What are the Cheapest Gym Memberships in the Long Run?

What are the Cheapest Gym Memberships in the Long Run?

February 23, 2024

Building a fitness routine and sticking to it can be daunting and comes with more than its share of challenges. Between the time investment, the effort you put in at the gym, and the discipline required to get up and go to that gym consistently, you don’t need any more barriers between you and better health, especially not the budgetary kind.

Luckily, getting fit doesn’t need to be expensive, and nowadays, even an inexpensive gym like Crunch Fitness can open the door to impressive results. Crunch Fitness understands the importance of making fitness accessible to everyone in our community.  When researching affordable gym memberships, it’s crucial to ensure you’re still getting value for your money. At Crunch Fitness, we provide unlimited access to a variety of group fitness classes, and our enrollment fees vary by location, ensuring flexibility to meet your needs.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive guide to recognizing the real value of a gym membership, annual fees, and more. Equally important, understanding how your membership package can include group fitness classes and 24-hour fitness access, at competitive prices, or even a 100% free trial membership for potential members looking to try us out. Get the services you expect for your money, and how to avoid common pitfalls and hidden fees in the fitness industry.

woman on elliptical

How to Calculate the Real Value of a Membership

When evaluating the value of any gym membership, you have to balance how much you pay with how much you receive. If paying $9.99 monthly at your local gym only gets you beat-up dumbbells, boring fitness classes, and chronically out-of-order treadmills; you’re probably still paying too much.

Conversely, if the $200.00 premium membership, which initiation fee could pay up your student loan, even though it supplies everything you need, the reality is that it only offers a few niche services.

Simply put, improving your fitness shouldn’t destroy your bank account. And with the reasonable, value-focused memberships available in the fitness industry today (like Crunch’s!), you can get everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Additionally, almost all good gyms share a few essential features and services you should research before joining.

Exercise Equipment

While the most obvious example of this is cardio and strength equipment, you should also ensure that a gym has any specific equipment you require for your personal goals, such as battle ropes or specialized cardio equipment. Also, it’s important that a gym has more than enough equipment for your needs. That way, you won’t be stuck waiting for someone else on the single rowing machine you need to finish a solid workout.

Free Weights

Although weight machines are an excellent choice for improving strength, sometimes your routine calls for the inclusion of strength training equipment. And, though it can sometimes be difficult to tell one dumbbell or 45-pound plate from another, quality and selection matter as much here as they do for machines. Having multiple sets of dumbbells, high-quality plates, and plenty of power racks can mean the difference between spending 60 or 120 minutes for the same routine at the gym.

Group Fitness Sessions

One of the most important services any gym can supply is a well-maintained list of group exercise classes. More and more, the average gym member is no longer comfortable or content with working out solo 100% of the time.

Whether it’s yoga classes or mixed martial arts, having a group to push and motivate you can make a world of difference in your health journey. That’s why Crunch offers extensive group exercise programs for our Peak members and unlimited access to all fitness classes with our Peak Results membership.

people doing tuck jumps

Personal Training Orientations

While most gyms allow members to sign up with personal trainers for additional monthly fees, the best gym memberships will include an initial, free personal training session. During this session, your assigned personal trainer will give you a tour of the facility, answer any questions, and even offer free fitness training to help you gauge whether further personal training might be for you.

At Crunch, we know just how daunting that first day in a new gym can be, so we offer our complimentary CrunchONE Kickoff to get every member started on the right foot!

Virtual Classes

Sometimes you can’t find the time to get into the gym reliably, and that’s okay. When you’re stuck at home for whatever reason, high-quality, well-produced online fitness videos can be a lifesaver. Although some larger health clubs may charge a separate monthly membership for this fitness apps services, Crunch+ is an online workout library for only $1.99 monthly on top of your basic monthly membership.

Achive your health and fitness goals! If you don’t know whether virtual training may help your fitness goals, take advantage of our free trial period to get a better feel for the platform!


Depending on location, the size of their facilities, and their basic membership price, different gyms will offer various amenities. Despite this, you aren’t limited to outlandish membership costs for most services, and many inexpensive gym options have begun offering excellent perks.

Hydro Massage chair services

For both physical and mental stress, a few minutes in a hydro massage chair can be an exceptional way to unwind. With this technology, cool jets of water pulse through tubes within the chair and release tension in specific problem areas, such as the neck and lower back.

At Crunch, our hydro massage chairs are a member favorite for relaxing after one of our challenging group classes.

