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Gyms: Costs vs Quality



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CORTNEY-LEE
SparkPoints: (51,449)
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Posts: 3,048
2/6/13 3:15 P

I think trying them out is a great idea.

I pay $25/month - my gym has classes and a nice selection of cardio equipment, and weights (both machines and free) there is also another area for "floor" work with a large mat.

My gym is a local chain, not a national one, so I can use any of their facilities.

Best of luck!



REYNINGSUNSHINE
SparkPoints: (20,346)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/6/13 1:06 P

Thank you for the replies! Unfortunately I can't find any reviews online- but I do know a fair number of people who belong to each gym in town, and they all rave about it. I'm sure no matter what I choose I'll be happy, but I am going to try them all out this month before committing to any one of them.



ISUFIRE
SparkPoints: (5,564)
Fitness Minutes: (14,140)
Posts: 156
2/6/13 9:52 A

3 pts



35BYMAY
SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (555)
Posts: 281
2/6/13 9:45 A

wow you guys have cheap gyms in the US lol... in my area, monthly memberships average $60-$70. That being said, I am lucky to live near my college where I am alumni and get to pay $110 for 4 months (not including $87 in parking for 4 mos, ugh).



SFENNER
Posts: 2,301
2/6/13 9:12 A

My gym fee is $42 per month for the family. I think it is worth it.



SWEDIEPIE
Posts: 338
2/6/13 6:47 A

I pay $40 a month for a non-chain gym in my town. It has a larger location on the other side of town (8 minutes by car) that I use each morning. It also has a 24-hour location right by my house that I can pop into whenever I please.

It's worth every penny to me- it's my second home.



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,988)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,801
2/5/13 7:05 P

I live in NZ, where the cost of living is very high. My gym is $15 a week, so $60 a month, and that is for a local YMCA. I'm actually still on a student rate because they like me there and never made me change my membership when I graduated. If I was paying a regular membership it would be $20 per week. However, I use the gym at least 5 times a week, so it makes it worth it to me. It is a small gym - 5 treadmills, 5 stationary bikes, 5 rowers, etc. Heaps of free weights and classes though, which is what I use, so it suits my needs.



DEANNAMB33
SparkPoints: (20,534)
Fitness Minutes: (20,490)
Posts: 616
2/5/13 5:50 P

I'm a member of Snap Fitness, which is a 24 hour facility. I chose Snap because of the hours, and the fact that where I live in the Mid-Michigan area, there is pretty much a Snap gym in every town. There's a Snap right across the street from my office, and there's also one in my home town (about a mile or so away). The one in my home town offers some classes and tanning for additional rates, but there's not much else other than the equipment and facility. There's another facility further away that has daycare, classes, tanning, etc ... all rolled into one, but the location was key in my choice because I needed something that I could get to without much hassle. I pay for a family membership (there are five of us on the plan) and it costs me $79.99 per month. I believe a single membership is $34.99 per month.



ALORTA
SparkPoints: (7,310)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
2/5/13 4:16 P

interesting... I'll have to try that (though since i wanted the first/last month with no contract, I figure they'll be less willing to budge)... just wish I was better at haggling.



ASHLING9
SparkPoints: (11,195)
Fitness Minutes: (22,815)
Posts: 122
2/5/13 4:13 P

Yes! Chains too! I worked for a parent company chain of Golds Gym and that is how it was like there!



ALORTA
SparkPoints: (7,310)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
2/5/13 2:41 P

Ashling:
does this count for gym chains or only the one offs? Like I said, the one closest to me is LA fitness chain... so I'm curious if bargaining there is still applicable since they have on-line sign ups, etc and prices posted everywhere...



ASHLING9
SparkPoints: (11,195)
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Posts: 122
2/5/13 2:23 P

Coming from someone who worked for a gym for a long time, buying a membership at a gym is like buying a used car as far as the sales people go. When you go to a gym about a membership, make sure you know exactly what you want and what you are willing to pay. Gym sales people are extremely under paid and just want to make the sale! You'd be surprised at the low price (and waived initiation fee) you can get! If you don't haggle a little and just accept the first price they give you, you will be paying too much!

I am moving in the near future and will be looking for a new gym. For me, a gym must have good quality exercise equipment, group exercise, early morning group exercise, and tanning. I will not pay more than $35.



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (138,157)
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Posts: 20,493
2/5/13 1:53 P

REYNINGSUNSHINE,

One thing you could do is read the reviews for these gyms on YELP. Read the good reviews and the bad ones. That will give you a rough idea of what the gym is like.

$25-$35 a month isn't a bad price. My old gym membership cost me $30 a month. At the time, I thought that was cheap. That was before low price gyms like Planet Fitness opened. Do you have a YMCA ? They vary from location to location, but they've always been pretty reliable i.e. good classes, decent gym equipment, etc.

Even if you paid $75 a month, that doesn't mean you're getting good service. What you might get with that kind of membership are clean towels and ellipticals with their own TV screens.

If there are no reviews for these gyms on your local YELP, then go to the gym and ask if they have free trials. Many gyms offer one day or even one week free trial passes. Try it for a day and see if it's worth the money. Oh and definitely find out what the cancellation policy is. That's a big problem I see with many gyms these days i.e. canceling the membership. So, do read the fine print very carefully.





