Switching Gyms

I’ve been doing pretty well with my exercise.  It’s been about six months since I joined a gym.  I pretty much stick to cardio and I don’t do anything that intense.  I’m not in it to get ripped or run a marathon.  I just want to stay in shape, keep my weight at a comfortable level, and stay active.

Which is why I’m thinking about switching gyms.

I joined my gym as it was one of the only ones around that fit some of my needs: Cardio, Reasonable Price, Good Location, Early Morning Hours.

I’ve been happy where I’m at, but I just found out that a new gym is opening that I think will meet my needs even more.  Planet Fitness is coming.  Yes, they of the “I lift things up and put them down” hilarious commercials.

Looking at my list

Cardio

I do a mix of cardio machines.  The treadmill, the elliptical, and the bike are my big three, though I’ll do a stair machine every once in a while.  My current gym has 31 total machines.  I can always get on any kind that I want, though at least 10% of the machines seem to be ‘out of order’ at any one time.

Planet Fitness is opening and will have around 100 machines.  I stopped into the sales Find the right gym and right exercise program for you.office and while the gym space is under construction, they have aisles of cardio.  It’s their main focus, so it would be good.  I’ve read reviews of other locations all part of the same franchise, and everybody is happy with the quality and durability.  It seems like it’d be a step up to go Planet Fitness.

Reasonable Price

Right now, I’m a little over halfway through a $99 for 6 months deal, which works out to $16.50 per month.  There are no signup or annual fees.  My current gym changes their promos all the time, so if I were to renew when my membership expires, I’d probably pay $75 for another four months, or $18.75.

Planet Fitness is pretty slick.  They charge $10 per month.  There is normally a $29 startup fee, but they are knocking it down to $1 as part of the pre-grand opening.  They also charge $29 per year as an administrative fee, but they’re not charging that until June 2015, as they’d waive the first year.  Even with the $29 fee, a year averages to just under $11 per month.  So, I’d be saving money.

Location

My current gym is a 2 mile drive from my house.  Planet Fitness would be 2.5 miles.  An extra mile round trip per day? I think I could stomach that.

Hours

I get up and am there at opening time, which is 5:30.  With Planet Fitness, that would never happen, as it’s open 24 hours a day.  Other locations show that they may cut this back, but even when they do, they usually stay open 24 hours on the weekdays and scale back on the weekends, which is fine.  I’m an early bird and I like the 24 hour thing.  There are times where if I wake up early, I’d love get up and go.  With Planet Fitness, I could.

Am I Going To Do It?

I think I’m going to do it.  The only thing holding me back is that I’m paid up until July, so if I signed up, I’d have about 6-8 weeks of overlapping membership, as I have to sign up by April 30 to take advantage of the cost breaks I outlined above.  Still, I think that it would pay for itself with the cost savings it would present.

I think a gym like Planet Fitness is great.  They cater to people who are looking to get in shape, not bodybuilders or those looking for advanced workouts.  That pretty much defines my goals and objectives to a tee, and if I can get that and save a few bucks a month, it seems like a no-brainer.

12 thoughts on “Switching Gyms”

  1. I looked into a Planet Fitness before and it wasn’t for me. I like lifting weights (not a bodybuilder by any stretch of the imagination) but they didn’t offer the things I was looking for. The price and the fact they are open 24 hours really made me consider however. I do like my gym. It’s close enough that I can walk there and they have the equipment that I need and the hours are decent. The only issue is that I have to negotiate my membership every year.

  2. I really like your analysis for why Planet Fitness is a good fit for you. I think many people don’t consider seriously what will work best for them in such a systematic way. I agree that the overlapping membership period is a bit annoying, but in the long run it sounds like it will work out for you. Good luck!

  3. That’s a very reasonable monthly price for a gym. The 24/7 hours are also super flexible. I’m not a gym-goer (I’d rather exercise outside or in my own house) but if I ever joined a gym, it sounds like Planet Fitness is a good option.

  4. You do need to be a little careful about gyms like Planet Fitness. I joined a gym with a similar price point, and there is a reason they can offer memberships for $10 a month. they have a tech come in to fix broken machines….once a month. So if a treadmill breaks down it may be out of service for a month. The shower facilities were pretty low rate, very few amenities. BUT, that being said…it’s only $10 a month and for that price it was well worth the equipment they had. Unfortunately, they closed a nearby location and the location I went to was suddenly overrun with people. The treadmills were used so much that almost all of them had the track slipping when you tried to run on them. That plus the fact that they kept the temp at about 500 degrees forced me to drop the membership and go else where.

    • Interesting. I know my gym right now operates under the same model, that ‘a guy’ comes in and does repairs and such, so that’s probably the industry norm. The upside is that if I don’t like it, there’s no real cost of leaving, and if I were to go back to my current gym, they have no startup costs, so it’d be easy.

  5. I quit my gym membership completely, gosh maybe 6 or 7 years ago now. I haven’t done a very good job at getting regular exercise, but I wasn’t good at that even when I had a membership. Working out during the weekdays is just not going well for me so I really need to utilize my time on the weekends more.

    • I never was good at it the last couple of times I joined any sort of gym (which was probably 10 years or so), but I’ve actually made it a pretty good habit this go around. I think the big reason for success is that I get up and go early in the morning, where otherwise there was always some sort of conflict.

  6. Sounds like you have thought it out to find the best option for you which is great. I don’t have a gym membership. Running around with the kids keeps me pretty fit. I’d love a treadmill at home though.

  7. Looks like you have weight up the pros and cons. I’ll be interested in hearing how you go.
    I just got offered a free trial membership to a gym near me, it is not the closest but it is a female only one. I mainly use the treadmill, rowing machine and weights. A big thing for me is a creche so I can still use the gym on weekends or school holidays with my kids.

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