Author Topic: Gym Membership  (Read 25194 times)

cbr shadow

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Gym Membership
« on: October 29, 2012, 01:28:54 PM »
So I'm wondering if I'm being a huge wimp by having my gym membership..  My wife and I both have a membership to a higher-end gym called Lifetime Fitness.  The price is normally $70 per person, but for whatever reason our membership is half that, $70 for the 2 of us.  I think it's a mistake in their system, but I'm not about to ask about it!  This has been going on for over a year.
This is an expensive gym, and if we were charged the normal price I'd cancel it right now.. but since we're getting 50% off and we use it a lot I think it's probably worth it.. thoughts?
More Information:
We go there 5-6 days per week before work.  I shower there on those days and she drives back home to shower.

Benefits:
1) I get to spend some time with my wife working out.  We both look at that time as valuable, and since we've made a routine out of it we're both motivated to go daily.
2) I shower there every day and generally only shower at home 1x/week now.  This saves on Water, Gas (heating the shower water), shampoo & soap (provided by the gym), and some power since I dont 'get ready' for work at home anymore.
3) Access to a LOT of equipment that we use.  My wife and I use the stair stepper, eliptical, treadmills, lots of free weights, weight machines, and some 'other' equipment such as resistance bands.  All classes are included in the membership such as yoga/core/spin etc, but we dont take advantage of the classes right now.

This trip only adds 1 mile to my drive to work, but adds about 8 miles to her daily drive since it's 4 miles in the opposite direction.

I've had a membership here for about 10 years now, and I use it often.. Lately I've been thinking I COULD go without it, but I'd rather keep it since we use it so often.  Also before you suggest getting a home gym, I have very limited space so the only area would be our guest bedroom which would give me about an 8'x8' area.

Keep the membership or get rid of it?

Done by Forty

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 01:53:53 PM »
I'm familiar with Lifetime and can sympathize with the desire to stay.

My recommendation would be to try something like Insanity or P90x...if you need them, mabye add some freeweights.  You can still work out with your wife 6 times a week (because that's what the workout calls for), the workouts require little (or no) equipment, and I'm guessing your home comes equipped with a shower.  ;)

The above would replace a recurring costs with a one-time cost.  The savings would be huge and my guess is you'll get a better workout. 

cbr shadow

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
I haven't tried P90x or Insanity so I'll give them a shot.
I do heavy weight lifting to add muscle, and my workouts are pretty intense, so it's hard to believe that without equipment that I'll get a similar or better workout, but if it's going to save me money I might change my workout goals.  I'm open to changes, but I know that if I cancel the membership to Lifetime Fitness I'll never be able to come back to get that 50% rate again.  Maybe I'll try P90x for a month (can download it for free) and see how I like it.

Done by Forty

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 02:28:13 PM »
Give Insanity a shot, too.  That's what my wife and I are  doing.  If a week of your workouts are tougher than that, kudos to you.

okits

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 10:00:36 PM »
Keep the membership.  (You don't mention debt or an anemic savings rate, so I assume you and your wife spend a couple of bucks here and there on entertainment and non-essentials.)

You're getting very good usage out of your memberships, so are getting health benefits, time together, and taking awaytime you could spending on non-Mustachian pursuits.  At 5-6 visits per week, this is costing you less than $2 per workout.  All without having to invest in and maintain a variety of equipment, and saving the cost of your at-home showers (this does add up).  Also, group exercise classes (and just the act of going to the gym, a kind of community-gathering place for fitness) can be motivating in a way you won't get by working out just the two of you, at home.  (I know you don't use the classes yet, but they're another way to stay motivated, if you ever need them.)

If you're in a debt emergency or just feel the need to cut expenditures, I'd look elsewhere, first.  Unless you're ultra-Mustachian already, you're probably still spending money on stuff that hurts you (e.g. eating out, booze, junk food) or has less benefit that exercising (e.g. movies, cable TV, clothes, fancy cell phones, driving your car instead of walking/biking, food/drink/gifts for special occasions, etc.)  You might have bigger fish to fry/lower-hanging fruit to grasp at.

