11 Cheapest Gym Memberships – Free Trials [FAQ COVID Guide]

Are you looking for the most affordable gym membership? Gyms do not have to be expensive if you look for them among the less obvious possibilities. Of course, you have other options besides going to the gym. After all, home gyms are still an option for you. DIY home gyms are also capable of producing the desired effects.

What is the Average Gym Membership?

Contents

It’s difficult to tell what is inexpensive if you have no idea how much a gym membership costs on average. So, first, let’s have a look at that. We want to be as open as possible about this subject. The truth is, gym memberships come in a wide range of prices. It can cost as little as $10 per month or as much as $100 or more per month.

Annual fees are not included in the monthly price. A gym membership costs around $40 on average. Hence, if your monthly gym membership costs less than $40, you can reasonably say that you are saving a significant amount of money.

How to Pick the Right Gym?

A gym membership should not be chosen solely on the basis of its cost. There are other factors to consider when choosing a gym, some of which may have an impact on the overall cost in the long term.

The following are the most important elements to consider when creating a gym checklist:

1. Location

Ascertain that you live within a acceptable distance of the gym. You won’t have to waste as much time just getting there this way. Consider this scenario: you’re leaving work and heading to the gym during rush hour. How long do you think the trip will take if you chose an off-the-beaten-path location? You’ll be squandering time and gas for a workout whether you’re commuting or driving. If you live close to a gym, you are more likely to use it.

2. Amenities

You don’t want to shortchange yourself while you’re trying to save money. If one of your goals for joining a gym is to gain some guidance from an instructor, you should look for a facility that has some fitness instructors on staff. Several gyms even have dietitians on staff, so you can get all of the guidance you need. Fitness instructors will either charge per hour or be accessible for free by appointment, depending on the sort of gym membership you choose.

3. Equipment

If a low-priced gym membership can barely provide you with the bare minimum, you need to consider an alternative gym location.  In some cases, the cost reflects the quality and variety of the equipment and services offered.  If you are going to go into a gym that only offers mats, dumbbells, and barely any variety in weights, then perhaps you should just invest in your own home gym. You will avoid the extra monthly costs after your initial purchases.  Check Craigslist and other online classifieds for cheap or free workout equipment. 

4. Hours

According to their body clock, everyone has the best hours of the day for working out. Some folks prefer to exercise first thing in the morning before going to work. This is why some gyms operate as early as 6 a.m., if not 24 hours a day. Others choose to work out at the end of the day to burn calories.

Working as a pilot, doctor, or firefighter, for example, requires lengthy or irregular hours, making maintaining a regular workout plan more challenging. These professionals require a gym that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

5. Size

Small gyms might be cozy, but they can also get overcrowded and uncomfortable. During COVID, the gym’s size is extremely important. If you’re going to a local gym, find out what the maximum capacity is and when it’s busiest. When it’s busiest, how crowded can it get?

You don’t want to have to compete for weights and gym equipment with other people. These speciality fitness gyms, on the other hand, can be a fantastic chance for folks who reside in small towns.

6. Cost

The main issue in this article is the cost.  Most people do not need to join a luxury gym, especially if you don’t go regularly.  The cheapest gym membership will suffice most and is recommended for those looking for strategies to save costs substantially.  You must think about whether a high-priced membership is worth all the sacrifice.

7. Training Options

Not every gym will provide you with the same training possibilities as a high-priced gym. Not only because of their location and amenities, but also because of how they deploy human resources to keep you motivated, several gyms might charge more than $100 each month.

If you are self-disciplined and do not require external incentive to work out and get in shape, you may find a gym without assistance. Having a personal trainer (or even a floor trainer) who can assist you with the exercises, push you harder, and get you in better condition might help you get the most out of your gym experience. When deciding on a gym, keep this in mind.

8. Guest Options

Perhaps you have a friend who would like to join the gym with you. This can greatly push you to work harder by instilling a healthy feeling of competition as well as some camaraderie. Your friend, on the other hand, might not join the gym until he has seen it for himself.

