3 things you need to know if you want to take advantage of free fitness classes

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Following the latest fitness trends can impact more than just the numbers on your scale. You'll notice a difference in your bank account, too. Some of the newest workouts are pricey.

Most of the gyms offer at least one free trial class. Bored with her regular fitness routine, KPRC 2 producer Chanel Preston tried a dozen free workouts at Houston gyms. Even if you don't plan on joining, she recommends taking advantage of the workouts. 

"It teaches you new techniques," Preston explained. "It teaches you new routines. You get to use machines that you've never used before."

If you want to try taking the free workout classes, there are three things you need to know: 

1) Expect a sales pitch. Gyms want to sell you a membership

The reason fitness studios offer free classes is to get new customers. Preston said only one of the studios she visited, Equinox, required her to meet with a sales representative on the day of her workout. Most of the others emailed, texted or called her in the days after her class to find out if she wanted to join. When Preston told them she was not interested, she said the employees left her alone. 

2) Required workout gear can cost you money

Some classes require special gear that you have to pay for. At Title Boxing, Preston was required to buy wraps for her hands. The lowest-priced pair was $10. Club Pilates requires participants to wear grip socks. Preston failed to bring her own, so she had to buy a pair at the studio that did not have a price tag on them. She said she didn't realize until after the class that they were $18. Preston said you should remember to bring your own socks.   

3) Class prices aren't readily disclosed

Most of the studios won't reveal pricing over the phone or online. They will only disclose membership rates and class prices when you go to the studio in person. Below are the 12 gyms Preston visited for a free workout and the prices they gave her for classes. Keep in mind, you may have to pay more or less, but it's a good baseline so you know approximately how much you'll be expected to pay. 

Club Pilates (Prices vary at different locations)
1 Free Class 
Unlimited $199 per month
Drop-in Rate: $25

9 Round (Prices vary at different locations) 
1 Free Class
$99 Initiation Fee
$99 Month to Month
$89 per month (6 months)

Title Boxing (Prices vary at different locations)
1 -3 Free Classes
Required Hand Wraps $10-$12
Unlimited 12-month agreement: $119.99 per month

Elite MMA Kick Boxing
1 Free Class

Tough Mudder
1 free class
2 Week Trial $49
Unlimited $159 per month
8 Classes $104 per month
4 Classes $56

Ride 
1 Free Class
Drop-in Rate $23 
5 Classes $110 per month
10 Classes $205 per month

F45
1 free class
Pricing not disclosed

Rowhouse
1 free Class
New Members can get 20% discount. You must call to take advantage.
4 Classes $79 per month
8 Classes $129 per month
Unlimited $149 per month

Orangetheory
1 free class
$28 Drop-in Rate per class
*Orange Theory required Preston to give her credit card number to register for the free class. 

Yoga Works
1 free class
$99 a month or $22 a class

LA Fitness
3 Free Classes

Equinox
1 Free Class
$172 per month
$300 Initiation Fee ($250 off Summer Special)

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