About to join a gym? What the BBB wants you to know before signing a contract


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New year, new resolutions to work on fitness goals and overall health. You may be thinking about joining a gym. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released tips to consider before signing on the dotted line and locking yourself into a contract.

What are your fitness goals?

BBB recommends not signing up at the first gym you see or visit. They suggest you take a look at a variety of options that fit your individual fitness goals before committing.

Experts say you should consult with your physician before embarking on a new fitness program, especially if you have medical conditions that could end up being a concern.

What is most important to you when signing up for a gym membership?

Is the location convenient? Are they open extended hours to fit your personal schedule? Are there a variety of exercise options available at the location?

BBB recommends you keep all of these questions in mind before you commit, and check the organization’s website to read more about what other customers have positively or negatively reviewed about the establishment. Not all gyms are the same.

Tour the facility

Find out if the gym has the equipment, classes and trainers you desire before signing a contract. Some gyms don’t offer free weights and just machines; some have pools and some offer saunas.

You can find out a lot about how a gym abides by COVID-19 protocols by visiting the location and asking management questions about what they do to keep their members safe.

Don’t feel coerced

BBB recommends that you do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join immediately. They say that a reputable gym will always give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facility and make a decision that is best for you.

When reading through the contract, make sure you read it carefully. All verbal promises by the salesperson must be in writing. Ask questions involving membership auto-renewal and cancellation policies.

Gyms often use special offers to encourage new members to join, but the price increases after the initial period is over. BBB says to make sure you calculate those monthly fees and coordinate them within your budget — so the only sweating you’ll be doing is from working out.


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