Equinox bans new members on January 1, sparking criticism

High-end fitness chain Equinox did not accept new members on January 1 — a day when many people commit to jumpstarting their new year resolutions and goals by heading to the gym. 

"January is a language we don't understand," the company wrote on social media, adding, "It wants you to start something when you should be in the middle of it." 

Equinox said it wasn't signing up new clients on January 1, calling the month a "fantasy delivered to your door in a pastel-colored box."

The decision led to criticisms of "shaming" to those trying to start 2023 with healthier habits. 

"‘Take your resolutions somewhere else' is such an embarrassing caption Equinox. Stop it with the bullying," one Twitter user wrote. 

Another person chimed in on social media, writing, "If someone wants to have a goal on January 1 that’s going to make them healthier, stronger and save live longer, you should encourage it. Not stomp on them for it. Start your goal whenever you want people! Do what works for you, even if it is January 1!!!" 

According to the fitness club’s website, the company operates 106 clubs across the United States. The company also has hotels and spas. 

According to Brian Collins, who worked on the concept, the point of the campaign was to snub short-term New Year resolutions and encourage dedication, instead. 

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"To drive the message home, the entire chain is preventing new customers from attaining Equinox memberships on New Year‘s Day. (So try tomorrow)," Collins said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.