Maybe the cold weather has got you down. Or maybe you’re looking to branch out and try some new workout routines that require some pricey equipment. Whatever the reason for wanting to, if you’ve been thinking about joining a new gym, you’re going to want to do your research. After all, a gym membership can be a big commitment. Before pulling out your debit card, ask yourself these 5 questions.
What is the cost?
It’s important to make sure you understand the full costs of your gym membership. While you may know what the monthly rate is, there is a possibility that extra fees will slip themselves into your bill without you noticing. Make sure to find out if there is a maintenance fee or an initiation fee. Also, find out if services such as towels are add-ons that you wouldn’t otherwise know about until they ended up on your bill.
Is there a contract - and if so, what is the fine print?
Some gyms won’t have a contract. Others may just have you sign a liability waiver to relinquish responsibility in case you get an injury. However, there are some gyms that will require you to sign an extensive waiver. While this is nothing to worry about - after all, it’s to offer legal protection to both you and the gym - it’s important to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Rather than just scribbling your signature across the line, read the contract throughout. Check the cancellation policy. Some gyms may have a rule that you aren’t allowed to cancel your membership for a certain amount of time without paying a fee.
Do you need to bring your own equipment?
While some gyms may offer towels, free water, and yoga mats, not all of them will. It’s important to know whether or not the gym you are considering is one of them. While it isn’t a deal-breaker if these services are not offered, you’ll want to know in advance so you purchase a water bottle or other needed supplies before your first workout.
What’s the commute like?
Let’s face it, the gym you’re considering may be perfect in every single way, but it’s a 30-minute drive away, you probably won’t be going as often as you would if it was closer to your home. A gym in walking distance is a good option as well as it encourages a healthy warmup before your workout.
Are there any special activities such as group fitness?
While killing your workout by yourself is a great feeling that allows you to destress and boost your fitness, sometimes it’s nice to workout in a more constructive group setting. Yoga, cycling, weightlifting - all of these routines, while fun alone, can be improved tenfold by sharing the experience with a group. Your gym might also offer specials such as bring a friend day or even intramurals that allow you to connect and have fun with your community.
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