It's that time of the year again! With all the excitement, festivities, and of course food, the last thing you're probably thinking about is the gym. Most of us intend on eating to our heart's content this holiday season and waiting until January to deal with the aftermath. While that's definitely a common approach, it might be worthwhile to start planning ahead now to get the best deals at the gym.
Once the new year arrives, people seem to turn to "get into shape" mode, which means hitting the gym. You definitely see the best deals at the end and beginning of the year so it's best to be proactive and start thinking about the expense now. Here are some tips to get the best deals at the gym this new year:
Sign Up for a Trial
It's hard to commit to a gym membership without testing it out first. Almost all gyms offer free trials, some for a day and others for up to a week. Take full advantage of that (just don't forget that you signed up for it). Use your trial pass to get a feel for the gym, what equipment they have and whether or not it's the right place for your workout. Also, be sure to go during times you would normally go to see what the crowd is like. If you still don't feel like you've had enough time to make a decision even after your free trial expires, speak to a manager about your situation. They might be able to extend your trial pass for you.
Most gyms will bill you month-to-month with charges based on the level of access you want to the gym. However, if you offer to pay upfront, you might be able to score a better deal. Many gyms will have promotions that offer anywhere from one to three months free if pay for a year in advance. Yes, it's a large sum of money but doing so can definitely save you a large sum of money as well if you have the cash on hand.
Be on the Lookout for Offers
Of course, the biggest way to save money on your gym membership is to take advantage of offers and promotions. And the best time to do so is during the new year. January is the busiest time of the year for most gyms and they'll be offering many different deals and incentives to get more people to join. Look out for discounted monthly fees, waived enrollment and processing fees and other perks, such as free access to other gyms in their network, towel service and overnight lockers.
Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate
As with almost anything in life, don't be afraid to negotiate. There are so many gyms to choose from and all of them are competing for your business. There is almost always wiggle room to negotiate your membership. While it might be hard to bring your monthly fee down, ask if they could give you a month or more free or waive any fees, whether one-time or reoccurring. You never know until you ask.
Create a Gym at Home
Don't worry if you still can't fit a gym membership into your budget, because you can create a gym at home. All you really need is a set of dumbbells and an imagination. Look to Youtube for exercise videos and tips, or just go out for a run to get your heart rate up. You can definitely accomplish a lot without having much equipment.
They biggest key to a better body is willpower, and you don't need to pay for that.
Written by Connie Mei for MoneyNing and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.