Last updated Mar. 12, 2023 by Peter Jakes
There’s no doubt about it: Gym memberships can be expensive, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But if you know where to look and what to do, there are plenty of ways to get cheap gym membership without breaking the bank.
Here are 13 ways to help keep your wallet in check and ensure that working out is something you can actually afford.
Get a gym membership for your workplace
Get a gym membership for your workplace. Many gyms offer discounted or free memberships to employees of certain companies, and while it may not be practical to have a gym on-site, there are still plenty of perks to being an employee.
If you don’t know if your company offers this kind of discount, ask around! Some gyms also offer trial and free first-month memberships that allow new customers to try the gym before committing to anything long-term.
CrossFit boxes are a great way to get a cheap gym membership. CrossFit is a brand of intense fitness that combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and high-intensity interval training for those who don’t know.
As an added bonus, you’ll be able to make friends with the people in your neighborhood who are also doing CrossFit.
But there are some disadvantages as well: some people may not like being pushed so hard during exercise or doing exercises they’ve never heard of before.
It will cost you between $100-$200 per month depending on where you live and what kind of Crossfit box(es) are available in your area (there’s usually at least one)
Opt for an off-peak membership.
An off-peak membership is a great option if your work schedule is irregular or you work late night shifts and prefer to work out in the morning. It means the gym won’t be crowded when it’s busy with people with more regular schedules.
This way, you can get a good workout without feeling like everyone else is in their own little fitness bubble.
Even if your job requires that you be at the office at 9 am each day (and we’re all glad it does), consider switching up your routine by heading to the gym after work instead of before.
Most gyms offer discounted rates for members who pay for 24 hours of access within a day or week—often half what they charge during peak hours.
If this would appeal to you but still require some flexibility in terms of when/how long you want to stay there, then this might be a good choice as well.
Get your medical insurance to cover some of your costs
If you have medical insurance, you can get some of your gym membership costs covered. To qualify for this benefit, you must have a pre-existing condition requiring treatment or rehabilitation.
You’ll also need to show that going to the gym will help improve your health and reduce future medical bills.
Suppose your medical insurance covers gyms as part of their benefits package. In that case, they will typically reimburse members 50% or 80% of their membership costs if they don’t cover gyms (or only partially).
There are still ways to save money by paying upfront for a year’s worth of membership in one go instead of monthly payments over 12 months.
Pay annually instead of monthly.
Paying annually is often the cheapest way to go, especially if you’re a gym member for life. This means you’ll pay one lump sum each year and never have to pay again.
If paying yearly sounds good, consider making it easier on yourself by setting up a direct debit so you don’t have to worry about forgetting or being unable to afford your monthly membership fee.
Some gyms offer an additional discount for paying yearly, too – so it’s worth checking if this is the case with yours.
Consider chain gyms
If you’re not picky about equipment quality, consider a chain gym for your cheap gym membership. A chain gym is usually the most popular option and therefore has the best range of equipment.
You can find a cheap gym membership at a chain gym, and they also have good customer service, so you don’t feel like they are trying to rip you off.
Ask about discounts for students, seniors, and public servants
If you’re a student, senior, or public servant and have a valid ID to prove it, ask about any discounts your gym might offer.
Some gyms and health clubs offer special rates for students, seniors, public servants (including military members), and teachers. If your gym offers these discounted membership plans, then it’s worth checking out if they apply to you.
Suppose the gym doesn’t have any specific discount plan available for students or teachers but does have an overall Student/Teacher/Senior discount. In that case, getting one of those memberships at a lower price point than normal may still be possible.
Just be sure that when applying for such a membership plan, you bring along proof of age as well as proof of enrollment in school or university respectively – this way, there is no confusion about whether or not the discount is applied correctly.
Don’t sign a contract.
When you sign a gym contract, you agree to pay for an entire membership year. That means 12 months before you can cancel without paying any fees, and even then, it might cost as much as $100 to get out of the deal.
That’s because contracts are expensive and restrictive and can be a hassle no matter how long they last!
Don’t sign a contract unless absolutely necessary. Even if your gym offers free trial memberships, see if they offer something similar with fewer strings attached (like rolling month-to-month contracts or short-term deals). If they don’t try other options first:
Get your family to join you in working out
By getting your family to join you in working out, you can save money and spend more time together.
If you want to get your kids involved, many gyms will offer free memberships for children as young as 6 months old.
And if they’re not interested in that age range, there are plenty of other ways to participate: swimming lessons, basketball leagues, etc.
If your spouse isn’t into joining a gym and prefers something more low-key (or just wants some alone time), why not take up walking or swimming? It’s good exercise without having to pay extra money each month.
Your parents might be interested in joining a yoga class together—as long as they don’t mind being surrounded by twenty-something hipsters who look like they stepped out of an Urban Outfitters catalog.
You could also consider taking advantage of community centers or rec centers near your home (if there aren’t any nearby).
You may even find that getting fit with friends is better than going it alone; the camaraderie makes exercise seem less like work and more like fun.
Find a good online deal.
Online deals can save you a lot of money. The best time to buy a gym membership is the first week of January, as many clubs offer discounts on annual memberships at this time.
The club’s website should have all the information you need to determine whether or not they are offering an online deal. You’ll find out if there are any additional costs associated with joining and what exactly you get for your money.
