How to Buy a Gym Membership

Gym memberships are popular with people who want to jump-start weight loss or improve their overall health. Traditionally, financial experts warned consumers to be careful with gym memberships because the fine print included so many added fees and cancellation policies were strict. Gym memberships are now easier to understand, and most gyms offer affordable specials throughout the year. Here's how to buy a gym membership and avoid investing in a questionable membership.


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    Check your municipal gym.
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    Scout out locations before speaking to anyone at a gym. Research shows that consumers are more likely to use a gym membership if the gym is close to their home or work. Choose three gyms that aren't far from your home or work.
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    Go inside and speak to the person in charge of gym memberships. Discuss what specials the gym currently has, including end of year specials, holiday specials, and summer specials.
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    Find out about a free gym trial period. Most gyms offer a free trial of at least one week, and you shouldn't sign any contracts with a gym that doesn't allow you to try out the equipment and services before making a decision.
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    Try out a trainer during your free trial period. If you're new to working out at a gym, you may need a trainer to help you learn the machines. Having a quick workout with one of the trainers will help you figure out which machines you can use alone and also give you an idea of how the trainers work.
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    Set up a meeting to discuss all the benefits of buying a membership at that particular gym. It doesn't hurt to mention that you're currently shopping around, as it can help you negotiate pricing, or the membership representative may offer you a special they had yet to mention.
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    Read the contract carefully. You need to fully understand all of the fees associated with the gym, including sign up fees, monthly membership fees and cancellation fees. You also need to find out if special classes cost extra.
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    Ask any questions you have about the gym contract. What happens if you become ill or injured and can't workout for a few months? Will the gym extend your membership in the case of an emergency? What are the penalties for early cancellation, or is that even allowed? Does the membership transfer if you move to another state or city?
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    Speak with someone at every gym you're interested in, and then take the paperwork home and review it. Make a list of the pros and cons for each gym, keeping in mind the amount of money you'll need to pay each month, regardless of whether or not you're using the facility.
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    Visit the gym you're interested in and sign the contracts. Depending on the gym, you may need to set up automatic payments through your bank, but many allow members to pay in-person on a monthly basis.

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Categories: Gym