Look, sometimes gyms suck. Your gym might not have the equipment you need, it might be too expensive or too far away, or you might just hate exercising surrounded by other people. It’s okay to quit the gym. Here’s how.
Figure out why you hate the gym
What, exactly, is wrong with your gym? You have to figure out what the problem is before you can formulate a plan.
If your gym is too far away, maybe you need to find one that’s closer, even if it’s not as nice. Or on the flip side, you might be willing to travel to a farther-away gym if you really love it.
If your gym is out of your price range, consider whether there are cheaper options (perhaps even downgrading your membership without quitting, if there are multiple tiers). Sometimes we pay for an expensive thing to guilt ourselves into using it, but if that just means that you’ll feel guilty about skipping a workout and guilty about losing money, you’re just paying money to make yourself miserable.
But most of the time, people don’t go to the gym because they … just don’t end up going. Ask yourself this: If you already had the momentum of going every day, would you go tomorrow, too? If your only obstacle is “Ugh, I’d have to remember where I put my gym shoes,” maybe you should give the gym another chance. But if you have a specific reason—like, you go there to lift barbells but the equipment you want is always taken—then it may be best if you and the gym part ways.
Decide what you’ll do instead
You shouldn’t quit exercising. You’ll get weak and lazy and shrivel up and die alone. (I’m kidding. Mostly.)
But you shouldn’t quit the gym until you have a solid plan for what to do instead. If you haven’t been motivated to show up and lift weights there, will you feel any different about lifting them at home?
There are tons of ways to get a workout outside of a gym, but it may take a while to find your rhythm. Sure, you can dance along with aerobics videos on YouTube, but do you know which channels have ones you’ll like? And you can definitely go out for a run, but do you have appropriate clothes for the weather? Do you have a plan for how long your run will last and what effort level you should aim for while you do it?
These are questions you can answer, but if your gym routine is (kinda) working for you, don’t quit it to jump into the abyss. Start exploring those alternative workouts before taking the plunge.
Break your contract
If you were smart when you signed up (and an eagle eyed reader of fine print), you might only need to give the gym 30 days’ notice and then be on your way. But some gym contracts contain convoluted rules that make it as hard as possible for you to quit.
Read the contract carefully to see what options you have. If it still looks like you’re stuck, consider talking to the manager about your situation. They won’t want to see you go, but they might be able to fix a problem that’s so bad it makes you want to leave. At the very least they’ll often offer to freeze your membership (for a smaller fee than the monthly member rate) so you can take a break.