It’s a New Year and with that comes New Years resolutions. Some of the most common? Lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more. Now all of these things you can of course do without it costing you a single penny extra by working out at home, taking up running or free outdoor exercise classes like those run by ParkLives or OurLives. But if you’re more of a gym buddy, just love to hit the pool or enjoy the buzz and variety of group workout classes then I have some tips on ways you can save money on a gym membership.
Take advantage of free trials
I haven’t had a gym membership at all in the three (almost four) years I’ve lived in London because I’ve been using this trick on and off for a while. You see most gyms will allow you to come in for a free trial so that you can check out their facilities before you commit to a membership. These can range from a single day pass to a whole week’s worth of visits but of course the main reason they offer this facility is to encourage you to sign up so be prepared for a bit of coercing from the staff at the end of your session. If you’re not interested just be firm with them and say no thank you.
Tesco Clubcard Points
If you already shop at Tesco you may have accrued some Clubcard points that you’re not quite sure what to do with. It’s always more cost-effective to use your vouchers towards rewards on their site rather than on groceries in the store and they often have deals where you can exchange them for gym memberships. At the moment they’re currently offering a four-week membership at Nuffield Health gyms for just £18.50 in Clubcard vouchers.
Check out gyms closest to your house and work
Most people will want to work out either first thing in the morning before they head to work or just after so be sure to look at gyms close to both your home and your workplace. The price difference can be astounding especially in London for example there’s a Fitness4Less where I live in Canning Town where membership costs just £17.99 per month, compared to the gyms in Central London near where I work this is super cheap!
So you’ve found the gym of your dreams.
How can you save money on the actual cost?
Off peak membership
Don’t have a normal nine-to-five job? Find out if your gym of choice offers an off-peak membership package. You’ll be more restricted in the hours that you can attend but the bonus is that you’ll find the gym to be a whole lot quieter and more likely to be able to use the equipment that you want without having to wait for hours.
Lots of bigger companies have employee benefit schemes which quite often include gyms in the surrounding area. The company essentially negotiates a group discount for their employees with the gym in advance and as long as you sign up via the scheme you’ll get your membership at the discounted rate. The downside of this is if you leave the company you’ll likely lose the discounted rate at the same time.
Referred by a friend
Similarly some gyms offer refer a friend schemes so if someone you know raves about their gym and it’s convenient for you why not ask them to see if theirs does? You might even save your friend some money off their membership too and it means you’ll have a gym buddy to help you stay motivated!
If you’re more confident than I am there’s always the age-old method of haggling. Every gym branch will have a certain quota of gym memberships they need to sell in a given month so it’s always worth simply just asking for a discount. If you’re not happy with the price they’re offering don’t feel embarrassed about walking away and looking elsewhere. It’s more than likely they’ll drop you an email of give you a call just a few days later with a better offer.
Pay as You Go
My biggest tip to you would be to make sure that you’re willing to commit to a gym for the long run before signing on the dotted line. If you’re unsure it might be worth while asking if you can simply pay each time you want to go. The daily rate will seem a bit expensive at first but it will work out cheaper for you in the long run in you ultimately quit after the first few weeks. There’s a great site called PayasUgym which allows you to buy day passes for various gyms and pools at discounted rates from what you’d pay just walking straight in.