Just when I’m considering becoming a member at a gym to help myself stay in shape, SmartMoney publishes 10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You. If you’re looking for a demotivator to keep you from spending money for a membership that many find a waste of money, this article has what you’re looking for. Here are ten things about gyms that will help keep you away.
1. Most new memberships in January will cancel by April. That’s a lot of New Year’s Resolutions gone bad.
2. There is bacteria everywhere, including on the equipment and in the locker room towels.
3. Gyms aren’t equipped to handle health emergencies.
4. People don’t need any type of certification to become trainers, and they may not know much more than you.
5. They make it very difficult to quit membership. If you don’t pay, they may report you to credit reporting agencies even if you claim you canceled your membership.
6. There are catches in the fine print of the membership contract.
7. Gyms aren’t required to maintain their equipment, so there can be a danger in operating the equipment.
8. You can negotiate your membership rates by paying attention to specials offered throughout the year.
9. The lockers in which you leave your personal belongings can be robbed, and the gym is not held liable.
10. By joining or even entering a gym, you generally sign a waiver that relieves the company of any liability.
Still want to join a gym? I think I’ll work on exercising with my own equipment at home this year.
Updated September 4, 2016 and originally published January 3, 2007.