1. Shop around
Find out what different gyms are charging and tell your favourite spot about the cheaper rate you found somewhere else. The director may not match it, but he may shave some moolah off of the original quote. Or, remind him of a recent membership sale the club offered and say you want that deal or you’re walking out the door.
2. Name drop
Lower rates are often offered to students, seniors and corporations that have worked out a special rate for their employees. See if they’ll match one of those specials. Even if your company isn’t eligible, the gym may throw you a bone.
3. Go fee-free
Ask the membership director to eliminate (or at least reduce) the one-time initiation fee.
4. Go off-peak
If your hours are flexible, ask about an off-time membership. They may offer off-peak hours (between, say, 10am and 5pm) at a lower rate.
5. Play the waiting game
Just like police officers have speeding-ticket quotas to fill each month, most gyms have new-member goals to reach. They get desperate at the very end of the month, which is when your negotiating skills will work the most magic.