BOSTON, MA -- Participants at 11,000 health clubs lost close to 20 tons (39,300 pounds) in the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) weight loss initiative, I Lost It at the Club!, which was sponsored by equipment manufacturer Life Fitness and Hershey’s PayDay PRO ™ Energy Bar. The eight-week program began in early January and ended in late April.

IHRSA estimates that 1 million Americans joined health clubs in the month of January alone. A recent study that measured American attitudes about exercise indicated that 79 percent of current health club members joined a health club to get in better shape and 54 percent joined to lose weight.

In addition, health club exercise proved more effective than any other weight loss method, according to the IHRSA/ASD Obesity-Weight Loss Trend Report. Comparing weight loss methods, 30 percent of health club exercisers reported being “very/extremely” successful in their weight loss attempt, while only 26 percent of formal dieters, 21 percent of outdoor exercisers and 19 percent of home exercisers reported the same.

Participating health clubs were encouraged to use I Lost It at the Club! to reinvigorate their existing programs, to introduce new programs and to hold special educational seminars. Participants were also encouraged to use the program to foster a sense of community in the club, bringing members together as participants in the same weight-loss program. IHRSA provided additional program ideas and tools, including activity cards, member newsletters and weight loss tracking sheets.