If you don’t feel like searching around yourself, plenty of sites will help match people with deals in their area: Groupon, Living Social, etc.
Get creative with how you workout.
Get creative with how you work out. If you don’t like the gym, try taking a class. Maybe your town has yoga studios or martial arts schools that offer classes at a fraction of the price of a gym membership.
Or maybe something else in your community interests you and could be a good way to get fit and meet new people, like rock climbing classes or hiking groups (just make sure these are safe).
Find someone who’s into working out as much as you are. This will help keep you motivated when it comes time to put on your workout gear, lace up those sneakers and head out for another run around the block.
Take advantage of the internet and free apps.
This can be a great way to keep track of your progress and give you different workouts to try each time.
Suppose you’re unsure what type of workout might be good for you. In that case, several different options on YouTube show people performing various exercises and giving tips on how to do them correctly.
This site also has a ton of workout videos if there are specific moves that interest you more than others. But remember: working out isn’t about doing too much at once; it’s better for your body if you balance cardio work and strength training.
Try signing up for New Year challenges and competitions.
This will give you plenty of motivation to stay fit and healthy. If you want to stay motivated, look no further than New Year challenges and competitions.
These events can be fun and competitive and will help keep your goals in mind.
They are also a great way to stay motivated because they give you something to work towards that is more specific than just “losing weight” or “getting fit”.
A cheap gym membership doesn’t have to break the bank or give you less-than-stellar service. With the right combination of location and price, students can find a great deal on a membership that will help them get fit while saving them a little bit of cash.
There are hundreds of gyms within walking distance for every campus, so you won’t have to spend extra money on gas or public transportation if you don’t already have a vehicle that works for you.
Some gyms offer student discounts and special packages designed specifically for students who live nearby and need only basic amenities.
If your school has an intramural program or recreational sports opportunities, these services are likely included in the cost of tuition.
But if not, there’s almost certainly a program available for purchase at your school that you can join. You’ll have access to world-class facilities and equipment to help you get fit or stay in shape throughout the school year.
You can get a free gym membership in one of three main ways: through your employer, school, or student organization.
You can get a free gym membership through your employer if it offers a corporate fitness center open to the public, like a YMCA or a fitness center run by Allied Barton Security Services.
You can also work out with your colleagues throughout the day and still be able to keep track of your progress.
You can get a free gym membership at school if an on-campus fitness center is open to students and faculty.
You can work out right after class and utilize the pool, basketball court, and other facilities. Some colleges even offer personal trainers at no extra cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my gym membership cheaper?
Go online and check out the deals they have going on. Many gyms offer a variety of promotions through their websites, and you don’t even have to leave your house to take advantage of them.
The popular fitness club chain 24 Hour Fitness has a deal for students where you can get an annual membership for $49.99 plus tax.
Another popular chain, Gold’s Gym, offers a similar promotion for $20 off if you’re a student or military. Any time you can save money is a good thing.
Call other gyms in your area and ask if they have any current deals. Even if they aren’t advertising it, you may be able to find out if they have current promotions that might save you some money.
This is especially true if one gym near you is offering something and the other isn’t it might be worth it to go with the cheaper place just because it’s cheaper.
Look into other exercise classes or clubs, like martial arts or dance classes. These classes don’t require equipment, so they can be significantly less expensive than a traditional gym membership.
What is the initiation fee gym?
When you go to the gym, you must pay for the membership for a specific period. This membership fee is what we call an “initiation fee.”
The term “initiation fee” is used because, in the past, going to the gym was considered something new, so people would feel like they were going through an initiation process when they started exercising.
The first thing to consider is whether a gym membership is even worth it. In some areas, the only way to receive any sort of exercise is to join a gym; you’re simply not going to be able to run, bike, or swim daily because of the weather.
But if you live where you can easily be outdoors most of the year, then maybe your money would be better spent on a personal trainer to help you figure out the best exercise routine for your needs and goals.
Can you negotiate a gym membership?
Most gyms will negotiate with you over the phone or in person. Some companies clarify that they’ll knock off a percentage of the total price if you pay for multiple months upfront.
Other gyms will give discounts for paying in cash rather than by credit card.
The cost of it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to get in shape, then any old gym will do you.
If you want a great workout every time, some gyms specialize in that, and they’ll cost more than the regular ones.
If you want a great workout every time and all the latest equipment, that will cost even more. And if you want luxury amenities like a sauna or heated pool, the price will be even higher.
Does Class Pass to save you money?
ClassPass is a new service that allows members to take group fitness classes at various studios in their city and receive a discounted rate on each class.
It’s already an amazing deal for those who love working out and are looking for variety. Yes, it does save money, although it requires more work than other deals.
It’s no secret that gym memberships are expensive. If you want to keep fit and healthy, you must invest some money.
Unfortunately, most people aren’t willing to pay the price for a gym membership at their current gym because these gyms often do not offer the best facilities or equipment for their money.
If you want cheap gym memberships without sacrificing quality, then there are several ways in which you can achieve this goal with ease.
You can find a gym that fits your budget, and you don’t need to sacrifice quality just because you’re on a tighter budget.
This guide will help you navigate the options available in your area to find the best deal for your needs without compromising on quality or convenience.