Gold's Gym's Slippery Salesperson Manages To Talk Himself Out Of A Sale

If you don’t like high pressure sales environments, stay the hell out of Gold’s Gym. Seattlest tried to sign up for a membership yesterday but was so put-off by the confusing sales pitch that they just walked out.

We walked in, asked for a membership rep and filled out some paperwork. We were called over to a desk and after a short discussion of goals (“I just want to work out”), the magic tricks started. They could knock $100 off the registration fee, with payments of $60/month. That could be lowered contingent on us getting a few appointments with a personal trainer. We don’t need a personal trainer, but we’re not averse to getting some pointers either. We hesitated, and the numbers kept tumbling, dropping off of the registration, monthly fee (minimum one year contract), and even the personal training if we went through that one rep. The rep then started writing numbers down in groups in a flurry of circles and lines, attempting to show us our “options.” Instead it felt like an Excel spreadsheet had exploded, and we pulled the “we’re still looking at our options” card just to get out of this one-sided negotiation.

We walked in ready to give you money Gold’s Gym, and you went and screwed it up with your confusing numerology, turning what should have been a simple signup into a walk out. Is it too much to ask that you just have a price independent of caveats and conditions?

Signing up for a gym membership is worse than buying a car. Don’t fall for all the paper scribbling, it’s the oldest trick in the book. All that double talk is meant to confuse you into overestimating how much you’ll use the gym and what services you’ll need. Decide what you want, go back and demand it. If they say “no,” leave.

Gold’s Gym Broadway: Working the Un-Sell [Seattlest](Thanks, James and Seth!)

RELATED: How To Negotiate Your Gym Membership Like A Diva


Edit Your Comment

  1. mantari says:

    I don’t know about Gold’s specifically, but from everything that I have seen… buying into a gym membership (one that requires a contract) is like negotiating for a used car. They’ll size you up and see how much you’re willing to pay. First going into the situation knowing that helps you get a much better deal.

    They’ll do other things. Perhaps copy your drivers license before showing you around (saying it is required). Later in the pitch, they’ll tell you that ‘today only’ you’ll get 50% off if you join now. You ask how they’ll know if you just come back next week? Your drivers license.

    It is a give an take process if you’re doing it right. And part of the price may depend on the time of year you go in, the time of month (meeting a quota), how fit or attractive you currently look, etc etc.

    From your description, it sounded like your experience there was much of the same.

  2. Bladefist says:

    I was a member at golds gym, i signed up 1.5 years ago. I walked in, instantly handed me a 200$ off new registration coupon. Went into the private offices, after they got my goals and what not, we did the negotiation.

    First it started hugely expensive, 400$ registration (200$ after my awesome coupon), 80$ a month, etc etc.

    I told them I was shopping the down, and they were the first one, so I would let them know after I looked at some others. So they asked me to hang out a bit more, and we ended up talking some more. They knocked off the registration and kept the 80$ a month. I said no.

    They asked me if I had any experience at this, I said yes, I’ve been working out since HS, and I move a lot, so I’ve been at a lot of gyms. I explained my last gym had full workout equipment, full sized pool, hot tub, steam room, indoor track, wall climbing, and I paid 24$ a month. (Thats true). And he said wow, I don’t believe it. I then pulled my old membership card out, and said “Lets call this number and get a quote!” he said no…So we haggled some more. Eventually he got me down to $80 for 5 months, but I was in a 15 month contract, so after my 5 months, I didn’t pay anymore. So less then $30 a month, NO other costs. I said fine, I accept that. I knew the other gyms around town were going to be more geared for women so I accepted the deal. After I signed the contract, he said “Wow you are good, you went to the lowest we can go set by corporate rules, I have never had anyone get to that low”

    So be careful guys!! Take in old membership cards and prices, and be prepared. They can haggle down to nitty gritties

  3. MercuryPDX says:

    Ekk! A Four-square for gym memberships!

  4. brettt says:

    I go to lifetime fitness in the chicago north suburbs. it’s a little expensive, $60 a month, but there is no contract and no caveats. Since I have a family member who belongs, they waived the $250 intro fee, and as long as a member of my family stays a member, canceling and restarting always seems to be free. I also think the gym might be worth the money, since it is huge, and has many pools, steam rooms, basketball courts, etc.

