10 Reasons I Should Cancel My Gym Membership

I have another confession to make today:

I pay for a gym membership. 

Now, I know that doesn’t seen so odd, right? Except that I have my very own fitness studio. Oh, and did I mention it’s a half mile from the gym?

Before you look at me like I’m crazy, let me explain: I pay for a treadmill.

Okay, maybe that didn’t help. But it’s the truth. Our fitness studio doesn’t have treadmills, we aren’t that kind of gym. We have TRX, kettlebells, pull-up bars, boxes and more fun pieces of equipment, but treadmills aren’t on the list and likely never will be.

So when the weather is cold, rainy, or extremely hot I have the gym treadmill to keep my running workouts going smoothly.

I’ve told Dan (he wants to drop our membership completely) that if we got a treadmill then I would cancel it in a heartbeat. I would march my booty in there today and tell them to rip up our monthly contract.

But of course not any old treadmill will do. I’ve had my eyes on this baby:


The Pro-Form Boston Marathon Training Treadmill. 

A girl can dream, can’t she?

The second I find this at my doorstep, it’s good-bye gym.

Getting a treadmill is one reason to cancel a gym membership, but there are tons of others. Others that may overshadow the treadmill and have me wanting to cancel anyways.

10 Reasons To Cancel Your Gym Membership

10. 3/4 of the equipment there is useless.

Machines Are No Good

The gym floor is covered with fancy looking machines and those machines are practically a waste of time. Unless you’re a body builder or recovering from an injury, using isolation machines isn’t going to improve your overall health and fitness. Here’s a previous post on why gym machines are a waste of time.

You don’t need much to make a home gym of your own. More details on this down below!

9. Cheaper ways to get better workouts.

group-workout-holiday You have to workout with cardio equipment and free weights to get a good workout. NOT!

The sky is the limit when it comes to working out. And most often, people aren’t pushing themselves hard enough during a “typical” gym workout to get the results they are going for. There are other options like boot camps, spin studios, circuit classes, etc that are not popping up all over in studios.

Studios are great because you can often spend less than $12 for a killer workout and then you’re not stuck in a year long contract so you can continuously have fun with workouts by trying new things.

Who said that workouts even have to be “workouts”? Roller blading, hiking, etc are great options.

8. Gyms are one of the most germy places.

Weight Training Circuits

Gyms aren’t exactly known for their cleanliness. Sweaty hands and bodies transfer germs everywhere. And while you think that wiping down your bench when you’re done is great, it’s not helping you very much.

Did you know that the highest concentrate of germs is found on barbells and dumbbell handles? Make sense because who wipes these babies down? Also, who knows if the person before you took the time to spray down their bench before. I’ve made it a habit to try and always wipe down the bench BEFORE and AFTER I use it.


7. Nothing is available when you need it.

Gym workout

The other day I grew so frustrated that I almost left before my workout even got started. First, every treadmill was taken, then when I went to use the sled I was informed it was still in use (well then use it!) and THEN when I decided to work on squats, all of the squat racks were occupied.

I finally took a deep breath and improvised but I wasn’t happy. It’s as if to get a good workout in, you have to go at 3pm when no one else is there. And let’s face it… not many of us can be there because we’re equally busy.

6. Creating a home gym isn’t hard to do.

Bands and Tubing for Women

If you are comfortable making up your own workouts and you don’t need the help of a trainer or group workout, then think about a home gym. Considering that you can get an amazing workout with nothing but your body weight, there really is no need to spend much money at all.

If on the other hand, you love having fund workout gadgets, it still isn’t expensive.

The home gym gear I recommend include:

– Jump Rope

– 1-2 Kettlebells (much cheaper than going with pairs of dumbbells)

– Good music

– Interval timer (there are tons of free apps)

And of course, there are sites like Fit Womens Weekly to provide you with your at home workouts! 😉

5. Its become too much of a place for comparison.


Getting fit is suppose to help boost your confidence. Yet some gyms become far too much of a fitness contest.

My current gym is getting a bit out of hand with all the people walking around as if they own the place. If you spend more time focused on what others are doing or feel as if you are constantly comparing yourself to other ladies around you, it might be time to walk away.

If you feel worst about yourself when you left than when you walked in, then you’re not getting that awesome benefits of exercise.

4. You can’t workout in the clothes you want to.


This might sound crazy and you might be raising an eyebrow but hear me out.

