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How to Save Money on a Gym Membership

4 Ways to Afford Both a Gym Membership and Your Morning Coffee

Close up of sole of sneakers of unrecognizable athlete jogging on a treadmill.

Splurging on a gym membership can be intimidating, but it's also one of the wisest investments you'll ever make. Think of it this way: "A gym membership costs a lot less than a medical bill," Andy Truong, a general manager at 24 Hour Fitness in California, told POPSUGAR. When it comes to safeguarding your health, "it's all about perspective." Still, if you're looking for ways to make a good workout better fit in your budget, these cost-saving tips straight from an insider can help.

1. Take Advantage of Seasonal Pricing

Unsurprisingly, gyms see a huge spike in membership in January, when many people set goals to get fit in the new year. "It's one of the busiest times of the year," Andy said. This is the time you're most likely to receive a lower introductory rate or have your initiation fee waived. Offers will vary from gym to gym, so it's smart to shop around to find the membership that works best for you and your bottom line.

Likewise, crowds often swarm back to the gym at the beginning of the Summer to dust off those new year's resolutions and get ready for swimsuit season. You may be able to snag a deal then, too, so keep an eye out. It could be another six months before you see those low prices again!

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2. Know If You Qualify For a Discount

While it isn't very common, college students may be eligible for discounts at gyms' surrounding campuses when they present a valid student ID. Corporations also often partner with gyms to help employees get memberships at a discounted rate, and many gyms offer deals for first responders, members of the military, and veterans, Andy explained. "Of course, discounts or promotions vary by gym and location."

3. Team Up For a Better Rate

It's very unlikely that you'll be able to negotiate membership costs and annual or initiation fees, but many gyms offer bundles that allow a family or friend to be added to an existing account at a lower rate. At 24 Hour Fitness, "when you add on a family member or friend, initiation costs are waived, and they're given a month-to-month membership with no contract," Andy said. "Basically, this means they can cancel at any time with no penalty fees."

4. Watch For Other Ways to Save

The most underrated way to save money at the gym is to take advantage of promotions and freebies, including workout class bundles, buddy passes, free personal training sessions (you'll eventually have to pay for these, but many gyms offer the first session for free), and more, Andy explained. Some gyms also offer activewear and healthy foods like power drinks and protein bars at a discounted rate or as an incentive in an ongoing promotion.

Image Source: Getty / skynesher
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