5 Secrets Gyms Don’t Want You To Know.

gym secretsAs someone who has worked out in more than a hundred different gyms, I’ve learned a thing or two about how they operate. While the majority of gym employees are good, trustworthy people, gyms are still looking to make a profit - sometimes, at your expense.

  1. The initiation fee can almost always be waived. When you join a new gym, many will try to charge a one-time initiation fee. It could range anywhere from fifty to a few hundred bucks. In most cases, this fee isn’t actually required; it’s just a way for gyms to make more money from you. Remember, the gym wants your business. You’re the one with the power. Tell the gym that you won’t pay the initiation fee, and that you won’t join unless they waive it. At the very least, they should be able to lower the fee significantly.
  2. The monthly membership fees are usually flexible. For some gyms, the monthly membership fee is set in stone. But for most, there’s room to negotiate. Joining a gym is a lot like buying a car. They’ll tell you a high number. You can come back with a lower number. And perhaps you’ll meet somewhere in the middle.
  3. Many gyms offer discounts. Sometimes, this discounts occur through your insurance plan or place of employment. Other times, gyms offer discounts for students, elderly individuals, models or even people listed on IMDB (yup, my gym gave me an IMDB discount!). But you need to ask.
  4. The “fitness assessment” is really a sales pitch for personal training. After joining, many gyms require some sort of fitness assessment wherein they’ll ask you about your goals, make you do a few push-ups and show you the equipment. In reality, this is almost always a way to up-sell you on personal training. Sometimes, trainers will you show particularly complicated exercises or question your workout plan so that you feel like you need their help. Personal training, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But know that the fitness assessment is merely marketing.
  5. Many gyms skimp on cleaning. Check out the rug at the front door. Is it covered in hair, dirt and crap from outside? That’s a good indication that the gym doesn’t prioritize cleanliness and is cutting corners to save money. In actuality, gyms are breeding grounds for nasty germs, so you’ll want a gym that’s clean and tidy. If the front door rug is clean, that’s a great start.

Do you have any other gym secrets? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. For five, 12-minute ab workouts that you can do at home or at the gym, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program - and enjoy the benefits of a stronger core!


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Further to number two … You can better negotiating rates at the end of the month when sales staff are trying to increase sales to meet their quotas.

  2. Thierry Plante-Dubé says:

    Check the steam room, if there’s one. Often, guys jerk off in there and sometimes they have sex in there.

  3. 1) Go to the gym when you at the time that you normally workout. If you don’t like crowds and fighting for machines, you can see the gym at its peak time.

    2) They will try to persuade you to join on the spot. Take the two week pass. They will try to tell you that you won’t get the promotion if you take the pass. They will also tell you that you have a 10-day cancellation period, so there is no risk. Regardless, at the end of the month, they will offer you the same promotion or better. Don’t fall for this scam. Sales people and gyms have a monthly quota. They will offer a month end special at the end of the month.

    3) Check the gym’s reputation on the internet. Some gyms take money out of your account illegally. They will tell you that it was a computer error. Regardless, this is stealing. Many shady gyms do this. Some will say that they will just apply it to the next month. It’s a scam. You won’t get your money back. I have seen many gyms go out of business or change names of the gym. They steal your money.

    4) If the gym takes care of the bathrooms, they will most likely fix equipment when they are broken in a timely manner.

  4. Really great tips Davey! Thanks!

  5. Charley says:

    Yes the fitness assessment is an opportunity to sell person training. But, for those who will go on the floor and simply imitate what others are doing, that’s not a terrible thing, if it’s within their budget. Secondly, the medical history and goals can reveal exercises that should be avoided and others that should be emphasized.

  6. Ok, so you are right on two of the five…….that is if you are going to a nice gym. If your visiting some of these large chains and sweat boxes…. you get what you pay for and yes, its negotiable.
    Go to a nice gym that is over $150+ a month and its not negotiable. Rates are Rates and initiation is there for a reason. Its to pay for the upgrades and new equipment.
    If the place is not clean, then look at what you are paying. $9.95 - $40.00 a month, you are really getting what you pay for.

  7. Great point you make there. good POST.. I like your perspective on this subject.

  8. Some of them points are really straight forward but all too often you will over look them.

  9. After exploring a few of the articles on your site, I really like your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site too and tell me how you feel.


  1. […] 5 Secrets Gyms Don't Want You To Know. | Davey Wavey … http://www.daveywaveyfitness.com/The initiation fee can almost always be waived. When you join a new gym, many will try to charge a one-time initiation fee. It could range anywhere from fifty to a few hundred bucks. In most cases, this fee isn't actually required … […]