If you get hurt while working out because of the gym’s poor maintenance of equipment or some other condition, you may have no recourse against the gym owner. New Jersey Courts have upheld a waiver of the right to sue unless the gym was grossly negligent or reckless. This is a much more difficult standard. Gyms have placed such waiver terms in their membership agreements for years but public policy arguments against them carried the day in the Courts until a recent change when the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld such a term and ruled in favor of the gym.
So be aware of what you’re signing, because those small paragraphs may affect your future and while the contract probably won’t be negotiable, perhaps a better, safer, newer gym deserves a look.