When weighing up gym membership options, we routinely get asked “Do you have a lock in contract?”

The simple answer to this is YES and NO – we have both. Both serve their purpose and it’s important to match horses with courses.

Our advice, it’s a worthwhile process looking at the pros and cons of contract versus the non-contract alternative before making a decision.

So let’s take a few minutes to dig into the pros and cons with both of these options. I should mention that in considering both options, we’re looking at things with an EmpowerFit lens as each gym will be different in what they offer and how they offer it.



  • Essentially, it gives you a chance to try things out and see if it’s something that;

    • Fits in with your lifestyle

    • Is something you enjoy

    • Has the atmosphere and culture you like

  • If you’re visiting or planning on moving away, a short term membership is a great alternative


  • It is the more expensive option

  • You don’t have the same amount of “skin in the game” which makes it easier to give up when life gets a bit tough



  • You’ve made a long term commitment to your fitness goals. This “skin in the game” positions you with a better chance of achieving your goals.

  • Contract memberships include greater levels of accountability and support when you’re not at the gym (eg. access to challenges, nutrition support, having an accountability coach etc)

  • It is cheaper

  • You get a 7 day cooling off period if it’s something you decide is not for you

  • If you’re not able to continue training due to relocation, loss of employment or injury, you can apply to terminate your contract (this is considered on a case by case basis)


  • If you don’t have a strong or clear “why” for achieving your goals (why is it important that you achieve your goals), then you may have a hard time staying consistent and getting value for your membership

  • You may find your interests/circumstances change and there is not the service available that appeals to you

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both memberships. Hopefully this has helped provide you with some clarity as to what is going to best suit your needs.


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