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Research Before Signing a Gym Membership

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In the beginning of 2016, many may sign up for gym memberships. If it's not for you, getting out of your contract may be tougher than you thought. Randy Mac investigates on the NBC4 News at 5 on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016)

    Surveys show getting and staying in shape was the top New Year’s resolution of 2016, but this is the week your fitness goals may start to flounder.

    One major gym chain calls Tuesday “the fitness cliff” when many people’s workout plans start falling apart. But for many January fitness buffs, getting out of that new gym contract come February could prove to difficult.

    “New Year’s and January in general is a busy time,” says Planet Fitness General Manager Enrique Sanchez. “We’re always happy to welcome new members to our family.”

    Your workouts are going great so far, but what happens when February and March roll around and life starts to get it the way, how do you get out of your contract? Can you get out of a contract?

    California law only provides three ways to break a gym contract before it expires: Death, injury or relocating where there isn’t an affiliated gym in a reasonable distance, which is why you have to do your homework before you sign.

    “They are very difficult to get out of typically,” says consumer attorney Stu Talley.

    Talley suggests first speaking to gym management if the gym enforces the contract as they may be able and willing to release you.

    If that doesn’t work, there are other legal options.

    “You can file a lawsuit asking for what we call deck, relief meaning you want the judge to declare that the gym membership is null and void,” Talley says of an alternative.

    Or you stop paying the membership, until a gym and collection agencies force you into court and try to win a judgment there.

    Or you can be like Liurena Souza, one of those people who found themselves paying for a gym membership she couldn’t use.

    “They would charge you whether you went or not,” Souza says.

    So, it might be better for your time to look for a gym with a no-contract membership.

    Planet fitness’ is one of the large gyms marketing non-contract memberships.

    “You can sign up for as little as long as you want it’s never any pressure you can always cancel anytime you want,” says Enrique Sanchez, from Planet Fitness.

    Studies show about 1 in 3 people fail at keeping any kind of resolution, so here are some ways to stay motivated and to revive your resolutions.

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