9 smart ways to work out a great deal at the gym

July 28, 2015

If you’ve decided to join a fitness gym or health club, but don’t know which one to join, here are some pointers to help you get a great deal.

9 smart ways to work out a great deal at the gym

1. Check out venues

See what is available, decide how much to spend, then try at least three suitable gyms or clubs within 10 to 15 minutes of work or home. Book a viewing appointment, avoiding 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

2. Don't be hasty

Never sign up after just one visit. Make a second visit at a busy time and question other members about the facilities. Ask staff how many members there are and the square footage of the gym. The ideal ratio of space to members is between 10:1 and 15:1.

3. Haggle for a bargain

Don't be afraid to negotiate. It is a fiercely competitive market, so when you've decided on the gym you want to join, talk to the membership manager to see if you can get a better deal.

4. Avoid the rush

Avoid the post-Christmas and pre-summer rush to sign up. Plenty of people will have the same idea and you will not get the best deals.

5. Pick a promotion and save

Look out for special promotions. During quiet periods, you are sure to find trial memberships for a set number of weeks at a reduced price.

6. Consider various membership options

Consider reduced-rate, off-peak packages. These give restricted admission (before 5 p.m., or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. excluding weekends, for example) but are ideal if you are free during the day.

7. Get a group discount

Gather a group together and get a corporate membership — many clubs offer them for groups of 10 or more and there are sizeable discounts to be had.

8. Pay as you go

Many local gyms have a pay-by-session option that generally runs about $10 per session. This will cost you more if you are a regular user, but if your number of visits per month varies, then this could be your best choice.

9. Get value for money

Reputable clubs should give you a free day pass to try out the facilities. Be wary of enticing "only if you sign today" deals and annual membership tie-ins.

Before you join a gym, ask these key questions

  • What do you want from your fitness routine? Is a gym the best way to obtain it?
  • How close is the fitness club to your home or work? It should be easy and cheap to get there.
  • Prices vary greatly, depending on the equipment. How much of it will you really use?
  • How long are you committing to? Joining for a whole year could be an unwise financial decision.

After asking these right questions, you'll be ready to choose the gym that's perfect for you and your health goals.

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