  5. SadSam says:

    I’ve only had one gym membership in my life. I signed up for 6 mos. and prepaid in cash (I got a discount for paying in cash and the gym did not get access to my back acct. info). I used the gym for a few months and then decided gyms in general were not my thing. I wasted some money, I should have just pre-paid for a 3 month membership but I didn’t waste as much as if I’d signed up for a year.

    That would be my advice, pre-pay in cash, don’t give the gym access to your acct. info., read the contract carefully and sign up for the shortest period of time (unless you have regularly used gyms in your past).

  6. jamesdenver says:

    Jeez stories like this make my head spin. The best gyms truly are the small neighborhood places that “meatheads” and bodybuilders go to.

    Those type of places LOOK intimidating, but go in and you’ll find they’re often friendly, small, willing to chat about your goals (not about money,) and best yet have HAVE month to month memberships – not long term contracts.

    Plus places like this don’t have smoothie bars, day care, hot tubs, and constant classes going on. You walk in, sign your name, life weights or do your cardio, and leave. Simple as that. No rows of lifecycles to infinity in front of plasma TVs – which is better because the few people there will be willing to chat you up, and give pointers in a non-judgmental way.

    Every city has them – and they far outweigh the big guys.

  7. mantari says:

    PS: Look out for binding arbitration in those contracts.

  8. Seacub says:

    How funny! I was a member at Gold’s Broadway for a couple years. They couldn’t or wouldn’t cancel my membership when I moved, finally I had my credit card number changed to shake them loose!

  9. srhbks says:

    I moved in 2005, leaving my low key women-only gym. I shopped around and got the hard sell at one of those chains- they wouldn’t even give me the prices over the phone- I had to come in and meet with a “specialist”.

    I ended up with a membership at my local YMCA. Full size gym, two pools, and I pay $50 a month with no sigup fee and no cancellation fee.

  10. jamesdenver says:

    Yeah the YMCA is great. All I see in the big places are glam and status. And to me it makes working out MORE of a chore: it’s a maze to get from the front door through the lockers to the workout area. With a small gym there’s less people – and if no one’s around you can bounce from station to station do a “circuit” workout – maximizing your time.

  11. TWSS says:

    OMG, Gold’s is THE WORST. I went into the one in NW Portland last year trying to find out how much a membership would cost. I think I dropped in three times, at different times of the day, just trying to find someone who’d give me a straight answer. It was so incredibly infuriating, I finally told them why I would NEVER be a member of a Gold’s Gym again (used to have a membership before 24 Hour Fitness bought my location).

    Now I’m at West Coast Fitness (a local chain), which is the only gym I’ve found that has a rate sheet at the front desk. That’s ultimately what sold me.

  12. WhiteTrashLegend says:

    Wow, here in AZ, I love Gold’s. Been a member there for years. It also helps that I only pay $99 yearly. In fact, my wife and I just joined a World Gym (much closer to where we now live).

    Just a tip for everyone. Initiation fees are BS and are totally negotiable. Just flat out tell them that you won’t pay one. The fact is, the gym’s already paying for the electricity, the AC, the staff, and the machines. Let’s say that you walk out the door w/o signing up at $30/month. Well, with a yearly contract, that’s $360 for them. If you don’t sign up, they still have to pay for everything, so it’s in their best interest to make you a deal, even if it’s a cheap one.

  13. balthisar says:

    Gold’s Gym in Hermosillo was superb, and month-to-month was the only plan they had. They didn’t even accept credit cards, although they’d do bank transfers if you wanted (common down there). All of the equipment was modern-to-state-of-the-art, and there were always helpful employees wandering about offering tips. I think I was verbally solicited once (for training, that is!) the entire time I went there.

  14. Learethak says:

    Wow suddenly I love my local Gold’s Gym.

    They are running a $99 for 99 days promo, if I sign up for it they waive the application fee and at the end of the 99 days it’s a month-to-motnh for $35.

    Even without the promo it’s only $99 fee and $35 a month.

