Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Am I Gaming The Gym?

I look so hot when I work out, just like this chick.
A co-worker opened my eyes to the fact that there is a nearby Bally Total Fitness.  She goes to it, loves it, and then started doing the hard sell on me to the point where I wanted to leave the room (she really, really likes the gym).  I looked online afterward, however, and realized that this place may actually be the best deal in town.  Despite the initial "card fee" of $29 (is it gold plated, seriously?), it's only $18/month.  That's half as much as the YMCA, and these guys have better hours.

For $18/month, I don't have to feel totally bad if I don't use it that much.  Yes, I would like to have a gym that's closer to my house, but the price is sounding right so far. Plus, I get $150 back from my health insurance if I belong to a gym for three months in a row. That means it's actually only $5 a month, plus the joining fee.  That $5 will get me a treadmill on days when it's pouring, or snowing or just too damn cold/hot.  Plus, this place has that zumba nonsense that might make my ass look good, if I do it.

I requested a free week pass, and made an appointment for a tour on Monday morning.  Then I blew off the tour because I just wasn't in the mood to ogle a thigh press and pretend that I care about the state-of-the-art swimsuit water sucker or somesuchthing.  When I'm not in the mood to be given the hard sell, as I know the gym will give me, I just avoid the situation.  Yes, it's rude to make an appointment and not show up, but it's better than joining a gym just because I want to stop talking to someone, which is what would happen.

Since I made that initial appointment, however, I have gotten no fewer than four emails from this place.  One was from the sales manager and basically it sounded like I could call him at home at 2am and he would personally open the gym for me.  The next were a series of emails saying things like "join now!"  What's interesting about this, is that the price goes down with every email.  The monthly rate is the same, but they've reduced the joining fee, and now they're going to throw in a fitness assessment. All I've done for them so far is waste their time and prove myself unreliable, why so desperate, Bally?

A quick check of their website confirmed that I am in no way special, they're offering this deal to everyone. I got a good hour's worth of entertainment thinking that perhaps they were just totally desperate to woo me, but no such luck.  The world doesn't revolve around me after all. The plan is to go in Thursday morning, do the chitchat, hopefully get in a run, and who knows. Unless I see rat feces, I'll probably sign up.


  1. Sounds like you have Bally Fitness right where you want them! Honestly, you did well to avoid the sales appointment and do your own research about the club. Do wander through (without the guide person) to assure yourself of its cleanliness, then jump in.

    A free health assessment, signing fee waiver, and rebate from your health insurance - plus a place to work out when the weather's bad! Good find.

  2. Is it really a full $150 back or is it a refund of the cost of three months' membership, whichever is lower? It sounds great, but also a little too good to be true.

  3. @SpyGirl--good point. Here's what the sheet they gave me says: "We'll give you a rebate of up to $150 on your fitness center membership... All you have to do is be a member of any fitness enter for four months... the rebate applies one time per family one time per year..."

    So yeah, it does seem like they have some wiggle room there to give me less than $150 since it's a rebate. Hmmm