Exercising or doing sports is important for staying healthy, improving your self-confidence, and losing weight for medical or personal reasons. Whether it’s about getting fit or building muscles, there’s always a good reason to exercise.

However, we can’t always exercise or workout at home. This is where gyms come into it; places where you can workout to bulk up or burn calories.

Let’s have a look at getting into shape, how much it’ll cost you, the best gyms across the country, the machines, equipment, and facilities you’ll use, and the pros and cons of each.

Here's the Superprof guide to gyms in the UK.

The Cost of Gym Memberships

Depending on the gym you attend, you’ll have to pay to use it. Whether you have a contract or not, this amount of money can still add it. This is the price you have to pay to get healthy.

How much do gym memberships cost?
One of the biggest hurdles to a gym membership is the cost. (Source: stevepb)

While gyms can be quite expensive, many low-cost gyms are popping up all over the UK. A gym is a great way to work on your full-body fitness.

Companies like PureGym, Hussle, The Gym Group, Better Health and Fitness, easyGym, MoveGB, and Xercise4less offer ways for you to go to the gym on a budget. They either offer cheap memberships or passes to other gyms. Hussle offers day passes with some starting for as little as £5.

Whether you’re doing cardio, weights, or just stretching, it’s not as expensive as you may think. At these kinds of prices, you can pay for just what you need.

On the other hand, you have to understand that not every budget gym is going to be amazing. You get what you pay for, after all. Generally, the more expensive gyms are more likely to have new and better equipment and facilities. However, a lot of cheap gyms will have most of the machines you need, classes and coaches, steam rooms, etc.

PureGym, EasyGym, and Xercise4Less are some of the most popular cheap gyms in London. Most of these low-cost gyms have a presence in major cities across the UK. If you can afford them, don’t hesitate to try them out.

Finally, when it comes to gyms, you should compare the rates, the services on offer, and practical details like location, opening times, and the class schedule. You’ll also get a better idea of how much everything costs and whether or not you’re getting a good deal. Furthermore, certain gyms offer trial classes and periods so you can try them out without paying for them.

Find out more about the cost of gym membership.

Which Are the Best Gyms?

There are a lot of gyms across the country and you have quite the choice, especially if you live in a big city. Most of them will be vying your membership, too.

Which are the best gyms in the UK?
The UK is home to some really good gyms. (Source: scottwebb)

Here’s a list of some of the best gyms around:

  • PureGym
  • LA Fitness
  • David Lloyd
  • Cannons Health Club
  • Esporta
  • Next Generation Clubs
  • EasyGym
  • Xercise4less
  • The Gym Group

Not all of these are cheap but they’ll almost always have cardio machines, weights, showers, etc.

Generally, unless you have very specific requirements, almost every gym will have what you need. The more expensive gyms tend to have new machines, better equipment, or a wider range of facilities.

There are some exceptional gyms, especially in and around London. However, you will end up paying for the privilege. You can be sure that there’ll be coaches on how to help you and some of the latest gym technology.

However, think about practicality over price. For what most of us need, budget gyms will have what we need.

So which gym is right for you?

Discover the best gyms in the UK.

The Equipment You Usually Find in Gyms

Abs, glutes, quads, pecs, biceps, or cardio. You can work on every part of your body in the gym.

How?

Thanks to specialised machines that focus on certain muscle groups.

What equipment is there in gyms?
There are a few machines that you'll find in almost every gym. (Source: scottwebb)

We’d be on for years if we went through every possible exercise machine for each muscle group so we’ll be more general.

Firstly, there are cardio machines like exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, treadmills. A lot of these will work your legs but they’ll mainly focus on cardio. Cardio’s good for burning calories and losing weight.

Some machines focus on the muscle groups in your legs like the leg press and adductor machine. Then there’s the BootyBuilder or hip thrust machine which is pretty self-explanatory.

To work on your abs, you can do crunches on the mat or use the abdominal crunch machine. This machine’s easy to use and is a good way to tone your abs.

Finally, there are plenty of machines that work on your upper body. Here are a few of them:

  • Arm curl: biceps
  • Wide chest press: pectorals and triceps
  • Shoulder press: shoulders
  • Vertical traction: back
  • Chest press: pectorals, deltoids, and triceps
  • Low row: back
  • Lower back: lower back
  • Arm extension: triceps
  • Rotary torso: abdominals

With these machines, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. There are also free weights, weight benches, etc.

Learn more about the machines in the gym.

Why You Should Go to the Gym Regularly

Exercising is good for your health and fitness, self-confidence, and well-being in general. We can exercise almost anywhere be it in a gym or outdoors.

So what are the pros and cons of going to the gym?

There are a lot of advantages. Firstly, all the equipment and facilities you need is at the gym. There are also coaches available who can help you with your training. Thanks to low-cost gyms and leisure centres, money shouldn’t be an excuse for not going.

However, going to the gym is more than just about money.

Why should you go to the gym?
There are reasons to go to the gym other than just the health benefits. (Source: teamsmashgame)

That said, even if they’re cheap, they’re a regular expenditure and you’ll be expected to pay every month. This amount will add up and in some cases, exercising at home for free may be a better option.

There’s also shyness. Many people are too embarrassed to exercise in front of others in a gym. Generally, gyms and leisure centres are friendly places and other gym-goers don’t pass judgement.

Then there are practical concerns such as finding the time to go, getting there, and extra costs for attending classes etc. These concerns tempt a lot of people that exercising at home for free is better for them.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the gym or leisure centre that’s right for you.

Learn more about the pros and cons of a gym membership.

You can also get private coaching from the tutors on Superprof. There are three ways to get personal training from one of the coaches on Superprof: face-to-face, in groups, or online. There are pros and cons to each option so you'll want to think carefully about your fitness goals, your schedule, and your budget.

Face-to-face sessions are hugely effective as your coach will be focusing solely on you, ensuring that every exercise and activity is tailored to you, your level, and your fitness. Of course, this excellent service isn't free and these types of sessions are usually the most expensive. They're also the most cost-effective, though, so if you have the budget for them, they're highly recommended.

If your budget doesn't quite stretch to cover face-to-face personal training, group sessions are usually cheaper as the cost of each session is shared amongst everyone in attendance. If you and some friends, colleagues, or family members are interested in improving your health and fitness, you could get together and hire a personal trainer or coach to help you. This is good for groups training for an event like half marathons, marathons, or obstacle courses.

There are also personal trainers offering sessions online. In these cases, they won't be as hands-on as the other coaches but rather act in a consultancy role. They can put together nutrition and workout plans for you to use in your own time. While at the gym, you'll need to rely on a gym buddy or a member of staff to ensure that you're doing everything correctly but your trainer will be there to provide you with feedback and structure your diet and routine to get the best results. As they don't have to travel, these personal trainers can charge less per hour, making them a great option for those with limited funds.

Don't forget that many of the personal trainers, coaches, and tutors on the Superprof website offer the first hour for free. Use these free hours to arrange sessions with several trainers and coaches to work out which one is best for you. You'll want to discuss their experience, qualifications, rates, schedule, and see if you get along well with them. After all, everyone learns and performs better when they're enjoying themselves so if you have a good rapport, it could do wonders for you and your workout routine.

Get an online personal trainer on Superprof.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.