Gyms are in business to make you fit but they’re also in business to make themselves money. But getting into shape shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re adequately equipped with the money saving techniques I’ll describe here you’ll be able to get fit without busting your budget wide open.
Here are 5 ways to get ripped at the gym without getting ripped off.
Start With A Trial
Most gyms will let you use their facility for a free trial period. This could be anything from a 24 hour pass to a full week. It’s a must to test the gym to see if it’s the right fit for you. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in a long term contract before you sample the goods. Gyms will allow you to get the milk without buying the cow first.
Negotiating isn’t only done on the car lot. You can almost always negotiate the price of your gym membership as well. Go to a few of the gyms in your area and get their current pricing. Then go to the gym you actually want to join and ask them to beat (or at least match) their competitors’ pricing. They are more willing to negotiate with you if they know that if they say no, you’re joining their competition.
Timing Is Everything
Gyms come out with great specials right after the new year. This could be a good time to score a good deal on a membership. Another time that’s ripe for a good deal is near the end of the month in the summer. Employees need to meet sales goals by the end of the month and are more willing to give you their best deal so they can hit their month-end goals.
Take Advantage Of Discounts
Some gyms offer discounts for a variety of groups such as military veterans, college students and seniors.
Use Social Media
Gyms frequently offer promotions right on their social media pages. Check their Facebook and Twitter accounts for any current specials. You can also look on Yelp or Foursquare to see if they have any deals there as well. Another spot to check is Groupon and Living Social.
Join A Smaller Gym
The big gyms have their standard rates set by the corporations. They have to answer to shareholders so they are constantly thinking about ways to squeeze as much money out of the customer as possible. Then there’s the big advertising budgets the big guys have to pay for.
Smaller gyms often times come with a smaller price tag. You’ll also get a good feeling since you’re helping a local small business succeed.
Pay In Advance
Gyms know that people start off dedicated and then stop going. If they have you paying month to month, they know you may only pay for 2 or 3 months and then stop attending. This is why their month to month rate is so high.
If you want to save money you can choose to pay upfront for a year (or even 3 years). The more you pay up front the more you’ll save. Only do this if you are sure you are committed to going to the gym. If you’re joining as a New Year’s resolution, don’t get locked into a long term deal because you know how resolutions are.
The Power Of A Group
When you join a gym as a large group you may all receive a group discount. If your co-workers or family members make a pact, you can all get gym memberships at once and you will each save about 10%, depending on the gym.
Sometimes you can get a free month or another kind of discount if you are referred by a family member. That family member may also get a bonus for the referral as well.