Gym Memberships

A few months ago, my wife wanted to join a gym. She felt that paying for a membership to the local fitness center would inspire her to start going on a daily basis. For some that is a great motivator; but for most its simply a losing strategy.

The Fine Print: The points I would like to make here involve the actual dollars you have to spend on this membership.

  1. When you join a gym, you typically have to pay a membership fee. Some gyms will waive this fee or give you a great discount. In the end, this is the purest form of extortion in my mind. Why should you pay a membership fee upfront (which are not cheap) and then pay a monthly fee?? Have you realized that they pay for the same thing? Locker, towels, etc..
  2. What most people tend to ignore is what happens when the membership ends. Many gym contracts require an additional 3 months payment once you cancel. You would think that you would be permitted to use the gym during those three months. Well in my experience, your out!
  3. If you don’t cancel exactly the way they want you to (in writing, in person,…) the gym will continue to charge you monthly until you properly inform them of the cancellation!!

Actual Usage: I admit that I am not the poster boy for fitness but I do know that there are many ways to keep in shape without a gym membership. Before we get into that, I want to open your eyes to how much you are really spending in the gym. There are certain people who use their gym every single day and take advantage of every aspect of the facility. These people cost the gym money but there are only 3 or 4 of these members at every gym (and I think they all work there)! To figure out how much you spend on each visit just take you monthly fee and divide by the number of times you go to the gym per month. Is it worth it?

Alternatives: Once you decide that you should not be spending all this money on a gym membership that you hardly use, you should figure out a better way to work out and save money at the same time.

Walking, Running, and cardio are critical to a good work out. Why not go outside? Rain, Snow, Heat, excuse, excuse, excuse. Either you’re going to get a work out or not. There are some great outdoor routines and indoor exercises you can do to get a complete work out. 7 Best Outdoor Exercises is one site I found with some basic outdoor work out info.

A work out routine is critical to living a long and healthy life. But paying for it is anything but healthy. Think about it the next time you’re hitting the elliptical or working on your quads…