Going to the gym is great for your physical and mental health. But, it doesn’t come cheap!
In fact, the average gym membership sets you back $58 a month. Depending on where you live though, you could pay even more than that.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can get a cheap gym membership!
What will I learn?
How to Get Cheap Gym Membership Near Me
Here’s how you can save money on a gym or health club membership.
1. Sign up for a free trial so you don’t waste cash
With gyms, you should always try before you buy. If you sign a contract only to find that you don’t really like the atmosphere in the gym, or it doesn’t have the equipment you’re looking for, then you’ll be wasting your cash.
That’s why it’s a good idea to try out a gym before you make a long-term commitment.
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Fortunately, many gyms offer free passes for a trial period.
Here are a few examples of gyms that offer free trials:
You can also use GymTicket.com to find free gym passes at participating gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers. The site offers a directory of more than 20,000 gyms and health clubs across the country.
2. Join a low-cost gym
Some gyms are super pricey, setting you back $70 or more a month.
So consider joining a cheaper gym. Cheap gyms tend to be no-frills, but they still have the equipment you need.
Some local gyms are cheap, so it’s a good idea to call around for prices.
Or you could check out one of these low-cost chains:
- Planet Fitness – Costs only around $10 a month for a basic membership or $23 a month for extra features.
- Anytime Fitness – Costs only around $36 a month.
3. Check Costco for cheap gym memberships
People swear by Costco membership discounts and deals and how much money they save by taking advantage of such money saving offers.
In the past, Costco has run offers on gym memberships, like one for 24 Hour Fitness. It doesn’t seem to be offering this membership anymore. But, it’s always worth having a look to see if there are any deals on gym memberships available.
4. Get a ClassPass & save at hundreds of studios
ClassPass is an option to consider if you prefer fitness classes to gym memberships. You pay a monthly amount and get access to a network of studios, without having to pay for expensive classes individually.
The cost of a ClassPass varies depending on where you live. There is a free trial available though, which again, varies in duration depending on where you live.
5. Compare prices online
When you’re trying to decide which gym to join, make sure you search online and compare prices. You can put together a list of gyms near you, along with the price of membership.
You should also use the internet to look for deals and discounts.
You may be able to find good discounts on sites like Groupon. And on a gym’s website, you may be able to find membership discounts or deals on classes.
So it’s always worth searching online for deals.
6. Negotiate on the price of the membership
Speak with a manager, rather than a salesperson and try to negotiate a deal. Managers are more likely to be able to negotiate a better price for you on a membership.
Or you could ask for some free bonuses, like a month’s membership for free or not having to pay the initiation fee. Negotiating won’t always work, but it’s always worth asking.
7. Join as part of a group
Some places will lower their monthly rates for large groups. In fact, many fitness clubs offer family or household discounts. So you and your spouse or roommate for example could get a discount if you sign up together.
You could even get a group of friends together and ask the gym manager if they’d be willing to offer a deal for the group.
8. See if your insurance benefits can get you a discount
Some insurance providers offer gym discounts to customers.
For example, with some Aetna plans, you get discounts on memberships to the YMCA and 24-Hour Fitness Clubs.
Eligible United Healthcare members can get reimbursed up to $200 in a six month period.
So, it’s definitely worth asking your insurance company whether you can get any gym benefits through your plan.
9. Read the contract
One of the biggest costs of the gym can be a cancellation fee. Like we said above, trying out a gym before signing a contract is best. But you may still have to cancel your gym membership in the future for whatever reason.
That’s why you should read the contract, so you don’t get stuck paying a huge cancellation fee or a penalty for a membership you don’t use anymore.
For example, one club might ask you to give them two months’ notice to end the contract.
So, always take time to read the fine print and keep a copy of any contract that you sign.
10. Look out for changes to the gym’s membership fee
Once you’ve joined a gym, you should still monitor how much the gym’s charging new members. Your gym might lower the cost of a membership to draw in new customers, but it won’t offer that rate to existing members. So if you find this to be the case at your gym, ask the manager if they’d also give you the lower rate.
11. Show your student ID
If you’re a college student, you may be able to get a discount on the gym. Just take your student ID along with you. You’re more likely to find student discounts if you live somewhere with a major university, but even if you don’t, it’s still worth checking.
12. Save in cities with AHFA PassBook
The PassBook is a program sponsored by the American Health and Fitness Alliance. It gives people free passes for health clubs, studios and spas.
You can only get these passbooks if you live in the following areas:
- New York
- Los Angeles
You’ll get free passes to fitness clubs and for things like yoga, Pilates and weight training classes. It’s a pretty awesome program.
13. Consider community recreation centers
A really good option, especially for families, are community recreation centers. Not only will you find the usual gym equipment there, like free weights, and fitness classes, you can often find additional features, like kid’s programs, water slides and swimming pools.
You may be able to pay just for each time you visit, which keeps costs down. Or you can pay for a membership for the year. It’s usually far cheaper than your regular gym.
To learn more, check with your city’s recreation center.
14. Ask your employer
Some employers will pay for part or all of your gym membership through corporate wellness programs.
Here are a few examples of gyms that offer cheaper corporate memberships:
If your employer doesn’t have a corporate wellness option, then just ask the HR department about setting up a corporate membership at a nearby fitness center so that employees can get a discounted membership.
15. Join a gym at the right time
If you join the gym at the right time, you can often get a better deal. For example, if you join the gym near the end of the month, the sales associate might be more likely to give you a deal on the monthly rate.
Similarly, if you join the gym in the summer, you’ll get a better rate. This is because in the summer the weather is warmer, so many people want to exercise outside instead. Gyms tend to waive their initiation fees during the summer months. So consider signing up then to get a better deal.
16. Skip the gym altogether
You might just want to skip the gym altogether. After all, who says you have to go to the gym to get a good workout. I’m a huge proponent of exercising at home. You have more privacy, you don’t have to wait to use the equipment, and best of all it’s totally free!
You can easily find workouts online or even right on your phone.
There are tons of apps on the Google Play and App Store, like Home Workout, which offer free workouts. YouTube is another great place to find exercises, like yoga and strength training.
17. Make money from being healthy
Did you know that working out and being healthy can actually make you money?
There are apps out there that’ll pay you to walk, lose weight, and more!
Here are some apps that pay you to be healthy:
Happy Working Out!
There are so many ways to get a cheap gym membership, so give them a try.
And let us know in the comments section how you save money on the gym.