Good for you for examining everything, though, and huge congratulations for exercising so much!  Keep it up.


fiveoh

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 07:16:09 AM »
Just an FYI your rate is not a mistake.  In fact they probably offer a cheaper rate then that, you just wont get it unless they are not meeting their sales goal for that pay period.  I used to work in gym sales.  The tactics they use are as bad or worse than car salesmen.   That being said $70 for 2 people is a decent rate for a lifetime type of gym.  I would keep it if you use it and enjoy it.  Don't be scared of losing it if you want to go try somewhere else.  You will just have to haggle a little and go in at the right time of the month to get it again. 

Done by Forty

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 09:14:57 AM »
The cost of Lifetime over 1 decade: $8400, assuming you took that $70/month and put it in a mattress. If invested or used to pay down debt at 7% annually, it's more like $12k.

There's an argument to be made that the membership may indeed be worth that, of course.  But those are the figures.

skyrefuge

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 09:21:20 AM »
No real comment on the gym membership (though it sounds like you're getting a decent value on it), I just wanted to tell you to wave hello when you see your fellow Mustachian riding his bike down Higgins Rd. on his way to/from work.  :)

Oh, and I guess this is somewhat related: why don't you and your wife ride your bikes to work?  Whenever I ride past the Lifetime entrance, I always think "woo hoo, I'm getting my workout for free, suckas!"

jsloan

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 12:14:59 PM »
I agree with the others about keeping the gym membership as long as it is something you can afford.  I have to add that I have done p90X and while it is a tough work out, it is not a replacement for compound strength training (ie dead lift, squat, etc).  p90x can also get repetitive after a while as I prefer to have a more open workout plan which gives a bit of variety. 

I have thought about replacing my gym membership with barbells at home, but it seems like the cost is pretty high even for good used equipment.  Biking and running are great too, but again, they are not a replacement for strength training.  Just my 2 cents.   

cbr shadow

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 01:02:04 PM »
Thanks everyone for the responses!  I remembered a few other things that I use at the gym after I wrote the post, such as the steam room every day for about 10 minutes, towels, etc.  Just trying to justify the $2 per visit :) 
Riding a bike to the gym would make me a total badass for sure.. I think it's about 4 miles from where I live, then another 4-5 miles from there to work, then 9 miles from work back home.  I would actually be excited to do that, but I'm already going to bed early and waking up early to fit the daily workout in.. I think I'd have to wake up an extra hour early (and go to bed an hour early) to do this.  My car gets about 68 MPG (2001 Honda Insight) so it's not a huge loss at the moment (about $0.90 per round trip) so I'll write that off as a small sacrafice for now.  My wife driving does add up to more than that though.  There's no way in HELL I'd be able to get her to ride bikes to the gym in the morning though, especially in the winter haha.  My next step shoudl probably be to set an example first, then start encouraging her to do it.
We're not ultra mustachian, but we have no debt outside of our mortgage ($208k) and a pretty good savings rate (have to check mint for actual numbers, but i'll guess 50%) and make approximately $145k / yr before deductions.  Our largest expense until recently was FOOD because we go out with friends for dinner very often, but I've recently changed that by inviting friends over for wine and appetizers, or games, or hiking at the forest preserves, etc.

Fiveoh, I know what you're saying about haggling, but this gym in particular (Bloomingdale Lifetime, and Schaumburg Lifetime) are not willing to negotiate at all.  A friend of mine said he'd join if he could get near my rate and I went with him to talk to the membership advisor.  I pushed HARD for a discount, but all they'd do was knock off HALF of the $275 "initiation fee", but wouldn't budge on the $65/month membership.  He let us walk out!  I'm told by a personal trainer friend that those gyms are at their limit already for members, so they're not willing to give discounts to get more people.  10 years ago when I first started working out there they were willing to really haggle.

Thanks for all of the perspectives - I think I'll keep the membership and download Insanity and P90x just to be sure I should stick w/ the gym.


KingCoin

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 03:04:25 PM »
I think that, except for the particularly hardcore, home gyms perversely make summoning the will power to work out more difficult. Maybe it's the more limited equipment. Maybe it's that there's no perception of being "watched" or being surrounded by others working hard. Maybe it because there's no sunk cost in terms of monthly fees or travel time.  I cancelled my commercial gym membership when I moved to an apartment complex that has its own mediocre gym, and my workout time dropped pretty dramatically. The convenience factor makes me feel like I can always workout a bit later rather than giving the "inconvenient" trip to the gym a sacred place in my schedule. Programs like P90X and Insanity are great to shakeup your routine, but I don't view them as longterm sustainable.

