Joining a Gym - Insider Info

Hello all,

I'm a former industry insider (membership consultant aka sales at one of the big gyms- you can probably guess who). In an attempt to make amends for that indiscretion, I have decided to share my wisdom with my fellow OzBargainers, in the hope that you can avoid being scammed at these Globo Gyms…

I just posted this in response to a dubious "deal" from Genesis:

Tip #1: Joining Fees exist PURELY to be reduced in order to give you the impression that you're getting a good deal. "I'll just ask my manager - guess what? He'll halve the joining fee if you join today!!!" It also makes joining more attractive at the end of the month - the joining free is almost always dropped completely at the end of the month to help clubs hit their sales targets.

Tip #2: There is always an "Admin Fee" (usually around $60) that is separate to the joining fee and CANNOT EVER BE WAIVED.

Tip #3: The usual practice is to give every new member 1-3 personal training sessions for free. This gives the PTs a chance to sell their own packages.

Tip #4: There's usually fat in the weekly fees for the same reason as Tip #1

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I know all their sneaky tricks- lead generation, phone calls/scripts, free passes, gym tours, presentation scripts, sales techniques employed (trial close, higher authority close, reduction to the ridiculous, pre-empting and negating your objections, local-only memberships, etc…

I'll elaborate on these when I can, but hit me up in the meantime if I can help you out…

Comments

  • "reduction to the rediculous", ha ha ha…care to elaborate?

    • +6

      lol it's a sales technique that makes the fees look ridiculously small by using personal examples.

      "hey robbyjones - the fees are only $20 a week! Do you drink coffee? You do?! How much is a coffee these days, like, $5 from a fancy-pants cafe? See - all you have to do is quit drinking coffee and BAM you've got a free gym membership!"

      A more basic example: "$20 a week? That's around $2.85 a day! SUPER CHEAP!!"

      It's a VERY common tool they use to make it appear as though the price is next to nothing…

      • A more basic example: "$20 a week? That's around $2.85 a day! SUPER CHEAP!!"

        Yep, I've heard of that from my parents
        They basically said: I don't care, I just see it on a monthly cost.

      • +12

        "Please I'm an OzBargainer, my coffee ranges from 30 to 50 cents a day, I grind decent beans and make my coffee at home in the morning!"

        • Lol and THAT is a very effective method of negating the power of "Reduction to the Ridiculous"…good job :-)

        • +1

          If you're paying for coffee at all, you're doing it wrong.

          Virtually every pokies room in Sydney for example has a free coffee machine.

        • I just drink water.

  • +3

    oh, ok, gotcha - yeah have heared that one before (give up coffee, are you INSANE?). I thought it might have been a discount for ridiculous people or ridiculous requests….such as….I can only come to the gym between 6am and 8am as I work all the time, can I get a discount for that?

  • +8

    HA! The more ridiculous your request, the bigger the discount! Awesome concept!

    Me: I want to work out in nothing but my manliest hello kitty underwear!

    Globo Gym Sales Guy: FREE GYM FOR YOU!!

    Ah, what a world it would be….

    Seriously though, if you went to one of these places and said "I can only train between 6am and 8am" I guarantee you they would say "Guess what? I can sell you our ultra special OFFPEAK membership that you can only use between those times!!! How lucky! BUT it's only supposed to be for staff family, so don't tell anyone ok?!"

    They would then simply knock $2 a week out of the fat in the regular weekly fees, half the joining fee (or wave it entirely) and then send you on your merry way thinking you'd gotten some special exclusive deal.

    I wish I were joking. This happens.

    • +2

      Hanging head…I suddenly feel like a novice shopper in Thailand. I fell for the shh this is the family rate.

      • +2

        Ha- the one good thing about working there was that it opened my eyes to a world of sneakiness I never knew existed. I'm always on the lookout for this kind of crap now. Don't feel bad man - the staff can be very convincing. How are you supposed to know whether the deal is legit?

        Bit of background info - I only started there because I thought "It'd be great fun to work in a gym!" I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Jumped right into the shark tank….

  • +1

    Tip #5: You know how most memberships are "Universal"? You can use them in any club. MOST gyms have a "Local" or "Home Only" membership option that is usually cheaper. They don't advertise it though, because the fees are obviously lower. The sales guys will usually only present it as a last resort since their commissions are the lowest on these types of memberships.

