It's that time. Time to join a gym/fitness/workout club.
If you're careful and shop around you will save some money by following the advice of Andrea Woroch. Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles.
Gyms and fitness clubs anticipate and even capitalize on the common resolution to get fit and/or loose weight by offering deals on new memberships, including waived initiation fees and low introductory rates.
As tempting as these offers may be, it's best to be thoughtful about this monthly expense and remember that gyms and fitness clubs are in the business of making money. Revenue for gyms and fitness clubs is estimated to increase between $20 and $25 billion this year, according to recent reports from IBISWorld and the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). Since your money will be part of their revenue boost, consider these tips for saving on gym memberships year-round.
Since the new year is ripe with fitness membership deals, you may assume what you're offered is all you can get. Not true! Clubs want your business and salespeople have wiggle room in the price negotiation. If the activation fee is discounted, ask for it to be waived completely. Ask for free personal training sessions, free or unlimited guest passes or a free first month. Ultimately, it never hurts to ask!
2. Find discounts.
Talking to salespeople isn't the only way to score savings at fitness clubs. You can find discounts to 24 Hour Fitness online at sites like FreeShipping.org, or head to Costco for a 2-year membership to the popular gym for $350. The upfront cost may seem steep, but it amounts to just $15 per month which is much less than rates offered directly by 24 Hour Fitness.
3. Ask for trials.
All fitness clubs offer some type of trial. Whether it's a free 7-day pass or a complimentary month to test out the facility, it's really smart to take advantage of these offers. Collect them from all the fitness clubs in your area to determine the best fitness facility for your needs. Doing so will also get you a few months of free access to classes and equipment.
4. Look for daily deals.
Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer huge discounts for limited-time memberships. This is a great way to try new facilities and new types of workouts without committing financially. Plus, you could bounce around town using these cheap deals and never get bored!
5. Buddy up.
Some gyms offer a discount when signing up with a friend or domestic partner. Additionally, you can usually go halfsies with a friend on a private personal training session while still getting the individual attention you seek.
6. Speak with HR.
Your employer may have a deal with a local gym for discounted memberships to offer employees, so inquire with your HR department if this is available. If not, you may be able to round up enough employees to get this perk started with your firm as it's something most health club facilities offer to companies.
7. Review your health insurance.
Some health insurance companies offer reimbursements and other incentives toward gym memberships, so review your policy or chat with a customer service rep to inquire about such offerings.
8. Turn your smartphone into a personal trainer.
These days, there are lots of fitnes-specific apps on the mobile market. The Workout Trainer app, for instance, offers a library of optimal workouts based on the area you're targeting, the amount of time you have or the equipment available to you. Digifit's iCardio app offers a series of fitness assessments for just $3.99 that determine your cardiovascular strength and provide custom heart rate zones. These apps represent a much more affordable alternative to pricey fitness tests done by professionals or technicians.
9. Freeze it.
If you have a long vacation coming up or prefer the great outdoors during the warmer spring and summer months, ask your gym to freeze your membership. You will pay a small fee, but the overall savings will be huge!
Follow Andrea on Twitter for more consumer advice: @AndreaWoroch