  15. spinachdip says:

    Eh, I left this comment in the Lucille Roberts thread by mistake, but…

    I once fell for the “Hey! You won a free one-week membership!” scam at Gold’s when I was young and naive, many eons ago. Before I could start my “free” workout that I “won”, the sales rep took me into the office and gave me standard sales pitch, and when I hesitated, he brought the manager in. No one put a gun to my head, but damn, that was intimidating – the obvious thing to do is to politely decline and walk out, but when you go in unprepared, the pressure tactics work.

  16. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Go to the Y.
    Ours has the latest equipment, the trainer is there full-time and if you just want a few minutes of his time, there is no charge. They have climbing walls, Yoga classes, spinning classes, pools, are open early/late, and ours has free child care. Basketball, walking, running, a huge weight room. Plus a Jacuzzi, steam room, & massage services.
    It costs less than Golds in our area, and the membership is straightforward & easy to understand.
    When I had to temporarily cancel when I was pregnant, they stopped the membership that week, no penalty.
    Clean, efficient, and nice people working there.

  17. bobert says:

    I decided to take up weight lifting in my late 40s, and checked into the local Gold’s Gym, hoping to get tips from sweaty grunty guys with big muscles. However, Golds’ schedule was full of yoga and dancercise and Pilates taught by Toni and Krishna. Nothing wrong with any of that, but it wasn’t for me.

    Now my garage is full of free weights and a Smith machine, and when I need tips, I go to a private trainer. I think its turned out a lot cheaper, and I get to crank up the metal as loud as I want while lifting.

  18. el_smurfo says:

    Generally, if you ask for their best price to transfer from another local gym, they will knock off most of the (pure profit) registration fees. I’ve joined several over the years and never paid anything other than the monthly fee. If you think Gold’s is bad, you should try Spectrum which took over our local franchise…upscale pricing without the upscale…

  19. goller321 says:

    Consider also buying a transferable membership. I’ve belonged to Bally’s since ’86. I have a transferable membership that costs me $2 month. I almost never use it, since they closed all the gyms close to me, but I keep it in case I move closer to one of the gyms.

  20. RAREBREED says:

    24 hour fitness – $24 a YEAR!

  21. emilymarion333 says:

    I have a membership to 24 HR fitness. I think I paid $120 to join and it is $29.99 a month and I can go to any of the facilities. There are 3 very close to my house. My work also pays for 1/2 so I only have to pay $15 a month.

  22. drburk says:

    either buy a lifetime gym membership, around $100 in my area or walk into a gym and say I will pay you $15 a month for the use of your gym. They will negotiate but stick strong to your price and you will win.

  23. Orolan says:

    Firstly, apologies for the somewhat lengthy first post. On to my story…

    My sister and I were looking for a gym to join recently and heard good things about “Active Fitness” in Sewell, NJ. It had two things we were happy with: it was clean; and incredibly CHEAP. The first guy we talked to was new there, and generally a really great guy. No pressure, answered all of our questions. As we were about to leave, citing “we’re still looking,” he said he’d grab the owner just to say hi and talk for a minute.

    We waited 10 minutes for this guy to finally come to the front, and when he did, he was all numbers. After about 5 minutes of this, we said we were still going to shop around. He said, “OK, fine. Get out.” We were kind of perplexed and stared at him for a second. Is this how he got members? Our faces must have reflected our thoughts, because he followed it up with, “Seriously. If you’re not buying anything, I don’t want to see you.”

    Needless to say, we left and took our business elsewhere. PowerHouse Gym (also in Sewell) has a much nicer, more approachable owner, and we’ve had no complaints.

  24. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Another vote for 24 Hour Fitness. If you’re serious about working out, the pre-paid plan is the best deal. I paid 3 years up front for around $700. And 3 years later, I now pay $20 per year for “maintenance fees” or whatever they call it. Plus, my membership is good at all locations except for the pimped out luxury facilities.

    For Gold’s Gym.. not all locations are shady. It’s a franchise business and each location has different pricing and sales tactics. As someone else mentioned, start-up fees are negotiable. But you should negotiate harder on the actual monthly fees, since it’s a longer term recurring cost.