    • Are you talking about Anytime? Do you work there? I tried asking if they had that option cause having access to all Anytimes is something I don't need but no dice… could be cause it just opened up.

      • Nope- i've had nothing to do with Anytime. The 24hr gyms have a very different business model to the other big, shiny chains however. Like I said, most big gyms have a product like this, but not all….

  • +2

    so…. not much different to a car dealership… lol

    • +3

      Worse. Car dealers understand the huge commitment it takes to buy a new car. As such, they're more likely to let you walk away in the hopes that you'll come back. Gym membership sales people NEED to sign you up when they show you through. Otherwise management sees you as a failure. Plus there's a huge financial incentive. The average salary for one of these sales people is $24,000pa plus commission. You only get your commissions IF you hit your sales quota for the month. On average, each sales member needs to join 2-3 people per day. Hungry business….

  • +2

    Sorry mate, but gym chains are BS. Private gyms are the way to go. CBF listing why, I'm off to the gym now

    • +5

      You're preaching to the choir. Unfortunately though, private gyms are dying out. Your traditional large space community gym simply costs too much to operate when compared to the 24hr model. I know - a friend of mine owned a huge local gym. The high rent, staff salaries and lack of a hardcore sales team killed the business completely. He desperately wanted a "no pressure", friendly community atmosphere - something which I really dig. Unfortunately though he ended up huge rent, staff that had no KPIs to hit thus no incentive to sell memberships and the gym collapsed on itself. It's a HUGE shame- I love private gyms. Look around though- they're almost all 24hr models now. Salaries are kept fairly low, they usually only employ 3-4 staff who all double as personal trainers. They only staff the gym during peak hours. Rent is low due to small floor spaces and no group training/class rooms. Plus the memberships are cheap. I'm training at a 24hr place for a sweet deal right now - no joining fee, no admin fee, $10 a week, month-to-month. Suits me…

      • +1

        $10 a month! edit whoops meant week. question still stands.

        Can you get those in the CBD, say melbourne cbd?

        • +3

          I go to a 24 hour gym, $10/week (special $8 for 6 month contract) in Carlton North. They have another location in Fitzroy. Fairly close to city.

          Jetts is $12/week and has locations in the city.

        • I've been living in a bubble it seems… thanks!

        • Damn that's all pretty cheap, I pay 55 a month but I suppose I wouldn't have it any other ways since my gym is a 3 min walk away.

        • neil's suggestions may be your best bet - I train in Brisbane. If you can find somewhere that suits your training goals for around $10 a week it's a good deal. I'm getting that on a corporate rate, which reminds me…
          Tip #6: Ask about slipping onto a corporate rate. A lot of salespeople will just put on the form that you work for a particular company if it means the difference between making a sale and not. After all, a corporate rate is basically just a group discount to get more people in the gym. Might not work everywhere but definitely worth a try.

        • LOL!
          Heaven forbid, you'd get exercise without paying for it.

          Very un-ozbargainer attitude :-P

        • Me too. How can i repay you?

      • +4

        Private gyms will never die out. I have actually seen a lot more open up over the past 2-3 years. They seem to make good 'fronts'.

        24 hour models are fantastic BUT I have found that their equipment can sometimes be lacking

        • Agreed - 24hr gyms also need more expensive insurance due to their 24hr unsupervised access nature. As such, most don't have "dangerous" powerlifting gear or very heavy weight. Most Jett's don't even have a freeweight bench press- everything is pin weight or leverage stuff. As a bodybuilder, 24hr places are less than ideal. I keep complaining to mine that their dumbbells don't go above 40kgs….

        • Haha I requested bigger dumbbells (over 40kg) and they said no also, this is at Anytime. However I know 2 Any times that have larger, but nowhere near me

        • My old gym I am sure ran at a loss and didn't mind at all. I expect they made a lot more 'on paper'.

        • +1

          I've been a member of Goodlife for about 7 years now. I trialed Jetts once, it was a joke. Sure it's cheap but the equipment was extremely lacking. Plus I find the unstaffed idea very stupid. I know there's cameras bla bla bla. But nothing compares to immediate first aid. Safety is not something I'll put at risk for the sake of a few bucks.

