how to apply for a gym membership.
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Gym memberships can be expensive, and sometimes complex to apply for. Off-peak, plus memberships, standard saver – what does it all mean?!
More than often, your best bet when applying for a gym is looking at your university or school gyms (if they have one). These can be found through your university or school website if applicable. Made for students, they’re likely to be affordable and have full-time personal trainers on the facilities, which will help you with un-familiar gym equipment or maybe even offer out free PT sessions!
Don’t have a student gym? No worries. Have a look around your local area. There will always be small, independent gyms you can support. I would always recommend supporting the smaller owned, independent gyms but these are often a little more expensive if you’re on a tight budget. These gyms do tend to have a close community, which can be desirable if you’re a total gym newbie! If you don’t have any smaller local gyms but have chains such as Pure Gym or Anytime Fitness, don’t overlook them. These gyms are open 24 hours, and often do student, NHS, or army discounts. These gyms are probably cheaper but do get a lot busier at peak times (usually between 7-8:30am and 5-8pm).
Applying for a gym is simple! You can: Apply online – Accessing the gym's website will often lead you to a form you can fill out online. This will take your name, home or university address, and card details. Here you will be able to apply for either a monthly, quarterly, or annual gym membership*.
*Gym memberships get cheaper the longer the contract you opt into. Whilst having a cheaper membership is desirable, being tied into a contract is a big commitment and you are under obligation to continue payments. Leaving contracts early will get you fined! I recommend opting for a monthly membership, to decide whether this gym is for you before you commit.
Call – not for everyone but hear me out. One of the easiest ways to get a gym membership is to call. The receptionist will be able to discuss the best plan to suit you, and in most cases will take payment over the phone. They do not get a commission to sign you up, so they won’t up-sell you what you don’t need.
In-person – go into the gym and talk to a PT or receptionist – they’ll be more than happy to help you! Whilst talking to new people can be daunting, gym communities are commonly friendly and helpful. Like online, you’ll have to fill out forms with contact and card details. Going in person can also mean you can have your gym induction almost immediately, meaning you don’t have to book one and get the application and induction done all in one!
types of memberships.
Plus+ gym memberships are normally a few more pounds a month but can seriously be worth it! Often only offered by chain gyms, plus+ memberships will offer you free PT sessions, access to all their gyms in the UK, unlimited energy drinks, and free access for your plus ones! Of course, these aren’t necessities, but they can be a little treat to make your gym experience more fun.
Standard memberships do what they say on the tin – they’re standard. You’ll have general access to your chosen gym, but no special offers will be included. A standard gym membership is great for someone who just wants general facilities, without breaking the bank in the process.
Side note: There is no pressure to get a gym membership. Memberships can be expensive, and if you’re getting one because ‘all your friends are’ – DON’T! There are loads of home workout guides for a fraction of the price, which are just as good as going to the gym.