Time to choose a gym


Like most people, you’ve probably waited till after the holidays to think about getting back in shape. It’s an annual ritual for many of us, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

Step one for many of us will be joining a gym, and now is a good time to be looking, as many gyms are offering all sorts of promotions and discounts during the holiday season through January. The New York Times has a good article on getting a deal on a gym membership.

It’s New Year’s resolution time again, and the health and fitness clubs here in New York and throughout the country are out in full force.

This time of year you can count on heavy promotions. Clubs depend on the December-January rush for the bulk of their memberships. But this year the frenzy has been ratcheted up a notch as clubs try to make up for the recession, which caused many corporate sponsorships to evaporate and many individual members to drop out or cut way back on costly extras like personal training and massage.

But lean times for the fitness clubs are good news for consumers.

“Join in December and you’ll get the best deals — across the board,” says Howard Brodsky, chief executive of New York Health & Racquet Club. “Health clubs are businesses just like any other retail business. They have numbers they need to hit.”

And here is more good news: Over the last decade or so the health club industry has cleaned up many of its questionable practices. Years ago, health and fitness clubs routinely made the Federal Trade Commission’s list of the top 10 sources of consumer complaints about deceptive sales practices, misleading contracts and lack of full disclosure.

We also recommend checking out one of Fitness Editor Mike Furci’s earliest articles for Bullz-Eye.com on how to choose a gym.

First and foremost, never join on the first day. As a matter of fact, let the staff know before the tour begins that you’re not joining today and will not tolerate any high-pressure sales. If a gym you visit uses high-pressure tactics, you can pretty much guarantee they are not a service-orientated center. A gym that offers impeccable service does not have to resort to vacuum cleaner type sales.
Once the tour is over inquire about a trial membership. If a club does not offer a trial membership, or it only offers a day pass, you might want to think twice about spending your money there. A gym that is confident in what they have to offer will have at least a “seven-day” trial membership. Some facilities even offer a “30-day” trial membership. A gym that offers trial memberships is very confident with its staff and the services they offer. They feel if they can get you to experience their club, you’ll be impressed and feel comfortable enough to purchase a membership.

Mike’s column is full of helpful tips, so you’ll be prepared and won’t make a decision you’ll regret if you follow his advice. Then, all you’ll have to worry about is actually working out! Mike’s regular columns can definitely help you there.


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