Money·3 min read

How to Get Fit Without Going Broke

pink dumbbells on purple background
theSkimm/Getty Images
Jun 16, 2020

The Story

Feeling the burn doesn’t have to burn your bank account.

I like where this is going.

Start by running over to HR (or you know, emailing them). Your employer might offer discounts or reimbursement on gym memberships and fitness classes.

Related: All the Ways You Can Get Paid

No luck. Where else can I find discounts?

Commitment can bring your per-session costs down. Many gyms, clubs, studios, and coaches will cut you a break if you buy in bulk. One downside: you'll likely have to hand over the cash upfront. Meaning you could pay whether you crush classes or skip them.

What if I’m not ready to settle down?

A lot of gyms let you try the equipment for a few days before signing up. They might even throw in a complimentary session with a personal trainer. Keep testing things out until you find something you like. And can comfortably afford. may need a guest pass to score that freebie. See if your friends, fam or coworkers have the hookup.

Once you’re ready to join, flex your negotiating skills. If you can’t get a break on the monthly membership, you may be able to talk your way out of initiation fees. While you’re there, ask about the cancelation process. Some contracts require a few weeks’ notice.

I think you’re forgetting about something.

Right, yeah. COVID-19 has changed, well, everything. Including how we exercise. If working out at home is more your speed, you’ve got a lot of options.

ClassPass, which usually lets you play the field by going to in-person classes at a network of gyms and studios, now offers more than 4,000 on-demand workouts – at no charge. Nike’s made its premium Training Club app free until further notice. Other fitness brands, like Pelton, Daily Burn, P.volve, and Barre3, have free trials for up to 30 days, so you can see what they’re all about. You can also stream free workouts on YouTube and Instagram.

Related: How to Save on Entertainment Costs


Don't let fitness costs give your wallet a cramp. See if you can use your work benefits, negotiate for better deals, and tap into free trials or on-demand classes.

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