You joined a gym a few months ago thinking it would be the perfect move to kick start your fitness progress, but months later you’re wondering if you should jump ship. It might be the price that’s giving you second thoughts, the fact that you aren’t much closer to meeting your goal or maybe you simply don’t like being there—whatever it is, if you’re feeling like it might be time to go, you need to seriously reevaluate your choice.
If you’re wondering whether or not your monthly membership charge is actually worth it, check out these reasons to ditch your gym and consider calling it quits with your fitness center.
Quite possibly the worst part of gym memberships, the never-ending contracts are something all gym-goers should be wary of. It’s not uncommon for gyms to try to lock in your membership for a year or more at signing and despite the discounts that come with longer contracts, they’re not always the best deal. Consider a shorter contract or read the long-term contract carefully; you should know what happens if you need to move, get injured or break the contract for any other reason. Gyms that pressure would-be members into long contracts often do so because they’re worried members would leave given an earlier out. Even frequent gym-goers should think hard about a long-term gym contract.
Reaching your fitness goals can most definitely be a solo journey, but research has shown that the strength in numbers mentality applies in the gym too. A sense of community among members can help keep you accountable to your routine and you might even learn a thing or two from a knowledgeable gym-goer. Regardless of whether or not you like group exercise classes, a feeling of community is important to your overall success. If your current workout spot is lacking and the people are closed off, it might be time to move on.
Gyms are a place where people go to get sweaty and they’re notorious for bacteria, so it’s extremely important that your place be kept clean and regularly sanitized. When you’re going there to improve your health and fitness, you don’t want to be derailed by a nasty flu. It’s not always easy to spot a dirty gym, but if you pay attention to how often the staff cleans and the condition of the equipment (are benches and weights regularly left unclean after use?), you should be able to spot potential issues.
Physical fitness, as the name implies, usually requires movement. So it’s strange then that so many gyms are so cluttered. If your workout routine requires you to stretch out and your gym has virtually no free room, it might be time for you to move on to greener, more spacious pastures.
Another pricing issue you might come across—hidden fees or misleading membership prices, can be a big deterrent to keeping your membership going. Your gym should be upfront about their pricing and policies and if they’re not you should seriously consider joining up somewhere more transparent.
Employees are the face of any company and when gym staff is consistently in a sour mood, that’s not a great sign for the gym as a whole. You deserve to work out in a place that’s pleasant, where the staff is friendly and the staff deserves fair pay and good working conditions. If the staff always has an attitude, it could be a great sign that you need to find another gym.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a pushy sales pitch you know just how unpleasant it can be and that discomfort can carry over to the gym. Some fitness centers work on a commission-based model and some trainers rely on building their client base to make money. That’s not inherently a bad thing—but if you feel like you’re being pushed into a service you don’t want it might be time to find a different workout space.
When you first joined up you really thought you would use the ab crunch machine and the rowing machine all the time, but months later you’re only using the treadmill and two sets of dumbbells. That’s perfectly fine—in fact, you can get a great workout with your body weight alone—but you shouldn’t be paying for all of the things you’re not using. Cut the membership fees from your budget and use that money to buy cheap dumbbells and winter running gear.
Similarly, if the equipment you wanted to use when you signed up is always occupied or worse—out of order for weeks on end—it’s definitely time to find another gym. You shouldn’t have to wait every time you want to switch machines and you certainly shouldn’t have to wait weeks for equipment to be repaired.
Not enjoying your time at the gym? That’s enough of a reason to ditch your membership right there. It’s crucial to remember that there are a ton of different ways to stay fit outside of the gym (or at another type of gym) and, most importantly, know that if you actually enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it. Try hiking, biking, skiing, running, walking your dog—anything that gets you moving. The gym isn’t your only option when it comes to fitness.
You joined with certain expectations and several months later, despite consistent effort, you’re not as close to your goal as you wanted to be. As long as you had a realistic goal in mind and took the time to try to achieve it, it’s fair to say that this particular gym might not be a match for you. If you need a change of scenery or a different set of tools, changing venues might help reboot your progress.