When it comes to fitness, people's needs desires and motivations differ pretty widely. It sounds like you have a good thing going. With your finances in good shape, this seems like an affordable luxury, especially when factoring in the cost in equipment and space you'd have to allocate to your own gym. I wouldn't mess with a good thing.

CanuckStache

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2012, 08:35:20 AM »
For me personally, I find I just won't workout at home. I also work from home though, so maybe that's why - I look forward to getting out of the house and going to the gym.

My GF and I pay a similar price - I think $67 (total for us both) for a brand-new YMCA gym within a 10 minute bike ride from home.

skyrefuge

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2012, 02:00:49 PM »
Riding a bike to the gym would make me a total badass for sure.

Oh, yeah, for sure, but I wasn't even thinking that far.  I was suggesting the biking more as a replacement for the gym, if you were looking to lose the gym expense while still getting your exercise in.  That would actually give you *more* time in your day, since you'd be doing commute-to-work and exercise in parallel, rather than serially.  And as others have noted, the integrated-into-your-life nature of bike commuting makes you more likely to stick with it than a home workout video.  I guess biking doesn't give you the obvious Big Man Muscles that a gym might, but those probably aren't all that useful anyway, especially since you've already got yourself a woman!  :-)

cbr shadow

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2012, 02:30:47 PM »
Skyrefuge, you do make a good point about the big man muscles, but for whatever reason I'm very motivated to have big muscles.  This probably isn't nearly as useful as just being generally in good cardio shape, but I do like being bigger.  I have a low body fat percentage so being fat isn't an issue, but I agree that it's probably healthier and more 'practical' not to be heavy.  I've been bulky all of my life and I feel like it's almost part of my identity now.. plus I do enjoy trying to beat personal strength records.
I am goign to put some effort towrads bike rides from now on.

MMMdude

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 06:17:26 PM »
Used to work out all the time at gym but the last 5 years or so, nothing much beyond mountain biking and cross country skiing.  I recently purchased a treadmill to allow me to do cardio at home when it's too crappy out to do the above activities.  One thing I really miss about a gym is the free weights.  You simply can't replicate that at home with kettleballs/dumbells unless you spend alot of $ (I use up to 100LB dumbells).  I find weight training is just as important as cardio as the extra muscle burns tonnes of calories.  The average lifter looks alot better than the average runner IMO.  For that reason I am contemplating getting a gym membership at a city owned facility.  It has olympic sized pool, steam room, some dry heat room (sauna?), hot tubs, huge gym, courts, classes, etc. Plus, let's face it guys, the scenery at the gym is usually pretty darn good :-)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 06:28:24 PM by MMMdude »

chris009

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2012, 10:23:37 PM »
I thought I'd bump this thread instead of starting a new one. I'm sort of in the same position trying to figure out whether to keep my gym membership. I'm paying $26.50/biweekly. For my city, this is pretty reasonably priced. Works out to $689/year plus an annual facility improvement fee of $35 for a total of $724. A lot of money, but I do enjoy the weights. Normally I'd hang onto this because I like the weights and I find it helps with motivation.

The problem comes in where I want to take a martial art this year. This is something a little more expensive than a gym membership. So I'm in the position where I want to reduce my overall "exercise" costs. I was thinking of investing a few hundred into some kettlebells. I realize kettlebells aren't a replacement for a gym withweights, but I feel I can have a pretty decent workout with them.

Has anyone made this transition from gym to something at home (and I mean weight training)? I don't have room for bigger equipment, so kettlesbells are really the most reasonably sized ones I can get.

The marital art I want to take is going to be around ~$80/mth. And with a typical biweekly payment, that is $133... and with three biweekly month it is $159.50.

I guess I'm just looking for some perspective.

Ozstache

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2012, 12:09:26 AM »
Another vote for no gym membership. As I say to my wife, the outside world is my (free) gym!

