If your New Year’s resolution is to shape up, you don’t need to shed the pounds from your wallet. There are loads of ways to experience gym life to work out if it’s really for you, before signing away a significant chunk of money.
Workout at home
There is a wealth of content online for losing weight and getting fit at home. YouTube contains a multitude of videos which vary from beginner to ‘hardcore’ training sessions. Some of our staff favourites include Body Coach (Joe Wicks) and Wedges and Weights (Hannah Mills).
If you are really self-motivated then there are a number of exercises you can do at home with the minimum of equipment. Shops sell dumbbell sets from as little as £30, and resistance bands can be bought very cheaply to add strength training.
Free gym passes
If you’ve never been to the gym before, or are trying to decide if it’s for you, take advantage of free gym passes. However, be prepared for the sales pitch. Some employees will be on a commission to get you to sign up. Some gyms may also insist on an induction before you can work out.
Below we’ve outlined the most popular options:
Fitness First – free 3-day pass. With 75 gyms in England and Ireland, Fitness First is the UK’s largest gym chain. You can sign-up for a free 3-day pass online.
PureGym – free 3-day pass. PureGym are offering a free 3-day pass, if you use the promo code “WELCOME”. You’ll have to take all 3 days consecutively though, and before the end of January.
Nuffield Health – free 1-day pass. 65 clubs in England and Scotland. Free 1-day pass, but it’s only valid for 7 days so make sure you’re ready.
LA Fitness – free 1-day pass. 43 clubs in England and Ireland. Continuous 1-day pass offer.
3-day - FitSpace
PayasUGym is a great concept which we just love. Avoid getting locked into any form of contract by simply buying a 1-day voucher online for your chosen gym. With 1000s of gyms and spas signed up, use PasasUgym to visit any gym you choose.
There are a few things to watch out for. For example, you can only visit each gym 3 times a month, and ‘premium locations’ once a month. Check out the FAQ page for all the info.
Unless you’re actually going to be a permanent part of the gym wildlife, you may find pay-as-you-go is more cost affective.
The Gym – from £5 a visit. With 1-day passes from £4.99, and over 70 locations in England, Scotland and Wales, The Gym is a no-frills popular choice.
PureGym – from £6 a visit. Simply buy your pass online for over 115 locations around the UK. Costing £5.99 for 1-day, £12.99 for 3-day or £24.99 for a whole week. Remember though, days are consecutive, so unless you are planning on going every day, you’ll probably find the 1-day passes are most cost effective.
If a lifestyle change is on the cards and you’re going to be using the gym regularly, a rolling monthly contract is the best way forward. Avoid signing up for a year if you can. You don’t want to be tied into a contract that you can’t leave.
Depending on where you live, you can get monthly contracts from £29/month at LA Fitness and £19/month at Fitness First, where every Friday you can take a friend for free. An excellent member benefit.
Although these monthly contracts work out slightly more expensive than 6-month or annual ones, you can leave at a months notice if your circumstances change, or you hit your targets.
Finally, we thought we’d leave you with a beginner’s guide to gym kit:
- Clean indoor trainers
- Spare underwear
- Water bottle
- Sweat towel
- Padlock for locker
- Headphones – so you can watch Jeremy Kyle whilst on the treadmill