How To Choose a Health Club

Health experts Lindsay Wombold from the health and wellness program at Butler University and Raphael Calzadilla from teach you how to choose a health club that fits your needs.

1. Health clubs can always
waive the enrollment

That fee is just a way
for them to get more money out
of you. If you don’t want to pay
it, just tell the sales rep you’re
going to join somewhere else.
You’re pretty much guaranteed
to have the fee waived.

2. Make sure you can cancel
at any time.

You may even
need to write on your
contract that “per [salesperson’s
name], I can cancel this
membership anytime with no
fees.” Have the salesperson sign
and date it. Even better, have
the manager sign and date it
in case there’s turnover and
your salesperson no longer
works there.

3. Find out when the gym is
busiest, and make sure
that works with your preferences.

For instance, if you
prefer to work out during a
quiet time but the only time you
can get to the gym is after work
when the machines are mobbed,
this might not be the best gym
for you.

4. Ask for a one-week trial
and bring a friend.

Your friend might be able to
spot problems you didn’t see.

5. Insist on a free personal
training session if you

If they already provide
one, ask for two.

6. Ask how often the equipment
is serviced and

Cleaning should
be done daily; servicing at least
once a month.

7. Check equipment yourself.

When you get a tour of
the facility, check for torn
benches and antiquated-looking
cardio equipment, and inspect the
cleanliness of the locker area.

8. Ask about classes.

If the sales rep is wooing
you with visions of Pilates
and yoga classes, ask
about additional fees. Many
make you pay more for such

9. Find out how many members use the gym regularly.

Fitness clubs oversell
memberships in the hope
that people won’t go. If
just 20 percent of the members
showed up at one time, most
clubs would not have enough
space or equipment to support
them. Ask when the busiest
times are, and show up then to
see if the place is too crowded
for your taste.

10. Check out the personal trainers.

Personal trainers at
gyms are on commission
plus a small
hourly rate. So beware of trainers
who hound you to sign up
for sessions—they’re most likely
under pressure to make a sales
goal. Instead, get a sense of the
trainer’s genuine passion for fitness.
If he or she doesn’t
pressure you, that’s a good sign.

Gender Wars at the Gym
12 Ways to Jump-Start Your Metabolism
Gym Myths

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.