As a result, several gyms provide guest rights, allowing you to bring a friend along. This could be in the form of a guest pass or a set number of free admissions. Some gyms will give you a discount if you refer a certain number of individuals to them. Always keep these aspects in mind if you want to have a better gym experience.

18 Ways to Save on a Gym Membership

Just like buying groceries and shopping for cheap meat, you must compare gym memberships. Once you zero in on a few gyms to join, you must analyze the services they can provide for you.  Here are ways to save on a gym membership:

1. Shop around

You cannot expect to be able to get everything you require from a single gym. It’s extremely improbable that you’ll discover the ideal gym of your desires on your first try. Do a price comparison of gym memberships in your area. Examine all of the characteristics of potential gyms to determine which one best meets your demands at an reasonable monthly and annual fee.

2. Look for gym membership promotions

Sometimes, even high-priced gyms offer membership promotions to increase enrollment.  This is one way they attract a different subset of people – with different budgets.  Search for gym promotion near me. 

Pro Tip: You may also try a to get access to various health and fitness facilities.  They sell a booklet of free trial gym memberships in major cities in the US.  Some national clubs include Anytime Fitness, Curves, Women’s Workout World, etc.

3. Request a free gym trial membership

Speak with the manager of the health club. Inform them of your plans to locate a suitable gym in the area. Assume you want to find the perfect fit for you and think a free gym trial membership is the best method to do so. It’s not a bad idea to try out the gym facilities to see whether you enjoy them. It costs the club nothing, and if you are satisfied, they may enlist a new member.

Pro Tip: A , for example, can give you a trial period at your chosen gym. You will get reminded a couple of days before your trial expires to decide to cancel or continue.

4. Negotiate with membership services

You do not need to be the best salesman to negotiate a cheaper gym membership nearby.  Talk to the manager or the new membership desk about your training and fitness needs.  Explain you are trying to cut expenses drastically and would consider switching gym facilities for a cheaper membership.  Be honest about any problems with the cost.  

Examine the various types of gym membership packages to see which one best suits your budget and needs. It may or may not work out, but it will not work if you do not ask.

5. The initiation fee is usually negotiable

The initiation price is certainly negotiable, even if it isn’t widely promoted. Nevertheless, not all gyms will agree to waive the introductory charge. If you join in January, some clubs will still require the initial cost. As part of everyone’s New Year’s resolution, gyms usually see an influx of new clients.

Late-spring is also a busy time for gyms with outdoor pools, which may charge an initiation fee or require a medium to long-term commitment. This way, you won’t join for the pool and then leave when the summer is over. My health club features an outdoor pool, and new members must sign a six-month contract or pay a higher monthly price if they want to join for a shorter period of time.

6. Offer to prepay

Inquire if you can pay in one lump sum ahead of time. Prepaying for the entire year will almost certainly save you money on your gym membership. When you prepay 10 months in advance at my local gym, you get 12 months. That saves me roughly 17% on my monthly dues. The most difficult aspect of prepaying your gym membership is having enough savings and cash flow in advance.

Most club promotions are for pay-as-you-go gym memberships, but if you inquire, most will give you a discount if you prepaid. Clubs operate on a cash flow basis, and they prefer to be paid in advance rather than selling a short-term gym membership.

But, this is a method for gyms to make more money up front than they would if they sold on a monthly or three-month basis. If you’re going to pay for a year to save money, make sure you have the discipline to use all you’ve paid for by going to the gym on a regular basis.

7. Ask for free gym amenities

Instead of a discount, ask the gym membership sales counter for complimentary add-on facilities. If you pay in advance, you get a discount; otherwise, the rates are fixed. Instead, my family and I received free tennis lessons, a few hours of free personal training, and a few hours of swim coaching.

8. Group discount

You could also try joining a gym with a group. Invite your friends, neighbors, or even family members to join you. When you bring a large group to the gym, you can get a discount. When our adjacent club collapsed a few years ago, the nearby gym offered former members a group discount if enough people joined.