KC

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2012, 07:18:45 AM »
I canceled my membership a few months ago when I decided I needed to start saving more money and I regret it everyday. I was there 5 or 6 times a week so it's really left a hole in my schedule. If you think you'll enjoy the martial arts as much as the gym I'd say go ahead and make the switch, but if you actually use the gym for something you can't get at home I'd seriously reconsider.

chris009

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2012, 08:27:57 AM »
I canceled my membership a few months ago when I decided I needed to start saving more money and I regret it everyday. I was there 5 or 6 times a week so it's really left a hole in my schedule. If you think you'll enjoy the martial arts as much as the gym I'd say go ahead and make the switch, but if you actually use the gym for something you can't get at home I'd seriously reconsider.
Well that's my big fear. Every time I gave up the gym in the past I've put on weight and just stopped exercise. Though this time would be a little different as I'm replacing it with a martial art. And I'm also making an attempt to work with kettlebells (never bought weights for home before) and I've been experimenting a little more with body weight exercises. It seems like a decent compromise, but at the end of the day it still isn't a squat rack.

squashroll

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »
@cbr shadow
what did you end up doing?  I'd say your gym membership is a no-brainer!  I understand what you mean about finding identity in being 'big'.  Sounds like this an important component of your life, bringing you some satisfaction.  Also, your wife is prob benefiting even more, as you mentioned there is no way you could get her on a bike.  Your relatively small membership cost is not being wasted at all.  If its still buggin' you (i expect it isn't) find some other area to crop $70 out of the budget, like MMM's recent cell phone hack.

@chris009
what did you end up doing?  This is an old post, but I'll respond anyway.  You situation doesn't seem as cut and dried to me.  Does the Martial arts place have any weight equipment at all?  IMHO you should pick one or the other.  Quite frankly Martial Arts sounds way more bad-ass than lifting weights.  Get a book (or just go to the bookstore for a few hours and read it, lol) on body weight exercises.  I'm sure you could pack on some muscle w/ one arm pullups, one leg squats w/ a backpack full of shit, handstand pushups etc.  Jacob over at ERE is way more "extreme" than MMM and he reportedly spends 1k+/year on martial arts...

I read/replied to your posts cause I'm having the same internal conflict. Gym membership is spendy and we are up for our 1 year renewal :/   Please tell me what you did and how you feel about your decision!
thanks--

CNM

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 03:08:30 PM »
I LOOOOOVE my gym and would not cancel it.  I am aware that it's an indulgence but I can afford it, so it stays. 

sheepstache

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2013, 03:56:17 PM »
I always give myself a little discount on my gym membership because I figure I'm saving myself money in the future.  It's an investment in your health. 

Since we seem to be voting, I say if going to the gym works for you motivation-wise, don't fix it.

chris009

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2013, 05:35:43 PM »
@chris009
what did you end up doing?  This is an old post, but I'll respond anyway.  You situation doesn't seem as cut and dried to me.  Does the Martial arts place have any weight equipment at all?  IMHO you should pick one or the other.  Quite frankly Martial Arts sounds way more bad-ass than lifting weights.  Get a book (or just go to the bookstore for a few hours and read it, lol) on body weight exercises.  I'm sure you could pack on some muscle w/ one arm pullups, one leg squats w/ a backpack full of shit, handstand pushups etc.  Jacob over at ERE is way more "extreme" than MMM and he reportedly spends 1k+/year on martial arts...

I read/replied to your posts cause I'm having the same internal conflict. Gym membership is spendy and we are up for our 1 year renewal :/   Please tell me what you did and how you feel about your decision!
thanks--

I'm actually at the point where my gym membership is running out. I had it cancelled right on the one year anniversary mark, so there was no early cancellation fee. I decided to go my own. That's the decision at least. I haven't picked up the kettlebells yet, so that is on the agenda soon. I've been playing around with things I can do on my own and I'm pretty content with it. Martial arts is something I'll jump into soon as-well. Just fidgety on the particular school (or dojo or whatever they call it) on the martial art I'm planning to take.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2013, 12:30:20 AM »
I also agree to keep it. You've been going there a long time which means people EXPECT you to show up. That kind of motivation is pretty priceless when it comes to fitness. Besides, 90% of the people paying twice your price aren't showing up, and someone needs to keep the dust off the equipment. ;)

aclarridge

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2013, 01:53:15 PM »
Yeah, keep it, sounds like a great time. And bike on the weekends at least. It's good to get out of the house and be active, and as long as you're still saving a good % of your income there should be no mustachian-related guilt.

mm1970

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2013, 11:13:51 AM »
I think that, except for the particularly hardcore, home gyms perversely make summoning the will power to work out more difficult. Maybe it's the more limited equipment. Maybe it's that there's no perception of being "watched" or being surrounded by others working hard. Maybe it because there's no sunk cost in terms of monthly fees or travel time.  I cancelled my commercial gym membership when I moved to an apartment complex that has its own mediocre gym, and my workout time dropped pretty dramatically. The convenience factor makes me feel like I can always workout a bit later rather than giving the "inconvenient" trip to the gym a sacred place in my schedule. Programs like P90X and Insanity are great to shakeup your routine, but I don't view them as longterm sustainable.

