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Joining A Gym Without Falling For The New Membership Traps Or Going Broke
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Joining A Gym Without Falling for the New Membership Traps Or Going Broke

The New Year's brings many things to many people: new calendars, of course, a whole fresh start and of course, New Year's resolutions. The most common type of resolution is for weight loss and increased fitness which may mean different things to different people. January is the month that most new gym memberships are started, with most gyms seeing as much as thirty to fifty percent increases in their membership roles. The gyms frequently offer "special" offers to lure even more people in at the beginning of the year, especially those that are on the fence about making that leap.

It is not uncommon to see offers of "reduced membership fees" for a new year's membership or other offers that can range from two for one specials and others. Some gyms push for a year's fee paid upfront, claiming that it is a money savings over other fee plans. In addition, the trainers may suggest that paying for the whole year in advance will ensure that you come to exercise more often. But, according to a study in the American Economic Review which looked at gym membership fees and usage rates, neither of those statements are actually true.

In that study, researchers found that with very few exceptions, people saved money by paying by the visit rather than a set fee, up front. Unless you are going to the gym every single day, you are likely to save at least a few hundred dollars by paying as you go rather than for a full year or a block of months. In addition, that same study found that people were nearly twenty percent more likely to continue going for more than the first year of membership when they paid for each visit rather than paying for a full year upfront. The problem with paying upfront, according to the study, was the ease at which people forgot about the gym. Since it was paid for, there was no one reminding or pushing people to come to the gym at all.

Another way to reduce charges on gym membership is to try to negotiate for better packages, to ask for the gym fee's to be waived or to wait until later in the year to join the gym in the first place. By March or April, many gyms are facing empty workout slots and dwindling visitor numbers as resolutions fail and get forgotten. That can translate to major drops in membership fees.


Street Talk

CurtisJ75  

Good points - i joined a local gym and signed a year contract, and a couple months later found an even better gym, but the first one wouldn't let me out without paying the remaining fees!! What a shame huh!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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