9. Ask for Teacher, healthcare, military, or senior citizen discount

Teachers, healthcare workers, military members, and elders may be eligible for discounts at some gyms. It’s not frequently promoted, but the membership sales department should be aware of it. Many places provide discounts to front-line workers, such as healthcare personnel, especially during COVID.

10. Ask for a student discount

Some gym membership deals have been as low as 50% off the standard monthly rate. Bring your student ID or proof of enrollment, such as a report card or tuition bill, with you.

11. Utilize cost per visit

For example, a $30 membership gets you 10 visits for $3 per visit.

How many times a month do you intend to go to the gym? To calculate your daily cost, divide the total sum per month by the number of days. This will allow you to determine whether the gym is worth the money.

Some gyms may even charge you based on the amount of visits you make. While paying on a monthly basis will be more expensive, keep in mind that you will only be charged for the time you actually go. However, keep in mind that not all gyms will provide these services, so you’ll have to ask whether this is something they provide.

12. Pay as you go – Punch card

Pay-as-you-go gym memberships allow you to stay in shape without making a long-term commitment. You may try out all of the equipment and classes before committing to a long-term gym membership.

13. Gym membership through insurance

Several insurance companies provide free gym memberships or a stipend on an yearly basis. If a particular plan covers membership fees, ask your HR representative during your annual healthcare enrollment. Insurance companies could save millions of dollars by incentivizing members to exercise.

Pro Tip: Check out .  They offer a fitness and health program for adults 65 and over included with many Medicare Plans.

14. Employer gym discount membership

Inquire with your HR manager about how you can make this happen. It’s possible that you and your coworker will be able to get discounts as a group. Check to see whether a company gym membership is available.

15. National gym membership

For business travelers, a nationwide gym membership is less expensive. A traveler can avoid paying daily drop-in fees at local gyms or paying exorbitant hotel amenity fees. You might be able to persuade your boss to pay for the cheapest national health club membership instead of deducting your workout costs for each trip. It’s likely that you’ll be able to make a case that it will save your organization money.

16. Buy a Single Membership

With their Lime Card, members at clubs like Youfit can bring a guest with them on every visit. By bringing a family member or friend as a visitor, you can share a club membership. Some facilities allow you to bring visitors for free, while others charge a little fee.

17. New gym

Look for a new gym that is giving grand opening specials. When the Life Time Fitness near me first opened, for example, they gave new participants a gym membership at a discounted rate compared to other surrounding facilities. New gyms open all the time, providing discounts and special offers.

18. Month-end membership

To reach sales goals, the gym membership sales desk may be more ready to give you a discount or include extra facilities near the end of the month or quarter.

Aside from that, negotiation is your best bet. In the long term, asking for discounts and offers to shave dollars off your overall spending can save you a lot of money. There’s nothing wrong with haggling over the price at the gym if it means less money leaves your wallet.

11 Cheapest Gym Membership Nearby

Compare the following low-cost gym membership options to find the best deal:

1. Anytime Fitness

has almost 4,500 locations throughout the world. They’re a wonderful contender when you search Google for discover a gym near me because they have so many locations. Anytime Fitness locations are open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Members have a key fob that gives them entry to the gym even when it’s not staffed. A free 7-day pass is available at Anytime Fitness.

2. Cardinal Fitness

When you visit (website or their brick and mortar location), you will notice that they have a wide variety of gym fitness equipment.  Cardinal Fitness cheap gym membership costs only  $10 a month.  They offer a pay as you go gym membership without signing a contract.  Cardinal has no enrollment or annual fee.  Members can cancel anytime with 30-day written notification.

For a free 5-day trial membership, go to Cardinal Fitness.

3. Crunch Fitness

In the United States, Canada, and Australia, there are approximately 300 health club locations. They have a large selection of gym exercise equipment, personal training, weights, yoga, Zumba, diet guidance, tanning, TRX, suspension training, hydromassage, and other services.