          Btw, I've ALWAYS done upfront 12 month payment. Boy do the sales people hate that. Every year I hear the same rubbish about the pricing going up next year, direct debit locks it in bla bla bla. I'll take the $10/price increase or what ever over giving some dodgy company direct access to my bank account thanks very much.

        • @PainToad:

          I know this is 4 years old, but I agree 100%. Hate when they advertise a price, but all of a sudden, they up it $2 a fortnight b/c that's what the DD charge. I don't care about what the gym gets, I care about what I pay - advertise that.

  • +2

    Corporate rate equals 15% off walk up price. Never pay joining fee. Do your research. Be polite, but walk if they won't give you the rate you want. Goodlife, Fitness First and Fernwood all do Corporate rate, probably all the majors do. Sales techniques like those mentioned are common in all businesses with sales targets. Overly aggressive management (Ive heard Fitness First is the worst) pushing their reps is where it can get ugly. Have found most reps to be pretty god though over the years.

    • +5

      Kobrien knows what's up. I can tell you that management were ruthless. Good point about staying polite. If you walk in and act like a jerkass most staff will make a point to not give you the best deal. Unfortunately the sales techniques are much more aggressive than most other KPI driven environments. There's nothing wrong with the sales techniques themselves - sales psychology works. Period. It's just the soul crushing relentlessness with which the sales are pursued. Calling leads everyday until they scream back at you….ugh. I can almost remember word for word the tour script I had to give which basically is designed to make the prospective member feel like a fat loser. Reinforce their negative self image so they feel horrible and agree to join. It wasn't nice

  • +1

    Isn't this the same for every business?

  • +1

    My fav is that even though its a month to month commitment, they try and brain wash you in to thinking in week to to in terms of payments, sly.

  • A few years ago I went to (re)join Fitness First at a Platinum Gym and also sign up my partner for the first time. After rejecting an initial offer of over $100/month each for the full platinum membership as being too expensive, a few days later the membership consultant called me back and offered me a 'friends and family membership' of $60/month and no joining fee.
    I guess we were lucky at the time because her reasoning was something to the effect of 'I'm here on a 6 month exchange from Sweden (yes she was hot!) and I'm going back in a couple of months and because I have no friends and family in Australia I'm happy to offer you these or they will expire'. The beautiful thing is the Platinum Membership gives me access to all Passport (standard) and Platinum (mid-level premium) gyms in every state except TAS (actually they pulled out of Adelaide CBD in the last couple of years which sucked). On a personal note, I love this membership because I have access to 4 gyms in Melbourne CBD and if I'm working out during work lunch then I go to one gym and if after hours I go to another gym closer to home.
    A never to be repeated offer…..?

    • +2

      Nope - a classic case. She got you bro. If a sale walks out the door it's standard practice to call them in the next few days (or wait till EOM) and offer them a once off/never to be repeated/shhh don't tell anyone deal. Her background gave her the perfect convincing story. FYI there is no such thing as a Friends and Family membership at FF - trust me ;-) think about it- if there was, how would the reps be able to sell it to you without any proof of relationship. You just got the REAL (probably base) weekly fees, no joining fee and a cute story… This is why reps NEVER give you the real/base fees if they think you're going to walk. It gives them the opportunity to negotiate like this afterwards

      • Don't get me wrong - you probably ended up with the best deal you could have gotten. It's just the lowest price they can sell the standard m'ship for

        • Yep FF alright. They even do this to ex-staff. Quite a cold, heartless bunch.

  • +6

    Most gyms rely on the fact that the vast majority of people who sign up will simply not go after a few weeks/months. Otherwise you'll run out of air very quickly with the sort of over-subscription they do.

    I finally stumbled onto 'Crunch' one day which had no joining fees (some special), no contract and $4.95/week. The size/eqpt is no worse than most other gyms I've been to.

    I made my money back in extended hot showers!!! (my HWS at home is rubbish).

    For once in my life I don't feel ripped off by a gym.