When it comes to fitness, people's needs desires and motivations differ pretty widely. It sounds like you have a good thing going. With your finances in good shape, this seems like an affordable luxury, especially when factoring in the cost in equipment and space you'd have to allocate to your own gym. I wouldn't mess with a good thing.
For me it's the presence of my children.  Getting even 15 minutes of peace to do a workout is impossible.  Even if I try to toss in a P90X at 5 am, my 6 year old will wake up and start talking to me.

I love the gym.  I really really want to be that person who doesn't need it.  But I love it.  And we belong to the YMCA, so we take our kids to the pool to swim.

galaxie

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2013, 11:45:09 AM »
I've got a gym membership, and it's not a cheap one ($100/month).  That's less than I used to pay for martial arts classes across town, though. 

I liked the jiujitsu, but the 40+ minute trip to practice was killing me.  I was driving 2 hours to work out for one hour.  Boo to that.  Now my gym is a walkable, bus-able, bike-able distance from my house.  It's also clean and well-appointed (towels, hot tub, sauna, you name it), which is a welcome change from the stinky warehouse-esque atmosphere of the martial arts school.

To me, it's all about going frequently enough to get my money's worth.  If I slack off, I'm canceling the membership right away.  For now I'm motivated, I'm seeing positive effects, and I'm not having any trouble going 3 or 4 times a week.

windawake

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2013, 12:04:32 PM »
I'm very naughty and I pay $105/month for a membership at a local yoga studio. I've considered cancelling it regularly but I consider yoga to be a physical, mental, and spiritual practice. I have been a member there for a year now but still don't have the motivation or skills to practice yoga at my home by myself. The studio is two blocks away and is a great community of people and helps me connect to my neighborhood. I figure if I were to go to a church I'd probably donate, if I were a member at a gym I'd have to pay, and in order to find the special combination of the two I'd have to do yoga at home. The yoga membership is my one big non-mustachian expense. But I do go 3-5 times per week and it has greatly improved my life (strength, attention span, mental clarity, ability to be present, helps me deal with anxiety).

dharmon

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2013, 12:33:15 PM »
For me gym membership is a non-negotiable expense. The benefits (both physiological and psychological) of lifting weights can't be matched, and cardio doesn't even come close.

I tried body weight workouts for a while, but to get the same stimulation as free weights requires equipment I don't have room for, or walking to a park that has apparatus (which would take me a while).

Lastly, we thought about getting a barbell set for home, but we live in a studio and the added expense of getting a place large enough to have a "workout space" far outweighs the monthly gym membership. Maybe one day if we live in a cheaper area. I'd love to have my own setup at home.

Wiggle

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2013, 08:07:28 AM »
For me gym membership is a non-negotiable expense. The benefits (both physiological and psychological) of lifting weights can't be matched, and cardio doesn't even come close.

I tried body weight workouts for a while, but to get the same stimulation as free weights requires equipment I don't have room for, or walking to a park that has apparatus (which would take me a while).

Lastly, we thought about getting a barbell set for home, but we live in a studio and the added expense of getting a place large enough to have a "workout space" far outweighs the monthly gym membership. Maybe one day if we live in a cheaper area. I'd love to have my own setup at home.

Yes I agree, I do understand why people say "why go to the gym when you can bike/run for free" but these people don't always understand the benefits of strength training.  And bodyweight programs or programs like P90x do not offer the same things at all as a well rounded strength routine.  I have an Olympic barbell and adjustable power rack setup but it is at my parents home in the country, I'm currently in a 1BR apt so can't take advantage til I move into a larger place.  Once I do move, I'll likely add a set of the 130 lb adjustable power block dumbbells and cancel my gym membership.  But til then, there is no reasonable substitude I can do that can come close to replacing strength training 3x per week at a proper gym.

