Is a Gym Membership Worth it?
In the past we have cut gym memberships in order to save money. At one point we decided to turn part of our living room into a home gym so that we could make working out convenient. While this is true, I found that I wasn’t very motivated to work out on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a home gym, but I am much more consistent if I have a gym membership, especially if I have a workout partner. Thus, I decided about a month ago to get a gym membership once again.
The motivation behind getting a gym membership
At the beginning of this year I joined the Healthy Wage challenge where they will pay you to lose weight. Toward the end of the 6 month competition I was still about 10 pounds away from my goal weight. My wife had gotten me a free two week pass to L.A. Fitness and I decided to use it to the fullest. I went swimming in the pool, squatted in the sauna for 20 minutes, played basketball, and worked out with my buddy Mike. It was a lot different than working out at home.
The cheap gym membership
I previously wrote about ways to stay fit on a budget where I mentioned YouFit, a gym that only charges $10 per month to join. I had a membership there at one point in time, but there were three reasons I decided to cancel my membership:
1. Location – It was about 4 miles from my house and sometimes I could get caught in traffic.
2. Lack of Amenities – They did not offer any classes, they didn’t have a pool, and they didn’t have a sauna.
3. No one to workout with – No one that I knew worked out there, so I worked out by myself (which was infrequent at best).
The gym with amenities is worth it if I get results
I decided to increase my budget for working out up to $30 per month. This gave me the ability to have options and find a gym that I really thought would work out long term. I decided to continue working out at L.A Fitness for a few reasons, which are basically the opposite of why I stopped working out at YouFit.
1. Location – It is much closer to my house as it only 2 miles away.
2. It has amenities that I use – They have classes, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a sauna, every machine you can imagine. They also have amenities that I don’t use but may someday including Racquetball courts, punching bags, etc.
3. Accountability - My friend Mike already worked out there so it made it easy to establish a routine to workout together. Since I have a workout partner, I am much more inclined to work out on a regular basis because I would feel bad cancelling on him.
Getting a gym membership is only worth it to me if I get results. Ask yourself the following questions before signing up for a gym membership?
“If I get the gym membership, will I actually go?”
“Do I know someone that works out at this gym who I could workout with?”
“Will I actually use the amenities offered by the gym?
Beware of sign up fees
Some gyms require you to pay $100 plus as an initial sign up fee. While that was common practice for years, many gyms are going to the month-to-month plans. Shop around when looking for a gym to make sure you are getting a good deal.
Do you have a gym membership? Do you think it is worth it?