Use caution before signing new gym contracts

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Go into the Gym at the Decatur Athletic Club, and you'll see the sights and sounds of a healthy habit.  But there are some things you need to consider before joining a gym.

Jeremy Goforth owns the chain and said there are some things you need to know.

"They need to give them a clear understanding of what kind of contract they're getting into both price wise and length wise," said Goforth.

He said you should also have a clear understanding of cancellation policies, and beware of "hidden fees."

"A lot of gyms offer aerobics, day care and tanning. Some gyms even have pools. A lot of gyms will not include stuff. They'll advertise a price; it will just include the weight area or the cardio area", says Goforth.

Goforth said attractions like 24-hour access or a certified trainer who can work around back or knee problems can cost extra. Some people like to work out without a crowd.

"Most people get a three day guest pass or a week guest pass so they can try it out," he said.

Valerie Winton changed gyms when this location opened. She said she had several variables to consider.

"My other gym was a little more expensive, and it was also close to my house, which is a very big thing to me. But it was more expensive and didn't have the equipment that this place has and right when it opened I came by just to check it out," said Winton.

And be careful about being lured in with one price which escalates after a time.

The bottom line? Before you put your name on any dotted line, do your homework.

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