I do rather enjoy seeing people wear $200 in workout clothes (that they don't even end up sweating in), to me that's a tremendous waste of money and they are doing cardio which can easily be done without the monthly fee.

galaxie

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2013, 08:20:31 AM »
I do rather enjoy seeing people wear $200 in workout clothes (that they don't even end up sweating in), to me that's a tremendous waste of money and they are doing cardio which can easily be done without the monthly fee.

YES.  I often feel underdressed at the gym in my t-shirt and 10-year-old yoga pants.  How is it even possible to be underdressed at a gym??

I think maybe because mine is a pricey women-only city gym, that particular problem is even worse.  I haven't seen anyone in a t-shirt in ages (besides me).  Everyone's in cute little yoga tops that are expensive as hell.

unplugged

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2013, 08:56:11 AM »
If the gym is important to you, then keep it.  We have to live a little right! We don't have nice gyms here so we have a treadmill, p90x, weights, pull up bar and parks, walking trails and general outside places. If we had a big city gym (or ymca) with a pool, showers, and all that I am sure I would ponder going.

uspsfanalan

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 09:38:53 AM »
I too would say keep it. You've got a strong routine going and you are getting good value out of it.  I second the recommendation to get out on your bike more often though.

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2013, 10:15:07 AM »
I was paying $35 a month to go the gym owned by my employer.  Pretty good price, as they had swimming pools as well.  I only ended up using the free weights and treadmill 99% of the time though.  I dropped the gym and spent a bit of cash up front to build out what I usually used there into an underutilized room in my house.  But barring the ability to do that, I'd stick with the gym based on how you say you enjoy it.  That's worth something, for sure, imo.

squashroll

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2013, 12:02:06 PM »
The pool is key and is what has kept me paying gym dues.  If one enjoys a swimming workout there is no practical way around paying for pool use...  can't swim in your bathtub :P
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 12:04:08 PM by squashroll »

grantmeaname

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2013, 12:15:03 PM »
You don't have a municipal pool around you? I mean, that would only work for 5 months a year, but it's something.

Russ

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2013, 12:40:11 PM »
You don't have a municipal pool around you? I mean, that would only work for 5 months a year, but it's something.
Similarly, do you have any small lakes near you? There were a couple near my parents' house that had a swimming lanes roped off across the length.

squashroll

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2013, 10:46:08 PM »
No (accessible) lakes, no pool. Our local high school swim team gets on the bus for 25 minutes to use another city's HS pool.  Sometimes a gym membership is worth the $$-- 

MMMdude

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2013, 11:09:46 AM »
Haven't had a gym membership in a long time but am debating it now and probably will get one.  It would be $35 per month and it's a facility owned by the city - most other places in the city are closer to $50.  It's very nice, has pool, nice weight area, running track, etc.   Although I have a treadmill at home, I like strength training and body weight exercises don't cut it.  I hate adding a recurring expense though, but I think this is a 'good' expense.  To rationalize this even more I cut my cable package by about $40 per month. 

JRstasher88

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2013, 05:47:10 PM »
I've solved this problem by getting a part-time job at the YMCA down the street (technically it was my ONLY job for a while, now it's just a bonus).

Although it pays just $8/hour, it's easy work and I get a free membership which would otherwise be $60/month. I do churn out a good number of hours there work-wise, and am able to bring home about $600/month from 20 hours a week or so. It's a big help.

Shandi76

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2013, 11:09:43 AM »
cjottawa, I agree a CrossFit gym is worth paying for if you use it regularly and are seeing results.

I justify the expense on the grounds that health is the most important thing we have, and Cross Fit helps me keep in good shape. I don't have space in my apartment to set up a free weights area, and at the moment I need people to spot me and help me fix my form so I don't get injured. And the classes are really enjoyable. As long as you are not in debt and are saving a decent % of your income then it seems a reasonable expense to me.

