The spring gym membership sales are on, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and sign up for a gym direct debit with Payleadr. But if you’re not careful, your new gym could waste your money, or worse — your health.
When you’re looking for a place to get in shape, there are some things you need to know to make sure you get the most out of your gym experience.
11 tips for getting the most from your gym membership
- Know what you want
Find out what motivates you, whether it’s working out with friends or having a personal trainer who pushes you to do more. Everyone is different, so make sure you’ll have access to the programs and services that fit your needs before joining a gym.
- Ask about extra fees
Some gyms charge initiation fees and ongoing annual fees on top of monthly dues. Many also add on equipment maintenance fees and other charges. You should be able to find this information online or by talking to the gym staff or managers. Be wary of any club that won’t go over all costs before signing a contract.
- Check out the amenities
Some gyms have pools, basketball courts, racquetball courts and other amenities that you might enjoy. Make sure to ask about these before handing over your credit card.
- Ask about group classes
Most gyms offer group fitness classes that help make working out more fun and more affordable. Ask if they provide free classes as part of the membership or if they charge an additional fee.
- Get help with a workout plan
Meeting with a personal trainer can help you make the most of your workout time at the gym and improve your results. Find out if a trainer can sit down with you to create a workout plan that will meet your needs.
- Use online tools for convenience
Many gyms offer online registration, class signup, communications and other conveniences for members who prefer not to use the phone or visit in person every time. Ask about these options so you don’t have to go through any extra hassle to get the best from your membership.
You’ve got a gym membership, so why aren’t you using it? The answer may be simple: You’re not maximizing your time there.
With more than 60% of Americans now having gym memberships, but only about 20% using them consistently, there’s a lot of room to save money and get fit by making the most of that monthly fee. Here are eight tips to help you get the most out of your gym membership:
- Plan your route
If you live or work near multiple gyms, figure out the one with the most convenient path (or the least traffic) to work into your daily routine. This way, you’ll have one less excuse for skipping a workout.
- Bring a friend along
Friends can make your workouts more fun, and studies show people who exercise with others tend to form habits (and stick to them) better than people who hit the gym alone.
- Find a workout buddy at the gym
If you don’t have any friends who want to join you at the gym, find someone there who’s looking for accountability and will keep you motivated during workouts.
- Set goals for your fitness routine
A goal gives you something to work toward. It can also help you track your progress. A goal should be something that’s realistic and specific, so you know exactly what success looks like. For example, a goal might be: “I want to do 10 push-ups without stopping.” Or, “I want to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes without getting winded.”
- Pick activities that are within your skill set
When you first start out at the gym, it’s important not to pick activities that are too hard or too advanced for your current level of fitness. That’s because if they’re too hard, you may get discouraged and give up. If they’re too easy, you may not work as hard as you should. For example, if you’ve never done yoga before, avoid signing up for an advanced class that includes lots of difficult poses.