Once you've found your perfect gym (and tried at least one free trial there), you may be ready to commit. But before you sign on the dotted line, it pays to remember a few key things, says Jenn Walters, certified personal trainer and co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls. For example:
1. Ask if your location offers a discounted membership if you only come during "off-peak" hours or only take group exercise classes (if that’s what you plan to do).
2. Make sure you know exactly what "extras" are provided. Do they offer towels? Shampoo and conditioner in the showers? Hairdryers in the locker room?
3. Are all group exercise classes included or is there an additional cost? Some health clubs that offer Pilates or other training styles that require special equipment charge extra for those classes.
4. Do they offer discounts for members on massage therapy?
Don’t be afraid to play hard to get, Walters says. “Many times clubs will call you back in a few days or weeks to offer you an even better deal than when you came in for the tour.” And if you don’t like the initiation fee or aren't ready to sign a year-long agreement, you may be able to negotiate a little. “While not all clubs will budge, many will work with you, so don't be afraid to suggest a different price or a different membership than what's stated!”
Finally, when it comes to price points, the time of year you join matters too. “The best deals of the year on membership and fitness services like personal training are in January and September, so if you can wait, try to sign up then!”
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