How Much Does a Gym Membership Cost?

Written by: Staff

Joining a gym or health club can be a great way for you to get and stay in shape.  A gym membership has many perks that a home gym cannot offer; however, it can also be much more expensive.

The Gym Spa by slgckgc, on Flickr
The Gym Spa” (CC BY 2.0) by  slgckgc

How much does a gym membership cost?

Most gyms offer monthly memberships for between $20-$50 per month.  This gym membership cost depends on the quality of the club, the  types of amenities offered, as well as the cost of living in your area.  Refer to the table below for common gym membership costs in your area.  Aside from the monthly dues, a one-time initiation fee may apply at most gyms.  Depending on the promotional period and gym, this can be as little as nothing to as much as $200.

According to this FatWallet thread, the average gym membership cost can range anywhere from $17 to $60.  For example, a user in Pennsylvania paid $35 for a monthly membership, while a user in New York paid $50 as a monthly fee.

Many members on this Reddit thread paid anywhere from as little as $10 per month to more than $125.

The GymPrice Per Month
Anytime Fitness Membership Cost$35 to $55
24 Hour Fitness Membership Cost$49.99
David Barton Gym Membership Cost$100
Equinox Membership Cost$150
Gold's Gym Cost$29.95
LA Fitness Membership Cost$29.95
Lifetime Fitness Membership Cost$69 (single) to $129 (double)
Planet Fitness Membership Cost$10
Snap Fitness Cost$29.95
YMCA Membership Cost$50

** This won’t include the extras, enrollment fees or any other additional fees.

Gym membership overview

The amenities included in your gym membership will vary from gym to gym.  Usually, the more amenities offered, the more expensive the membership will be.

Some things that your gym may offer, other than the obvious workout area, may include a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, basketball court, racquetball courts, rock climbing wall, personal trainers, group exercise classes, child care (sometimes free, sometimes extra), cafe and 24-hour availability.

Many gym memberships come with one complimentary session with a personal trainer to get you started.

Other gym memberships may also include discounts to merchants outside of the gym.  This can include various grocery stores or even discounts on your health insurance.

What are the extra costs?

Most gyms charge some type of application fee upon joining.  This can be waived during some promotional periods, but most of the time, it will be less than $75.

Additional sessions with a personal trainer will cost extra per hour.  This can be upwards of $75, depending on the personal trainer.

Some facilities charge an extra fee for child care.

Additional classes and events may be an additional fee depending on the type of class that is taken.  These classes can include yoga, cardio or strength training.  Every gym will have their own policy.

Ending a contract early can result in an early termination fee depending on the club.  These fees can start at $50 and go up from there.

Suspending or holding your membership can cost $10 per month at most gyms.

Tips to know

Some gyms require you to sign a contract for a specific amount of time while other gyms do not.

Choose a gym that’s close to either your work or home.  You don’t want to drive 45 minutes to get to your gym because this can get old fairly fast.

Even if the gym is opened 24 hours, it doesn’t mean everything inside the gym is.  If you’re interested in classes, these will often be held 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.  The same can be said about childcare.

Questions to ask:

What kind of contract is required?  If so, how long do I need to sign a contract for?

Can I try the gym out for free?  What are the restrictions?

What type of equipment is here?  How old is it?

What are the hours?  How secure is the building?  What is parking like?  Is it safe?

What are additional services that cost extra outside of the membership?

How can I save money?

Joining a community center such as the YMCA will usually be cheaper, but the facility may not offer as much as a health club like Gold’s Gym.

Consider going to a gym that doesn’t require a contract.  That way, you’ll be able to break free anytime just in case.

Many larger employers have fitness programs that the employees can take advantage of.  Check with your local HR department to see if there’s anything that you can take advantage of.

Check with your local health insurance provider.  Many offer discounts with local gym chains.  Just show your health insurance card and you’ll be able to save some money.

Gyms will love to advertise their services through the local newspaper.  This is your chance to look for coupons to take advantage of.

Consider paying in full as many gyms will give a great discount instead of those that pay month to month.

Adding more family members to the membership can bring the cost down.  Many gyms have group plans that allow family members to take full advantage of the gym.

Check the local high school to see what their restrictions are when using their gym.  You may find that you can use the gym during certain hours for nothing.

Costco often has discount cards for gyms like 24 Hour Fitness.  If you have a membership at Costco, look at the discounted gift card board for more information.

If you’re going to college, there’s a good chance the gym on campus will be available for free.

Explore the non-traditional gyms such as a hotel.  Some hotel chains will actually allow you to work out for a nominal fee.

If you feel you won’t use the gym at once, see if it’s cheaper to pay each time you visit.

Consider negotiating a gym contract to bring down the costs.

Does your city have a local recreation center?  If so, you may be able to work out here for a lower cost, especially if you’re a resident of the city.

How to exercise for free:

Jog around the local track at your high school.  If you don’t have this track available, you may want to try to make it a habit of jogging around the neighborhood.

If possible, try to bike to your work or even the local stores.

Consider purchasing DVDs or a guide.  Purchase a set of weights and work out in the comfort of your own home.

Download a phone app, and start a fitness guide that you can follow on a daily basis.

While the upfront investment isn’t free, consider investing in at-home gym equipment.  If you’re frugal enough, a simple at-home gym can cost as little as $500.

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Average Reported Cost: $0

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Cindy (Houston ,  Tx) paid $ and said:

    I have not signed up, but they quoted $174 for me and my husband for Platinum Level gym at Lifetime Fitness. That’s $87 a person. I think it’s too much.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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