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Old 11-08-2007, 01:29 PM   #1
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Question I need your opinion... to join, or not to join...

Hey guys,
As the winter weather begins to creep in, I realized (after still no discernable weight loss, though today, I woke up and FELT thinner... what does that mean?) that I need to get to a gym if I am going to break this stubborn plateau. There is a gym (a small, independently owned facility) literally 1 minute down the road from our apartment (very convenient), so I decided to go there. They gave me a week free, which is great... but when I asked them how thier pricing worked they told me I had to buy a full year membership for 29.95 a month, or pay monthly (with no contract) at $90.00 a month. Now I don't know much about gym memberships, so I have to ask... is this reasonable, or am I being duped? There aren't really any other gyms within the area except a bally total fitness in a mall 15 mins away. anyone have any experience with Bally? Are they any good? I am trying to weigh my options, but I don't know enough about gym memberships to make an informed decision. Any insight any of you could give me would be fabulous! Thanks!!!!
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:45 PM   #2
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Well that sounds like a pretty good price to me. Right now, I pay 30.74 for my Curves membership each month with a year contract, and $50.00 / month for my gym membership at Pro Health and Fitness. But, the gym is a full facility that even has a heated pool and water exercise everyday, a weight lifting area, a full aerobics schedule, lots and lots of machines and an indoor walking track, raquetball court and pro shop. All indoors. To me, the $50 per month is worth if for all they offer. They also have locker rooms with full shower, a sauna, jacuzzi and steam room. A massage area, etc. The only thing that costs extra is the specialty services like massage, etc. and hiring a personal trainer.

So, for $29.95 per month, it sounds reasonable. What all do they offer? You said it is a small gym but if they offer enough, it is still worth it. Plus, the convenience is great. My Curves is approx. 3 miles away, which isn't bad, but my gym is almost 8 miles away, through a bunch of traffic, so it is a bit further. I still go to both though and believe that I am worth spending less than $100 per month on myself for the fitness/health reasons. By working out and taking care of myself, I am SAVING money in the long run because I won't have as many health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. I would much rather spend that money on a gym membership that will get me healthy than on medications at a later date for being unhealthy. Of course, the key here is you have to USE it once you sign up. LOL

Good luck with it. I totally think it is worth it for you. That is approx. $1.00 a day. Most people spend more than that on ONE soda or ONE cup of coffe a day. So, yes, I would say go for it! And, as close as it is, you may be able to walk there, which is even more exercise.

Oh, and for Curves, my membership is that price because I signed up a couple of years ago and didn't let it lapse. The price for new people now is over $40 per month PLUS there is a sign up fee of like $150. I don't remember what mine was. I think I got the sign up fee for half price, but even that was a lot. If the gym is only $29.95 for a year, then that is wonderful.

Kathy
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:55 PM   #3
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That's doesn't seem unreasonable. I pay $40/mo at my YMCA, it's month to month with no contract (love that!). They have a pool and hot tub, nice locker room/showers, lots of modern equipment and a full schedule of classes. Definitely worth it to me. Just be sure you're committed to actually going before you sign up for a year. I've heard Bally's tries to sell 3 year contracts and won't let you out without a letter from a doctor or you move really far away from any Bally's facility. So if you look at Bally's be sure to not fall prey to high pressure sales tactics! I know a couple people who signed up there and wish they hadn't. Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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My only advice is to say that Bally's has been having some financial troubles so while I wouldn't say "don't join", I would be careful as to not give them too much money up front. If you pre-pay for anything and the company goes out of business then it's just too bad for you...you've lost the money.

This brings me to the small independent gym - same thing. It's no mystery why they will give you such a huge deal if you pay for a year up front...they want your cash now guaranteed and they know that with the different prices they're offering, most people will pay in advance. So just be careful if they're new, know that they might go out of business. Even if they're not new but I think that the health club business is tough. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't pay the money because at $90 a month, after 4 months you've paid the same as if you'd paid the whole year in advance. Only if you had really bad luck (and I hope you don't) and if they went out of business really soon, would you be really screwed.

Hope this helps....and good luck!

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Old 11-08-2007, 04:19 PM   #5
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That's a good point. Do they want the whole year's worth of fees ($29 per month) up front. Or do they just want you to sign a contract and pay the $29 per month each month?

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Old 11-08-2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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kitka - my gym (looks like I'm just a bit further South from you in FL) is an independent - but the town I live in doesn't have any large gyms. Over the years (in different towns) I have been members of large corporate gym and small independents...while I don't have a choice right now...comfort-wise, I am much more comfy at the small gym - they have everything I need - cardio and weight lifting...and classes which I don't use...but I know everyone there and they have been really nice about my life changes.

Bottom line - large gym felt cold and never saw the same face...small gym - I see the owner almost every day and have the same employees and patrons every single day. I like it. I feel at home there.

