8 Cheap Gym Memberships to Help You Stay in Shape

Many believe that a gym membership is an unnecessary luxury: something that's nice to have but ultimately too expensive. Despite this, access to a gym has proven helpful to many people who want to stay in shape, who need a space to exercise, and access to necessary equipment.

Today, most basic gym memberships have become extremely affordable, lowering the bar so that anyone who needs a gym can become a member of one. There are several gyms that offer memberships (and more!) for a reasonable monthly price.

For those that want to keep up with their exercise or training, here are a few inexpensive choices for affordable gym memberships.

1. LA Fitness

LA Fitness started as a single gym in Los Angeles, California in 1984. Today, these gyms can be found all over the country. LA Fitness does not offer the largest range of equipment compared to other gyms on this list. But they still offer high-tech equipment for all your workout needs.

These gyms often feature basic exercise equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills. They also have amenities such as a heated lap pool, saunas, and a whirlpool spa. You can hire an LA Fitness personal trainer or join one of their many group workout classes (which do cost extra). In addition, many of their gyms conveniently provide juice bars and child care centers!

A gym membership to LA Fitness costs $29.95 a month with a one-time sign-up fee of $99.

2. Planet Fitness

Planet fitness has a reputation as “the gym for people who hate the gym.” With everything they provide members at a great price, it's no wonder why! The gym has the best equipment and a variety of classes that they offer to its members.

For unlimited access to their entire facility, their membership fee is only $10 a month! This membership provides access to most of the gym's equipment. A personal Planet Fitness trainer and group classes are also included in the $10 membership.

Members can also choose the Black Card membership for $19.90 a month. This gives members access to any Planet Fitness around the country. This membership tier includes access to equipment that $10 members do not have, such as massage chairs and tanning salons.

There is also a yearly fee, but the rate depends on the kind of membership you have. For example, for the $10 basic plan, the annual cost is only $20.

3. Life Time Fitness

Life Time Fitness offers memberships that vary from location to location, but usually, the fee is around $29 per month with an initial fee of $29. The membership allows unlimited access to the gym and workout equipment.

Other services are also provided with your Life Time Fitness membership, such as a variety of strength and cardio classes. Break a sweat and burn those calories in any one of their barre, strength training, martial arts, HITT, or sculpting classes - all of which are free to members.

For people who prefer a guided group work out, Life Time Fitness may be right for you! As of right now, there are 128 locations over the US and Canada.

4. Cardinal Fitness

Cardinal Fitness facilities are not as large as others on this list, like Planet Fitness or LA Fitness. Despite this, they still offer adequate space and the best equipment, such as stationary bikes, treadmills, weights, and so on. Cardinal Fitness also provides classes and other exercise-related services.

Similar to Planet Fitness, a Cardinal Fitness basic membership costs about $10 a month with an annual fee of $20. This provides members unlimited access to their local facility and all gym equipment.

If members choose to upgrade to $19.95 a month, they can gain access to any Cardinal Fitness in the country. This higher membership also offers a monthly training session with a professional, and virtual classes every week - ideal for anyone looking to work out at the gym and on the go!

5. 24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness, as the name implies, is the ideal facility for anyone looking to gain unlimited access to their gym at any time of day. Their gyms are spacious and offer all the equipment you'll need and more. 24 Hour Fitness has more than 400 clubs across 13 states.

The gym offers multiple membership tiers, from silver to gold and platinum, each costing more and providing more services. Their basic membership offers complete access to their gym equipment, along with a huge catalog of on-demand workouts, for $29.99 a month with an initial fee of $29.99. However, prices will vary depending on the location you join.

If you decide to upgrade to their next membership tier, gold, you'll gain access to a variety of in-person and virtual classes, from basic cardio to conditioning, cycling, martial arts, and even yoga.

6. Gold's Gym

If you are specifically interested in bodybuilding and gaining strength, perhaps Gold's Gym is the right place for you. Their facilities and amenities are dedicated to getting you in the best shape of your life. Their membership price will differ depending on your location, but you can generally expect their basic membership plan to cost about $25 per month, with a joining fee of $25. You can pay monthly, but if you pay annually you will receive a lower rate.

The gym offers the best equipment for bodybuilding and several strength-building classes to members, including pilates, cycling, yoga, endurance training, martial arts, and yoga.

Gold's Gym also offers premium membership which provides access to all Gold's Gym facilities for a price of $34 a month.

However, you should know there is a high price to pay if you cancel your membership. Their cancellation fee of $89.99 if you decide to cancel before your contract expires.

7. Lucille Roberts

Lucille Roberts is “The Women's Gym” by popular regard. Its mission is to empower women within their community through wellness and fitness. Currently, they have four locations: in Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, and North Jersey respectively. Their gyms are known to be high-end women's gyms while being exceptionally affordable.

Beyond access to their equipment, members can take classes in strength training, endurance, Zumba, and yoga. Some locations have convenient extra amenities, such as overnight lockers and saunas.

You can apply for a membership for an initiation or enrollment fee of only $1. Their monthly membership costs around $29.99, but the cost differs with each location. Currently, there is a huge sale: a $4 enrollment charge, and the entire month of July is free - so act fast!

8. The Local YMCA

Finally, it would be remiss to discuss affordable gym options without including your local YMCA. YMCAs are one of the oldest affordable facilities to exercise to serve everyone, regardless of age, race, ability, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or socioeconomic status.

Most YMCAs provide basic workout equipment, such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights. Some have additional amenities, like pools, saunas, and whirlpools.YMCAs also usually offer access to several sports facilities. Some YMCAs also offer more services and amenities than others.

Most of the basic YMCA memberships cost around $25 per month, with extra fees of around $10-15 for access to additional amenities. But your exact cost will depend on your location and the amenities your YMCA provides. There are YMCAs that charge as much as $50 a month, but their facilities and equipment will also be better compared to other options.