If you’re starting off the new year by choosing a new gym, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota advises consumers to do their research before signing contracts.

Always read the fine print and be sure to ask questions before you contractually agree to make monthly and/or annual payments to a fitness center.

“Not everybody wants to be locked into a contract, so we didn’t want to make that your only option,” owner of Spectrum Fitness, Rachelle Sian said.

As a local business owner, she has the freedom to provide her customers with multiple sign-up options.

“We often times encourage people to try a few classes before they sign a contract,” said Sian. “We want people to know that they’re going to like the classes, that the classes fit in their schedule.”

You can buy individual classes one at a time, get a punch card for 10 classes of your choice, pay a month to month contract, or commit to a year.

“People fall off the wagon all the time,” Sian said. “So to have a one year commitment encourage people to stay with it. People will likely do what they’re paying for versus what they’re not paying for.”
But, that doesn’t always happen.

“Before you sign up and do a one year contract that you’re going to regret, I want our members to love it here, know that it works for them, and then commit to a contract.”
That’s the basis of tips coming from the Better Business Bureau.

Before you join any gym, the BBB advises that you: determine your fitness goals, set your priorities about location, hours, equipment and classes. Take a tour of the facility, ask about introductory offers, and understand the terms. Read the contract carefully before you sign.

“We do have a fee if you cancel, otherwise it wouldn’t be a contract,” Sian explained. “But you can get out of it.”

It’s most common that fitness centers have a cancellation fee.

All you have to do is ask about the policies so that you are aware of exactly when and how to get out of the contract if need be.