Entrepreneur and social media Influencer Cade Combs (@cadecombs) posted a series of videos detailing his unconventional methods of scanning into different fitness centers: by using literally anything that has a barcode.
For instance: the time he used a piece of kitchenware that let him sign into a Planet Fitness.
"Day 19 of checking into the gym with anything but a keycard," the Cade writes in a text overlay of his video as he walks into the gym with a frying pan that still has a piece of its cardboard packaging attached to it.
It appears that Cade is holding up any bar code to the gym's scanner, this time it was for a frying pan, activating the beeping noise on the scanner as he proceeds to walk into the gym.
Presumably, Cade is suggesting that he's making a psychological play: the beeping sound is the primary factor employees are paying attention to whenever folks enter the gym. Once that sound is associated with a person who is walking in, especially if there isn't someone present at the actual front desk's computer system, then it's very easy to just mentally check out when someone's walking by instead of realizing that they didn't actually check-in.
Cade has uploaded several other clips on his Instagram account documenting the various ways in which he's checked in with random items at his gym. On day 18, he shows himself strutting into the same gym gripping a Box of Honey Nut Cheerios.
Just like the previous video, he's able to scan the barcode and get inside with no issues.
On Day 21, he brought in a pool noodle / floatie. He puts the barcode on the scanner, this time with an attendant at the desk, and he walks right on in, flipping the noodle around in his hand.
Then there was day 20, where he brought in a Stanley Cup, flipped it upside down, and then waltzed right on by the associate at the front as he passed the cup right by the scanner and walked towards the gym.
Day 17 at the gym, he ended up scanning what looks like a protein shake at the front desk. Another time: he used an RX bar at Planet Fitness. At another gym location he recorded himself walking right up to the scanner with a bottle of Fiji water and just like in all of the other clips, the beep sounded off without a hitch and he walked directly into the gym.
"Same play different day," Cade wrote in the caption for his frying pan video, but there were some Instagram users who believed that the "play" Cade was making was on them and that he was attempting to pull the wool over people's eyes.
One person thought that she was somehow attaching the barcode of his membership numbers at the gym on the products he was pretending to check in with: "You never actually see the barcode, the card is taped to all that stuff," someone else who clearly didn't watch the pool noodle video.
There was another commenter who said that they work at Planet Fitness and they will often try scanning random items on the scanning machine to see what they come up as: "lmao i love this, i work at planet fitness and we got bored one time and checked what the barcodes of random shit came up as, and Slat and Vinegar Pringles come up as Harry Sack"
Others, while feel some type of way that they pay hefty monthly fees to work out at their gym, still couldn't help but be impressed with his boldness and creativity: "Literally a Tfal pan and nobody noticed. I just can't believe this. I pay out a lot of money for my health club, and I could just scan a Tfal and enjoy. This is crazy, and funny all in one."
If he was indeed scanning the items in question by himself and somehow affixing his own membership information, it's entirely possible that he could've copied the barcodes to his membership cards and attached them to different items.
According to this Quora forum discussion, it's not that difficult to do.
What do you think? Is Cade just pranking everyone into thinking that he's actually scanning into the gym using boxes of cereal and anything with a UPC code paired up with some confidence that screams, "I'm a member here."
Or is his hack angering folks who don't want to believe they could sneak into gyms without paying?