Full-Service Locker Rooms

Unlike the limited locker rooms you may find in a small storefront gym, full-service locker rooms include showers and extra-large lockers to store your belongings. Usually, this service will be included in even a basic membership, but you should check the quality, cleanliness, and security of a gym’s locker room before joining.

Onsite kids centers

Some days you just can’t find quick childcare, but you still want to enjoy fitness classes at it’s best. When this happens, having a gym that supplies reliable, safe kids centers can be an enormous perk. At Crunch, our Kid’s Crunch Center is complimentary with certain membership tiers and available for all members with a small additional fee.

Free WiFi

Connectivity is everything. And, whether you’re jamming to your playlist while lifting or watching your favorite show on the exercise bikes, free, high-quality WiFi is essential.

women in sauna room

Free Trial Membership

Ideally, you should never have to buy something without a good understanding of what you’re getting. To that end, a free trial membership period can let you choose a gym with confidence by experiencing its facilities and services before signing up.

Depending on location and certain limited-time deals, Crunch offers complimentary trials for basic membership, a free CrunchOne Kickoff session for new members, and a pass for Basic members to try out our group fitness classes.

Monthly Payment Plans

The best gym membership provides you with the most value at a price you can afford, from the cheapest gym membership to a peak membership. That’s why it’s important to find a gym that offers a range of monthly memberships and payment plans, you have to understand that membership prices vary, they adapt to your fitness goals and budget. With Crunch, you can choose between our Basic, Peak, and Peak Results packages, with prices ranging between $9.99 and $34.99.

Each plan offers its own unique benefits, and we work hard to ensure that you get the maximum value from your membership, no matter the tier you choose.

Ease of Cancellation

Too often, many gyms will structure their contracts to include convoluted membership fees and make it nearly impossible to cancel your account. As a matter of principle, we believe that pricing should be transparent and that nobody should give you trouble for choosing to end a subscription. And, even though we’ll do everything in our power to earn your business, we also understand that sometimes people need to take a break from their gym membership.

Join Crunch!

At Crunch Fitness, we pride ourselves on providing industry-leading facilities and a guaranteed no-judgment environment. We know that a good routine can change your life, which is why our group fitness classes and expert personal trainers work hard to help you achieve your goals. If you’re curious about what we have to offer, try our free trial and get started on the path to success!

man with personal trainer

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find Cheap Gym Memberships?

You’re in luck! Increased competition in the fitness industry means lower prices, so cheap gym memberships are more common than ever. Even so, remember that just because you’ve found the most affordable gym membership doesn’t mean that chain will provide you with the right value. Always compare the cost to benefits when deciding on a gym.

Which Gym Membership is Most Worth It?

The best gym membership is one that gives you the highest value for the most competitive price. When calculating this, consider the features and services you’ll likely use most often and which “premium” features are just window-dressing designed to inflate prices.

Can You Negotiate Gym Membership Prices?

While very few gyms will agree to negotiate their membership fees, you should be able to find a membership package that fits your needs and your budget. Crunch’s Basic package, for instance, costs only $9.99 a month and comes with full access to our comprehensive fitness facilities, including group fitness classes..

How Can I Save Money on My Gym Membership?

If you want to save even more money on your gym membership, try signing up during limited-time offers that waive sign-up fees or your first annual fee. Additionally, remember that the more consistently you go to your gym, the more value you get out of your membership. Paying $21.99 to go three times a month is far less valuable than going twenty times for the same price on your fitness journey.

Does Health Insurance Cover Gym Memberships?

Sometimes, a health insurance provider will agree to cover some or all of a gym membership’s cost. To identify whether this applies to you, contact your insurance provider and ask to speak with a representative.

Is a Home Gym Cheaper than a Gym?

Unless you restrict yourself to bodyweight movements and limited equipment, even the most basic home gym can mean a significant up-front investment. For individuals with more advanced needs, this cost only increases. Often, an affordable gym membership can provide more value for a lower price than what it would take to build a home gym.

Do Gym Membership Prices Vary by Location?

Yes. Because of differences in rent and local economies, the location of a gym can be an important factor in determining prices. Even so, Crunch is dedicated to providing consistent monthly fees across all our locations, but keep in mind that gym memberships, including group fitness classes, varies by location.

When is the Cheapest Month to Join a Gym?

Often, the slowest business months for a gym are the best time to sign up for a membership. Although these months can change based on location, it’s generally smart to look for deals at the end of the year or during the summer months.

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