SuperGrover

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2013, 11:36:38 AM »
I have almost everything I need in my home gym.  It cost me about 2g cdn to get it all.  Full cage squat rack with incline/decline bench and chin up bar and dip bars, lat attachment to the squat rack, precor elliptical machine and a recumbant bike.   And an assortment of dumbbells.  The only thing is you need to motivate yourself to work out.  You can lift heavy by yourself since there are safety bars on the rack.  The only thing i wish i had is a platform for olympic lifts.  I could make one but my basement ceiling is just a bit too low to facilitate these lifts.  I am saving approx 100$ a month for my wife and i to work out at home.  My gym has already paid for itself.  If you have the motivation to work out at home, i highly recommend it. 

grantmeaname

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2013, 12:56:36 PM »
We choose ours at $105/mo over paying $1,000/mo for one of the "country club" type gyms
Please tell me those don't actually exist.

superheropunk

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »
IMO, gym membership is totally worth it if you use it.

I like to work out at lunch and probably wouldn't do so if I could not. Works for me.

jsloan

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2013, 07:39:45 AM »
In my opinion you can get away without a gym membership if you spend the money to invest in a good barbell setup that at least allows you to do the big 4 exercises: bench, squat, deadlift and press.  If you couple your training with biking or running outdoors you will see the same results as a regular gym rat.  I disagree with the 'bike only' crowd as well, if you are serious about your health a well-rounded approach (strength and cardiovascular health) is always best.  To summarize this thread I think getting a membership depends on your circumstances: 

Get a Gym Membership:

- If you need babysitting in order work out (big one for us)
- If the activity you like to do is not possible in your climate, area, year round (ie swimming, basketball, etc)
- If you need the extra motivation by leaving your house (ie working with a group, etc)
- If you don't have the space in your home/apartment for a proper weight setup.
- If you enjoy going to the gym for social reasons (its a lot cheaper than the bar!)
- If you use it.
- IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT 

Do Not get a Gym Membership:

- If you don't have kids or you don't care about babysitting or children's activities.
- If you don't care about strength training (although I think everyone should).
- If you have the room and funds for a proper weight setup at home.
- If your climate or area allows you to workout outside, year round. (ie you don't live in a dangerous area, running is possible year round)
- If you don't play sports that require special equipment or instruction.
- If you don't use it.
- IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT

It would be great to outline most of these common questions in this manner and save the results to an FAQ or archive similar to http://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/wiki/faq

momo

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2013, 09:22:01 AM »
All great points and definitely helps to hear differing perspectives.

I wonder what would MMM say about keeping a gym membership?

mm1970

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2013, 02:13:48 PM »

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2013, 03:04:25 PM »
We choose ours at $105/mo over paying $1,000/mo for one of the "country club" type gyms
Please tell me those don't actually exist.

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/pf/0705/gallery.luxury_gyms/index.html

20k-30k+ a year. At most of those places the whole floor is limited to 5 or 6 people at a time and you'll have a PT hovering over you, so I guess you get something.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2013, 03:17:18 PM »
Get a gym membership:

1. If you're going to be doing more than cardio. -There are a million ways to get cardio, most of them for next to nothing
2. If you're in an apartment or have limited space.- Yes you can get 95% of the benefits of a gym with just a benchpress, squat rack, olympic bar, weight plates and dumbbells at home. The cost of that could be a hundred or so if you get lucky on craigslist or over a thousand if you have to rely on non-local sources. In the meantime, you'll lose all of that space in your dwelling.
3. If you intend to move in the next 2-3 years- Given the upfront costs, you probably won't break even on a gym membership from a home gym for a few years. Moving weights will range in difficulty from extremely laborious to prohibitively costly depending on your setup. And reselling them will be tough

Don't get a gym membership:

1. If you just do cardio and lift baby weights.
2. If you plan on staying in your house for 5+ years and have a nice empty space in your basement
3. If you can get equipment for cheap on Craigslist

shelfins

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Re: Gym Membership
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2013, 04:23:47 PM »
Your Money or Your Life has a nice way of looking at these issues. Basically, the author argues for figuring out your true hourly wage (after factoring in money lost to taxes or spent on your job, and factoring in commuting time, etc.) and then thinking about spending decisions in terms of the hours of labor you have to do to purchase that thing. Personally, I have a membership to a rock-climbing gym that "costs me" 4 hours of work each month, and it is 100% worth it to me in terms of the pleasure it brings to my life. I'm more than happy to wait a few more months to retire in order to give myself that pleasure for the next decade. It's really just a question of which you, personally, would like more: the gym membership, or the free time you'd get from not having to work to pay for the gym membership.