    • +3

      Yep Crunch is pretty awesome for $4.95 - $5.95 for a base membership

      • Woot- now that's a good price! Their facilities look really good too. Nice one

        • +1

          It's actually a bit small, but it does the job :)
          Their fees went up
          I got it on $6 a week with $30 joining fee, there's a fortnightly transaction fee of $1 and a quarterly fee of something small..
          Works out something to be like $7.30 a week or so

        • Damn, if only they were in Melbourne!

        • Fitness 405 in Northcote are the same price, I love that gym. If I ever move back to Melbourne I'm going back there.

      • Its 10.95 per week now :(

  • yeah, its pretty standard sales and marketing though; how to sell ice to an eskimo.

    that being said; sales and marketing is always a grey area when it comes to doing whats right.

    I used to work at a Sales and Marketing company for 6 months awhile back, got paid commission only so it was pretty tough but I didn't know better at the time. Now the whole chain is shut down for anticompetitive behaviour.

  • +3

    Whistleblowers - confirming what we already know and more …

    • +1

      U aware brah? ;-)

      • Not the detailed specifics but many businesses operate in the same or similar manner, plus I know my own proclivities - to extract maximum benefit for minimum effort.

        I also know a PT - personal trainer - my step daughter, who is also exploited by the system.

        Not sure if you got my meaning; good to hear your insider view and the specific methodology to maximise profit.

        • Oh yeah- I feel for your step daughter mate. The PTs at these big places get taken for a ride. Floor rent is really high, contractually they HAVE to give the first few PT sessions for free… it's tough. Props to the PTs in these gyms though- they're usually very passionate about fitness. Can't say the same for most of the management or the sales reps…..

        • For those that don't know- the PTs are self-employed. They usually draw no (or very little) salary from the corporate gym. They basically pay rent in order to run their own little business out of a large, successful gym

        • She is, passionate, and graduated recently (with distinction) as a paramedic - tough work but paid. :)

        • Wow - double respect. That kind of work takes a person with a lot of courage and heart. Sounds like she's all about helping people. That's so cool

        • "Proclivities", nice one!

        • Talking general here, PTs are jerks. They "reserve" equipment for their clients, they have their clients run up and down hallways doing boxing, blocking the path for others. Also can't stand the fake 'chit chat' I over hear when they talk to their clients.

        • "So what have you been up to?"

          "My Mum died."

          "Oh yeah? That's really cool. So how are you going with your fitness goals?"

      • aware.

    • +5

      Seriously though, not everyone knows this stuff. If I can help ONE person see through the BS when checking out gyms, I'll be happy.

      • +1

        Yes, and it's not just gyms. What you reveal of the methodology is also pertinent to other businesses and helpful in dealing with them. Kudos …

  • +2

    THE CYCLE:
    1: Generate Leads - You know those sweet 3 day free passes they hand out on the street? Here's the lowdown on those - they are used purely to generate leads by getting your phone number or (best case) setting up an appointment on the spot. The trick is, they extend the pass like they're just giving it to you. You go for it like a cod on a juicy worm…. once you've grabbed it, they don't let go. Caught. Rep starts the small talk and tells you in order to redeem it you need to provide your details. Of course….Ultimately, they want to chat you up and get you in the gym for a tour immediately, but they'll settle for your name and phone #. That name and number then goes on the dreaded LIST!!! Reps spend at least one solid hour every day just calling every number on the lead generation list to try to tee up a tour. That free pass comes with a hefty price. Not to mention the fact that as soon as you try to use it they'll whisk you away on an hour long gym tour…mandatory for first time visitors :-)

    • +3

      Thats why whenever I use the free trial passes at fitness first I give them a fake phone number :P

      • +1

        Yep, that's the easy out. The protocol though is to have a rep call you that night after your session to try to sell you a m'ship. As soon as they realize it's a fake number, they'll look out for you the next time you visit and confront you with it. Not a big problem, but might make things awkward :-P

      • If a friend has given you the goose lately, just fill out the trial pass with their mobile number :)

  • +3

    I called a local gym about joining with the deal that was advertised on their website. It was a pretty good deal, worked out to be about $10 per week for a student plus 3 PT sessions and no joining fee. When I told her about the deal the sales lady seemed shocked and said it wasn't supposed to be on the website, and said that she'd have to do it for me because it was advertised and told me not to tell anyone and that she'd have to remove the deal straight away. I already wasn't feeling comfortable with the way she was making things up to try and get me to buy a membership, but I stupidly did join anyway. I also asked her if the gym had kettlebells, she apparently went to ask the trainers, came back and said "we've never heard of kettlebells, what are they?". Anyway after hanging up I was just very offended and appalled that she'd made up all the stuff about the deal being wrongly advertised and that she HAD to give it to me that I rang her back saying I wanted a refund. I prefer going to my local boxing gym that costs $6 per cardio box session for students with no expiry on passes or any other commitment and who honestly want good results for their customers rather than trying to deceive them to make money off them.

