Protecting Your Business with Gym Waivers and Membership Agreements

4 min read


Protecting your members and business through signature documents like gym waivers and contracts is not an exciting topic to read about, but it’s a topic that must be addressed by every fitness business. In this post, we will cover the purpose and common types of gym waivers and contracts.  

Gym Waivers 

Waivers are critical for every type of fitness business. Even though you are highly skilled and professional, there are inherent risks associated with all types of physical activity.  

The most common waiver type in the fitness industry is the injury waiver, also known as a liability waiver. Your fitness business is always one lawsuit away from going out of business. That sounds harsh, but it is a proven reality. With that in mind, thorough injury waivers are a must-have. The other type of waiver is a media release form. Media release forms grant you permission to use photos and videos of your members for marketing purposes. This is massively important, especially in today’s era of social media marketing. Along with the injury waiver, media release forms should be a component of the new member onboarding process. With that said, not all members will choose to sign this in which case you must know that you have not been granted permission to use their photos or videos.  

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The term “contract” is often avoided, especially in the fitness industry, because it is perceived as being restrictive or controlling. While you may not want to market the word “contract,” it is in your business’s best interest to use them. Contracts, or as you may call them “membership agreements” require a clear explanation of the program so members know exactly what to expect. Furthermore, a thorough membership agreement provides your business with documentation that the members have read and agreed to the terms of your program.  

The most common scenario for contracts in the fitness industry is with membership agreements. When a new member signs up, they should have clear expectations that are documented and agreed upon. Beyond the fitness-related components, a contract or membership agreement should include duration of the membership and price. Beyond perpetual memberships and training agreements, you may also host short-term incentive programs and events that require a clearly developed contract.  


You already know the importance of waivers and contracts, but you also know that it requires a lot of paper and/or a dense filing system. That’s where Zen Planner saves the day. Zen Planner’s gym software now offers a seamless way to require digital signatures in which you can customize the document and attribute the document to a specific membership category.  

This blog post is for educational purposes and is not in any way legal advice. For legal advice, fitness business owners should consult with their attorney.  


Learn more about gym software must-haves in our free checklist.

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About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.