The cheapest Crunch Fitness gym memberships start at $9.95 per month. With a valid student ID and a year’s advance payment, some Crunch locations offer student discounts.

Crunch offers a one-day free trial gym membership to potential members.

4. Gold’s Gym

Since 1965, has been a popular workout chain with over 400 gyms across the United States. It has the most up-to-date cardio and fitness equipment, as well as personal training, 3D body scanning, and group workout courses. Monthly plans start at $29.99 with a $99 enrollment fee.

Try a free membership nearby.  The free trial benefits include the facilities, amenities, cardio, strength equipment, Gold’s app, and on-demand digital personal training. 

5. LA Fitness

, which was started in 1984, has over 600 mobile gym sites in the United States and Canada, all of which are open seven days a week. Around 20 group programs, racquetball, basketball, personal training, a heated pool, and a Kids Klub are available. A single club membership at LA Fitness costs $75-$125 for the initiation fee and $19.99 a month as of this writing. LA Fitness offers multi-club and multi-state access for $25 up front and $32.99 each month.

You get a gym membership and five days of visitor access.

6. Life Time Fitness

wants you to improve your physical fitness. We looked up Life Time Fitness membership prices by area and were shocked at how much they differed. In Arkansas, the lowest fitness gym membership was $59 a month, $89 in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and $99 at a fitness club near me in Chicago. It might be worth it to join a gym a little further away for lower monthly dues and reciprocity with your local gym.

Single, couple, and family fitness plans are available at Life Time gym. Students, junior executives, and persons between the ages of 18 and 26 can also get a month-to-month gym discount membership.

What is the cancellation policy for Life Times?

A free one-day exercise pass is available from Life Time. They also provide a money-back guarantee on new gym memberships within seven days in the United States and ten days in Canada. If you are not totally happy with Life Time, you will receive a full refund.

7. Lucille Roberts

In New Jersey and the New York area, there are 16 women-only gyms. A monthly pay-as-you-go subscription is $34.99, while a prepaid annual membership costs $29.99. Access to all locations costs $49.99 per month.

A 10-day money-back guarantee is included with all Lucille Roberts gym plans.

Hi-tech cardio machines, free weights, and kettlebells, qualified fitness experts, swimming pools, tennis, racquetball, squash, and basketball courts, certified personal trainers, stocked locker rooms, unlimited yoga, cycling, HIIT, dance, and boxing, strength machines, and a Kids Club are all included in each club’s amenities.

Get a free one-day pass and access to a class from Lucille Roberts.

8. Planet Fitness

recognizes that at their 2000+ locations, various people have varied needs.

There is no enrollment charge for the Planet Fitness Classic gym membership, which costs $10 per month plus taxes and fees. It comes with unrestricted access to the Home Club as well as complimentary fitness training.

There is no enrollment fee for the Planet Fitness PF Black Card gym membership, which costs $22.99 per month plus taxes and fees. It includes unlimited membership to the Home Club and free fitness training, the ability to bring a friend at any time, the ability to visit any Planet Fitness location in the world, hydromassage, tanning, massage chairs, 50% off drinks, and 20% off Reebok.com.

You are not required to commit to the fitness plans. Both programs provide one of the greatest gym membership values in the country.

Is there a free trial pass available at Planet Fitness?

Yes, every 90 days, participating establishments give a free one-day pass per club. A tour of the club will be requested of trial users.

9. Youfit Health Clubs

has approximately 100 locations in 13 states, mostly in the West and South. Top-of-the-line training equipment, a 30-minute Youfit Express Circuit for rapid total-body workouts, and amazing amenities are available at the facility. The facilities include sunbathing, saunas, babysitting, and more.

Youfit Health Clubs is one of the most affordable gym membership programs available.

  • Standard includes a free fitness assessment and unlimited admission to your home club and costs $10-$12.99 per month.
  • The Lime Card is $24.99 a month and offers all of the Standard benefits plus unlimited access to all 100+ Youfit locations, unlimited group courses, and unlimited tanning and massage chairs. Location-specific amenities are available.

