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Don't Be A Dumbbell When It Comes To Gym Membership

Did you know May is “National Physical Fitness and Sports” month? With summer just weeks away, many are looking to get their bodies’ beach ready, or at least shed a few pounds. With the weather heating up, many regulars at the gym will move to outdoor activities. This may be the perfect time to sign up for a membership, since gyms will more than likely use this time trying to lure people indoors to their facilities by offering discounts and incentives.


Promoters are eager to get your business. They may use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign up quickly, often claiming their campaign is only for a limited time. Before you give in to these tactics, take your time to review not only the facility and amenities offered, but the company as a whole, and their contracts. Before signing anything, Business Consumer Alliance offers the following advice:

  • Think about what you hope to accomplish, your limitations, what features you desire, and the type of workout you are seeking.
  • Check out the facility first by obtaining a BCA Reliability Report and reviewing their storefront. You can view any complaints or reviews the company has received, and how they address them. You may also find that some BCA members post discounts on their storefronts. Conduct an Internet search is also advised. The results may provide additional information that’ll help you make the right buying decision. Researching a company’s reputation may alert you to problems or issues before you find yourself stuck in an undesirable contract.
  • Consider the number of locations, if the company has a reputation for frequently closing one location and opening another, and if the facilities are open at the times convenient for you to utilize the membership.
  • Check your finances to see if you can reasonably afford a gym membership. Most gyms and fitness centers require you to join for a specific period of time and pay up-front fees. They may require additional fees for some amenities or classes. Counting the cost may help you avoid taking on an obligation that you may not be able to afford down the line.
  • There are a variety of gyms that cater to different needs and levels of intensity. Choose one that best suits you. Many offer free passes to visit their location to try the equipment and speak to trainers or personnel that will guide you in your fitness journey. Take advantage of these freebies to see how compatible the gym may be with your needs and goals. Check the equipment, speak to some of the members, and talk with instructors that are present to get a feel for things. Don’t forget to check the locker room and security of the facility to ensure your safety and that of your belongings.
  • When you visit the facility, don’t be quick to sign on the dotted line. Take a copy of the contract home to review it. A few things to look into when you review the contract are:
  1. How long are the terms of the contract?
  2. Does the contract automatically renew?
  3. How much are membership fees and when are they due?
  4. Is there a cancellation policy and what does it entail?
  5. Is there a refund policy and what are the terms?
  6. If you move, can the membership be transferred to another location?
  7. If the location closes, what are your rights?
  8. Does the contract include all of the services and fees involved, as well as any verbal promises made in the sales pitch?
  • NEVER sign a contract with blank spaces.
  • Check with your state for any laws pertaining to health clubs or fitness facilities. States regulate cancellation clauses, terms, and set laws as to what a facility can and cannot do. Be clear on what the law allows to avoid entering into contracts that aren’t compliant with regulations.
  • Ask questions!!! If you are unclear on anything, ask for clarification before paying or signing any contract. The details of what you are paying for and what you are supposed to receive should be clear.
  • Also, check with your healthcare professional or doctor before making a decision to purchase a gym membership.

If you decide joining a fitness center is not right for you, there are plenty of activities you can engage in that cost nothing but your time and effort. Walking, running, biking, swimming, playing with kids, and even doing simple tasks like housework, burns calories and may help reduce those pounds you want to shed. Start a sport league at work or get a group of friends or neighbors together for a game of basketball, baseball, bowling, etc. Being active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. Do you have a favorite facility to work out at, or have you tried a weight loss solution? Visit our website towrite a review about your experience.

About The Author:

Nicole Pitts is a Senior Business Analyst for Business Consumer Alliance. She has been with the organization for 11 years and specializes in report writing, business evaluation, and investigations. Nicole corresponds with businesses regarding complaint trends and provides suggestions to help them alleviate problem areas that may cause concern. She also conducts advertisement reviews, reports on government enforcement actions, and assists government agencies in obtaining information. She enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with her family. Nicole can be reached by email at