I’ve discovered a clever – slightly devious – method to receive a week’s worth of free workouts at any corporate gym in America. As much as I try to work out on the road, I’m also a cheapskate and the idea of forking over $10, $15, $20 a day to LA Fitness or 24 Hour Fitness galls me.
Walk into any corporate gym in America, present a nice smile to the wage slave behind the desk, and tell him or her that you just moved into town and are looking for a place to work out. You’ll be turned over to some bro in a shirt one size to small for him who goes by the title of “membership coordinator.”
Smile, nod, look interested and try to have a question for Zach to complete the masquerade. I typically go with, “do you have a family discount if my wife signed up?”
You have to be clever. You have to have a cover story. Why are you moving? I always go with new job and since I work in the transient radio industry, this is easy to pull off. Maybe you’re going to grad school, maybe your mom is sick, maybe you’re selling real estate, it doesn’t matter as long as your delivery is confident. Also, have a phony address to give. Your hotel should work fine.
Don’t worry, Zach and the rest of his co-workers are far too apathetic to question your story. They’ll give you a free week pass and follow up with a phone call later in the month. Be sure not to answer unidentified cell phone calls from the area code of your trip for at least three months.
You receive free workouts for a week at a gym that is passable, Zach lands a new membership lead, and a huge corporation provides someone who actually gives a damn about training a break. Everybody wins.
What about all of these unstaffed, 24-hour gyms that have popped up everywhere? Their doors are continuously locked except for very brief staffed hours and members gain entry through key cards or fobs.
Tricky. Now you have to be Jason Bourne.
I’ve only had to do this once when I was in what has to be the worst town in America for gyms: Oxford, MS. It was squat day Saturday and I was working toward a goal, so skipping the workout was not an option.
What I had to do was sit in my car, wait for a member to approach the front door, exit my car like I was a member, sidle in behind the guy and gain access off of his entry. In life, if you look like you belong, act confidently, and go for it, you’ll be rewarded. I was this day with free entry into the locked gym and a great squat workout.
The only occasion when I don’t use the “moving to town” gambit for free workouts is when I find a locally owned and operated gym on the road. I’m always willing to spend my money to these people.