Cancelling my Gym Membership

When I say I’ve cancelled, what I actually mean is that I’ve given notice to end my membership, since my gym/sports club demands a whopping 3 months’ notice to terminate.

And what I’ve done is in contrast to what I was talking about four years ago.

But things change.

What brought this on?

A month ago, the aerobics class which I have been attending twice a week for nearly 15 years (Body Attack) was taken off the timetable.

Lack of ‘adequate attendance’ was cited as the reason by the club, despite other classes with low attendances remaining on the group exercise timetable.

A petition was signed by 50 members asking for the classes to be reinstated to no avail. Numerous emails were sent to the club manager asking for the time slots to be replaced with a suitable aerobics replacement class but really, Legs, Bums & Tums is not a suitable replacement! (this isn’t to diss people who love Legs, Bums & Tums classes, but they are very different classes!).

For many years, my gym membership was heavily subsidised by work. It’s only these last 3 years where there’s been no reduction but I put up with the price because it was my club which I attended frequently and because my gym membership was something which I was prepared to spend money on – my only extravagance.

After being a member of the club for over 20 years, I suddenly realised that despite it being more of a social club than a gym (I meet my friends there, we eat there, relax in sauna etc), without my preferred classes, the club as no longer was giving me what I wanted. The high membership price could no longer be justified.

Plus I was really dissatisfied with the inadequate communications from the club and their pathetic reasons for not reinstating the classes, especially as it just looks like it boils down to them being too cheap to renew the licence to run the classes.

So I gave them my written notice.

Importance of class times

The recent bout of working many late nights can be partially blamed on not being able to attend my preferred classes. Previously, I would leave a little earlier from the office to be able to make my classes on time.

With no set classes to attend, I was working late and then going to the gym even later. That left very little time to eat when I got home before it was time for bed. I needed to get back into a routine which didn’t make me feel tired.

Weights

In response to my notice and to probably try to entice me to stay, the club gave me a free personal training session.

I already did my own bit of weight training in between my classes but what happened was that the PT session gave me a fantastic weight training exercise programme which I can do on my own…at any gym.

In the few weeks which I’ve been following the programme, I already feel a lot stronger (and according to friends) look stronger.

I do however still miss the aerobic classes, miss the camaraderie, miss people looking like they’re half-dead after the power/cardio tracks, miss the challenge of keeping ahead of people half my age.

But, I’ve been enjoying this new challenging weight training exercise so this will do in the meantime.

Another

I guess I’ve always been a bit of an outlier in FIRE circles in that I’ve continued to pay for my gym membership. So no surprises really to hear that I now need to find another gym which is convenient in location and timetable.

Apologies for the deceptive title of the post and to the extreme followers of FIRE but gym membership is very much part of my life for my health and well-being.

I know many people can keep fit for free by running or cycling but I’m not one of those people, that’s not how I like to exercise and keep-fit. What I do works for me.

In any case, any other membership will most certainly be a lot cheaper than what I have been paying, so this should have a positive impact on my savings rate, probably to the tune of around £50 a month…

15 thoughts on “Cancelling my Gym Membership

  1. I would never scrimp on health. Y it can have all the money in the world it won’t matter at all if you don’t live to enjoy it. I could do with losing weight but I am active and rock climb 3 x a week. My annual membership costs 440 a year which I’m happy to pay

    • Weenie isn’t scrimping – she says her existing gym isn’t giving her what she signed up for, so she’s found an alternative and is looking for another gym. The fact that it’ll save her money seems to be a very much secondary consideration.

      • I think fatbrit was just agreeing with weenies decision to renew rather than having a pop here.

        I would never tell people their gym membership was a waste of money… As long as they made good use of it! Obviously if they are paying 50+ a month and only going once or twice then that is the sort of wasteful spending that winds us FIRE types up.

        As I like running there seems little point in my joining a gym, but more than happy to spend on my squash membership and also there is a climbing center that just opened round the corner from work so am weighing up whether to Shell out the 40/month on whether to join that. I would imagine it will do wonders to my upper body strength… If I manage to get down there enough and make it worth it. I’ll probably pay to play for a while and see how much I end up going and make a decision from there.

