Want the secret to hassle free and affordable fitness? We show you how to get flexible and cheap gym membership offers from just £11 a month – and show you how to avoid the money grabbing traps set by the gym chains.
Free gym passes – get 3 days FREE
Short-term gym membership offers – get up to 50% OFF
Pay as you go and discount no-contract gyms – for under £11 a month
10 tips: What to do before you sign up to any gym
These days, many people happily pay out £50 a month in gym fees. You might think that doesn’t sound too bad – but calculate the total 12 month bill and you’re talking at least £600!
We all go in with the right intentions. It’s the new year, and time to get motivated with a ‘new you’- but the only pounds you’ll lose with some gym contracts will be from your purse.
So it’s definitely worth your while looking at other cheap gym membership options.
Here are some cheaper ways to get gym-fit – without getting stung by an iron cast contract you didn’t really need.
Free gym passes
Before you sign up to a gym, take advantage of their free gym pass offers to test out whether it’s for you. Sometimes you can even take advantage free gym classes too – perfect if you think you might fancy trying yoga, pilates, zumba, spinning or group fitness sessions.
Fitness First – FREE 3-day gym pass
Submit your details online to Fitness First to sign up for a 3 day guest membership pass at a Fitness First club near you.
They have over 80 clubs across the UK and you’ll get full access to the gym’s facilities – so it doesn’t matter whether you’re into running, rowing, swimming, weights, or relaxing in the steam room – there’s an activity to suit you!
LA Fitness FREE 3-day gym pass
There are also over 80 LA Fitness clubs across the UK and the pass below will give you access to your nearest one for three days. Use their facilities without paying a penny! Simply fill in your details and head down to the gym for your workout.
Nuffield Health FREE 1-day gym pass
Gain access to Nuffield Health’s great gym facilities, swimming pools and 100’s of classes across their 65 clubs in the UK.
FREE friend’s pass
If you’ve got a friend that’s already a member of a gym, then they can often get you a free guest pass so you can enjoy a day working out and taking full advantage of the facilities together.
Short-term gym membership offers
Short term gym membership offers – up to 50% OFF
The Gym Website has loads of short-term gym membership offers – for local gyms near you.
Not only can you compare all your local gyms prices on one page, but you’ll also get up to 50% OFF if you sign up to a gym through them.
Just search for a gym near you and check out their offer. Plus there’s a 10 day money back guarantee with this comparison gym finder. No-fuss – just savings.
Pay-as-you-go and no-contract gyms
Pay-as-you-go gyms are a way for you to get back in control – and the best thing is, you only pay for the time that you actually spend at the gym. So no more fretting about wasting money by not going to the gym every week – just go when you want to, and be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis.
No-frills gyms may not have the saunas and steam rooms, but if you’re looking for a cheap gym membership offer with no need to commit and a low price-tag to match, you can’t really go wrong.
Pay as U gym – day passes from as little £3
Pay as U Gym is the biggest and most successful pay-as-you-go gym network. They work with hundreds of gyms around the country, offering discounted pay-as-you-go passes to members.
What’s more, if you book through Pay as U Gym you are guaranteed to get a minimum 10% discount off the gym’s normal day pass rate (though discounts can be as high as 30-40%).
So it’s always worth booking your gym pass through Pay as U Gym rather than going direct, as its a) much cheaper, and b) you aren’t tied down to one single gym – you can use thousands of UK gyms that Pay as U Gym have a relationship with.
- Get access to over 1,500 gyms in the UK
- No joining fees or mandatory induction classes
- Pay and top up online – no membership tying you down to one single gym
Here’s how it works:
- Find your local gym: Get one-day passes to gyms and swimming pools from as little as £3.00 with no membership conditions attached. Browse through hundreds of gyms in your area to take your pick. (Single session passes are on average 21% less with Pay as U Gym than when you book direct).
- Get your pass: Just like pay as you go mobile phones, you top up your credit online. You’ll receive your pass by text and you simply show this at reception to gain entry.
The Gym Group – from just £10.99 a month
The Gym Group swears by its no joining fee. From just £10.99 a month you can get 24/7 access to your chosen gym and use of exclusive equipment like Myride Virtual Cycling where you tour the world from the gym.
There are over 32 branches across the country and there is no contract, and with more than 170 items and only the top range of equipment and weights they’ll be no more waiting in line!
Puregym – day passes from £5.99
Another ‘no contract’ option is PureGym, which charges £10.99 a month (but there is a £15 joining fee). Still you get to enjoy no contact, no hassle and instant access to the gym. Or you can opt for a day pass for £5.99 a pop.
10 tips: What to do before you sign up to any gym
Regardless of whether you opt for pay as you go gyms or regular cheap gym membership offers, here’s how to be smart about it:
- Ask what happens if your circumstances change. Signing up for a long-term contract is a lot of commitment and you should be aware of what would happen if you’re injured, ill, move house, have a baby or lose your job. Some clubs may offer you memberships that can be frozen or transferred to someone else.
- Haggle! When you book your first visit to the gym, everyone from the receptionist to the big n’ beefy instructor will try and get you to sign up, and with most gyms working on a commission basis, sales staff will need to meet targets – especially towards the end of the month, so try your hand at haggling and see if you can negotiate the price down.
- Take advantage of January deals and offers if you do want to sign up for a full gym-membership – but always check the total cost regardless of the deal. For example if they offer you 6 weeks free but then £100 a month for the rest of year it’s not that thrifty after all.
- Ask about additional fees. On your induction/first visit day the sales rep will try and sell you visions of six-pack abs, bulging biceps and a toned bottom with extra bundled Yoga and Pilates classes with basic membership. Remember what you are there for and enquire about extra add-ons early on.
- Be vigilant when you’re signing your contract – some clubs will automatically renew your member without even asking for your permission, so watch out!
- You should usually get a free session with the personal trainer the very first day you join the pay as you go gym. If they don’t offer one, ask for it. You have nothing to lose. If the gym already offers a free class, ask for two! You can try this out even if you are going to a one day workout at a pay as you go gym.
- Be wary of busy times. Gyms are notorious for taking on too many members, especially after New Year’s Day when many sign up because of New Year’s resolutions. The gyms overbook in the hope that many won’t turn up regularly to redeem their membership.
- Again, remember what you are there for. For example if you are joining up to use the treadmill, ensure that they have enough of these when you are likely to visit. There is no point in moping around looking glum and annoyed because you can’t get onto an exercise machine.
- Make sure that you can cancel the membership when you choose to, in writing with enough notice. Don’t get taken in by penalty fees and cancellation charges – know your rights. Ask if you can sell your membership. This is one area where cheap pay as you go gyms rule the roost.
- Always make sure that you take a tour of your prospective gym before you sign up. Have a good look at the state of the equipment and cleanliness. This includes pay as you go gyms. Even if you are attending the gym for a day, you should try and wheedle out a tour first.
Consider skipping the gym altogether
Gyms can be fantastic, but if you can’t find a cheap gym membership offer that suits you, consider whether you need to go to the gym at all. After all, it’s possible to get fit outdoors! Have a look at our fitness articles such as: