How to Get out of a Gym Contract

Three Parts:Studying your Contract and Knowing Your RightsSending a Notarized Letter to Your GymConsidering Alternative Methods

Busy schedules, accidents, injuries, and unexpected moves can prevent gym members from utilizing their pricy memberships; loss of income can make paying those monthly fees a hardship. While it was easy to sign-up for the membership, terminating the contract is often a long, challenging process. Follow your contract’s cancellation policy or explore alternative methods of terminating, freezing, or transferring your agreement.

Part 1
Studying your Contract and Knowing Your Rights

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    Request a copy of your contract. Contracts contain pertinent information about the terms of your gym membership. When signing a contract of any kind, you should always request a copy of the legally binding form for your records. If you did not receive a copy of your gym contract or have since lost the document, request a copy from your club or gym. Your club or gym should not deny this request.[1]
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    Read the fine print. Gym contracts contain clauses that state the company’s cancellation policy. In order to comprehend what the process of severing your contract entails, you will need to carefully read and decipher your gym’s cancellation policy. Note any technicalities that may prevent you from terminating the contract and any loopholes that may allow you to leave mid-contract.[2]
    • Every gym’s cancellation policy is slightly different.[3]
    • If you are confused by any part of the contract, ask for clarification.
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    Know your rights. The majority of countries have laws that regulate gyms. These laws may provide you with a valid reason to sever your contract. Study the specific set of laws that regulates your gym. Often, you may legally terminate your contract if:
    • You are still within the grace period of your contract.[4]
    • You are injured and can not work out. You may need a doctor’s note to show to your gym.[5]
    • You have moved over 25 miles away and can’t transfer membership to another branch.[6]
    • The facility has never or no longer offers the services presented to you prior to signing up or listed in your contract.[7]
    • In the United Kingdom, you may legally terminate your contract if you have lost your job or source of income.[8]
    • You can access these laws online by searching “gyms” and “[your state or nation] law.” In the United States, health clubs and gyms are regulated by the individual states.[9] In the United Kingdom, health clubs are regulated by national laws.[10]

Part 2
Sending a Notarized Letter to Your Gym

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    Provide your basic information. In order to terminate a contract, many gyms require members to submit a notarized letter of cancellation. This is a letter signed by an official notary public.[11] When writing the letter, be sure to include your name, address, email address, and phone number. You must also list your gym account number.
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    Formally request to cancel your membership. To prevent any potential misunderstandings, clearly state the terms of your cancellation in the letter. State the date by which you intend to cancel your membership. Provide a brief account of your reason(s) for canceling your membership. Acknowledge the gym’s cancellation policy and your adherence to it (are you within your right to cancel, will you pay the cancellation fee or are you eligible for a waiver, etc.).
    • "I am writing to inform you that I intend to [cancel or not renew] my gym membership on [enter date]."
    • "I wish to [cancel or not renew] my membership because [enter reason(s)]."
    • "Under the terms of my contract, I need to [cancel or renew] my membership within [enter time limit]. As stated in the contract, I will [return my [membership card, clean out my locker, etc.]"[12]
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    Ask for confirmation and additional information. In closing, request that the company notify you when it received your statement. Ask the company to confirm that you are following the correct procedure. If you are not following the correct procedure, ask them to provide you with additional information.[13]
    • "Upon receiving my letter, please notify me."
    • "If I am not complying with your terms of cancellation, please inform me of the correct procedures."[14]
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    Notarize and submit your letter. Find a local notary to sign your letter of cancellation. Fill out the envelope with the gym’s address and your return information. Post the letter.
    • A quick internet search will provide you with a list of notary publics near you.[15]

Part 3
Considering Alternative Methods

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    Freeze your contract. If you are temporarily away from home, injured, sick, or too busy to work out, consider freezing your gym contract instead of canceling it. Meet with a gym manager to discuss the possibility of temporarily freezing your membership. Explain your situation and your desire to renew, or unfreeze, your membership at a later date. Consider freezing your contract if you have:
    • Moved into a building with a gym.[16]
    • Started traveling regularly for work.
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    Transfer the membership to another person. Rather than going through the hassle of canceling your membership, consider transferring your membership to someone else. Today, online forums take the stress out of finding a person to assume your contract. Once you have sold your membership, you and the buyer will need to work with gym staff to transfer the contract. Transferring your membership to another patron typically costs between 0 to 50 dollars.[17]
    • Begin this process by finding an online service that provides individuals with a virtual space to sell, transfer, and buy memberships. A quick internet search will provide you with a list of reputable services. Once you have selected a service you are comfortable with, follow the instructions on the site to create your posting.
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    Hire a cancellation service. Many people do not have the time, patience, or energy to jump through all of the hoops required to cancel their gym membership. Instead of begrudgingly paying a steep gym membership fee every month, hire a third-party cancellation service to terminate your contract. For a fee, these experienced companies take the hassle out of ending your gym membership.[18]
    • Prior to paying for this service, research the company you intend to use. To assess a company:
      • Find its physical address
      • Read reviews on other sites
      • Read through its terms and conditions carefully.[19]
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    Dispute your monthly payments. It is preferable to pay for the fees of your gym membership with a credit card. When you pay with a credit card, you have the option to dispute charges. If a your gym continues to charge you for a membership you have cancelled or is overcharging you, contact your credit card company and explain why the charge is unfair. While investigating your claims, the credit card company may freeze your payments. If it finds that your claims are justified, they may reverse the payment.[20]


  • If the management is not responsive or not willing to work with you, work through your credit card company to freeze your account.
  • Most gyms will be willing to work with you on reducing the rate of your gym membership because they want to keep your business.

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Categories: Gym