Perhaps There Is a Method to the (Tootsie Roll) Madness at Planet Fitness

One of the things about Planet Fitness that I find interesting is that there are always little tootsie rolls on the counter, presumably for when you have finished your workout and you are on your way out the door. (not to mention the free pizza the first Monday of each month and the free bagels the second Tuesday of each month).

To me, those tootsie rolls/pizza/bagels seemed to defeat the purpose of why you were going to the gym. (And I know people were eating the tootsie rolls because I would see the wrappers on the stairs leading out of the gym; I guess the people eating the tootsie rolls were too exhausted from their workout to bend over and pick up the wrapper.)

Bu then I thought; what a clever move by Planet Fitness. If people eat those snacks, then it sort of cancels out the benefits of the workout, and keeps people coming back, since they are not losing any weight.

Well as it turns out, there is some research that may support an even more subtle benefit to offering those snacks, based on a phenomenon known as the “peak-end rule”, which shows that when people evaluate an experience, they pay particular attention to the end.

Dan Ariely, along with two co-authors, showed that when people ramp down the intensity of the exercise at the end, they feel happier after the exercise session and expect to enjoy future exercise more. So, when an experience ends on a more positive (or at least a less negative) note, we remember the whole as better and are more likely to want to repeat it.

So perhaps those snacks are a way of having the visit to the gym end on a positive note, making it more likely that an individual will return to the gym again.

Did Planet Fitness hire Dan Ariely to come up with such a brilliant plan?

And they talk about how social media is using mind-tricks to keep people addicted…

28 thoughts on “Perhaps There Is a Method to the (Tootsie Roll) Madness at Planet Fitness

  1. I thought you ate the Tootsie rolls at the beginning of the workout. I grab one in the morning. Ive found out that it gives me more energy, and I sweat more.

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    1. Hi Audrey, thanks for your comment. I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. And then the more of them you eat, you could just work out longer to burn off the calories!

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  2. Thx for this answer..I grab some because im a diabetic and I tend to go low while working out, I run on the low side alot and I’m glad they have them there, it’s a nice treat and it helps..I also give some to my bfs daughter cuz I find them in my pocket..lol

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  3. I’ve been going to Planet Fitness for 3 years. I know I won’t lose any weight, but I’m hoping it keeps me from aging as badly as I see some other people when I’m out shopping!!

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  4. This post is so funny to me, when I was a member at Planet Fitness a while back, I thought the very same thing you did! That it was a ploy to keep people coming back. What kind of benefit is there in the pizza and bagels then?? I can understand a tiny little tootsie roll won’t hurt you that much, but pizza and bagels?? Come on!

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  5. That’s an interesting concept. I liken it to the sodas and candy near checkout counters. The stores are always so hot, I almost always buy a drink. They know how to get that last minute sale.

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  6. I am laughing because I will be 78 in November, and I can bend straight over (straight legs) and touch the floor, squat down with knees bent fully and come back up without falling, and I can bend backwards from my waist way back, and I don’t go to a gym or anything. We have a doggy gate, and when I need to go on the other side of it, I just pick up a leg and get over it. And when I open the freezer door above the refrigerator, I never step back, but bend backwards so it doesn’t hit me. I guess when I pick something up I just bend over and pick it up- just straight over. I love to dance too, so when I have to sit for hours at the computer, I often put my Youtube on, and get up and dance for a few minutes. In the end result, it doesn’t matter HOW we do it as long as we do it. I garden and take walks too, so I guess all of it helps.No tootsie rolls at this house, though I will have a bagel now and then or some other treat, but mostly I don’t get many sweets at all.

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    1. Hi Anne! I love your approach to fitness. Simply doing everyday things go a long way towards staying healthy. Dancing, gardening, walking, stepping over the doggy gate – all those activities are contributing towards your fitness. I hope I am as energetic and engaged as you when I reach 78. And in an ironic twist, I was eating a bagel while I read your comment! Have a great day!

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      1. I think bagels are the best and healthy for us too as long as we don’t eat 10 or 20 at one sitting. I don’t do any strict diet, but then I don’t overeat either, and I love veggies – salads are the best and my ratatouille can make a rat do a jig!!! So I just happen to love things that are overall good, but I eat whatever everyone else if eating. I read that the most successful diets are the ones where you don’t go overboard in either direction. Eat well, but allow yourself treats at special times or when you just feel you need it to make you feel better. If you are too hard on yourself, you begin “fighting” your weight, and that which you resist persists as they say. Always make it a fun thing to do and give yourself kudos all the time to encourage yourself. It’s kind of like the way I cook, which is unconventional because although I wrote a pumpkin cookbook full of everything and even recipes, I don’t normally measure things, and especially salt and pepper. I hate cookbooks that tell us “Season to taste.” Pray tell, how else would one season? And furthermore, this stuff of 1/4 tsp. of salt is silly. I tested with and without and it made no difference whatsoever, so I just cook it the way it feels right any day. I don’t use a lot of salt only because I use other seasonings that would prevent you from even knowing it is there, and I have never had a recipe fail by not using it. I had to write a whole page+ of warnings for the people using the cookbook, letting them know I expected that if they are intelligent enough to cook, they are intelligent enough to figure these things out for themself. It really cracks me up to read recipes from other sources. Some things make you think that they believe they are dealing with idiots!!! Chuckles. Well, a good laugh a day will do you a lot of good too! Whoop!!!

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  7. Oh, I forgot. All this after breast cancer at 74. Not only survived that, but refused any of the normal “after stuff,” which is worse than the surgery itself. So I guess a lot of it is what you make up your mind to do. There are a lot of videos on Youtube of people in their 80’s and 90’s who are totally athletic and who dance like crazy and do a lot of other things. Whoo hooo!!!

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    1. surviving breast cancer makes your story even ore impressive! I just read a story of a 71-year old woman who just broke the world marathon record for her age group, in a time that most guys half her age couldn’t do. I guess you really are as old as you want to be.

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      1. I really believe that too, Jim. More and More I see 90 and even 100+ year olds dancing on You Tube, and wow!!! They are better and do more daring things than most 20-year-olds! Mind is a very large part of all of it. I have always felt ageless mentally. I don’t identify with any age; I just am who I am doing the things I like to do best, and that can be really funny at times, but I figure as long as I am enjoying myself and not hurting anyone, that is a good thing.

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  8. I love Anne’s common sense to life and cooking..Never had a tootsie roll but I suppose on par with a mint or a fruit drop..or visit a gym come to that like Anne my home is my excercise and walking….My wrappers I always find a bin or put in my pocket….Thank you for follow Jim…Enjoy Bangkok 🙂

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