Last Updated: 30th September 2016
Joining a gym can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Joining one isn’t just as simple as finding the closest one to you and just putting in your details.
It takes the time to find the best option around; one that fits with all your needs (workout and financial).
Only then will you know you have a gym that you can keep going back to over time.
The problem is too many women make the same mistakes when it comes to joining a gym for the very first time.
It leads to them overspending, not getting the full benefits and often never going back to the future.
Have you made these six mistakes before joining a gym?
Could you prevent yourself from making any of them, so you make the most of your gym membership?
Not Visiting the Gym
With the internet being right there, it makes it easy to join a gym quickly overnight.
There is even the chance to go on a virtual tour to see if this could be somewhere you will like to work out.
While this is great if you have a rough idea of gym layouts and options, it is not the best for a first timer.
When joining a gym for the very first time, you want to be able to look around in detail and find out more about the place.
A guided tour is a great chance to find out if there are exercise classes and to see what the changing rooms are really like; are they cleaned regularly, for example?
This is also a chance to check out the swimming pool or find out more about the state of the equipment.
You will get to see if there is enough equipment for all members and the type of people who will use the gym with you.
Some gyms offer childcare rooms while you workout.
This could be beneficial, but you want to see what it is like and whether there are age restrictions.
It is worth visiting at a time that the children are in the crèche to make sure it is suitable for your children; ages and for any disability they may have.
When you don’t visit a gym, you don’t get the chance to appreciate really all the rooms.
There isn’t the chance to ask all your questions; some that you will get just while you are walking around.
By the time to attend your new gym, you could find yourself disappointed and feel like you have wasted your money.
It will also be harder to find rooms and equipment when you attend for the first time.
Not Trying Out the Facilities
Visiting isn’t just about getting the chance to look around. Before you sign up, it’s important to try out the facilities, especially those that you will use on a regular basis.
If you love to swim, it’s worth spending some time in the pool and try out any other additions, like saunas or steam rooms.
For those who love the gym, try out the different machines and test those that you would usually want to use.
This is also a good chance to see how busy it is during the hours that you would usually want to attend.
You’ll get a good idea of whether you can get access during your preferred hours, or whether you’ll have to spend time on other machines while you wait.
You can’t get a good feel for the gym without actually going to try it out. Most gyms understand this, and will give you a free pass for an hour or so.
This is usually long enough to help you make your decision.
During this time, make sure you gather all your questions together.
Afterwards, you will usually be invited to sit down with a member of staff, go through your questions and all the membership options.
This is your chance to make a real decision about whether this is for you.
Ask all the questions you have.
The member of staff you are currently with may not have all the answers, but they could find out for you.
There will be someone who can answer all your questions to make sure this is money well spent. It doesn’t matter how big or small the problem is.
It’s important to you, and you need to make sure you get the answers.
You’re Not Doing This for Yourself
Question why you’re joining the gym, and whether you’re doing it for yourself. One of the biggest mistakes women make is joining with others.
They may have friends who want them to come along with them or a partner who is pressuring them to look better.
You may have heard that exercise classes are great for weight loss, even though you have no interest in them!
When you’re not joining for yourself, you’re less likely to keep going back. You’ll get bored, or you’ll hate the idea of walking in there.
Your membership becomes a waste of money, especially if you’ve been forced to a year-long contract.
There may be other reasons as well as joining for yourself, but that latter point really needs to be your main focus.
That way, you can set your goals and decide what you want to get out of your membership.
This will help push you to visit the gym on a regular basis, get full use of your monthly payments and reach those goals you set yourself.
If you are doing this for someone else, look for a gym that will cater for something like that.
Don’t fork out a fortune each month for somewhere you may never go back to.
Look for a cheaper option, so you get the chance to try it out and see if this is really for you.
If you do like it, you can then always pay more for that other gym you were looking into.
You Sign Up for Too Long for Introductory Bonuses
The longer you sign up for, the cheaper you could pay each month. There are a few gyms that do this, and it is to get more money out of you. The benefit is that you will have to keep paying for that period.