        • Hey TFS

          I remember one time a girl at work was going on about her ‘most expensive swim ever’. I asked her what she meant and she said that every time she renewed her annual gym membership, she went for a swim and then didn’t get round to using the gym at all for the rest of the year! Not sure if she heeded my suggestion to just cancel the membership!

          One of my friends cancelled her gym membershjip as she took up running (marathons) so there was little point. However, she’s noticed that while her legs are strong, she’s lost most of her upper body strength so is thinking of joining a basic gym just to do weights – it’s what people are happy with or want to do. I’ve tried a bit of basic bouldering and wasn’t bad at it – FBA’s the expert though!

          • Lol hardly an expert it’s taken me three years to be able to climb 6b pluses and I can’t even do that regularly

    • My current gym membership is more than double your £440 so no, I haven’t been scrimping haha! Health and fitness has always been important to me, have been exercising all my life so unlikely to stop.

      • Yes wasn’t having a pop at all you’re still exercising it doesn’t matter whether you do it in a gym or outside etc. I was just saying I don’t see spending on your health as wasted money. as I say I can hardly preach.
        I’m overweight but not badly so and have started getting an annual check up now to ensure heart cholesterol etc is all OK.
        I just love food!

  2. I think you made the right decision; they broke the contract, and there are bound to be other options in your area. Have you looked at your local council facilities? My husband goes to the local council gym (unlimited access to pretty much everything – pool, weights, classes – for £28/month) and I go to free Pilates classes at the community centre. I know there are other classes taking place in various other facilities as well (church halls, YMCA, etc).

    • Hi Tina
      The problem is that having been a member of the club for so many years, I took one look at the council facilities and I need to find something in between, so I guess I’ve become a bit of a snob in that respect! I do have quite a few gyms and clubs to investigate so I’m confident of finding a replacement.

  3. Three month’s notice!? That’s more than most jobs!

    I agree with FatBritAbroad, above. Health is one of those things that you shouldn’t cheap out on. Having said that, if you think you can save £50 per month by changing gyms, that sounds like a no-brainer.

    This is also a timely reminder that I need to get myself back into gear and into some sort of exercise. It was easy to find excuses not to do anything whilst moving flat, changing jobs, etc, but now there’s no excuse!

    • Hey Dr FIRE

      That notice is more than what I have in my job (which apparently was an HR error…). But yes, I think I can save around £50 but I need to be happy with the new place, otherwise it’ll just be a waste of money.

  4. I am in the running camp, although mine is on a treadmill most of the time, which cost me money. I have fairly recently started a Pilates class, which I really feel the benefit of in terms of strength-building. That costs £8 a session, so about £400 a year. That’s not actually very different to your gym membership when I think about it!

    • Hi Sam
      I don’t particularly enjoy running – if I do run on the treadmill, it’s only for short periods and I mix it up with interval so I’m doing a bit of fast running, as opposed to jobbing. But do enjoy the pilates elements of the Body Balance classes I’ve attended in the past, which is great for core-strength.

  5. Hey Weenie, have you considered trying the move GB app? It should be available on your area I think. It basically allows you to visit and use different gyms and classes with a single membership. Some people use it to test out different gyms before deciding for a good one. It’s a bit pricey but run promos and discounts from time to time. I used it when I lived in Brighton and loved it.

    A gym membership is a must for me too, I enjoy weightlifting machines, weight training and CrossFit the most. I’ve never tried Body Attack or bump but would like to as it’s apparently great for relieving stress while having fun. I also like spinning, mainly coz I generally like how motivating the music is! Hehe.

    Weightlifting machines are also very healthy for those who work sitting down on a chair the whole day and want to keep a straight back over time. I wouldn’t know how to do that without a gym membership or setting my own mini gym up.

    • Interesting, hadn’t heard of that app before but will check out, cheers Tony!

      CrossFit and spinning I find too hardcore!

      I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve incorporated more weights into my training, need to keep myself strong and maintain good posture as I do do a lot of sitting around!

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