Everyone knows that joining a gym can be a terrific way to get in shape. They offer access to top of the line equipment, knowledgeable staff members, and a pleasant selection of other facilities. Buyer beware, however, when selecting your next gym membership. While they may have your best interests in mind with regards to physical fitness, they don’t always value your financial fitness the same way.

Here are the top five gym marketing tricks to avoid:

Always be wary of free to join memberships with low monthly rates. If you read the fine print on your contract, most of these agreements actually limit the umber of times you can visit the gym each month or even the days and times you are allowed to use the facilities. While this may work great for people wishing to visit at off peak times, others will be in for a surprise when they are denied entrance at the door or forced to pay extra because they are not entitled to gym access when they want it. Once again, the fine print says it all.

Before you sign a new contract, make absolutely sure you understand the terms for cancelling your membership, should the need arise. While gyms may offer appealing monthly rates for new members, they often fail to mention that if you decide to cancel six months down the road, they are entitled to keep billing you your monthly fee for the next year or two. Other gyms will charge a hefty cancellation fee for anyone looking to end their contract early.


You do still get what you pay for. While gyms offering deep discount rates may not necessarily be out to attack your wallet, make sure to check out their facilities first. The larger gyms that have higher rates do tend to have more state of the art equipment. If gym rates really are too good to be true, chances are their equipment and facilities may leave you wanting.

Skip the personal trainers. While their credentials may seem impressive and the thought of your very own one on one training sessions are tempting, their is often a high price attached to the services offered. If you do a little research, you’ll also find that obtaining those credentials isn’t as difficult as you may think. If the gym offers a certain number of trial sessions with a trainer, feel free to take advantage of them. If nothing else, you might gain a better idea of the types of exercises you should be doing and the proper form to use when doing them.

If you are interested in joining a gym, take advantage of the one week free passes that most facilities typically offer. Feel free to shop around for the best rates, the best equipment, and the contracts that offer the best arrangements for your particular situation. You may find that after sampling a few gyms, the novelty of joining actually wears off, saving you a lot of money and potential headaches later on down the road.