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  • Jack Wilson

Why Price Doesn’t Need to be an Obstacle to Gym Membership

Getting into and staying in shape may be no easy feat. Frequently, the first obstacle to overcome is finding a fitness club membership that is fiscally fit.

Many consumers cite the cost of a gym membership and the monthly dues as the main deterrent to joining. When taking into account the initiation fees, the annual price for a new gym member can be steep, and monthly dues can range from $50 on up.

However, in many situations, a potential gym member can find some cost effective ways to reduce the expense of the membership or find an affordable gym membership. Here are several ways to do it.

Tour the Facility First

Most fitness clubs offer a complimentary tour of their facility. Working out is a personal experience, and it is imperative that you feel comfortable and welcomed in the environment, otherwise you won’t want to go! Tours give you the opportunity to ask questions and make sure they have all the equipment you currently use and enough new equipment to challenge your workout. Here you can do a comparison of price vs. available equipment. Some gyms may be extremely expensive, but they may offer amenities that you don’t foresee using. Others may be more affordable, and still have exactly what you’re looking for. Either way, a tour of the facility is the first place to start!

Utilize Personal Trainers

Many years ago, a personal fitness trainer was only for the extremely wealthy. However, as fitness clubs have expanded in popularity, many now employ personal trainers and make them available to the average person. They can be much more affordable than most people expect, so it can pay to inquire at your gym. In today’s fitness environment, personal trainers offer advice and encouragement and help you develop a fit and healthy lifestyle. Some studies have shown that gym goers stay more consistent with their workout routines with motivation from a personal trainer. When the goal is making the most of a gym membership, the price of a personal trainer makes sense.

Use Promotions to Negotiate

Promotion season for many gyms is the month of January, right after New Year’s resolutions have been made. This gives potential new clients more leverage with which to negotiate. Even at large chains, managers have some flexibility to negotiate on the pricing. Ask about all regular and promotional pricing deals when you tour the facility.

When you have gathered all of the price information from the local clubs, start with your first choice and ask them to meet the competitor’s membership price. If the same chain has multiple locations near you, check with the managers at all the locations. Many gyms are franchises so available promotions, discounts and prices can vary.

Check with Your Human Resources Department

Fitness club discounts and reimbursements can be a routine employee perk, especially with health-minded companies. Check with the benefits department to see if the company has any agreements with local clubs.

Check with Your Landlord

Landlords who want to retain tenants are frequently willing to consider adding fitness facilities. In fact, this amenity is quite common now, and if your complex does not and will not add one, the property manager may be able to secure a discount at a local fitness club for all of the tenants.

Review Your Insurance

Some insurance companies offer discounts to health clubs, sometimes up to 30 percent off monthly dues. Frequently, these discounts are negotiated through GlobalFit.com, which uses large volume to negotiate special discounts.

Pay Month to Month

Frequently, New Year’s resolutions never make it past February. On average, only 40 percent of fitness club members visit more than 50 times throughout the year. Gyms promote the annual packages because they look less expensive on a monthly basis, until you take into consideration how much you actually use the facility. If you pay month-to-month, the dues may be slightly more expensive; however, you can cancel without penalty if you are not confident that you will use the gym often enough to justify the expense. Moreover, the flexibility of a month-to-month plan may be prudent if the cost of a membership may turn out to be too much for the budget.