Joining a gym can be an excellent way to improve your health and fitness. However, gym memberships can get expensive, especially if you join one of the large commercial chains. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on your gym membership in the UK. This article will explore tips on finding gym deals, negotiating rates, taking advantage of sales and more.
Finding Gym Deals
When looking for a gym, don’t just default to the big names. Here are some ways to find cheaper gym options:
Smaller local gyms often have lower membership rates than large chains. Search online directories, drive around your area, or ask friends for recommendations of quality local gyms that offer discounts.
Council Leisure Centres
Your local council likely operates leisure centres with gyms, pools, classes and more. As these are run by the council to serve the community, prices are usually very reasonable.
If you live near a university, see if they sell gym memberships to the public. University gyms typically have excellent equipment and facilities for much lower costs.
Corporate Gym Rates
Some corporate gyms offer special discounted rates for certain companies’ employees. If your workplace has such an arrangement, take advantage of it!
Gym Chains Discounts
While bigger chains are more expensive, they sometimes run deals like no enrollment fees or reduced weekly rates to compete with smaller gyms, so keep an eye out.
How Can I Negotiate My Gym Membership Rate?
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with gyms to ask for a lower monthly cost. Some tips:
Time It Right
Try negotiating at the end of the month or during special promotions when they want to increase membership numbers.
Casually mention deals you’ve seen at other gyms and ask if they can match or beat them.
Offer to pay for 6 or 12 months upfront in exchange for a 10-20% discount.
Offer professional services to barter for a discount if applicable (ex. graphic design, legal advice).
Ask about bundling gym access with training sessions, classes or other offerings for a package deal.
Leveraging Gym Membership Sales
If you’re not in a rush to join a gym, keep a look out for membership sales running:
Gyms often discount enrollment and membership fees leading up to New Years when people are making fitness resolutions.
Back to School
September is a big month for gym membership sales targeting parents while kids are occupied at school.
Historically slower months like January, February, and March will frequently have winter workout sales.
Ironically, summer months can also yield sales for gyms trying to boost attendance.
Both university recreation centers and private gyms may run fall student specials hoping to sign up newly arrived students on campus.
How Do Gyms Offer Such Low Cost Memberships?
You may be wondering how some gyms can afford to offer such cheap monthly memberships. What’s the catch?
Some low-cost gyms get away with cheap rates by cramming in customers which can mean waiting for machines and busy locker rooms.
Limited amenities like no towels, cheap equipment, basic group classes and minimal staffing keeps costs down.
Counting on a percentage of members not to utilize their membership regularly while still collecting fees allows gyms to offer low rates to a large customer base.
High Enrollment Fees
While advertising a $10-20 monthly fee, there might be a catch like a $200+ enrollment/initiation fee upfront they count on recouping.
As mentioned earlier, gyms can offer nice discounts for those willing to prepay 6 or 12 months in advance which improves cash flow for their business.
What Are Important Questions I Should Ask About Cost Savings Programs At Gyms I’m Considering?
If you find a gym with unusually low membership rates compared to competitors in the area, make sure to ask important questions upfront to understand if there are any catches to be aware of:
Is There an Enrollment Fee?
And if so, is it a reasonable amount or exorbitantly high?
Do You Run Regular Membership Sales?
It may make sense to wait if a semiannual 30% off promotion starts next month for example.
Are There Long Term Contracts?
Make sure you understand minimum commitments before signing anything.
Can I Pay Month to Month?
Removes feeling stuck if the gym ends up not being a good match for your needs and preferences.
When is Your Busiest Time?
It’s reasonable to expect waits during January rush, but make sure queues aren’t outrageous.
Overall the key is to ask lots of questions about cost savings programs or rates that seem “too good to be true” to determine if a gym is truly a good value or not for your budget and fitness requirements. The lowest monthly fee isn’t everything – make sure you pick a gym you’ll actually use consistently!