Youfit offers a free trial with access to all club amenities and leading fitness equipment brands, as well as a free class.

It’s one of the most affordable gym membership options for individuals on a tight budget.

10. 24 Hour Fitness

filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2020.  However, after closing 100 locations, they will have roughly 300 remaining clubs with .  They’re using the money to open new clubs, reinvest in existing clubs, and initiate new products and services.

One of the most cost-effective gym subscriptions is 24 Hour Fitness. It has clean, spacious facilities, Zumba cardio classes, virtual group and personal training, commercial exercise equipment, the 24GO Fitness App for DIY gym routines, and 24GO LIVE, among other things. Basketball, free WiFi, a lap pool, sauna, jacuzzi, massage, bike courses, a kids club, an Olympic training rig, volleyball, Pilates, and circuit training are among the amenities available.

The cost of a 24-hour fitness membership ranges from the low $30s to the high $50s. The plan’s differences range from pay-as-you-go to annual membership prepayment. Check the site’s location to learn how much your local club costs.

Every 24 Fitness facility offers a 3-day free trial gym membership. Studio classes are included with the pass, and there is no need to make an appointment.

Check the map for your location to see what pricing are available. Monthly memberships might cost as much as $46.99 plus annual fees, but 24 Hour Fitness offers month-to-month memberships.

11. YMCA

The encourages a healthy lifestyle at its more than 2,700 locations in the US.  The organization offers multiple plans ranging from individual to family.  They offer discounted memberships for students, seniors, and military.  A nationwide gym membership allows you to visit any participating YMCA in the US, though all your due are paid to your “home” location.

The cost of a YMCA membership varies by region, but it can range from $20 per month for a youth member to more than $100 for a family of two adults and children. The initiation cost might be anything from nothing to more than $100.

Many people join the YMCA because their children need swimming lessons or because they have a business traveler’s gym membership.

Alternatives To The Gym

What about a workout that isn’t at the gym? It might not be practical for you to travel or commute to a gym every day. You might want to put more money aside and be a more frugal shopper. It’s possible.

Gyms do, after all, come with instructors’ precision and the drive of a full room of goal-getters. You can, however, muster sufficient motivation on your own to complete the following tasks:

Outdoor exercise – running or stairs

This appears to be a difficult situation. The idea of running or climbing stairs is unappealing to many people. Yet, it is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time without spending any money. Running for one minute will typically burn 20 calories. The calorie burn will be increased by running up and down stairs. Make sure you’re wearing the best plantar fasciitis gym shoes and avoid any mishaps.

Free exercise videos

If you like aerobics, a few free fitness videos could help you get started. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) can also be done in the comfort of your own home. It simply takes a few minutes every day to burn calories and maintain a healthy metabolism. This manner, you can continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout. You may use YouTube to get a variety of free exercise videos to use in your home DIY gym.

Workout apps

Workout applications can be downloaded for free for at least a week or are even included with a low-cost gym membership. After the trial period has over, you can choose whether or not to pay a monthly cost. Prices for homemade workout applications will vary. Whatever the case may be, they are likely to outperform most low-cost gym memberships.

, for example, is $19.99 a month, but something like is free but charges 99 cents for some specialty in-app videos.  , meanwhile, costs $6.99.  Browse available fitness apps for what you can afford, but with the types of gyms, training motivates you to workout.

Social media channels

Several home workouts can be found on Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. To help you build a library, Pinterest provides some fantastic step-by-step printable home workouts.

Set up your own home gym

You do, after all, have the option of purchasing your own gym workout equipment? The initial outlay may be high, but it will save you money in the long term. Assess your financial situation.

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to set up your own home gym. Most of my home workouts are completed with exercise bands and adjustable free weights. While purchasing a complete set of weights can be costly, exercise bands are less priced, easy to transport, and can provide excellent benefits when used properly.

