T Nation

Paying a Gym's Initiation Fee


If you join a gym for a couple years, then quit for about 10 months, then go back, should you have to pay the initiation fee again? Just wanted others opinions.


If you buy a car, pay sales tax, and then trade it in, should someone else have to pay sales tax again on that same car?

NO, but that's just the effed way it is. Deal with it.



I would say no, you shouldn't have to pay it again.

Honestly though, if there's a lot of other gyms you could go to you can sometimes get of of paying it at all. Just tell them that if they aren't prepared to waive the initiation fee, you'll take your business elsewhere. It might not work, but it probably will.


You have to argue over this one. I personally would never pay an initiation fee. I get free initiation, a sports bag and a special price for being under 25. If they ask for initiation, tell them you will take your business elsewhere where they wont charge you for it.


Exactly. Negotiate, don't just pay whatever they ask. They want to close the deal too.


I work as Administrative Assistant at the local gym. (The other place is a physical ther. center mainly.) Yes, you have to pay the initiation fee. You left! You're signing up again. just because it's the same gym you went to before doesn't mean you're exempt or special in some way, therefore deserving of a discount. You left. Your membership has been terminated, your sign-in number passed on to someone else, and your monthly draft finished. Next time you sign up, ask about putting your membership on hold. What's the standard protocol for that? How long can you put it on hold?

At my facility, you can "freeze" your account for unlimited time (provided your 12 mo. contract doesn't expire) for whatever reason. Vacation, medical reasons, whatever. at the end of your contract, that time you froze your account gets tacked on and pushes your renewal date back however long it was frozen for. In other words: You're scheduled to renew your 12 mo contract Jan. 31st. You freeze your account for a week. When January 31 rolls around, you don't have to renew till Feb. 7th.

Anyway - yes, pay the initiation fee.


It depends on how much you want to work out there. If you can go somewhere else that's free of the fee, then do it.

But tell them first what you're gonna do. Something along the lines of "well I've been a member here for a long time, I'm a bit broke at the moment, if you can't waive the fee then I'll go somewhere else"

You'll then get a very good idea of how much they want your custom.

And then you either be very gracious and say "thanks" or you say "this is disgraceful, i live in the local area and I'm gonna make sure I tell everyone I know not to train here"

I was a member of a gym (xtreme) for 2 yrs, from when it first started. I was one of the first members. One day it was time to renew my membership but I was moving soon so I only wanted a 3 monther. The response? "We don't do 3 monthers, only 6 & 12". I was like "what? should I go to another gym?"
"yeah, try stafford, they'll do you up"

So i went to stafford. And now tell all my mates never to go to Xtreme.


My gym would work w/ you on that. You've been there forever, you get a little extra care like that.

But for someone who's not been a member long and then quit for 10 months, something different has to happen.


You're taking your eye off the ball here.

It comes down to math, and where you WANT to work out.

Add up the yearly amount plus the initiation fee. Example- $985 total for 1 year.

Then look at other clubs you may want to join- $690 and $750 lets say.

Is it worth the extra money to get what you REALLY WANT?

If yes, try to bargain down and if it dosen't work, join anyway. You'll be happier in the end.


There are a lot of gyms that run specials and let you join without the initiation fee. Two months ago, I wanted to join a gym, and I knew, that when the new year came around they would waive that fee. I told them that I could join now without paying the joining fee, or wait a couple extra months for the new year. So, I joined the gym (in August!) and didn't have to pay the initiation fee.