Money Saver India
10 ways to save on gym memberships

10 ways to save on gym memberships

Want to exercise without having to pay hefty membership fees? In large cities and at big gym chains you think you’d be out of luck. But these tips should help you reduce your expenses.

Owning a gym membership is often quite expensive. If you feel you just need to get a regular dose of exercise, but find the prices too exorbitant, there are a few things you can do to reduce how much you spend on gym memberships. Here are 10 simple things that will help you slash your cost of working out. Each one of these may not work for you, and some cover only certain chains.

1. Think before you leap
Annual memberships at all gyms – big or small, chains or solo outlets – always work out cheaper than paying a monthly membership fee for 12 months. Even discounts that are offered are usually on the yearly membership. But before you blindingly opt for one, think about whether you’re going to be in the city for the whole year. Not all gyms allow you to transfer your membership (more on that below) and you could end up losing money.

2. Free trial
This is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t regret paying the hefty fees a few days into your membership. Gold’s Gym allows you to get a one-day free trial at their outlets while Snap Fitness gives you a three-day trial period. Just like you would test-drive a car before buying, it is always advisable to try out the gym. Look out for the amount of attention their trainers provide, safety apparatus and how crowded it gets around the time you plan to go to the gym. These are all a good indicator of whether you’ll get your money’s worth.

3. Ask for what you need
Instead of a simple annual membership that includes ‘weight, cardio and steam,’ make sure to ask them for a trainer and a nutritionist (if you need one). Talwalkar’s, Gold’s Gym and Snap Fitness all have a dietician included with their packages. (It’s best to confirm this before signing up.) Also remember that trainers are quite expensive – Talwalkar’s charges Rs6,500/month for a trainer, Gold’s Gym charges a whopping Rs8,400/month while Snap Fitness charges Rs4,800 for a month. Charges at your local gym will be much cheaper. So, compare these charges too when you’re evaluating different gyms.

4. Moving membership
This is an interesting feature that not many know about but can come in handy if you find yourself having to change cities a few months into your annual membership. For annual members, Gold’s Gym allows you to transfer the membership to another person (from whom you can recover your money). Talwalkar’s has a similar feature which comes with an added bonus – if you’re moving to another city with a Talwalkar’s outlet, you can move your membership there if you pay the difference in the membership between the two cities. Snap Fitness too has the same service of moving memberships between cities. Smaller gyms will likely not give you this luxury.

5. Cancellations and refunds
The service for moving membership covers a situation in which you have to move to another city, but what happens when the doctor advises complete rest for a month? This is where Talwalkar’s has a really good offer for you – they will extend your membership by the amount of time you are unable to go to the gym. The only condition is that their doctor has to approve your extension. The best part is that there is absolutely no extra charge for the extension. For other gyms such as Gold’s Gym, you can always make use of their facility for transferring your membership to a non-member.

Deals and Discounts

6. Follow them on social media
All businesses are slowly increasing their social media profiles and sometimes, some will give you benefits if you follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook and check out their websites. If you visit their pages and profiles, you’ll find that Snap Fitness is offering a 15% on their memberships – something you might not get offline. Gold’s Gym too has a 20% off on all their weight-loss programs if you buy them online.

7. Visit them
While it makes sense for you to keep a tab on gyms’ online activities and discounts, that doesn’t mean visiting the gym is no good. For example, Snap Fitness told us about their limited-time, 35% discount that’s currently running.

8. Ask for a discount
This is a trick that works quite well with local, solo-outlet gyms. Just go to a gym and tell them that you can’t afford the membership fees and they will usually be willing to negotiate the price. Chains and large gyms – we tried with Gold’s Gym and Talwalkar’s – usually aren’t sympathetic.

9. Student discounts
If you are a student, don’t forget to ask about their student discounts – these are never advertised but all gyms have them. Gold’s Gym offers a student membership for Rs23,300 – instead of their normal Rs32,300 – per year. Talwalkar’s gives students Rs3,000 off on their annual membership, while Snap Fitness’ student membership is for Rs10,500 instead of the regular price of Rs11,360 for a year’s membership.

10. Online portals
Don’t forget to check out online coupon and discount websites such as Groupon and From discounts on memberships to add-ons such as dance classes and trainers, these websites usually have something that will help you get a better deal at your gym. If you can’t find anything but are really in a pinch, you can set up an alert and wait for a few weeks to see if you get lucky.

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