You may find resistance band workouts that you can do at home on YouTube. While these will cost more up front than a monthly gym membership, they will last a long time and pay for themselves in a few months.

To finance your fitness equipment, look into installment plans at your local fitness store. Perhaps the monthly subscription can still outperform the most cost-effective gym membership. You must determine your workout requirements as well as your financial constraints.

FAQs

What Places Offer a Free Gym Pass?

The following are the facilities on our list that provide a free gym membership:

  • Free 7-day pass to Anytime Fitness
  • Cardinal Fitness is offering a free 5-day pass.
  • Free 5-day pass to LA Fitness
  • Free 3-day pass to 24 Hour Fitness
  • Free one-day pass to Crunch Fitness
  • Free one-day pass to Golds Gym
  • Free one-day pass to Life Time Fitness
  • Lucille Roberts One-day free pass
  • Free one-day pass to Planet Fitness
  • Free one-day pass to Youfit
  • The cost of a YMCA free pass varies by area.

Do gym members need to wear a mask to work out?

In general, members must adhere to all national, state, and municipal government mask regulations.

How are gyms different during COVID?

Based on our experience and reading, below are some of the safety procedures in place at several local gyms during COVID.

  • To practice social distancing, machines are spread out more or temporarily closed.
  • Closures of lockers and showers on a temporary basis
  • Aerobics classes have been decreased in size or have been temporarily halted.
  • Adjusted gym hours
  • Cleaning and sanitation routines that are strict
  • Touchless check-in process
  • Waivers must be signed upon entry.
  • Upon entering, the temperature is checked.
  • The facility’s capacity is limited.
  • Traffic patterns around the facility are directional and limited.

Do gyms still offer childcare?

Most gyms have discontinued daycare during COVID to protect members and their children.

Can you still bring a guest into gyms?

Indeed, in the vast majority of cases! Members are often encouraged and rewarded for bringing in new relatives and friends as gym members.

Can I temporarily suspend or freeze my gym membership during COVID? 

Yes, in a lot of cases. My gym charged me a monthly maintenance cost for the few months I froze my membership as a warning. Normally, the charge would irritate me, but during COVID, I want to see my neighborhood gym survive and recover.

How can I get out of a gym contract?

A gym contract has legal ramifications. As a result, before signing and starting your subscription, you should be aware of what the fine print says.

If you do need to cancel, make sure you send a proper, notarized letter. You should specify when you plan to cancel your membership in the letter. Justify your position. Include a letter from your doctor if you’re canceling due to health reasons. If you need to relocate far away, you can also seek cancellation. If you cancel in good faith, the gym may take your cancellation into consideration.

Best gym for travelers?

If your employment requires you to travel from city to city or state to state, you may consider a national gym membership. You won’t have to worry about canceling and re-registering multiple times throughout a given period this way.

Here are some examples of gyms that welcome visitors:

  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Anytime Fitness
  • LA Fitness
  • Planet Fitness

Best gym for weight lifting?

If you want to go to the gym for weight lifting or bodybuilding, Golds Gym is a good option. Planet Fitness is another excellent option.

Can you go to a gym without a membership?

Unless you were invited as a guest, have a day pass, or are on a trial run, you cannot use a gym’s equipment without a membership.

Most gyms offer you to sign up for a free six-month trial membership. Every six months, LA Fitness allows you and a guest to come in for up to five days in a row. During spring break, you and a friend can give it a shot.

Cheapest Gym Membership Summary

Even if you don’t have access to a cheap gym, you can lose weight and tone your body. After all, before gyms popped up in every town, people had built their bodies via hard work and natural exercise. Of course, some people may want further guidance in terms of right technique.

Professional supervision may be required for athletes and others with certain health concerns in order to assist them achieve their goals or stay safe. Attending a class for comradery may be preferable for people who require additional guidance and drive. The good news is that you may find low-cost gym memberships that fit your budget and ambitions. Make the most of your research by signing up for a free trial gym membership in your neighborhood.

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