4 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Gym Contract

This is the time of year when many people make a resolution to join a gym to begin regular workouts. However, once that decision is made, there are still a number of questions that need to be answered before you sign that gym contract. The NY Times cautions us to know the contract terms and to check the crowds before we commit. Here are some other factors to consider.

Is This the Right Gym for Me?

One of the most important factors is that you are comfortable at your gym. You need to know if the environment is no-judgement, or if you are encouraged to socialize, and if that matches your personality. You can learn about a gym and get all your questions answered by taking advantage of the free trial period offered by most gyms. Be sure to take a tour, participate in the orientation, and talk with the staff. Check the working order of all the equipment and attend a class. Visit the locker room and shower area to be sure that these areas are clean and well-maintained.

Are the classes and programs you want included in the membership cost?

Before joining any gym, create a fitness goal and design a plan for how to achieve it. The good news is that most gyms offer an introductory session with a trainer to assist with this. But before you sign a contract, be sure that all the amenities you need are included with your membership dues or if you will need to pay extra for some. Also, will trainers continue to be available to you.

What are the true costs?

Most gym contracts clearly list the monthly dues, but additional charges like registration or initiation fees are not as obvious. The Better Business Bureau provides some tips for calculating the true annual costs. If you receive a special introductory offer, be sure that the regular costs fit into your budget.

What is the cancellation policy?

You might not think that cancelling your membership would cost you money but some gyms have a cancellation fee. Also, if you make an annual commitment, you may not be able to get a refund even if you stop attending the gym. The cancellation policy should be explained in the contract. You should read this policy carefully to determine your options if you move or are injured, if the gym changes its hours or closes, or if you simply decide to stop attending.

Being a gym member can be a very rewarding experience. Just be sure that you have all the facts so you can make a smart decision.

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