  25. newspapersaredead says:

    I like to go running and bicycling outside and have my own weight set at home. The only time I need a gym is when the temperatures go below freezing and there is snow or ice on the ground or when there are thunderstorms. I refuse to buy a full blown membership or pay initiation fees when I’m only going to use it a few times a year. Outdoors and exercise go hand in hand. Indoors and exercise is just boring.

  26. yg17 says:

    I like the place where I work out. They have an awesome deal for students. 80 bucks a semester to use all of their facilities (workout equipment, pool, basketball/volleyball courts) and no bullshit. It will be the only thing I’ll miss about this crappy town when I graduate in May.

    My advice, if you can find a recreation center run by a local town or city, go with them. It’s probably cheaper, and there’s no BS with contracts and things like that. Besides, your tax dollars are probably paying for some of it anyways. Only disadvantage is if you travel a lot, then you might want to go with one of the chains.

  27. FezMan88 says:

    just buy a bowflex

  28. angelman says:

    My wife has been at la fitness for a long time. She persuaded me to go in and sign up. My company offers a discount rate of about $24/month with $20 membership fee. The guy there went through all my details, gave me the hard sell. He then said I had a free hour with a personal trainer in order to evaluate my needs. I have never been to a gymn in my life and am not the biggest of guys… The guy couldnt understand I had no idea what to do with weights. Anyway after that he started trying to sell me his trainer services and the membership. I explained I wasnt interested. He started to shout at me and call me names, swearing at me as I left. Later I had a comedy moment with the salesguy as I explained my work deal was better than his. He kept trying to explain how his deal was better – the same but just costs more.. very weird these gymns

  29. kittenfoo says:

    this makes me thank heaven that my little city has its own gym with a “branch” at each community center. it ain’t fancy: treadmills, steppers, bikes, a rower, and a selection of about 10 weight machines, but at $75 per year for unlimited visits, you can’t beat it. plus, most of the other “jocks” there are retired people (because they can get a year’s pass for half price), which makes me feel oh so young! and it’s clean. old folks are very good about using the disinfectant wipes on the equipment, and the staff does a good job, too. no personal trainers, but it’s exactly what i need.

  30. zwill says:

    I work in sports and fitness so I can sympathize with the post and the comments. A few suggestions:
    1. Look for independently-owned clubs and avoid large chains. The chains – Gold’s, Bally’s, Town Sports (NYSC, Boston SC, etc.) – operate with constantly changing promotions to fill monthly, weekly and even daily quotas. Their pricing sometimes changes from breakfast to lunch depending on how good or bad business is on that particular day.
    2. Avoid long-term commitments. Some clubs offer two- and three-year contracts. Seriously, a three-year contract? Signing that is just foolish, especially because they may still raise your rates during that time. They will try to tempt you with the “if you move 25 miles or more away, we will cancel at no cost” line, but don’t bite. Most places still charge prorated dues of some sort or cancel your membership a month after the fact. They also don’t tell you the burden of proof that they require for those 25 miles, which might be a lease or a utility bill or something much more obscure. And some chains (assuming you’ve ignored point #1) will only cancel if you move 25 miles or more from ANY of their locations, not just the one that you initially frequented.
    3. Pay in full if you have the resources. For starters, you will get a better rate. But you also put the burden on the gym and not yourself. If you pay monthly (EFT), they will likely charge you after your commitment ends until you put it in writing that you want to cancel. If you pay in full, your membership expires on a certain day and they are responsible for getting you to renew for another year. This is a great opportunity to get something free from the gym (i.e. training sessions) or negotiate your rate.
    4. Know what you’re signing and read the contract. The fine print in a gym contract is not that long and most of it is rather meaningless. Focus on the cancellation policy and rate increases as these are the most important variables. If you want amendments or special terms, discuss with your rep at the point of sale and get it in writing. He/she will be so focused on closing the sale that resistance will be at its lowest point and you can take advantage. No salesperson wants to lose a sure sale so exploit that desperation.

  31. Twitch says:

    For me, it’s been the exact opposite of what many are reporting above. Gold’s is excellent (at least the one in Roseville CA is) and all of the 24hr Fitness gyms are utter crap. The staff at Gold’s is polite, nice, knew my name after less than a week and go out of their way to make me feel welcome.

