So I got the idea for this article recently because I moved across country and I am looking to join a new gym. As I perused Google Maps to locate nearby gyms, I realized that I wanted to research as much as possible before eventually joining a gym, because I have been burned before. Have you ever joined a gym hastily and then realized you really didn’t care for the place? I certainly have. I can recall one time that I paid a fortune to work out at this “super gym” only to realize that the place was, frankly, too nice for me and I wasn’t using half the amenities. Sure its nice to have a hot tub, steam room, spinning room, rock wall, and massage tables, but when your mission in the gym is to get in, sweat, and get out, do you really think your $80 per month membership is worth it?
I encourage everyone to do as much research as possible when it comes to joining a new gym. You may find a place you like at first but then realize it doesn’t have all the right equipment for you. Also, you may join up at a new place and realize that it is packed 24/7 and you can never get your turn on the bench (although the squat rack should always be open).
Hopefully this article helps people realize that you can sample gyms before joining. If you are already a member of a gym, you can use the tips in this article to get free workouts while you are traveling or on vacation.
I have been able to work out at many different gyms for free and now I will list the various ways I have done this…
Work Out for Free with Free Sample Passes:
Like I mentioned above, many gyms offer sample passes that allow you to try out a gym for a certain amount of time before you consider joining. Most of these are risk-free, meaning that if you don’t like it then you don’t have to join, or even talk to a gym representative. Here is are some various gyms that offer free sample passes:
24 Hour Fitness
24 Hour Fitness is a great place to work out at any time of the day. They have great hours (though some are not actually open 24 hours a day) and have great equipment. Many have lap pools, steam rooms, saunas, and other great features.
Gold’s Gym is where it all began. It was the place of legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Ed Corney, Mike Katz, and many others. Gold’s is still the gym of choice for many pro bodybuilders and for good reason. They have every piece of equipment you could every need and clean facilities. It has become much more commercial recently, which has its upsides and downsides. One upside, however, is that you can find one in almost every major city. And if you do decide to join, you will almost always be able to find one while traveling.
Bally is a very popular gym, just like Gold’s and 24 Hour Fitness, however I have never trained there so I can’t speak for it. That being said, I have heard both good and bad things about the place, so I really can’t be the one to judge it. How about you just try it for yourself instead?
If you haven’t been to Lifetime Fitness, please print off this guest pass and try it out (assuming there is one in your city). Lifetime Fitness is the ultimate in gym luxury. It has hot tubs, saunas, outdoor and indoor pools, rock walls, racquetball courts, basketball courts, and every piece of fitness equipment you could imagine. My one problem is that it is so nice that I can’t get a decent work out there. Also, a lot of the members there seem to be kind of pretentious and self-absorbed. Whatever..
Work Out for Free by Going With a Friend
If you have a friend that has a gym membership, why not be a free-loader and use his or her membership. I have done this many times and I have yet to find a gym that doesn’t allow this. In fact, I have worked out multiple times at the same gym with the same friend. It’s even better if you have several friends that have memberships at the same gym.
Work Out for Free by Sneaking In:
Now, we here at the Muscle Feed, do not advise this tactic, but it can work part of the time. Pull up in front of a gym that has large windows in front and simply wait for the gym attendant to use the bathroom or something and simply waltz in like you own the place. OK on second thought don’t do this, because it may or may not be illegal.
Work out for Free by Visiting High School Gyms
You may look a little out of place if you are over the age of 22 but many high schools leave their gyms open later in the day. It works much better if you have a friend, son, or daughter that is actually a student at said school, but since your tax dollars pay for it, you might as well use it. I have only done this once before though, so if I am wrong about this, please correct me.