I chose to pay my entire membership up front - the normal at my gym is $40/month with year contract - but pay monthly, $30/month if you pay the entire year in advance, and I believe $75/month with no contract. They all come with $100 new member fees - but almost every month they have a special deal waiving that fee...or some other special. I will probably always go with the contract because I plan on making a lifestyle change and being @ the gym for the rest of my life

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:26 PM   #7
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Thumbs up A Bally's member

LittleMoonRabbit - My local gym is a Bally's. It's clean, heated pool and hot tub, sauna, good free weights, many treadmills, elipticals, and assorted resistance machines, with a separate small room for ladies only (rigorously not labeled that, of course).

They charge $42 per month, or $32/month with a 2 year contract, or pay 2 years in advance at $32/month and get the third year free. I took the 2 years paid in advance, with the bonus that I got to add DW for half of what I paid. Bottom line is that we're each paying $16 per month.

Each time Bally's goes bankrupt (or refinances itself) I go to my manager and ask if we're done for. His argument is that this gym is making money so it wouldn't be closed even if the national chain has problems. Perhaps his argument is self serving, but it makes sense to me. This gym is really busy.

Subsequently, I read a convincing argument about choosing a gym in Weight Training for Dummies why one should NEVER do what I did for the reasons others stated. But it worked for me. My goal was to made it VERY costly for me to quit.

Good luck making your choice.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:47 AM   #8
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thanks for your opinions. I talked it over with my husband and I am going to join. I wasn't sure if having to sign a year-long contract was bad, but I guess the price is pretty good. The services they offer: they have a ton of cardio and weightlifting equipment (nicer selection than the Y I went to), they offer 35 different classes during the week, like step arobics, they have a cushioned track and a sauna. I wish they had a pool, but other than that they have everything I could want. I am excited to be joining the hour and 15 minute workout I did yeaterday had me feeling amazing when I was done.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:40 AM   #9
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Good for you!!! And, a year will go by really quick. Look at it this way. You commit to a year, stick with it and where will you (and your body) be a year from now? It will definitely be worth it. The year is going to go by no matter what. We can't stop time but we sure can use it to our best advantage.

Go for it!!

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Old 11-09-2007, 01:23 PM   #10
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KitKat.. I love your reasoning of "a year will go by no matter what." It's so true.. I also know that if I commit to paying the money, I will want to make sure that I use the gym enough for the money to be worth it. I am really excited
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:29 PM   #11
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Thanks!

Make sure you note the day you start on your calendar. For motivation, you can take a picture on that day each month and use it as comparison. At the end of the year, you will have a diary (you can do a workout journal with it and write down each day that you go what you did, etc.) of pictures and words if you do the journal to look back on and see what you did in that year. I wish I had done that. I didn't think about it for quite sometime. If I had done it at the beginning, I would have something to show people that didn't believe that one short year can make such a difference in a life!! LOL

When will you be starting? Have a great time. It may be hard at first. Just don't over do it. Switch things around so you won't get bored. Before you know it, a month will have gone by and you will be amazed at how good you feel. Then 6 months, then a year. You will be so very proud of yourself!

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Old 11-10-2007, 12:12 PM   #12
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Thank you for your words of encouragement. KitKat, I think the journal is a great idea! It will help to keep me motivated. I should also take pictures... so I can see myself as I go along, and hopefully, the progress that I will make. You guys are great!!!! I am so happy to have found a supportive group like you. I weighed myself again today... and still didn't lose anything, even after bumping up my exercise this week and staying at around 1500 calories a day... If I wasn't here, i think I would have felt more discouraged... but I know by seeing the progress of so many people here, that I WILL BREAK THIS PLATEAU. Thanks for everything!
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:10 PM   #13
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Don't forget you are building muscle as you exercise. You could easily be replacing fat with muscle. It won't show on the scale the way you want it to, by the scale going down right now, but overall you will notice a difference. Your muscles will feel tighter, more firm. Your clothes will start fitting better, etc. And, the best thing is that muscles BURN fat. So, don't worry too much about the scale. I have been hung up at 230 for awhile now but my clothes are either stretching out (LOL) or I am shrinking. Muscle takes up less space than fat. The scale just isn't showing it. But I can certainly see a difference in the muscles. Especially my arms.

Seriously, don't get too hung up on the scale or you will get discouraged. Keep going and once your body figures out what is going on, you will start going down on the scale.

Have fun!
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:53 AM   #14
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I joined fitness USA about 4 years ago over curves becuase of the pool 2 saunas and classes etc I just felt curves wouldn't offer me the variety I might want down the road. after paying my initial outrageous fee I can't remember what it was right now but I now only have to pay 32 dollars a year for life. I'm only 38 so I'm thinking in the long run it will be a bargain.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:58 AM   #15
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THAT is very resonable, becuase you DONT want to go month to mont, and they dont want you to, so that is why they try to scare you/motivate you to pay 90 a month, now who is going to do that?
30 a month is GREAT if you will use it and everything, and a 1 year contract isnt bad. You can always get out of it with a new address (25 miles away) or a doctors note. Women's Workout World always charges about 20 a month for 2 years (chicago land gym).
If you liked it the first week, I believe you will love it more everyweek, so go for it.
GOOD LUCK
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