What to look for when you're joining a gym

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Kendal Perez from CouponSherpa.com has some advice.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Free trials. Most gyms offer a free pass ranging from one day to a full week for potential members. Take advantage of these passes before you commit! Visit the gym during the time you’re most likely to work out to gauge the crowds and availability of preferred equipment. You can likely receive free workouts for a month or longer, depending on the number of gyms in your area.

 

Discounts, new member specials. January is a big month for gyms as many people try to kick off their New Year’s resolution to get fit. As a result, many clubs offer promotions and special offers. The best deals waive initiation fees (savings of $100 or more) and offer a free month as part of the sign-up offer.

 

Variety of membership options. Membership contracts often provide the best price, but they do lock you into a year or more of dues regardless of how much (or how little) you use. Seek out a club with a variety of membership options including month-to-month plans and punch passes so you can better decide what’s best for you and your budget.

 

HOW TO SAVE

Find discounts. During the negotiation period, make sure you look for discounts to reduce your spending. For example, CouponSherpa.com currently has a code for $50 off your initiation fee on select 24Hour Fitness memberships. Costco members have access to discounted 24Hour Fitness memberships, with one two-year contract amounting to just $15 per month.

 

Seek health insurance reimbursement. Health insurance providers -- including Anthem and Unitedhealthcare -- are increasingly covering the cost of health memberships to incentivize consumers to get healthy (thus reducing the cost to cover them!). There are requirements for the frequency of workouts per month and a reimbursement form must be signed by a fitness club member. Chat with your HR representative or insurance broker for more information.