Skip to content

8 Ways to Slash Gym Costs

Getting exercise is important … but “losing weight” should come from your belly, not your wallet.

Here are 8 ways you can cut-back on the cost of a gym membership — either by finding a cheaper option, or by looking at free alternatives.

8 Ways To Slash Gym Costs

20140917 - slash gym costs1. Do a Trial Run. Most gyms offer a free week or trial period to new customers. Take advantage of these trials to get a better feel of the gym and what it has to offer. You can get a free workout while you decide whether it’s worth your money in the future. Don’t just free-trial-hop from gym to gym — that will take up a lot of your time, and it’s a little dishonest. But do use these opportunities to find a gym that fits your needs. You might discover that the “best” gym for you isn’t the most expensive.

2. Make Friends. Find a buddy to workout with and save money by getting fit together. Many partner exercises don’t require gym equipment, so you might not have to step foot in a gym at all. Plus, that extra accountability factor will keep you going. If you can’t find anyone, tap into an online fitness community through a forum or a free app.

3. Go Outside. Skip the gym membership and take a step outside to take advantage of nature’s equipment. Go hiking, use park benches for push-ups or squats, or run the stairs at your local courthouse. Get creative and find substitutions for your favorite gym machines while you’re outside. Just don’t forget sunblock!

4. Get on YouTube. YouTube has tons of free exercise videos from well-known exercise celebrities and regular people alike. Want to try yoga or Zumba without the class costs? Search it. As an added convenience, you’ll save on the cost of gas, since you won’t need to drive anywhere.

5. Grab a Group. Many personal trainers will allow groups to split the costs and do a training session. In other words, you can gather 3-4 friends and split a session with a trainer. You’ll still get the one-on-one attention and learn new things but will save thanks to doing it with friends.

6. Shop Discounts. Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls carry a large selection of discounted workout clothing and gear. Check there before spending a lot on things like running socks, sports bras, or headphones.

7. Check Your Insurance. Some health insurance companies will pay for your gym use. Call your insurance agent or look at your policy to find out if there are some savings hidden you didn’t know about. If you work for a large company, talk to your HR department, as they might have some type of employee fitness credit or program that they’ll reimburse you for.

8. Do Some Negotiating. Think you pay too much at the gym? Go talk to management and see if you could get the same deals that new members are getting. They just might lower your rates if you plan on sticking around.

What do you think about these 8 ways to slash gym costs?

This article has been written by Kennedi who specializes in frugal fitness.

Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I would also add, “Check with your employer”. The company I work for provides fitness facilities at many of their locations, and if they don’t have one at the location you work at, they will reimburse your gym membership fee up to $125. Not a bad deal!

    • Great tip, Derek! That’s a wonderful company perk.

  2. Great tips! I love freebies. My three favorite workout resources are the Nike Training Club app, Charlene Johnson’s YouTube videos, and Fitness Blender (a website with over 100 full-length videos).

    • Jessica — Those sound like great resources — I’ll check those out. I love workout YouTube videos.

  3. I go to the gym 3 times a week and is really expensive for me. What I do to lessen the cost of hitting the gym. I downloaded a couple of mobile apps about fitness and exercise with free demonstration of exercises that we can do at home, sometimes even without any equipment. That makes working out cheaper! 🙂

    • Mobile apps are a great way to exercise, as are YouTube videos. And working out 3x per week is a big feat!

  4. Have a baby. My 7 year old daughter is working me out like crazy. She’s always interested in playing and I really work out with her 😀

    • Sounds like that would work too, especially if your kid always wants to run and play some kind of outdoor activity. Of course, I’m not sure this is a cost savings in the long run…. 😉 You might choose to have a child because you want to, not to save on gym memberships. 🙂

    • Haha, I like that creativity! I can imagine that keeping up with a 7-year-old is quite a natural workout!

  5. I really like the youtube idea. I use the site for some different style workouts I wouldn’t normally do in public to prevent from looking silly,(Yoga).

    With that said, I pay only $25 a month for my membership that I use 3-4 times a week. I think I get my money’s worth so I will keep mine…for now.

    • Honestly Ced, I am in the same boat as you. I really like to swim for exercise, so that is a little tough to do in my house in order to save money! Instead, I pay about $20 a month for a great facility that is a half a block away. I walk there almost every morning for a quick bit of exercise. 🙂

    • $25 per month is a great deal, and the fact that you use it 3-4 times each week is very impressive. That shows the money is being put to good use. Congrats on your dedication.

Comments are closed for this article!

Related posts