The Cost of Fitness
What does it really cost to be fit? Time, money, results…weighing the risks and benefits is important when making any big decision. So let’s look at the big one first, MONEY! There are all kinds of gyms out there that range in price from $10/month all the way up to $200+. What are you really getting for your money. There’s personal training, group exercise, and general facility use. You have to decide which one is right for you. On the low end is Planet Fitness. They advertise $10/month. Ten bucks is pretty cheap! But what are you getting? What’s going to get you in the door every day, or not get you in the door. At $10/month, I won’t feel too bad for not going to the gym, and not cancelling my membership…or is that the point? If you think about it, what is the price margin for a gym to have a ton of members, but not be overcrowded? Clever marketing on their part, but it may not get you healthy.
24 hour fitness has all of the amenities and not too much of a price hike, but watch out for the hidden fees. You’ll be free to use the gym as you see fit. They may even have a pool and group classes. I’ve been there, spent two hours waiting for equipment to be free, and finally said “screw it, I’ll do it tomorrow.” In my opinion, there are better options.
Personal training is probably one of the best ways to get in shape. You have a personal program developed for your specific goals, and a trainer who has their eyes on you, keeping you motivated and driven to meet those goals. But the price tag is high, anywhere from $50-$120 per session.
Now for my favorite, the beloved CrossFit. Here, you are paying a substantial $120-$250 per month for group sessions where you are in and out the door in an hour. The workout is programmed and already on the board when you get there. You don’t have to wait for equipment! Classes are typically small (5-15 people). And if you don’t like the workout, there is always someone there to complain to! Your trainer will help you with technique, and the other group members are there to not only push you, but as a part of a community that work hard together for a common goal.
So let’s go back to those first three main points. Time, money, and opportunity are all important. You can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours at the gym. Conventional gyms will have you waiting for equipment, bumping shoulders at peak hours. Personal training and CrossFit typically have one hour sessions and provide a full-body workout.
Cost is a big one. This is one of those you get what you pay for scenarios. Personal training will be your most expensive way to get in shape. The planet fitness will be your least expensive. CrossFit is right there in between. If I am paying $150/month, I am going to show up as much as they will let me to get my money’s worth. Also, it typically won’t break the bank for the average person.
Results: Which one of these options will give you results? The only way to find out is to give it a try. Talk to clients around the gym before you commit. Ask them what they like and don’t like about the gym that they are at. Speak to the trainers, find out what their philosophy is, and find something that fits your budget, schedule, and goals. But most importantly, do something! Exercise is a fundamental part of life. Being fit gets us off the couch, and can increase your quality of life.