How to get a great fitness gym deal

It goes without saying that every fitness gym is offering a New Year's special now, when our motivation to lose weight and get in shape is at a peak. Here are five simple steps to get an even better deal than what they are offering.

1. Scope out the deals at three or more gyms. Calculate the total yearly cost of joining each by adding up the signing fee, monthly fee, and extra fees for towels, classes, or parking.

2. Order the gyms by how much you want to join them. Does one have a hot tub or special feature that is important to you? Is one much closer than the others? Does one have classes you are interested in?

3. Call each gym and ask a sales rep. to explain what offers they have, even if you know what they are. Discuss the pros and cons of joining that gym with the rep. Mention that you are considering joining another gym and tell them what the rival gym offers. Pause to let the sales rep make a counter offer. Reiterate your concerns about joining the rep's gym but also compliment the rep on what you like about their gym. Remind the rep that you are planning on joining a gym but are considering all your options before making a decision. Say things like:

"I'd really like to join your gym but I'm considering all my options."

"I like that your gym has (insert feature here), but it is a drawback that your gym does not have (insert feature here)."

"I'm definitely going to join a gym, I'm just not sure which one is best for me."

4. Thank the rep for their best offer and tell them you are going to make a few more calls but that you will probably call them back.

5. Repeat step 3 until you feel the rep at each gym on your list has made their best offer. Say things like:

"I'd really like to join your gym. What's the best offer you can make me?"

Then take your pick!

BONUS: If a gym sales rep is not able to lower the total price of a yearly membership, ask them if they can add in extra guest passes, free upgrades, personal training sessions, parking passes, or other perks that will sweeten the deal.
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