How to Find a Good Deal on New Gym Memberships in 2016

It’s that time of year when everyone's feeling guilty for eating far too much food over the festive season and start thinking about getting back into shape by joining a gym. There are a range of plans and gyms you could join, but besides finding one that suits your preferences, it's very important to make sure you're getting the best value for money too. If you want to take your new years resolution seriously, then this guide will help you find the top gym membership deals in Australia.

Attending doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and finding a competitive gym membership deal doesn’t mean you need to spend the whole of January hunting around either, as I've done all the grunt work for you below. I'll discuss the various types of memberships and contracts that exist, plus give you some top tips when it comes to negotiating a good deal (if the membership discounts at the bottom of this article don’t quite suit your needs).

Top Tips to Finding a Great Gym Deal

gym running machinesHere's what you want to do to ensure you get the best offer possible on a new membership:

  1. Shop around and use other gym's pricing to beat down the price at the gym you really want to join.
  2. Always ask the gym to remove the signup fee, as you shouldn’t have to pay a company just to sign up when you are going to enter into a contract.
  3. Call up your preferred gym and tell them you’re thinking about leaving your ‘current gym’ and that you are paying $15 per week. Then ask them what they can offer you?
  4. Always say you need to think about it and view other gyms, and don't forget to ask about current special discounts on offer.
  5. Negotiate in person because a salesperson will most likely want to close the deal and even ask the manager to get approval on some of your requests.
  6. Ask to exclude what you won't use and see if that can reduce the price of your membership, e.g. exercise classes or access to the pool.
  7. Large gym chains are sales driven and can usually drop their prices towards the end of the month to hit sales targets.
  8. Hunt around for special offers on websites like Scoopon and LivingSocial too as they often pop up in their local deals sections.



Current Gym Membership Deals:

Free weights section at the gymSydney





  • Fitness package with gym access, 13 classes and 2 personal training lessons – $15 (93%) Expires 7th Jan
  • Anytime Fitness - free 7 day trial







Types of Gym Membership

Which membership type will suit your lifestyle and wallet most?

Fixed Term

gym membership application formPaying for a full 12 months subscription upfront can generally give you lower prices and often seems like a better deal. While it will cost less money per month, it does open you up to risk. Should you lose interest after 6 months, you'll still be obliged to pay for the full term of the contract (or pay a penalty fee for breaching the contract for deciding to quite early).

Assuming you stick at it for the year, another thing to make sure of is that your gym requires you to sign up again the following year. This avoids the situation where they continue to quietly charge you into your 13th, 14th and 15th month without making you aware. Finally, one other aspect to consider is that if you join a small gym which hasn't been around too long, there is a chance it could go bust during your 12-month contract which in most cases will leave you without any compensation at all. So be wary of these unless it looks like it's been well funded.


Short-Term Contract

These usually come in the form of a one month or three month membership, which are designed to help new comers get a feel for the gym before committing longer term. These contracts generally include an induction that shows you how to use the equipment, a personal trainer to create a training plan for you and a fitness assessment to understand the goals you want to achieve. These will have a higher cost per month than the longer fixed term contracts mentioned above.


Casual Membership

These are probably the most expensive form of membership because you pay on a per-visit basis. In my experience you can generally buy 10 gym sessions to be used at any time through out the year. Typically, larger multi-center gyms don’t allow this form of membership, which also applies to 24-hour gyms as well. If you want to test the waters then this is probably the most cost effective way to try out a gym without having to pay for a full month. Worst-case scenario, you can sell your spare passes to your gym friends.


No Contract Memberships

Don’t let the name fool you, these forms of membership still require a contract, however they are in the form of a direct debit. You can use this contract indefinitely and only pay for what is needed each month to be a member. However, be wary of companies charging cancellation or other sneaky fees, which the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has already warned gyms about.

multicolour gym workout image



What’s in these Contracts?

gym spinning classes bike machineIf the gym world is new to you, don’t be intimidated by pushy gym sales people or the fact that half the guys in the weights section appear to be the size of Hulk. Also important are the following points which highlight what most gym contracts contain and which aspects to be wary of:

  • Transfer – If you don’t want or can't continue with your gym membership, ask if there is the possibility to transfer it into a friends name.
  • Basic Math – Do the calculation on your phone if you have to, but find out how much the gym is going to cost you per week and see which of their memberships will be the most suitable and affordable.
  • Hidden Fees – Cheaper or more basic gym memberships might come with some additional fees such as sign up costs, monthly admin fees or direct debit charges. Check out all fees associated with the membership you are interested in.
  • Deferrals – It’s important to ask your new potential gym what happens to your membership in the event that you go on holiday or have a long-term injury. Certain gyms will allow you to add that missed time onto the end of your membership term; others might not be so kind.
  • Cancellation Policy – Always ask how long the cancellation policy is; in the event that you find a better deal elsewhere or you move house for example.
  • Terminate without Penalty – You might not be thinking about stopping gym just yet, but to save yourself money in the long run, it might pay to find out the most cost effective way to terminate your contract before you sign up.

TOPICS:   Health and Beauty   Sports

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  • Healthy B.
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