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Beware of Gym Memberships

From cancellations scams to deceptive quick loans marketing, the gym that is supposed to be a place for consumers to get fit, often turns into a ploy to take your money. Not all gym memberships are bad, but it is important to look at reviews of the gyms you are interested in to get the real story about them before spending hard earned money on a membership that might not be worth a penny. Taking a moment to learn the possible downsides of gym memberships could save you many headaches later.

Initial Costs

Don't let a gym rope you into a yearlong membership without doing some research first. This research should include spending a few hours trying out the gym if you can. Some gyms also offer lifetime memberships; be very careful with these. That lifetime deal may seem great at the time, but there is no guarantee what the future holds. Whether you end up moving to an area that does not have this type of gym or the gym goes out of business, you are left with a lifetime membership to nowhere.

Hidden Fees

Make sure that your chosen gym is upfront about fees and that you have read all of the fine print. You might find that a gym has a sign-up fee, or certain fees for paying by cash or credit card. Maybe they even have fees for cancelling your membership early, something that could happen if you have a life change or simply a change of heart. One of the worst hidden fees some have found is the payment that keeps coming out even after they have quit the gym. In order to avoid this, make sure that you see the gym's cancellation policy before you sign up for a membership.

Faulty Machinery

Just like a trip to the laundromat, there are never any guarantees that the fitness machine you are heading to the gym to use will be in running order. There is also no way to know when it will be fixed. Faulty machinery takes away from your ability to get the most out of your membership. While you could just to choose a different machine or exercise, some people sign up just for a certain machine, forcing them to avoid going to the gym and making their membership become a waste of money.

No Free Machines

Another machine issue is not having any available in order to do your workout. Just because the person that sold you the membership said that there is always a free station to work out in doesn't mean this is true. Take a little bit of time to tour the facility. Come back to it several times, visiting on days and times that you would normally plan to work out and see how busy it gets. This can help give you an idea if there will be a place for you to get your workout in or if you'll always be waiting in line.

Gym memberships can be great if you are going to be able to use them all of the time and know for sure that you are not going to be charged extra fees. Unfortunately, this is not the case very often, which means wasted money and many headaches down the road. Before you invest in a gym membership, make sure to do your research to ensure that your money is being well spent on something that you will use for the foreseeable future.