious about their bodies, then the gym environment could be intimidating.
Here are some other ways you can support someone’s health and fitness goals this holiday season without gifting a gym membership.
Fitness Gift Ideas that Aren’t Gym Memberships
Give the gear. Gift someone a key piece of fitness equipment, like dumbbells, a kettlebell, or resistance bands. This equipment is relatively inexpensive and will help them build their own gym so they can work out in the privacy of their own home. Head on over to our store to check out our amazing Holiday Sale now.
Food for thought. Nutrition guides are a great gift and will compliment anyone’s goals to be healthier, lose fat, and build muscle. We have guides for low-carb lifestyles, plant-based diets, intermittent fasting, and more—all available for less when you shop now.
Home workouts. For significantly less than a gym membership (just $19.99/month!), you can gift a BodyRock+ subscription. With thousands of workouts for all fitness levels that can be done anytime, anywhere, and even with little to no equipment. We add new workouts every week too, so it’s never the same old, same old.
Gift Cards. Gift cards are far from the impersonal cop-out everyone thinks they are. A gift card shows you know what a person likes, but are giving them the freedom to shop for themselves. Grab a BodyRock Gift Card here—available in increments of $25 to $800.
We want to know your thoughts: Do you think gifting gym memberships is a good idea? Share your thoughts in the comments.