    When we were shopping around, Gold’s spent time with my wife, gave her a tour, coupons for free workouts and played straight with their pricing. 24hr always just said that “gold’s sucks” and left it at that. Proof was, in one 24hr, there were about a dozen machines down for repair and I’ve only ever seen 1 machine down at golds in the 2 months I’ve been going there.

    So shop around and if you like the idea of Golds, try a different one if available.

  32. Marce says:

    The one Gold’s Gym I visited for two day passes (at $10 apiece, but I wanted to work out to get away from people) on a vacation was poorly kept: dim lighting, poorly maintained equipment, and employees who ignored you if you tried to make eye contact.

  33. chrisbacke says:

    I had the same encounter at a Gold’s Gym. I went in expecting to take a tour of the facility since I was looking to starting a gym regimen. After the impressive tour, I was seated at a table where I could see the facility from a good angle. From there, the guy showed me the stock prices (the highest prices they could think of), but told me of their ‘special today-only offer’. I’ve been a salesperson before, and could smell the canned speech from a mile away. I mentioned I had visited the Y, which caused him to respond “Oh, our facility is cleaner and can serve so many more people at a time.” Hmm. Actually, the Y was fine by my standards, and I didn’t care less about how many people they could fit in the building. In any case, he grabbed a sheet of paper and started writing numbers in rapid succession. He also called his ‘district manager’ over to ‘support’ the salesperson… It’s called intimidation… In the end, I left despite the salesperson BLOCKING THE DOOR…

    I’ll happily second (or third) the YMCA. In my town, the Y was cheaper, offered month-to-month service, has people who care, and best of all, gives something back to the community (that is it’s mission, after all). It’s more than a place to work out – it’s a community thing.

  34. Sestos says:

    One benefit about the military, free gyms for working out.

  35. LaReine says:

    I used to work at an LA Fitness at the front desk. I thought it would be a good job to have in college so I’d get to work out and be around motivated people. First of all the front desk staff is the most under paid and gets yelled at the most. I dont know how I didn’t walk out the first couple of weeks but I managed to stay in for a year, I guess I’m patient. The sales people would always agree to do anything for someone as long as they signed up. Then the front desk would get yelled at for denying these luxuries to members that were promised the world.

    Either way, LA Fitness charges you $75 membership fee and $35 a month. It’s really not too bad and they can afford to keep their rates low because of how many members they have at any given location. I believe the location with the most members has something like 11,000 that they bill every month. If one were to count the active members at that gym it probably wouldnt even be 2000. They use the money to build new locations and do the least maintenance possible to their existing ones.

    This gym has NO CONTRACT but they will charge you NO MATTER WHAT! Inactivity is what they depend on. People never checking thier bank statements is what they thrive on. They make it difficult for you to cancel your membership. Since I left they’ve added an online cancellation procedure but you used to have to send a letter to their California headquarters and most of the time letters would disappear.

    My advice to anyone trying to get out of a membership there is to fill out the form and send it priority mail. Forget about that being your last payment because you will be billed one more time.

  36. inkhead says:

    Anyone who goes to a place (unless you own your own gym) other than the YMCA is a sucker. I’ve been in “state” sports and we always went to the YMCA when even over training with our University equipment sometimes. The YMCA almost always has new stuff, and in most states has equipment 10 years newer than the most EXPENSIVE gym membership I have ever purchased (private gym in LA, crap)

  37. Nissan288 says:

    that’s the thing with franchising out your name: your experience differs at every single gym you go to. I’ve had the same terrible experience in Portland Oregon but at the Winchester VA location they were very upfront about everything. 50 a month, no setup.

  38. Instead it felt like an Excel spreadsheet had exploded

    New Consumerist motto:

    The Consumerist: For those times when you feel like an Excel spreadsheet has exploded…on your life.

  39. machete_bear says:

    There’s a newer chain, called Retro Fitness. $20 a month, and the staff couldn’t care less. I walked in and told them I was curious about joining. The clerk behind the counter lazily tossed a free day pass at me, and went back to reading his magazine.

