Cheap Gyms Suck: Here are 8 reasons why

These days, it’s pretty easy to find one of those cheap gyms. Grab your laptop, phone or tablet, go to and enter “cheap gyms in”, and then add your city name. Depending on how rural your life is, you’ll get a number of results back. Yes, they’ve made it cheap to work out.

But does cheap = effective? I mean, that’s why you go right? To get results! If you want to play social and think paying $10 per month for chatting with friends is “great value for money”, stop reading now (go get a group of friends to hang out with where you needn’t pay!)

Why do cheap gyms suck?

The following are 8 reasons why I believe cheap gyms suck:

OneUltimately, the cheap gyms are a waste of money – The big chain gyms are betting that $10/month isn’t worth the hassle some of them make you go through to cancel your membership (even after the 1 year commitment is over). So you pay, but don’t go. You should just give them $130, up front and in January. You’ll probably save yourself about a month of aggravation and avoid #2:

TwoAt a cheap gym, you’ll be waiting for equipment in January – The scenario is well-known to most of us. None of the equipment you’d like to use will be available when you need or want it. Trust us Sparky… The first few weeks of the new year at the cheap gyms are pure pandemonium. Lines for equipment and the ever-present “I’m using that” while they’re “resting” (Chatting up their next date – they hope). Lovely!

ThreeAnd, at the very same gym, come February – You’ll get access to any and all the equipment you want. But by then, you’re probably so disgusted with the crowds that you, along with the very same crowds you’ve come to love, will have stopped going.

FourYou go to exercise, not to get gawked at – Most of us would rather not feel like we’re on display during exercise. And, regardless of what the cheap gym advertising claims about “no pressure” and “no judgement”, the cheap gyms are pretty much all about the “meat market“.

FiveWhen it comes to getting help, you get what you pay for – The people behind the counter at these cheap gyms normally can’t help you with anything more than a quick, and often poor, vocal “demonstration” of the machine that is about to make an attempt at your life.

SixIt’s a lonely, lonely place while you’re waiting in line – Go to one of these gyms when you don’t know anybody, and unless you’re a networking whiz-kid, it’ll be just as lonely after you – finally – landed one of the “cardio machines” and try to figure how to do whatever you need to do with it. And be honest now: You went to a “no pressure gym” because you’re a little shy, right?

SevenNobody holds you accountable to get your workout done – Having a regular class or a repeating appointment with a group and Certified Trainer makes you feel accountable to somebody other than yourself. Tough to do that in a high-volume, low attendance box gym.

EightIt’s horribly uninspiring – There’s a big difference between being at the gym and actually exercising. In a cheap gym, there are often a lot of people “at the gym”. But look around… Not many people are actually doing something. There’s the guy walking back & forth in front of the “cardio machines” between his 10 second sets (see #4). Or the woman taking a 10 minute water break between sets (again, see #4!). A lot of people spend a lot of time in the cheap gyms. Not a lot of people spend that time effectively. And that’s just not all that motivational for those of us with fitness goals and expectations…

Or, you could join a different kind of gym. A boutique gym where the membership fee includes full access to a certified personal trainer along with social support and plenty of accountability & encouragement to help you get the most out of your time in the studio. You know, a fitness studio like ours.

Do you agree/disagree/have another reason you can share? Please do so in the Comments section!


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