How To Get A Cheap Gym Membership

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

When picking a gym, the choice can be somewhat difficult. There are tons of gyms out there and they basically all just want to take your money. America’s fascination with fitness has grown and come a long way in the past 20 years. Because of this, many popular gym chains have been developed and more often then not, guys find themselves getting ripped off and not even getting anything beneficial out of their pricey gym membership.

Step 2

Distance from Gym: The first thing you should take into consideration when choosing a gym is driving distance. Convenience starts with location. You shouldn’t have to drive 20 miles and sit in traffic for a half hour just to get a decent 45 minute workout in. It is best probably to stay in a five mile radius or 10 miles maximum.

Step 3

Gym Size: The second thing I’d consider is gym size. Bigger gyms are not necessarily better. Bigger gyms do not guarantee you’ll have more effective workouts. In fact, big gyms usually mean crowds, disorganized weights scattered around the gym, and having to go through hell, just to find a bench to perform an exercise. It may be best to purposely avoid high profile or corporate gym chains such as Ballys Total Fitness or World’s Gym.

Step 4

Your best bet is to find a smaller, non chain gym that isn’t well known. A neighborhood gym would be ideal. There will be fewer members there so it will not become as packed and unpleasant as a popular chain gym. This more neighborly atmosphere can very well mean better workouts because the chances of the bench or machine you need to use will be available when needed and will not be occupied by a seventy-five year old man using bad form and resting for 10 minutes between sets.

Step 5

Gym Staff: Another factor when deciding on a gym is the staff. Many gyms today hire people who aren’t qualified and just went through some fly-by-night fitness certification program and received a certification without attending college and earning a degree in sports medicine or physical education. If you see a fitness trainer who has about as much muscle mass as a stick or a fat guy who looks like the majority of his meals come from McDonald’s would you honestly want to take weightlifting advice from him? It is doubtful anyone with an undamaged brain would.

Step 6

Membership Fees: The final and probably most critical factor to consider when choosing a gym is monthly price and start-up fees. Most gyms, now a days, charge anywhere from $50-150 per month and could also charge as high as $300 for a start-up fee.

Step 7

If you are a college student who works part-time or if you have your share of financial challenges, those prices are too high. High prices are especially important if you live more than 10 miles away and it is an overcrowded gym. Usually, a good price range for a gym is about $20-35 per month and no more than $100 down.

Step 8

Refuse to Pay Initiation Fees: There is really no need for an initiation fee, other than lining the pocket of the gym membership director. Always negotiate for a god monthly fee and ask for a cheaper rate. Then refuse to pay an initiation fee. When the membership director says he must charge you, get up and start politely walking toward the door. The salesman will stop you and either charge you no initiation fee, or a minimal amount. But always, walk toward the door. Be assured, he will not let you leave!

Step 9

Gym Contracts: Be highly aware that many gyms especially the huge, popular chains will usually make you sign a long term contract that you cannot get out of unless you move 20 miles away, or have a doctor’s note specifying you are completely disabled. These contracts can last 5 years. The last situation you want to be stuck in is paying for example: $75 for 4 years especially if you are not financially established yet. It is best to look for a one-year contract. A two-year commitment can be acceptable, but definitely no more than that.

Step 10

The gym choices you make are ultimately yours. If you can afford to pay more than $100 per month and there is no other closer, cheaper gym, then maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. The best advice would be to do what will fit your financial and workout needs best. Only you know what you can and can’t afford. Just be aware of what tricks and deceptions gyms may throw at you. Remember they are out to make money and are sometimes no different than a used car lot when it comes to trying to rip you off. Be sure to take into consideration all the things mentioned in this article and good luck in finding the right gym that satisfies you.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Stuff You'll Need

Brand Product Price
Bowflex Revolution FT Home Gym $1299.99

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
New Rules of Lifting $12.82

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

When did you first do this & how did you get started?


Other Tips from Franco