Join now for $10 a month! Join now for 2 payments of $4.99 biweekly. These two phrases we hear all the time. They're always related to a gym membership. It’s catching! $10 to work out, that seems great. It’s super affordable! It attracts everyone looking to join a gym. I work out at a cheap membership gym. But is it a red flag? Do they have issues? Or are you better off paying for a more expensive membership? 

Spending Money
Spending Money. Source: Pixabay, Pexels

The Different Prices Of Gym Memberships

Cheap memberships seem great; why would anyone else pay more. Gym prices vary from the cheap membership to the high-end membership. Looking at Equinox gym in Canada their base membership starts at $210 a month and there most expensive gym membership for $410 a month. Equinox price seems crazy ridiculous, but if you break it down it seems reasonable (bare with me).

Gym memberships prices vary for a few reasons.

Reason 1: Member Count

Some gyms just want to get you in the door. The more members they have means they can lower membership costs. If you have a gym that's $10 a month your going to have a high member count. If you look at $100 a month membership there membership count will be lower.

Reason 2: Member Experience

From the moment you step in the door at the gym, you can get a feel for the facility. Does the staff greet you? Do they try to get to know you? I've noticed at cheaper gyms the staff doesn't seem attentive and you do feel like just another member. The gyms where I've paid a little more the staff get to know me and I feel welcomed.

Reason 3: Amenities. 

A cheap gym membership will most likely get you access to just the gym floor, showers and lockers. Amenities are a big reason a gym can charge a higher price. Gyms can offer massages, towel service, classes, personal training, nutrition coaching and lots more. 

Reason 3: Location

Is the gym located downtown or in a small city? Gyms that are located in high traffic areas like a downtown area are going to have a higher price. Gyms in a small city are paying less for overhead costs compared to a gym in a downtown area. 

Gym prices can vary for a lot of these reasons. If we go back to Equinox with there base membership price at $210 a month. Their membership count is lower, they offer an exceptional level of service, they have lots of member amenities and their gyms are located in the downtown area. It would be crazy for them to only charge a cheap rate. There simply offering too much. 

Looking to try services for the gym? Check out Personal Training, Exercise Classes and Other Gym Services.

What Gym Should You Pick?

Cheap gym memberships are going to benefit other people differently. They both have the advantages and disadvantages of paying that low price. You need to take each into considerations and decide what matters to you. Check out the advantages or disadvantages

Advantages of Cheap Memberships

Cheap memberships have a lot of great advantages. For starters, they offer everything you need to work out. They're going to have treadmills, weight machines, free weights, and barbells. They're also going to have access for you to shower and change in. This is everything you need. Let’s also not forget about the price. This is the biggest advantage. A cheap membership means they can give more people access to living a healthy lifestyle.

Disadvantages of a Cheap Gym Membership

The biggest disadvantage of a cheap gym membership is the member count. As mentioned above the cheap price gives more people access to work out. This means the gym is usually busy. This can lead to working out side by side someone and waiting for machines. The other disadvantage can be broken equipment. The high member count means machines are being used constantly. This leads to equipment breaking, which means you could be out of a machine you like for weeks.

Curious about the price of personal training? Check out Personal Trainer and Gym Membership Prices.

Empty Gym Space
Empty Gym Space. Source: Danielle Cerullo, Unsplash

Do the Advantages Outweigh The Disadvantages?

In my opinion yes. All the disadvantages can be answered by the cheap price. Cheap gym memberships give everyone the chance to work out and you don't have to break the bank. For the average person just looking to get in the shape, the cheap gym membership is a good option. You don’t need fancy equipment or all the amenities. It comes down to your personal preferences. If you want extras you’re going to have to pay for it. 

What Do You Need To Workout Out?

To answer if cheap memberships are a red flag for yourself you have to decide on your preferences. If we go back to our reasons for a gym membership price which one of those is most important to you. If the gym downtown is more accessible to you, which means your more likely to workout; that gym would be a better option than the cheap gym you have to drive 20 minutes too. Or what if you want a pool, or sauna, or massage chair? Then you're going to have to pay more for the amenities. A cheap gym membership would be suitable for someone just looking for a place to work out. 

Of course, it’s great having access to everything. Sitting in a massage chair after a workout does sound great or having access to towel service is a nice add on, but you don't necessarily need it. 

You can also check out the article Benefits of a Women's Only Gym.

Style Of Workout

For those of you that aren’t your typical gym-goer cheap gym memberships can be an issue. Cheap memberships just offer you the necessity, but if you're into CrossFit, Powerlifting, or Olympic lifting they won’t have what you need. You need the right equipment to train the right way. If you're into CrossFit you're going to need an open space, rowers, kettlebells, or a high pull up bar. If you’re into powerlifting you’re going to want a sturdy squat rack, a deadlift platform and a good bench. If you're into Olympic lifting you’re going to want bumper plates. Of course, it’s not impossible to use what a cheap gym can offer you but it may not be ideal and could even hinder your ability to progress. 

Using a Barbell
Using a Barbell, Source: Victor Freitas, Unsplash

Try Out A Gym

You won’t truly know if the cheap gym membership is the right option for you until you try one out. You should reflect on what I’ve said above and think about what you need for your style of workout and your personal preferences. The cheap membership gym is great if you’re looking to save some money and still want to get a workout in. The cheap gym membership might not be suitable for those looking for specific equipment. Try out the cheap gym membership, the average priced gym and the expensive gym to see which one suits your needs the best. 

If you more questions about fitness services check out A Guide to Personal Training, Fitness Services and Classes.

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You can usually find me writing at a cafe sipping on coffee or working out at the gym. I fell in love with writing a few years ago and have never looked back. I love being able to share my words with the world.