5 Sneaky Gym Membership Tricks To Avoid

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5 Sneaky Gym Membership Tricks To Avoid

Paying a monthly $30 fee for a gym membership might not seem like that big of a deal. After all, you get in shape and improve your overall health. However, if you’re not careful, you can end up paying much more than that.

How are gyms able to have such expensive equipment, televisions and staff available 24 hours a day? The money has to come from somewhere, and it’s not just through your monthly gym membership. Gyms supplement that stream of revenue by getting you to spend more money.

Here are 5 sneaky tricks gyms use to get you to spend your money.

Yearly Maintenance Fee

You may have thought your $30 monthly membership fee was all you were obligated to pay. But did you read the fine print? There’s a yearly maintenance fee that’s added to your plan. This fee is typically around $60. This adds a bit more than $5 per month to your monthly fee so you’re now at $35 per month.

Ice Cold Water

Gyms could offer you free water, after all, it doesn’t cost much. But of course they don’t. Gyms will make every effort to squeeze every last dollar out of you.

Selling water at a gym is about as easy as selling water in the middle of a desert. And since people are so thirsty during and after a workout, it’s like taking candy from a baby.

The cost of the water is steep, at about $3 for a bottled water. Buy just one bottle daily 5 times a week and you’ll spend $60 on water alone! Now your gym membership balloons to $95 per month.

Personal Trainer

When you’re new at the gym, you’ll find it hard to get in a workout without being interrupted by a personal trainer trying to upsell you on a personal training session. These sessions can cost you $100 per session.


You may have thought your gym membership entitles you to everything in the gym, but that’s not the case. You only have access to the machines like the elliptical. If you want to attend any of their workout classes, you’ll have to pay up for those too. If you end up regularly attending a class or two, your monthly gym costs will spiral out of control.

Cancellation Fee

Did you know you signed a really long contract full of fine print? I’m sure you did, but did you bother to read it? Of course you didn’t. If you choose to cancel your membership before it expires, your gym will levy a hefty fee.

Gyms know that people with new years resolutions show up in January and rather than offer a month to month membership, gyms will always want to get you on the hook for a 3 year membership. They’ll convince you by telling you that the monthly membership is $50 per month, but if you want the super low rate of $30 per month you just have to sign a 3 year contract.

They know that most end up quitting by Spring, but since you signed up for a 3 year membership at $30 per month, you are now on the hook for $360 per year for 3 years. That’s a whopping $1,080! Is this fee worth it? Maybe, if you regularly attend for the full 3 years. But gyms know the odds of that are slim to none.