A large gym chain (that claims to be a “judgement free zone”) has been known to throw clients out for wearing clothes that are too “attention grabbing”. You might be thinking this means that girls are working out half naked and in just a pair of itty bitty shorts and a sports bra.

No, this particular gym has thrown young ladies out that were wearing capris and tank tops. Inappropriate? I don’t think so.

I am sorry, I don’t want to be told what I can and can’t wear. Sure, if you’re going without a shirt on, that’s one thing. But really?

Come on.

(Can you tell I was really put off when I read this story?)

3. Save money.

Who doesn’t want to save money? When it comes to working out, money is better spent getting professional help and programs.

When I calculate how much money I can save each year by dropping my membership, I roll my eyes. All the groceries I could buy, all the kettlebells I could add to our collection… ugh!

2. Get Vitamin D and have more fun.


Being Vitamin D deficient is an extremely common issue in America because we spend so much time indoors.

Get out with your workout, make it fun and enjoy 20 minutes of sunlight on your skin! Not only will you increase your Vitamin D levels, but working out in the great outdoors is also proven to boost happiness!

Go to a local park, do sprints on your street, find a big building with stairs and do a fun circuit workout… get creative and find joy in exercise and breathing fresh air!

1. Too many attention grabbers.


How many times have you gone to the gym and then wasted about 15 minutes by talking to people or staying on a treadmill instead of going into your strength training because of the show that was on?

There are so many things there to take our mind off of what we’re there for. If you don’t have a structured class or trainer, then it’s really hard to focus and zone in on your workout.

To be honest this is why I wear earphones at the gym, even when no music is playing. It helps me tune everything out and stay focused.

But when I workout at home or at the park, those distractions aren’t there and the workout goes so much better!

Do you have a gym membership?
Do you prefer working out in a gym, studio, or outside? 


  • I workout at my college’s weight room a couple times a week. While I do agree you can get in amazing shape with bodyweight stuff and minimal equipment, I really like using the gym for the wide selection of weights and equipment they have. It has the equipment I need for the goals I’m working towards, if I was just working towards general fitness though I’d probably skip the gym and do at home stuff.

    • When your tuition is paying for it, that gym is awesome!If it has what you need then that is great!

  • (do you mean “save money”?)

    I don’t have a gym membership because I can’t really afford one, and I’d rather take my workouts outdoors! I also have a pretty good home gym and even though I don’t have a treadmill, I have a bike trainer and a bunch of other things to do when the weather’s bad.

    • Yes, did I misspell it wrong somewhere? Thanks!

      Workouts outdoors are the best! My favorite.

  • Sigh, you’re so right. I splurged on a gym membership this year because it is literally right across the street from my apartment. I really don’t love it.. but I like that it’s convenient and sort of like a ‘last resort’ if it’s raining, snowing, freezing, etc. like it tends to do in Boston. I don’t use any of the machines or equipment. I usually just find a spot on the ground and do body weight/free weight exercises. My apartment is too small to do it at home, so it’s worth it. I also use the treadmill and sometimes the elliptical if I’m battling an injury. If I lived in a slightly bigger apartment and/or had my own treadmill, I’d definitely drop the membership and put that money into yoga classes 🙂

    • One day you’ll have the bigger space and then you can walk away! 🙂 We were going to drop our “couples” package since Dan does yoga now but it would only bring the price down $5… crazy! So I just kept him on it.

  • Sheena

    I have one but all I do there is two spin classes a week and a weight lifting class, oh and I use their showers so in theory I’m saving money on hot water at home!! They have a massage table but I never seem to have the time when it’s available 🙁 I use the gym more in the winter when there’s snow on the ground but now that it’s nice we like to get outside!

    You should e-mail that treadmill company and offer to make workouts around that treadmill if they give you one for free 😀

    • Sheena, you are the smartest person ever! haha, I might just do that! 😉

      If you’re doing 3 classes a week then that is def worth it! I think that if you use the resources and not just walk around then it’s a great optioN!

  • Marina

    I know that Planet Fitness is not the best gym but if the treadmill is the only thing you’re using it for you can’t really beat the $10/mo membership deal. It can get crowded but I think that is the case with any gym.

    • Very true, I just don’t like their business decisions. For even $10, I can’t support them, lol. Can you tell I’m hard headed?

