Gym Memberships – Are They Worth It?

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Fitness

LA FitnessGym memberships are tricky. Too often I hear a friend get pumped up about this new workout and exercise kick that he/she is going to do, run to the nearest gym and sign a contract, use the gym regularly for a week or two, and inevitably let that membership go to waste. Memberships of any kind are not a decision that should be made hastily, but going to the gym is a little different. It typically isn’t fun. Most people aren’t in love with going to the gym and it usually takes serious motivation and convincing to get people off their ass and into the gym. When deciding if a gym membership is for you, give yourself an honest assessment as to whether you will actually use it or not. Key word: honest. We want to think we will use it, but you know yourself and you know if you really will or not. Don’t commit a monthly fee to a place you will never go. If you can do your routine without the gym, I highly encourage that. Runners are the prime example. Get outside and run! No fees. No crowds of people. No commute. Just step outside and off you go, just you and the outdoors. If you don’t need the gym, don’t get a membership.

That said, gyms are great and I love them. I belong to 24 Hour Fitness because the multitude of locations is a huge plus for me. Having lived up and down the west coast, including Hawai’i, I’ve used 10-15 different gyms in the last five years and 24 Hour is great for that particular need. Each brand of gym has its good and its bad. There are private clubs with waiting lists so they are never too crowded (overcrowding is a nightmare at my current gym). Some clubs have brand new, state of the art equipment, machines, training staff, etc. Some are your basic weights, cardio and locker room.  Whatever the case, evaluate what it is you are looking for and find the one that is right for you.

Pricing is another huge factor when deciding on a gym or even a specific membership plan. I bought a three year plan that was $600 up front (just under $17/mo). Pretty good price, but the kicker; $100/yr renewal for life! That’s just under $9/mo for the rest of my life. Beat that price and more power to you. The point is, there are countless gyms all over the country from 24 Hour Fitness, Bally’s, Curves, LA Fitness, to your local clubs. Typically, the more “private” the club, the more it will cost you. Every club has its pros and cons. Weigh them and align them with what you want to get out of your gym experience. Best of luck!

  1. buckeye455 says:

    So true. I had a membership at 24hr for a year and used it 3 times.

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