    Kept checking the deal on the gym's website to see if it was really going to be removed. It stayed there for a week or more.

    • Yep, sounds super dodgy. Either the sales staff don't know their own products/promotions or they're hav

    • +1

      Yep, sounds super dodgy. Either the sales staff don't know their own products/promotions or they're having you on. I wouldn't trust a gym whose staff don't know what a kettlebell is….. Doesn't really inspire confidence :-P

  • a kind reminder to anyone who wants to join NextGeneration: look carefully at your contract. you have to give them 12 weeks (12 WEEKS/3 MONTHS) notice to quit your membership. If it is not an issue, go ahead. otherwise, stay away from them.

    • 3 month's notice? That's ri-goddamn-diculous! Most places require 1 month. That reminds me of….
      Tip #8 Member Retention. The big chains employ people to make sure you stay on/renew your membership. In fact, it is mandatory at FF that you speak to one of these Membership Consultants before you can cancel your m'ship. Even at the end of a 12 month contract. The payments won't stop until you have a meeting with these guys in person and explain why you don't want to continue. They play hardball just like the reps you sign up with. The usual idea is to throw a couple of freebies your way (PT sessions, month free, etc) or reduce your weekly fees (only if there's still fat in them) in order to convince you to re-sign. Now, this may be a good thing if you WANT to re-sign, but just prepare yourself to be put through the wringer by a staff member if you're looking to get out…

      • Interesting. My hubby resigned recently as we were both members and he only used his on the weekend so now he comes along as my guest. He rang to cancel his membership they asked why when he told them they sent him a confirmation email along with a request to fill in a feedback form and that was it. Even the first time he came along as my guest he filled in a form but that was it. Now I give them my card tell them I have a brought a guest and they let him in. No phone calls, no hassle. Mind you that is one positive there are still a lot of negatives.

  • If anyone in WA is keen Revolution Fitness in Shenton is $33 a month with no joining fees and no lock in contract.

    Pretty solid IMO.

  • If you are a uni student, sometimes they give you a further concession.

  • Sounds like the tactics a lot of gyms used to use until Virgin Active came along and now most big gyms use their sales and cancellation tactics. With prices and cancellation options stated clearly.

  • What is trial close, higher authority close?

  • Trial close- "Hows that sound?' Basically getting agreement from you early to go ahead in a soft way so that any of your objections can be flushed out and dealt with.
    Higher authority close- "I can't give you that price. I need to talk to my manager" Then he goes into mgrs office and chats about the weekend, comes back and says can't give you that price ;)
    Then there's the Assume Close-"This is something you can see yourself benefiting from, right?" It's assuming ├Żou are going ahead with the deal.
    There's nothing wrong with sales. It's a communication process that helps you to buy. Just be aware, ask questions, make sure you know the total cost and can afford what you're buying.

    I also think that a gym that fits you is worth it. There is no better way to spend your money than on your mental and physical health. I have been a member at quite a few gyms over the years and if you're not happy there you tend not to go or don't enjoy it when you do go. These guys http://www.localfitness.com.au/ will give you deals like a month for $20 so you can try out a couple of gyms and see how happy you are with them.

    A PT is great too, I think of it as a treat you give yourself. I had one last year, but she left the gym I go to or I'd probably still be with her. Will go with another one soon, I think. Lots of benefits but,for me, it's worth it for the great stretch they put you through at the end. It's like having your own masseuse/physio. PT's are great at making you feel good/cheering you on too. I would definitely do it if I was returning to fitness after being sedentary.