    I’m not saying Gold’s should be like that, but it felt better than being accosted by Jodi in the sports bra with the manly physique, intimidating me into spin classes.

  40. Underpants Gnome says:

    @brettt: I second Lifetime. I’ve been a member there for going on 6 years now and have never had a complaint, other than the wave of humanity clogging the place up every january.

  41. crazyflanger says:

    I have Gold’s Gym and when I signed up it was simple, On year plan $49 per month, two year plan $39 per month. This was about a year ago. I also think GG’s are owned and operated independently, so there ya go probably. Your rep prolly had to much coffee, did you try:


    Really slow.

  42. crazyflanger says:

    Did you try saying this really slowly?


  43. crazyflanger says:

    Oops sorry for the double post…now tripple post…first one didn’t show up :P

  44. descend says:


    My parents’ YMCA in Ohio is pretty much the sweetest gym I’ve ever been to.

  45. SuperShawn says:

    Similar thing happened to me with Peak Fitness. I (think) I managed a pretty good deal by paying one lump sum instead of payments- they even threw in two “free” personal trainer sessions. Well, the PT sessions ended up being with a vendor (who did his best to make me think he was part of the gym, not a third party) named BF-Fitness (aka Fitness Southeast and other names). Well, this guy literally would not let me leave without signing a contract for PT sessions. Expensive ones. He wanted me to sign up for a top tier package at 300/wk for a year. I asked about the cancellation clause and found out I had three days. I took a chance and signed up for the cheapest package so that I could get out of there, then faxed and sent (certified return receipt) cancellation notice as soon as I got back to the office.

    Well, he must have gotten notice his commission was being revoked. he started calling my cell at least once a day, leaving long rambling messages, texting me, calling literally at 4AM in the morning and 11PM at night.

    The third party would not acknowledge my calls or letters regarding the harassment (yes, they did immediately cancel the contract). I decided to go through Peak Fitness.

    I called the local Peak Fitness gym and they refused to give me their contact information for corporate. Nice. Luckily, their BBB record is horrible and the contact information was easily found.

    I faxed Peak corporate a letter about the harassing calls and emails and, within two days, the guy called me one more time and apologized. No more calls.

    Bottom line. Gyms are like timeshares…lying sales people, multiple pricing structures, etc. Just negotiate the shortest contract and best deal you can. Don’t fall for aggressive sales tactics. If you can, get a few guest passes and try them out on the time you would normally go to see how long the wait is for the equipment, how clean the showers are, etc.

    Also, don’t go for fancy pants gyms unless you need the extra pool, daycare, etc. If you aren’t going to use the pool/daycare, why pay for it?

    This time of year is usually pretty bad as all the New Years resolution people are out in force. Don;t worry, they’ll quit within the next month or two :)

  46. Propaniac says:

    Consumer Reports just did a survey on the people’s satisfaction with gyms; IIRC, LifeTime Fitness was far and away the best-reviewed chain.

  47. SacraBos says:

    I hate Bally’s. I signed up with a gym that was going to close and had a dispute with my local club that my membership should have transfered there. They tried to transfer my membership to a club that was geographically far away as possible and still be within their 50mi radius in order to try to force me to upgrade my membership – instead of the one that was a mile away. Fortunately, my copy of the contract had their gym listed (the rep that signed me up put it in the contract, thanks!).

    If you call their 800 number, you get put on hold for 45 minutes or more, and they still can’t help you. The local rep told me to upgrade my membership and leave them alone – which really pissed me off and probably added to my determination. I had to fax the corp office a copy of my contract (like, don’t they have a copy?), and it still took days to fix it. The local gym had no interest in helping, unless I wanted to upgrade my membership for more money.

    Since their rep wanted me to leave them alone – I will. My business will never darken their door again.

  48. farengi says:

    I joined Gold’s 1 year ago, pay $55/month for me and my wife. Planning on cancelling my membership in Feb. I’ve heard some horror stories, anybody have experience with cancelling their memmbership?

  49. FullFlava says:

    Great timing on this post, I was just planning on checking out the gyms around my office to start working out over lunch. There’s one at my university that I can use for free, but I’m rarely on campus since all my classes are online this semester and it’s pretty far out of the way from my day-to-day commute… but hearing stories like this makes that drive seem a lot more worthwhile.

