Best Time to Join a Health Club

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The fitness industry counts on the fresh motivation of New Year’s Resolutions to drive sales and rarely needs to create promotions to encourage memberships then. Membership prices usually stay at their regular rates through the busy season. There’s a best time of the year to join a health club.

“Usage can increase by 25% during January,” said Lisa Hufcut, director of public relations at New York Sports Clubs. When demand is high gym management knows that prospects will join anyway and keeps discount rates at a minimum.

By Valentine’s Day most health clubs start rolling out promotions in time for couples to show their love for each other with a health club membership.

In fact, research shows there are better opportunities to save money during slower months. Although plenty of sporadic promotions occur throughout the year, the best time to join a health club is during the summer off season when gyms are hurting for business. This usually happens between June and September when the summer weather takes fitness lovers outdoors. Enrollment prices drop and even college students can take advantage of discounted summertime memberships.

Being financially responsible and physically fit are keys to living a rich and fulfilling life. Family vacations and trips to the beach contribute to empty gyms and aggressive sales tactics. Consider purchasing a membership before you take that summer vacation. Ask health club management if they offer a “freezing” option. This is a way to benefit from the opportunity of a good rate, but avoid the responsibility of paying for the gym during the months you are away.

There may be a small fee to hold the membership but it is much lower than regular monthly dues. Summer months are also a great time to take advantage of trainers giving away free or discounted training sessions. During the slow season, trainers will often give away their services in hopes of gaining new clients. Even if you are fit, working out with a personal trainer is an excellent way to perfect your exercise techniques and learn some new exercises. Ask the trainer to check your body fat and give you nutritional advice. Consider signing up with them later in the year.

When choosing a health club, the most important consideration is determining whether you will be comfortable working out there. Big corporate gyms and small boutique gyms each have their own offerings. Some health clubs are full of “barbell heads” and don’t offer a good mix of clientele suited for average exercise types.

Corporate gyms like Golds often have “travel pass” programs that allow members to visit other locations. This feature is extremely helpful traveling out of town on business. Membership rates and promotions of corporate gyms are mostly based on decisions made for the company as a whole. Price negotiations are rarely done at big name gyms and the enrollment price is subject to change from one day to another.

Small local gyms have more control of their prices. Offering unique promotions and rates make these smaller health clubs independently special. Many health clubs will give you a free week to try them out. Take time to consider the size and demographic make-up of the gym you choose so you can get the best deal and successfully reach your fitness goals.