    • +3

      Again- kobrien slam dunks the ball! Agreed with everything there buddy. If you like the gym, you're happy with the rates then there is no problem. A good gym is worth it. I have nothing against gyms making money. I have nothing against the use of sales psychology. Just want you dudes and dudettes to know what goes down behInd the scenes so that you can better gauge when you're getting a good deal and when you're being taken for a ride. Do your research, know that you can ALWAYS walk away without losing anything and you should be ok

  • Any tips for getting the most out of an Anytime Fitness memebership? (Waiving fees' etc.)

    • If you have any mates who are already members at anytime fitness, ask them to refer you as they will get discount and you might be able to get the same rate as them or a month free

  • What are the best techniques when first signing up with the people? You have clearly said that the sales have a lot of flexible options to throw around and make you feel like they are giving a great/special deal. How do you play your cards when initially discussing with them to get all those benefits out on the table.

  • +8

    So of course, you all want to know how to get the best deal. Let me lay out my general tips.

    • Identify all the gyms in the area that you're interested in. Work out the pros and cons of each location.
    • Either go online and fill in the respective forms to get the free passes or collect one from the gym reception.
    • Redeem the free pass at the first gym. You will almost certainly be given a tour.
    • Be sure to go at the time you intend to train. That way you can gauge whether or not you can actually get on the equipment or if the place is too crowded.
    • As stated above, be polite. Don't act like you've heard it all before - it won't do you any favors.
    • Let the rep know that you will definitely be joining a gym, you just want to suss out all your options first. Tread the fine line of being interested, but noncommittal.
    • The rep may already have the rates/facilities of the local gyms ready. They do this to convince you that you don't need to see the other gyms. Just let them know that training environment is very important to you and you intend to actually train at each location before making a decision.
    • Take the tour. They may throw every sales technique under the sun at you. Stick to the plan. You need to be able to walk away after this.
    • Hear the current rates/packages. Express dismay at the joining fee. They may not offer you the best rate because of your intention to walk. Don't worry. We're playing the long game :-)
    • Thank them for their time, ask them to call you if they can come down in price/remove the joining fee.
    • Train. Make sure the gym suits your needs.
    • Repeat at the next gym in the list.
    • Once you have decided on the gym you like, wait until the last day of the month. This is when the reps go gangbusters. Usually the joining fees are waived and they'll throw the lowest weekly rates at you in order to make as many sales as possible. The rep will most likely call you. If they haven't, you call them and tell them that you will most definitely join if they give you the very best deal right then and there. You'll most likely get it :-) Even if the reps have made their quota, they and the club get incentives for joining the most members.
    • Get huge and juicy.
    • Profit :-)
    • +1

      If you already know which gym you want to join just call them at the end of the month and make it clear that you're joining the gym that offers you the best eom deal. The rep will jump at the opportunity to get a quick win on the board without even having to tour and will most likely just give you the no joining fee/lowest weekly rates there and then. Then just give them your CC details over the phone.

  • One important thing I neglected to mention. The deals are decided by head office. When a rep tells you at the beginning of the month that they cannot reduce the joining fee, there is a good chance that they may be telling the truth. They do this for a short period in order to maintain the illusion of value in receiving a discount on the joining fee later on. At some point during the month, head office may tell the clubs that they can halve the joining fee and or lower the weekly rates. However, you have no way of KNOWING when this change has occurred, thus it is always safest to wait until EOM to take advantage of the late sales rush. That's when you're almost guaranteed to get a get deal. So in summary: they may not always be lying about their inability to drop the joining fee. They are almost always lying to you about the weekly rates though - the price they CAN sell at is usually a few bucks a week lower than it says on the price sheet they give you at the end of the tour

  • +2

    Funny thing about that price sheet - it exists just so that the reps can cross out the listed price, scribble their own over the top and make it look like you're getting a great deal. If you've played your cards right, the rep should circle a package, cross out the joining fee, cross out the weekly dues and write a number a few bucks lower over the top. They won't touch the admin fee though. They NEVER touch the admin fee….. :-)

  • http://www.fitnessfirst.com.au/join-us/

    Free to join on 12 month contract. What is this admin fee you are refering too?

    • The large chains have 3 payments: Joining Fee, Admin Fee and Fortnightly Fees. When they say "Free to Join" they are referring purely to the Joining Fee. You will still have to pay the Admin Fee. Try it out, you'll see….

