January is the perfect time to sign up to a gym, regardless of whether you're a newbie or a longstanding junkie. Many fitness chains have New Year specials on offer, and rates are competitive as businesses fight for clients who are seeking to rectify festive-season binging, or embark on New Year's fitness resolutions.
Of course, some of us are keen to join simply because it's become too hot to run in the searing summer heat, we're recovering from an injury, or are just seeking to shake up the fitness regimen.
To save you time in the hunt for a new fitness haunt, we've compiled a roundup of free trials and joining offers from the major Australian gyms. All are valid from January 2017, and some for a limited time so jump on it quickly to take advantage.
Regardless of where you choose, keep in mind these additional tips for nabbing a bargain:
1) While the list below focuses on the big players, don't neglect the independent gyms – smaller studios often undercut the pricing, while offering a good alternative for those craving more of a community feel and a paucity of posers
2) If you work for a large firm or government department, or are a member of a large club such as RACQ, enquire about corporate membership. Most chains offer discounted rates to corporate employees, which can save you a few dollars weekly
3) Even if it's not advertised, clubs will often negotiate sign-up fees – just ask and it may be waived!
4) Check out websites like Gumtree for people on-selling remaining memberships. This is particularly good if you're looking to sign up for less than 12 months
5) If you have private health insurance, check with your insurer about membership subsidies
Most gyms offer classes along with cardio and resistance equipment