The downside is you may not end up going to the gym for the whole period.
Too many women sign up for a year contract to save a few dollars per month, only to then decide two months later the gym isn’t for them.
They end up paying each month without actually using the gym, wasting a good $30-50 each month, depending on their gym and membership.
On top of that, your gym may change.
Management shifts could lead to certain aspects of your gym closing down.
While you will have some protection should this happen, you could still lose out on money and then you have the inconvenience of finding another gym that offers everything that you need.
Do you really want to be one of those women? Of course, you don’t!
It’s best to think really about those introductory bonuses.
Be honest with yourself. Could you really see yourself going to the gym in six months time? Will your financial position be in a good enough one for this?
Is your job currently at risk or is there something else happening at home that could mean your situation changes within the next few weeks?
If it means paying a few dollars extra for a shorter term, it could work out financially better for you.
Try that for six months and then talk about extending your membership. Most gyms will be happy to extend it and offer bonuses for longer contracts once you are settled that this is a gym for you.
You Don’t Take Advantage of All the Facilities
Your gym could offer all sorts of facilities for your standard monthly fee. This could be access to steam rooms and a Jacuzzi, or you may get access to fitness classes and a crèche.
Your membership will be set with the assumption that you will use all the facilities. Sometimes there may be cheaper options if you only want access to a limited number of them.
It is worth asking about all the different membership options.
Find out about peak and off-peak, and whether you can just pay for the gym rather than the swimming pool and fitness classes, especially if that is all you are interested in.
Why pay more when you’re not going to use it all?
When there isn’t this option, you want to take advantage of all the facilities. Too many women make the mistake of not finding out what their gym membership includes in full.
For some, it includes a personal trainer session every three months to make sure you have a more personalized workout for your goals.
In other gyms, it may include a health check to help keep your health at the optimum level.
If you don’t use all the facilities, you are wasting your money. You are also missing out on so many beneficial items, and not going your health justice.
Of course, you want to make sure that all the facilities are included in your membership. Find out if there are any other facilities that cost extra.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have to use them, but that you are aware of them should you decide they interest you.
Not Reading the Contract
All gyms come with contracts, and it is so important to read them before you sign up.
This details what you get for your money, how much you need to pay each month and what the company will promise you during this time.
It also details the total length of membership and any terms for cancellation.
Too many women fail to read their contract in full.
They assume that it will be the same as their one for their mobile phone or home broadband; that there will be a cancellation option somewhere if they don’t like it.
The truth is gym memberships tend to be the strictest when it comes to cancelling outside of the allowed period. There may be strict requirements everyone needs to follow if they want to get out of their full period they signed up for, such as requiring a doctor’s note.
If it is more out of personal choice—rather than a major change the gym has made—there are chances that you will not be able to cancel at all until your membership is over.
Contracts will also include anything you need to agree to, such as regular health checks or providing information when asked for it.
You may need to have a membership card at all times, or supply evidence of an injury when asked for it.
If you sign that contract without reading it, how will you know what all the requirements from you are?
How will you know if you meet them?
The gym could cancel your membership without warning.
Joining a gym could be the best thing you ever do. Before you do, though, make sure you think carefully about the place and all your options available.
Taking a full tour and trying out the facilities is certainly worthwhile. From there, you can develop your list of questions and really see if this is a place you want to spend your money on a monthly basis.
Employees will be used to people signing up and trying out the facilities.
They may even put on offers, so you get the full experience for a week before you commit to that full 12-month membership.
They want you to be happy with your purchase.
Don’t be afraid to take your time.
Too many women make mistakes when they first join a gym and end up with a membership that they no longer enjoy.
Too many end up wasting money on a monthly basis, for something they no longer do.
It is important to have a plan before joining a gym in order to make the most out of the experience. Setting your mind with a goal coupled with determination and focus are some ways to enjoy this venture.
By avoiding the mistakes I’ve outlined above, you are more likely to make the best choice right away.
Have you made these mistake before? Let us know in the comments below!