  • Nato/OP,
    I don't mean this to sound harsh, but the most valuable info you can give is to tell people what others pay and how low they will go. A few years ago I was at fitness first, passport was $90/month, I got 20% off that on corporate rate, and I met a bloke who worked the surrounding gardens who was getting $45/ month home membership.

    • +2

      That's not harsh mate, it's accurate. However, I've been out of the business for a while and couldn't give you the current base rates at all the chains. I suppose the only way to obtain the information you suggest is to start a thread where everybody posts their membership details. Where they train, the length of the contract and the cost. I'll start - I train at Stepz on a corporate m'ship at $10.25 per week. No join fee, no contract, 3 free PT sessions and I avoided paying the admin fee through clever use of a $100 credit scoopon that i picked up for $10. That got me a few extra weeks free too ;-)

  • i hate fitness first. bunch of posers there. i am happy at my local for $395/yr upfront. or $9/week. a lot of these 24 hr gyms don't have freeweights or squat machines… LOL

    • Good deal right there. I would always support the local over a chain gym. There's just nothing around me. I need to train in the city and it's either Globo Gyms or 24hr. Luckily Stepz is close and has adequate freeweights

  • +1

    Not sure what 24hr gyms you guys are talking about by my Anytime Fitness has heaps of free weights, 4 racks and several benches in the free weight section. Even in Cap Cod in Massachusetts in the USA they had heaps of free weights and racks and Bonus my membership worked there too :)

    I pay $50 per month and got the joining fees waived. Good deal imho, 5min drive from home too :)

    • Sounds damn good to me! I've been to multiple Jett's that didn't have a bench press, squat rack or power rack. Dumbbells only went up to 35kgs (lol) and everything else was pinweight or leverage. A few 24hr places are taking out higher insurance policies in order to get better gear. That's what my local Stepz did- they at least have a power rack I can bench, squat and do rack pulls in

    • I'll second this, the Anytime Fitness is Mirrabooka is actually quite large and well stocked. The Scarborough/Osborne Park one is also decent but in a smaller space - quite cramped if you go during peak hours.

  • Cheers for the great topic/discussion, this is very useful indeed. My unique situation: paying something like $60-70 a month on an Fitness First membership that is now out of contract. There's now an Anytime Fitness about 200m down the road from my local Fitness First. I'm happy with the environment in both gyms but want to "fight" the gyms against eachother to see who wins my hard earned dollars. I know that its still a while till EOM, but what strategies can I use? Particularly with the membership consultants at Fitness First when threatening to leave…

    • You're in a pretty good position. A Fitness First rep would probably offer you a low deal to get you to recontract, the Anytime rep would probably offer you a low deal to come across! I would still wait until EOM though. When I worked for one of the big chains we used to have prospective members call in and play us off against other gyms all the time. It usually only works at EOM - most places have a strict "no prices over the phone" rule unless it's EOM. As I mentioned somewhere above the reps are happy to make quick deals over the phone at that time. My advice would be to call Anytime first, tell them your situation and that you will come across to their gym today if they offer you the lowest price. Then take that figure back to Fitness First (you'll be put through to the Membership Retention Rep) and tell them you'll walk if they can't beat Anytime's deal. Then make a choice from there. Be careful not to go back and forth too much - if the rep feels like it's taking too much time/effort they might not be very helpful. They'll probably require you to come in that evening to sign the paperwork too - otherwise it doesn't count in their monthly quota.

  • I have an awesome gym I go to in Derrimut VIC. Great training atmosphere friendly staff that can chat or just leave you alone. Cheap rates. I pay $299 up front annually and they have pretty good opening hours too.

    It's funny though because I thought prices would be more expensive in Melbourne compared to Adelaide but it's the other way around. So much more competitive here which drives prices down. I feel sorry for some owners really. Like the OP said the community gyms are dying out.

  • I always wondered with these 24 hour gyms. What is to stop a few people from sharing a membership?

    All i see is a pin code and boom you are in?

    Cheers

    • I know crunch (not a 24hr gym), does photographs when you first join. Though they hardly check the screen when you scan in.

    • for anytime fitness there is a sensor on the door that detects if more than one person has walked in. If more than one person does walk in, the owner of the key will get fined $50

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