Saving Money on Your Gym Membership

April 18, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Well, the New Year has begun, and many people are looking for (or at least thinking about) ways to keep those resolutions they made as they toasted the occasion. As we all know, however, many if not most of those resolutions somehow fall by the wayside before the month of January is gone. And if you’re like a lot of people, getting fit is high on the list of the promises you made yourself, and unfortunately, one of the first to be broken.  Perhaps you’re telling yourself that if you make a real commitment to getting in shape, say, by joining a gym, you’ll be more motivated to fulfill your resolution. Great idea! Unfortunately, many who follow this logic end up paying for a gym membership, only to use it a few times, then quit going. Quick loans can offer funding to cover your gym costs, so there is no financial excuse only your own lack of enthusiasm !  Gym owners even have a term for such people: turkeys. And like a Christmas turkey, it’s good for a short time, but doesn’t last particularly long. So how do you motivate yourself without running the risk of being one of those turkeys? Here are a few ideas:

Shop around, but choose a gym that is convenient enough that you’ll keep going

You might find a gym that you like, and that doesn’t charge outrageous membership and usage fees, but if it’s miles away, you could well end up using that as an excuse not to go (And where those resolutions are concerned, almost any excuse will do in a pinch!). Find one that is either close to your flat, or that isn’t too far out of the way of your usual haunts.

Look for a gym that offers a free (or low-cost) trial membership

Are you likely to go into a big box store and purchase a year’s supply of a side dish that you have never tried? Or would you prefer to purchase a couple of meals’ worth and see if you like it before buying in bulk? The smart consumer will use the same logic when looking for a new exercise routine. Inasmuch as gyms are part of a very competitive business, some of them will let you use their facilities for a short while at little or no cost in an attempt to get you sufficiently enthusiastic to pay for a longer-term membership. Don’t hesitate to ask your gym whether they offer such a deal. Even if they don’t advertise such an arrangement, they might just be willing to offer a trial if they think they’ve got a potential customer. By taking advantage of trial memberships, you can avoid paying for a year’s worth (or longer) of something you end up not caring for.

Look for a public (as in non-profit) community center

Some communities have well-equipped community centers that offer fitness programs and many other benefits, as well. The cost for these centers is typically lower than the commercial gyms charge, and they usually allow membership on a month-to-month basis, rather than requiring you to commit to an annual contract. Some of these centers might be less flashy than the commercial gyms, but you’re going there to get fit, right? So what if your workout space isn’t a’glitter with neon lighting and loud disco music? Go for the basics, and you’ll save yourself a few quid. Or much more than a few.

Read the fine print before signing a contract

Whatever gym you choose, even if they seem to be a good bargain, be sure to look for any “hidden” charges anywhere in the agreement. This should go without saying, but there are too many places that put an attractive membership fee in their adverts, then tack on additional charges, even for the most basic amenities. And some charge an exorbitant amount for “luxury” services, such as the use of specialized equipment, personalized training, or even towel fees and locker rental. Add all the services that you’re likely to use to that “bargain” membership fee, and you might discover that it’s no bargain at all.

See what others have to say about a gym

To twist an old saying, hell hath no fury like a dissatisfied customer, and in the Internet Age, people who aren’t pleased with a product or service have an easy means of airing their gripes to the world. Ask people you know what they think of a gym, and go online and see what other customers are saying. Virtually any business is going to have a few detractors and disgruntled customers, and shouldn’t be written off because of the occasional Grumpy Gus. But the really shoddy businesses will rapidly show a pattern of public complaints, and you’d be wise to avoid a business that has a legion of blokes ready to lynch them online.

You might even come to realize that you don’t need a gym at all, and can keep the promise you made to yourself by doing exercises on your own, without the fancy equipment, neon lights, and throngs of spandex-clad fellow fitness buffs. Just close your browser, get up out of the chair, and walk someplace. Ride your bike. Or you could even stay in your flat and do some reps using water bottles for weights, without the tendency to feel like you need to compete with the obsessed gym rats that always seem to be in better shape than you. What’s important is that you start, even if you start small, and that you don’t add in factors like cost or inconvenience that will encourage you to quit.

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