I actually save by signing for a gym membership

Well, I did it! After going 4 weeks to a military base gym to access a free gym and trainer, I made the decision to sign up for paid gym membership because of gas expense. I’m saving money going to a closer gym than driving 25 minutes to a free one each way. For nearly the same amount of a venti vegan-friendly frappuccino, I really can’t beat the price against the gas expense of going to the free gym. How did I achieve this?

I got a Planet Fitness Prepaid Membership Plan

*This is not a sponsored post.


All I need from a gym are the strength training machines because I don’t have those at home. I wasn’t too interested in the other amenities under the Black Card membership plan, so I opted for the Prepaid Membership and saved even more by not paying a “One-time Enrollment Fee” and “Annual Fee”. Prepaying for a whole year, my monthly fee calculates to $8.25/month.

Best believe that I will be getting my money’s worth because now that I’ve passed the month mark of consistently going to the gym week after week, I actually am craving working out. I now feel guilty not doing so and looking forward to workout day. I didn’t think that would happen but it is.

Taken July 4th, while waiting for fireworks to start, with my newest (gifted) shirt

What was my first week like at Planet Fitness

I met with a free trainer for 30 minutes. He helped design a complete workout for me which included 20 minutes of cardio, 5 exercise stations that works the arms, legs, back, chest, core, and a demonstration how to properly use each machine.

Of the 5 the trainer showed me, the rope on the 360 is my fave. I have finally found an exercise that  really put my triceps to work. I am actually in pain just pumping soap on my hand to wash my hands today. Yah, my triceps finally woke by doing 2 types of exercises, 3 sets each at a 30 second count per. The two exercises are “wave” (make waves with the ropes by mimicking playing the drums) and “slam squat” (slam the rope to the floor while also squatting each time).

To top if off, there is no weight involved except the weight of the rope which is not that much. There is a heavier rope but I opted for the lighter one. This one is my newest fave.

Tips for Planet Fitness if you are new to working out

  • Create an online account to sign up for an Orientation. The trainer will walk you through the different machines in the gym and answer your questions, should you have any. 

  • Sign up to meet with a trainer to help design a workout plan.

  • Sign-up for any class can be done online as well. Date and time are posted. Space are limited. (I’m interested in the 30-minute circuit but I haven’t found a time that I’m willing to work with.)

  • Bring your own towel. The gym does not offer it. However, they do have paper towels to clean the machines after each use, that you may also use to wipe your sweat with.

  • I have tried mid-morning, noon, and after-work hours. There are more people at the gym after-work hours, which plays with waiting for a station to free up, depending on how many are working out. Lunch time was emptier.

  • When in doubt, ask the front desk for help. 

If paying for a gym is not an option for you:

  • There are exercise apps and YouTube videos available for free to help get you started with your own fitness journey, that I’ve tried myself. 

  • There are free trial offers at local gyms. You just have to ask.

  • Some parks have strength training machines. In Virginia Beach, Mount Trashmore Park is one of them. Oceanfront beach area have an outdoor gym too. Other parks have tennis and/or basketball courts to use for free. 

Final Words

For me, Planet Fitness offers what I need, especially for such a frugal price. I’m not a hardcore gym goer myself so I don’t need special amenities/equipments. I’m there for at least an hour, 3x a week. I’m willing to work up to 5 days, time and energy willing. 

About a month left before our family summer vacation. This over-the-hill momma is definitely trying to get back in shape. It’s a lot of work, no doubt about it; but, I’m starting to see results and it has become my incentive now to keep going.

Before starting any workout regimen, you may also want to consider working with your doctor to achieve a plan that will work best for you. This post is for informational purposes only and is based on my own personal fitness journey. I do not claim to be an health and fitness expert.

Until next time.


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