REYNINGSUNSHINE
SparkPoints: (20,346)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/5/13 1:53 P

Thank you everybody so far for your input! I am finding that gyms are must more expensive out where I live- oh well! :)

LUCKNYMBER23- I wish that was sufficient to meet my goals :P I am looking to get much stronger and there comes a point where body weight exercises just don't do it anymore. I am looking for a place that has a lot of weight machines, is clean and friendly, and a place I can go to get away from home and my sister and her boyfriend :P



SIMPLELIFE2
Posts: 704
2/5/13 1:49 P

"Included in my membership is tanning," I certainly hope you aren't doing this if it's anything more than a spray tan.
Please check out the facts here:
http://mfne.org/prevent-melanoma/dangers
-of-tanning/



LUCKYNUMBER23
SparkPoints: (10,003)
Fitness Minutes: (11,707)
Posts: 413
2/5/13 1:45 P

I pay $40 for 3 people at Club Fitness - 24 hour access. You can always stick to your free membership and do the vidoes on SparkPeople.



SIMPLYJENNY
Posts: 72
2/5/13 1:39 P

I signed up for a fitness program through my health insurance offered where I work. So I pay $25 a month and have access to any fitness center that is part of the program - this includes some YMCA's, a spa/resort, and places like curves and fitness centers that are open 24/7. I loved the idea of being able to go to numerous different places but not having to pay fees for each one. It also gave me the option to try out multiple places and see which ones I preferred and gave me at least one place with a pool that I could use in the dead of winter, which sounded really nice.



NAUSIKAA
Posts: 4,848
2/5/13 1:20 P

I don't even live in the US so getting into details won't help but I will say this: when looking for a gym in my city, I visited 7 gyms and compared them. I am thrilled with my choice and I feel like my gym is my second home. What I did in the "shopping" phase was to make a list of all my wants/priorities and see how the various gyms shaped up (include your college gym on the list if you do this). Some of my priorities were:

distance from home
cost
opening hours
how busy at the hours I will go
availability of several key pieces of equipment I really like

Some things that I realized were NOT priorities for me were:

lots of cardio machines
lots of / big variety of classes
a lot of trainers / floor staff
extra services (towel service, etc)

The gym where I ended up is 5 minutes walk from home, open 7am-11pm, only 12/month (!!), almost empty when I go, and has most everything I really wanted equipment-wise. It also has a few perks that I wasn't looking for (I can buy protein powder and supplements there, there's athletic massage, hamam, waxing, loads of cardio machines, lots of classes). It DOESN'T have some things that some others would consider essential -- it's pretty grimy, no trainers/floor staff, no swimming pool, we don't have equipment some people would really want to have, it's closed on Sundays, etc.

What matters is that it has what *I* want. And I LOVE my gym! Making my priority list really helped me decide where to go and WHY.



REYNINGSUNSHINE
SparkPoints: (20,346)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/5/13 1:13 P

We don't have any big "gym chains" out here and the cheapest is $25/month (24 hr places but very small) and the most is $35/month (a SUPER NICE one). I see so many people with memberships for $20/month and it makes me curious if the $35 one is worth it or not.



ALORTA
SparkPoints: (7,310)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
2/5/13 12:56 P

I've got a similar worry... was actually going to make a topic when I stumbled across your post.
I've been looking online as to local gyms and the one closest to me seems to be an LA fitness... but the reviews are mixed. Many people say its old and outdated, but then another says its fine and that if you want a spa look to join equinox (which I then found out *does* have a club not much further... but with a whopping $150/mon plus whatever initiation is... yeah~ no).
My plan is to check it out when I go home... but I'd love to know how trustworthy the yelp opinions are about a gym. I'll be going home soon, so once I check it out, I'll let you know my take as well.



BECCIY
Posts: 79
2/5/13 12:52 P

I have the black card membership at Planet Fitness. We have Gold's and Curves here in town but I would rather drive the 7 miles out of town to go to PF. There are tons of machines and it never seems busy when I am able to go. Included in my membership is tanning, massage chairs, hair salon, and I can bring a guest with me at no charge. I pay $19.99 a month. I love it there, I am so comfortable and I truly feel it is a "no judgement gym". Hope this helps!



REYNINGSUNSHINE
SparkPoints: (20,346)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/5/13 12:37 P

I'm a student, and we have a fitness center on campus that is included in our student activity fees (which we have to pay regardless, so in all intents and purposes it is "free" for us to use). The gym has my favorite cardio machine and enough weight machines that if I go around dinner time I can get in, get my workout done, and go without needing to wait around for anybody.

The kicker is that the hours are unreliable. They will close for any stupid reason- mostly if there is a football game going on and they need the parking lot open for guests, or even something like Super Bowl or whatever.

So, I've decided maybe it's time to go to another gym... after looking around at the gyms we have here in Helena, I'm curious what the prices and quality of gyms or health clubs are like in other areas.

How much do you pay, where do you go, and where do you live? Does your gym have any special amenities? Do you think it is "worth every penny and even more?



 
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