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LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, and more: The most popular gym memberships, compared

From economy choices to the Cadillacs of gyms, there's something on this list for everyone

treadmills in gym.
Ryan de Hamer / Unsplash

The most practical way of exercising safely and effectively, no matter what your health aims are, is at a professional gym. Here, you will find every piece of apparatus needed to work all muscles of the body. Exercise can be done alone or with the help of a fitness instructor.

Joining a gym isn’t cheap, but it does save you spending money on equipment that can take up vital space in your home.

Thankfully, gym memberships have become a lot more flexible, but if anything, this has made the choice even harder for the public when deciding what gym to join. Although this has been a positive development for customers, it makes deciding on a gym membership much more time-consuming. So, if you’re thinking of joining a gym, read on to discover the best membership deals!

Gold's Gym logo
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Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym is a popular international gym franchise that was founded in 1965. There are a number of these gyms at various locations across the U.S. They offer their members group classes, cardio, weight training, and much more, along with personal trainers and expert advice that is all available 24/7. 

How much does it cost?

Pricing for Gold’s Gym memberships varies from location to location, but generally, a Single Club membership pass comes with a $25 enrollment fee and costs $59 a month. A Gold’s Gym 12-month Multi-Club Membership costs $69 a month. Another family member, such as a child of a suitable age, can be added to the various membership offers for an additional fee.


  • All new members get a free trial workout
  • Gold’s Gym offers new members a physical fitness assessment
  • Large, spacious workout rooms are always available


  • Charges late fees on membership payments
  • Charges cancelation fees
YMCA logo
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The YMCA is a community-based organization that believes that anything can be accomplished if people work together, regardless of ethnicity and religion. This mantra also holds true when it comes to health and well-being.

How much does it cost?

Gym memberships at the YMCA offer potential members the widest options for an affordable gym membership plan. A base membership for an adult costs $29 per month. The Plus membership includes group fitness classes and costs $45 a month. The Max membership gives you access to the pool and costs $55 a month. If an adult would like to add a minor to their membership, then the costs go up to $44, $55, and $65 a month, respectively. There is a $29 set-up fee for all memberships.


  • There is a gym membership plan for everyone
  • YMCA offers a friendly environment to exercise in
  • YMCA gyms welcome senior citizens


  • Membership price plans include a joiner fee
  • The senior couple’s price plan could be cheaper
Crunch gym logo
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Crunch has humble beginnings that started in a basement studio in New York back in 1989. Now, it’s another large gym franchise, with Crunch fitness clubs located in numerous states. The Crunch brand is all about putting the fun into fitness and exercise.  Crunch gym memberships come with perks that include choices of various fitness classes, such as pole dancing fitness, a HIIT zone, and access to certified personal trainers.

How much does it cost?

Again, prices may vary from location to location, but there are three different memberships available. Peak Results costs $29.99 per month and gives you access to 403 clubs. This includes access to group fitness classes, live online workouts, cardio, weights, exercise machines, tanning, hydro massage, and more. Peak membership costs $21.99 a month and has fewer perks than Peak Results membership, but all the essentials are still included, such as access to weights, machines, and group fitness classes. Base membership costs $9.99 a month but only has half the perks of Peak Results membership.


  • Membership caters to all budgets
  • Membership plans are cheaper than at many other gyms
  • Free Wi-Fi is available to all


  • Basic membership at Crunch offers few perks to customers
  • Crunch can be an overwhelming environment for new members
LA Fitness logo
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LA Fitness

LA Fitness is an American gym chain formed in 1984 that encompasses more than 700 clubs across North America.

How much does it cost?

LA Fitness gym memberships give you access to every club location. There are two options, and they both give you access to the same amenities. The first costs $39.99 per month with a $75 initiation fee. The second costs $49.99 per month with no initiation fee. 


  • Membership deals are easy to understand
  • Spa and pool access are included in membership plans
  • Cycle classes are available


  • Other gyms have better reviews than LA Fitness
  • Different membership plans offer more pricing choice
Planet Fitness logo
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Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is a popular fitness franchise with multiple clubs. Part of its success is down to its friendly staff and welcoming environment geared toward making gym members comfortable, no matter what stage they’re at in their fitness journey.

How much does it cost?

Planet Fitness membership pricing is location-sensitive, but in general, the principal plans here are the PF Black Card, which costs $24.99 a month, and the Classic, which costs $15 a month. The PF Black Card option comes with a $1 startup fee, a $49 annual fee, and a 12-month commitment to the contract. There is no contract with the Classic membership option, but a $29 start-up and $49 annual fee also apply.


  • Planet Fitness offers customers cheap gym memberships
  • There are plenty of perks with a Black Card membership, such as 50% off select drinks


  • A 12-month contract commitment is needed with premium membership
  • Basic membership comes with limited perks
Equinox Fitness Club logo
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Equinox fitness venues are some of the most luxurious on the market, making Equinox a major luxury brand in the world of fitness. This is, however, reflected in Equinox membership costs.

How much does it cost?

Equinox gyms are some of the most expensive gyms in the world to join, and prices vary by location. Generally, access to a single location is $198 per month. Access to every location in the state is $227 monthly, access to all locations in the U.S. and Canada is $30 monthly, access to all locations worldwide except Hudson Yards is $337 monthly, and access to all locations is $395 monthly. There is a 12-month commitment for all memberships. 


  • State-of-the-art gym equipment is available 
  • Plush surroundings to exercise in
  • Plenty of perks are included with Equinox membership


  • Membership is costly
  • Equinox only caters to the wealthy
Anytime Fitness logo
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Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness is a gym franchise with fitness centers spread across multiple locations throughout the U.S. It’s also a lifestyle-oriented brand that mixes yoga and Zumba classes with traditional gym workouts.

How much does it cost?

Anytime Fitness membership costs differ depending on location. On average, an 18-month plan costs $17.99 bi-weekly, and a 12-month plan costs $19.99 bi-weekly. There is also a $49.99 initiation fee and a one-off key fee of $35.


  • Anytime Fitness offers more than a standard gym experience
  • Spinning cycle classes are available
  • Team workouts help build a community spirit


  • Not many price plan options are available
  • A key fob charge is added to membership costs
24 Hour Fitness logo
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24 Hour Fitness

If you’ve ever found yourself googling “24 Hour Fitness near me,” you’ve probably already noticed that the franchise has 280 gyms located in 11 states. As the name suggests, it offers gym services 24/7. Check the gym’s website for details of all 280 locations.

How much does it cost?

If you want a month-to-month deal, you can choose between the silver, gold, and platinum memberships. They cost $14.99, $32.99, and $39.99 per month. There is a $1 initiation fee. With the annual memberships, the national costs $20.99 per month ($251.88 annually), and the platinum costs $29.98 per month ($359.76 annually).


  • 24 Hour Fitness is a trusted fitness brand
  • Offers fitness classes
  • Members have access to personal trainers


  • Not many pricing options are available to customers
  • Membership options vary depending on the location of the center you join
Man doing leg raises.
Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

When should you exercise at home?

While working out at a gym comes with many benefits, it isn’t for everyone. If you end up deciding that you don’t want to pay for a membership, you can save money by exercising at home.

So, what about equipment? Luckily, you can still have items like dumbbells, bands, and kettlebells in your living room that will contribute to a challenging, effective training session. If you don’t want to invest in any equipment, stick to bodyweight workouts.

If you need guidance and motivation, you can always follow along with workout videos on YouTube or certain apps as well. Some fitness instructors create a series of workout videos that are meant to be followed along with throughout the week if you want someone else to dictate your schedule for you.

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Christine VanDoren
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