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How to Get the Best Deal on a Gym Membership

How to Get the Best Deal on a Gym Membership
Alison Storm

Ready to make 2013 your healthiest year yet? Getting your body in shape shouldn't cause your bank account to suffer. The fitness club industry is massive and is only expected to get bigger, reaching $28.2 billion in revenue by 2016. But that doesn't mean you have to pay a premium for your gym membership. Use these easy methods for saving cash on your gym membership while shedding pounds this year.

Take Advantage of Free Trialsgym

Most gyms offer free trial periods. Consider this your "test drive" of the gym before you join. Anytime Fitness and Gold's Gym both offer a free 7-day pass. Not only will you ensure that you're making a good investment, but you're also taking advantage of a valuable freebie.

Join Late in the Month

Just like car dealerships, gyms often have quotas they need to meet. That means as the month draws to a close they may be more likely to cut deals and lower prices in an effort to meet sales goals. To get the best price show up at the end of the month rather than the beginning.

Negotiate Your Rate

Gyms aren't like Target or Walmart. Prices are not set in stone. Try negotiating a better rate before you commit to a long-term membership.Even if you can't get the monthly rate lowered, you may be able to eliminate the initiation fee, which is often waived in January anyway. You can also ask for perks like free personal training or free tanning sessions.

Pay Up Front

If you're interested in buying an entire 12-month membership to a gym you can likely get a discount if you opt to pay for your membership in one lump sum rather than on a monthly basis. Paying this way could save you as much as 10-20 percent off the cost o the gym membership. So if you have the cash it's worth the savings. The risk with this option is that the gym could go out of business before your year is up so do your research and make sure it's a stable business.

Sign Up as a Familygym

Gyms often offer great prices for family memberships. That means that getting the entire clan signed up won't cost much more than a single membership. At the Philadelphia YMCA a single membership is $49 a month, but an entire family is only $76 a month, which is a great value especially for families with lots of children.

Check Daily Deals

Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social often offer deep discounts for local fitness classes and facilities. Some cities even have an entire health and fitness category on Groupon. For instance in Las Vegas you can score one month of unlimited boot camp classes for $29 and in Boston you can buy 30 yoga classes for $20. These are a great idea if you want to test out an up and coming fitness craze or try a new gym. You're getting a great deal and starting the new year off in a healthy way.

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