  50. jrdnjstn78 says:

    Check your work place and you may find that you can get a discount at some gym’s if you tell them where you work.

    It’s funny about Gold’s gym. I live in Austin and they just had an article about the Gold’s Gym owner selling his multi-million dollar home here in Austin. Ahhh the good life.

  51. consumingall says:

    I was shopping for gyms last year and was so frustrated at the high pressure sales tactics that I gave up. My city has rec centers with pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, etc. for about $10/month. They’re not glamorous but I get the same workout as my friends who pay $75/month at their fancy gyms.

  52. KJones says:

    Whether it’s a gym or at home, the only way you’ll work out is by having the discipline to do it. For the price of a year’s gym membership, you can get a low end stationary bike, a couple of 1 kg free weights, and a chair and get a sufficient if basic workout to stay in shape. (Providing you have the space for it, of course.)

    Plus you’ll have something to sell (and recoup some of the money) if you ever give up trying. And at least you won’t have to put up with muscleheads if you do it in your basement.

  53. thalia says:

    When I first went off to college, I filled out a contest form for the Gold’s Gym right next to my apartment. I got a message on my answering machine saying I had won $200 in free gym gear and four months of free membership. I walked in thinking it was pretty clear what I was meant to be receiving, but they told me I wasn’t entitled to any of the things I had won unless I agreed to sign a multiple year membership (none of this was in the fine print on the contest sheet). I was flat broke at the time (all my high school savings had gone to my apartment and tuition) and ridiculously shy and timid, so I let the guy talk to me for over half an hour, occasionally piping in with “I can’t afford this” but he never shut up. Thankfully, he finally got the point that “I have no money” really does mean that I have no money.

    I wish I could go back in time now that I’m not so timid and re-do that situation over again! Get my dang prize!!! :P

  54. LookatLao says:

    Based on that Seattlest article I went back and checked my checking account to make sure the Gold’s account I cancelled in June was indeed cancelled. Turns out they’ve been drawing money out of my checking account for the last six months. (My fault for not checking closer, yes.)

    Of course they have no record of the cancel and the woman at the Broadway Gold’s said they no longer keep records. “It’s all on the computer.” From there I went to the bank and asked if they could block Gold’s and they said they get complaints from Gold’s and gyms in general all the time. Sadly, he said the best thing to do is cancel your whole checking account and start over. Ugh…

  55. Blueskylaw says:

    I pay $20 on a month to month basis with no registration fee at the Y. Only go to Gold’s gym if you want to show off the brand name of the gym to other people.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t understand the problems people are having with Gold’s Gym, there are 2 locations in my city. I’ve used them both and I’m very happy there. My employer has a corporate contract with them so we get a reduced rate on our membership, it’s done by payroll deduction. I had to pay a $19 joining fee up front. I’m in it for the duration with no plans to quit. They have a snack bar and some other amenities but I don’t use or need them, still my membership is cheaper than many neighborhood gyms, including the YMCA who charge a $50 joining fee. I never experienced any high pressure sales tactics. I walked in and signed up, done deal. I’m working with a personal trainer which was my choice and it’s the best move I ever made. The staff and trainers are all helpful and knowledgable, it’s been a very positive experience.

  57. itsnotjustme says:

    OK – I just walked into my local Gold’s Gym yesterday and asked about memberships. I did have a short wait to see a sales person, but once he came out it seamed fairly straight forward. He said do you want a tour or just get to prices? Prices for a family membership. He did start writing numbers… $649. But since you are military, $374 for a family for a year. No registration fee. Or $40 registration fee and $39/mo per person. The only high pressure tactic was that the $374 included a $25 discount that is only good in Aug (3 days left). I did also get 4 passes good until end of Aug.

    To me, $374 for 4 people for a year seams resonable. With my work schedule, I am unlikely to go on a week day… maybe just 3-4 times per month. But my wife intends to go, and both HS boys have been asking about gym memberships. It is about a mile from home, so the boys could even walk if needed (exercise on the way to the gym!).

    While I mentioned military, I am in leased office space not on a base, so the base gyms are not close to home or work.