5 Ways to Get the Best Deal at a Gym

Posted: 06/12/13 3:00 PM (Modified: 06/13/13 11:24 AM)

So, here's the thing. I'm not a gym fan. Yep, that's right. Why? Because I buy memberships and then I don't go. That's called a waste of money and I'm not a fan of that either. Actually, my best exercise endeavor so far has been a $15 treadmill purchase that I made at a garage sale last year, that thing is still going strong!

While my feelings about a gym aren't all that great, you might really want to join one. In realizing that, I thought it might be nice to come up with a list of things to do to ensure that you are getting the best deal at the gym. Of course that goes without saying that you will actually have to go to the gym once you join if you really want to get your money's worth. 

5 Ways to Get the Best Deal at a Gym

1. Sign up for a Free Trial: Almost all gyms do offer a free trial even if it is not well advertised. It never hurts to call and ask, one experience and you'll know if it's a good fit or not. Be prepared for the sales pitch and all of that but a trial period is your best advantage when it comes to choosing the perfect gym. If you can bring a friend with you, that's even better. A friend will be able to spot potential issues that you may not see. 

2. Add Up the Additional Fees: Find out if there is an enrollment fee, class fee, childcare fee, etc before you ever walk in the door. Calling ahead of time and clearing the air on all of those fees while securing a free week or day trial is MUCH easier than trying to play hardball in person. Anyone watching a commercial and seeing a $10 monthly gym fee knows it's a good deal but if you find out every class is an additional $20 then it's another $25 just to have them watch your kids, well, you might as well save up for your own elliptical machine. 

3. Ask about the Traffic: Be sure to find out when the gym is jam packed. If you're like me, you probably don't like to workout with an audience watching. Find out what times are slow and make sure it matches your schedule before you sign on the dotted line. 

4. Shop the Slow Season: While gyms to do offer great deals around the holidays, they also offer them in the middle of the summer when few people are signing up. It's doesn't hurt to call around and shop smart, again, calling is much easier than standing in front of someone and trying to maneuver a sales pitch. 

5. Go with Honesty: Be honest and up front about your current budget and see if the gym you are interested in will work with you. At the end of the day, they need customers and you need a gym. You might end up with a no frills plan but at least you'll have one! 

I stayed away from stating the obvious about reading the contract thoroughly before you sign and watching for hidden fees like if you move and/or break the contract. Gyms are great for those who are committed, stay informed & shop smart!

Jun 12, 2013 05:32 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I thought I would add that if you go to college, your college may either have a gym you can use for free (well, technically not free because it's part of your tuition) or partners with a gym you can use. It never hurts to find out! I went to college for about a year before I realized I wasn't using a benefit I paid for every semester!

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