Is a Membership to a Gym Worth the Money?

05 Aug

Last Updated on August 5, 2016 by Michael Brockbank

When you’re looking to improve your level of fitness, few facilities can offer the tools of a gym. However, not everyone can afford some of the membership fees that come with the experience. A lot of us have to weigh the pros and cons to determine if a membership is worth the cost. Of course, this is also dependent on the facility itself and what it offers to guests.

Should You Invest in a Gym Membership?

A gym can offer an incredible opportunity to focus on greater health practices and exercise. Some will even offer the use of a fitness trainer to guide you to optimal practices. But before you pay for a 12-month membership, take a look at what comes with the experience. You may find that your money will be better spent elsewhere.


There are a lot of pros when it comes to a fitness facility. A gym may be one of the perfect ways to get into better health practices. Let’s take a look at some of the things that may benefit your ideas of health.

  • Exercise Equipment
    Most facilities will have everything you need to fine-tune your body. Whether you want to work on the legs or looking to improve upper body strength, equipment is usually available.
  • Total Workouts
    One of the things I love about the local recreation center here is that it comes with a pool and other sports-minded equipment. This gives you an opportunity to complete a total workout quite easily.
  • Social Element
    A lot of people enjoy the aspect of being sociable at a gym. You can meet many new friends who share similar interests as yourself.
  • Fitness Trainers
    Some facilities offer free fitness trainers while others have separate fees for this. In either case, a professional can help you get on the right track for health.
  • Saves on Up-front Equipment Costs
    Some home-based exercise equipment can cost in the thousands to deliver the same workout a gym provides. In the short-term, a membership could save you a lot of money if you’re serious about exercise.
  • Motivational
    If I paid for a gym membership, I would want to make sure the expense was worth the trouble. Because of the financial impact on a budget, you may find yourself more motivated to fitness and going to the gym regularly.


It’s hard to find perfection in life. Gyms are no different than anything else when it comes to downsides. Here are a few of the things that may dissuade you from joining.

  • Fees and Dues
    Some memberships are outrageously high. Not everyone can afford to fork over $500 per year for use of a gym.
  • Dedication to Continue
    If you want to get the most out of the experience, you need to have dedication to continue. Otherwise, the money is wasted on a membership you don’t use that often.
  • Not As Convenient
    While some facilities will stay open 24-hours per day, it still lacks the ultimate convenience of home-based equipment. What if there is three feet of snow outside?
  • Wiping off Sweat
    Most gyms will have rules that guests wipe off equipment after use. Unfortunately, not everyone does this and you may have to wipe off someone’s fluids before using equipment.
  • Not Your Equipment
    One of the things I love most about the few pieces of equipment I have at home is that they are mine. I don’t have to share with anyone and I have immediate access to them without traveling.

Facing the Truth of a Gym Membership

ExercisingThe most influential factor of joining a health facility is you. If you want to get the most out of the experience, you need to focus on better health. I’ve seen many people pay for yearly memberships only to stop going after the first few months. As a result, the money they spent for the entire year is wasted.

I, myself, essentially wasted eight months of a membership because we lack the conviction to continue. Things will come up or plans will interfere with a workout schedule. Sometimes they are unavoidable, but a lot the time it’s just an excuse not to go. It’s this mindset that will prevent you from getting the most out of a gym membership.

Getting More out of the Gym Experience

If you want to get the most out of a gym, you need to demonstrate conviction. For many, this is quite easy. If you have problems such as myself, then you may need to focus more on the mental aspect. Here are a few things I am going to try.

Set Weekly Goals
I’m all about setting goals. They can be influential in helping you achieve a great deal of success. Set a weekly goal for weight lifted, distance traveled on a treadmill or even repetitions on your favorite exercise machine.

Build Confidence
Praise yourself for sticking with goals you set on a weekly basis. By achieving these objectives, you can build confidence within yourself to maintain attendance. You may find yourself getting excited to visit the gym to break some personal records.

Scheduling the Workout
Machine Bicep CurlSchedule your workout according to times of the day that you’re less likely to be interrupted. For many of us, this can be difficult. For example, the only time my wife and I have together during the day is right after dinner.

Find a Fitness Buddy
A fitness buddy can help you stay focused on exercise and healthy living. For me, it’s my wife. However, a few family members and a couple of new friends have joined me on fitness apps. While we may not workout together, it can still be motivational as everyone posts their successes on those apps.

A gym membership may not be for everyone. If you’re not serious about fitness or simply want to work out occasionally, spending money on a facility may not be the most efficient use of your money. Since some of these gyms can be quite expensive to join, you may want to carefully consider alternatives. It is possible to have the same degree of success at home as you do at a gym. You just have fewer pieces of equipment that may be available in your house.

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