  • Jackie

    I disagree and hate that there is a stigma around gyms. Not everyone is meant for outdoor workouts and fitness centers. First, my gym membership is $50 a month, so I don’t think I’d save any money dropping my membership and going to a fitness center for $12 per session unless I just go once a week. I love that the cardio equipment is there for me at the gym, I feel more motivated to do strength and flexibility routines when I’m at the gym and surrounded by others doing the same, and I don’t have to worry about the weather, if it’s too dark and unsafe to be outside, moving furniture to make space in my house, reserving a tennis court, driving to a hiking trail during the week, etc. If I had the space and money to have my own gym at home, I probably wouldn’t keep it, but that’s not feasible so my membership is my best option.

    • You are right Jackie, everyone is different. Like I said, for me personally it is silly since I do have my own equipment and the ability to workout outside. But you are so right, for some people having a gym membership is totally worth it! Thanks for clarifying.

  • I love working out at home!! ❤

  • Heather

    I joined a gym because of childcare..having two kids at home makes it kinda difficult to workout with being interrupted..I also feel like I push myself harder in a gym setting I feed off the energy of others during my workout ..but I do hate when someone takes up a whole rack doing dumbell curls

    • That is a great reason for a gym membership! I am sure it’s hard to workout when little ones are running around you! Though they make push-ups fun I am sure 🙂

  • The ONLY thing I miss about not having a gym membership is my spin classes that I loved.

    • Heather

      I’m addicted to spin class!

      • I love spin too, but it never works with my schedule 🙁

    • I wish I was able to do spin, such a great workout!

  • I agree with a lot of the reasons but I just can’t cancel mine. I love lifting, and I wouldn’t be able to get the same workout at home…plus I just have way less motivation to workout at home for some reason!

    • You’re not alone! Sometimes when I am at home, the last thing I want to do is grab a weight! I always remind myself, you’ll feel better when it is done!

  • Eveliz

    I actually canceled my membership about a month ago because of all the reasons you’ve listed. Plus, I wasn’t seeing results like I am with Fit Women’s Weekly. I didn’t want to pay for a service that wasn’t helping me achieve my goal and is normally extremely crowded at the times I was available to go. My friend actually had the same thing happen to him at another Michigan “judgement free zone”.

    • Hahaha, don’t you love those “zones”. You have no idea how happy I am you’re loving FWW! Awesome!

  • Kathleen

    As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the post. I do have a gym membership, however I initially signed up specifically because it’s $50 a month and they have a yoga studio while all other yoga studios in the city are above $100 a month. What ended up happening was that I started with yoga and began to try out everything else the gym had to offer. It was my gateway into weights, which I now love! I agree that I can do everything I need with my body weight, but I find that my motivation to work out is so much better when I actually go to a gym instead of staying home to work out. In a weird way, the fact that I pay for it motivates me to go.

    • Thats awesome it has a good yoga program! the gym we go to has yoga but it’s not exactly great and I don’t think the instructors are actually certified which is why we still go to a yoga studio. I wish it were better! Motivation any where you get is is a great thing!

      • Kathleen

        Yeah! I actually checked that the instructors were certified before signing up. I was pumped to find out they are! I’ll take motivation wherever I can! (often your blog!) 🙂

  • Kim

    Pretty sure you already know – I’m all about working out at home (outside when it’s nice!).

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  • I have a treadmill at home and it has really helped me to stick to my routine! I used to have a gym membership and soooo many of the things you spoke about in this article were real deterrents for me! I’m so glad I opened my eyes and am now really enjoying my workouts!

  • I like going to the gym because it focuses me – no dog and cat, no kids, no laundry… so many less distractions. Plus we don’t have room in my house for an excercise bike or elliptical. So I use those at the gym. But I have to say that the weight area totally grosses me out. You have NO idea what is coming out of those people’s pores, plus the floor over there hasn’t been cleaned since I started going there! (seriously, there’s the same dust on the floor week after week).

    Plus, this one time, I wanted to use the torso twist machine, but this girl was on it, twisting away and talking to her friends. She stayed on this machine for half an hour, chatting it up. And then, when she got up (and didn’t wipe the machine off), I went over there and saw that she DIDN’T HAVE THE PIN IN. She was literally twisting with 0LBS resistance!!! I was about to lose it when I saw that.

    • AHAHAHA that’s hilarious and incredibly annoying all at once! Thanks for sharing!

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