Consider your needs
Consider what you need from a gym before you join to ensure you get the best value for money.
The cost will depend on what services are provided, such as a swimming pool or classes, and also things like the quality of the facilities, for example changing rooms.
Many budget gym chains have popped up across the UK, often with much lower membership prices. The Gym Group this week offered memberships from around £13.99 a month, although introductory offers from £9.99 a month were in some places. Meanwhile, PureGym offered a wide range of prices; for example, in some places like Glasgow, Bury and East Kilbride, you could pay around £10 per month for off-peak access.
Many offer monthly renewable contracts, which means you’re not locked into an agreement and can cancel whenever you want.
The service will often be basic (there may be no pool, for example) and you will usually need to bring your own towels, shower gel and lock.
Local gyms can also sometimes offer better value for money than the big chain health clubs.
If you know you’re only interested in a specific item, say exercise machines, swimming, or classes, you may be able to get a membership just for that.
Steven Scales, director of membership and sector development at industry body ukactive, says: “It’s worth considering, in addition to the health benefits, what you want to achieve by attending a facility or exercising in general, as whether it’s working out alone with your headphones or social connection through a group exercise class with the encouragement of a group of peers and an instructor.”
read the contract
Gym membership contracts are notorious for being difficult to cancel, so make sure you fully understand everything before signing up.
Look at the price and consider how often you would need to use the gym to get value for money.
If applicable, check how long you will be locked out and how much you will have to pay if you need to cancel your membership early.
There are some scenarios where you should be able to terminate the contract for free, for example, if you need to resign due to illness, injury or a change in financial circumstances, such as termination, although you will need to provide proof, according to Citizens. Advice.
Wait for special offers
If you can wait until your preferred gym has an offer, you can get a reduced rate, a free month, or avoid paying a registration fee. The latter is one of the most common offers.
In January, many gyms offer special offers to attract the crowd after Christmas.
Summer can also be a great time for deals. At the time of this writing, Gym Group was running a special offer where you can “save up to 50%” by using the code SUMMERSAVE.
This National Exercise Day on September 21, and many gyms will offer free workouts and activities to celebrate the occasion.
You’ll be able to search for participating gyms and fitness centers beginning in late August, but in the meantime you can sign up for the online mailing list.
“Be sure to look for specials throughout the year, too,” says Scales. “Visiting gyms, clubs and leisure centers and experiencing the services first-hand is also a great way to find the right offer for your needs.”
Use free trials
Before committing to a membership, if possible, be sure to test out the gym you’re interested in by taking a free trial.
You’ll get free use of the gym and have time to consider your decision before committing to a contract.
It’s worth checking to see if you can also get a free session with a personal trainer as part of the trial.
If a free trial isn’t advertised, ask the gym if they can set one up so you can try before you buy.
You can also ask your gym-loving friends if they have referrals or free passes you can use.
There is no obligation to sign up for a membership after a gym tryout.
If you only do one activity, like boxing, spinning, or yoga, look for specialty studios in your area that may offer special introductory deals.
Some gym chains offer shorter memberships so you can try it out before signing a long-term contract.
Scales says, “Many carriers offer options to help spread the cost, offering trial sessions or new beginner incentives that let you find your fit.”
pay as you go
Many gyms will allow you to pay as you go for use of the gym, pool, or sports courts.
This is a more expensive form of payment if you plan to go regularly, but if you think you’ll only be using the facilities once in a while, it might be a good option.
You can use the Hussle website to get money off day passes so you can pay as you go at a variety of different fitness centers.
Check for discounts
Check what benefits package your employer offers, as it may include a discounted gym membership.
If you are a student, you can also usually pay a lower rate. For example, Nuffield Health offers students a 20% discount, Better Health offers a discounted membership, students can get a 12-month membership from £159 from Gym Group, and PureGym offers up to 30% off memberships fixed term.
Reduced fees and free classes are often available for seniors and low-income households.
You may be able to get a cheaper deal if you choose just one gym instead of a multi-site membership.
Many gyms also offer off-peak memberships, so if you can go during less popular times, this could be a money-saving option.
If your goal is to get in shape, you don’t have to join a gym, and there are cheaper or totally free alternatives.
Home workouts skyrocketed during the lockdown, and many gyms and trainers continue to offer digital classes at a lower price.
You could join a local running club; you can find a list in england athletics website. Most will have a membership fee, but may well be much cheaper than a gym.
Apps and fitness plans like Couch to 5K They are also ways to access a structured exercise regimen without having to join a gym.