Getting in shape requires making a decision and a commitment to putting in the work. It also takes an investment — in time and often in money.
Choosing a gym can be a very personal decision. Location might be important to you. You may want a gym you’ll pass on your normal commute so you aren’t forced to travel out of the way.
You might want a large gym where you’re one of many and the attention isn’t on you. Or conversely, you might thrive in a smaller setting where you can form relationships with the trainers and other members.
Whatever your preferences are, cost is also an important piece of figuring out which is the best gym membership for you. To help make your decision a bit easier, we compiled information from six national workout chains so you can compare availability, costs and features.
What to Look for When Shopping Cheap Gym Memberships
Belonging to a gym is an ongoing financial commitment. You may be able to sign up during a promotional period that promises no initiation fee or your first month free, but you’ll have to budget for costs throughout the duration of your membership.
It’s not uncommon to see monthly gym membership fees that top $50 — though we’ve tried to highlight more affordable gym memberships below. In addition, many gyms charge an annual fee and an initiation fee.
Depending on what’s included in your membership, you may have to pay for added perks, like certain group fitness classes, time with a personal trainer, massages or tanning bed sessions.
Before signing a contract, check to see if your membership locks you down for a certain number of months. If you choose to end your membership before the agreed-upon duration, you’ll likely be charged a penalty.
Many gyms provide free trials, so be sure to take advantage of those offers to get a better feel for the facilities before signing up. Or if you know someone who is already a member, they may be able to get a guest pass for you.
If you’re able to try out a few gyms in your area for free, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which option would be the best gym membership for you.
Cheap Gym Memberships at National Chains
Editor’s note: Membership costs were sourced online as of Jan. 4, 2021 and are subject to change. Rates may vary based on location and current promotions. Check with your local gym regarding closures or new rules and restrictions due to COVID-19. Some gyms have temporarily paused amenities like group classes, locker room access or in-house child care facilities. In cities where there are curfews, 24-hour access may be unavailable.
1. Youfit Health Clubs
Where: Youfit Health Clubs has 82 locations in 10 states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
How Much: The base membership fee is $10 a month. The premium tier (known as “Lime Card” access) costs $24.99 a month. When you sign up for the base membership, you’ll also pay for first and last month dues. Initiation charge and annual fees vary depending on the membership package.
What’s Included: Depending on location, these clubs include top-of-the-line equipment, free weights, group fitness sessions, express circuits, personal trainers, tanning beds and childcare. Lime Card members can also bring a free guest with them anytime,visit any Youfit location and get unlimited access to group classes at select locations — as well as other exclusive offerings.
Try It: Get a free guest pass for one-time use.
2. Planet Fitness
Where: Planet Fitness has over 2,000 locations, with gyms in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada.
How Much: Monthly dues are $10 for just one location or $22.99 for a Black Card membership, which gives you access to any location. Annual fees are $39.
What’s Included: These gyms include cardio and weight-training equipment, plus fitness training programs for all members. Many locations are open 24 hours a day. Black Card membership allows you to bring a guest with you anytime and get free use of massage chairs and tanning services.
Try It: Find the location nearest you.
3. Crunch Fitness
Where: Crunch Fitness has more than 300 locations for its regular gyms and 30 locations for its Signature gyms (which include more classes, upgraded amenities and more). Its gyms are located in 32 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada and Costa Rica.
How Much: A base membership is $9.95 a month, a Peak membership is $21.95 a month and a Peak Results membership is $24.95 a month. Enrollment fees and annual fees vary depending on location, membership level and special promos.
What’s Included: Depending on what type of membership you choose, you can take advantage of multiple perks, including a training orientation with a fitness expert, group fitness classes, online video workouts, tanning and HydroMassage. The Peak and Peak Results memberships can be used at multiple locations.
Try It: Try a free one-day trial.
4. LA Fitness
Where: LA Fitness has over 600 locations in 27 states, Washington D.C. and Canada.
How Much: Monthly fees start at $24.99 for single-club access or $29.99 for multiple clubs within the same state. Initiation fees are $25. The annual fee is $49. Prices are higher at Signature Club and Premier Plus locations.
What’s Included: Gyms include state-of-the-art equipment and cardio areas, group fitness classes, indoor heated pools, whirlpool spas and saunas. Some have kids’ clubs, juice bars and basketball and racquetball courts.
Try It: Find your local club to request a guest pass online.
5. 24 Hour Fitness
Where: 24 Hour Fitness has over 400 locations in 11 states — California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, New York and New Jersey.
How Much: Monthly fees vary based on location and membership level, but month-to-month access to any club nationwide costs $51.99 per month. Members pay a $49.99 annual fee and may also be subject to a one-time initiation fee.
What’s Included: Gyms include cardio and strength equipment along with studio and cycle classes. Many facilities offer pools, personal training and in-house child care. Members can also get access to digital workouts to complete at home.
Try It: Use this three-day free pass.
6. Anytime Fitness
Where: Anytime Fitness has more than 4,700 locations worldwide, including gyms on all seven continents.
How Much: Membership prices vary depending on location and current promotions but according to Anytime Fitness’s FAQs, the average U.S. membership is $36.50 a month. Members also pay one-time initiation and key activation fees, which vary.
What’s Included: Members have access to cardio machines, weights and strength training equipment, as well as classes and wellness programs. Some locations offer tanning and personal training. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Try It: You can get a free seven-day pass.
If none of these chain gyms suit your fancy, you could always join your local YMCA or set up a home gym to get your workouts in. You could even make your own fitness gear out of items you have at home — like filling empty water bottles to use as hand weights.
Incorporate fitness into your daily routine by simply walking or running outside. Make use of outdoor fitness equipment at public parks. If you have a pool, get in some laps as cardio when the weather’s nice.
Those looking to work out indoors can follow free workouts from fitness influencers on Instagram or YouTube.
The options are plenty to find a workout solution that fits you and your budget.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.