Shaping up in the New Year

What to know when joining a fitness club in 2019


Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

Getting into shape is always among the top New Year’s resolutions, but there are some things you should think about before committing to a contract. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota recommends doing your research on gyms or health clubs in your area before signing on.  

Also, be sure to consult a medical professional first, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while.

BBB suggests considering these factors before joining:

• Determine your fitness goals: Thinking about your fitness goals in advance will make selecting the fitness club that best fits your needs much easier. Work with your medical professional to help you set realistic goals.

• Set your priorities: The location, hours, types of equipment and classes can all impact your commitment to working out. Deciding what factors matter the most to you will also help you narrow down options before you start your search.

• Check BBB has business profiles and consumer reviews on any gym or health club you’re considering joining, so take a moment to read the posted reviews.

• Take a tour: Make sure the gym lives up to your expectations and needs. Ask questions about busy times, wait times for equipment, whether classes require pre-registration, and the availability and cost of trainers.  

• Ask about introductory offers: Gyms often use special introductory offers to attract new members, such as free or reduced enrollment fees. Be sure you’re clear on all the terms and what the monthly or yearly price will be once the trial period is over.  

• Understand the terms: Read the contract carefully before signing. Make sure all verbal promises are in writing. Also, ask about automatic renewals and cancelation policies so you understand the commitment you are making.


—With more than 7,200 regionally accredited businesses, BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota is a not-for-profit organization. The mission of BBB is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the public. Contact the BBB at or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here