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Why Summertime May Be the Best Time to Get Gym Membership Deal

It’s easy for gyms to pack the house in January, when everyone is hopped up on resolutions. That’s why it’s possibly the worst time to score a deal. But come July—well, that’s another story. You have much more leverage because, as it turns out, only six percent of new memberships come in during the summer, says Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, an advocacy group. This isn’t the only secret some gyms are hiding, and what you don’t know can hurt your wallet and your health. Whether you’re shopping for better deals or a new club, use this insider intel to make smarter decisions.

1. They’ll Fight to Keep You

For the same reason summer is a good time to join the gym, it’s also the perfect time to milk an existing membership, says Greenberg. Most health-club sales teams are required to meet monthly quotas and keep cancellations down, so they’d rather offer you extras than risk losing your business. Show them the cheaper rate of a competing club and see if they’ll match it.

Or, find out what your gym is offering newbies and ask for the same perks—extra guest passes, an all-gym pass (so you can hit up other locations while traveling), a few personal training sessions, or even a free month. If you end up leaving your membership altogether, you can always work out in your home.


2. Monthly Contracts Can Be a Rip-off

They’re fine for gym rats. But if you’re more of a gym mouse—i.e., you hit the place less than twice a week—don’t sign on the dotted line just yet. Gym users with monthly memberships can end up paying 70 percent more than those on pay-per-visit plans (often in the form of a 10-visit pass), says Stefano DellaVigna, Ph.D., an associate professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, who studied gym users for three years. In fact…

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