Whether you’re building muscle or working on your cardio, there are plenty of reasons to get a gym membership. There are plenty of different gyms and leisure centres across the UK, each with its pros and cons.

It’s not easy choosing the right gym with so many to consider. There’s the equipment, the services, and the cost to think about. You need to compare a few before you decide.

In this article, we’re going to look mainly at the cost of gym membership in the UK and whether or not cheaper is always better.

Gym Membership: Motivation and Money

Before you start working out in a gym, you need to make sure you can afford to do it. You need to stay motivated and also pay for it.

How can you stay motivated to go to the gym?
The good thing is that if you're paying for the gym, you may feel more motivated to go. (Source: stevepb)

Work out some achievable objectives before you start going to the gym.

Would you like to tone up? Are you looking to build muscle? Do you need to lose weight?

There are plenty of good reasons and motivations for going to the gym.

Think carefully about which parts of your body you’ll need to focus on:

  • Abs
  • Glutes
  • Cardio
  • Building muscle
  • Endurance
  • Thighs
  • Relaxation
  • Tonicity
  • Burning calories
  • Unwinding

From cardio training to sit-ups, there are plenty of ways to work towards your goal. By defining what you need to work on and having a clear goal, you’ll make the most of the time spent working out by staying motivated. But motivation isn’t the only thing to consider.

You also need to think about how much your gym membership is going to cost you. The cost can quickly add up as you need to regularly pay to go to a gym or leisure centre through a monthly or yearly membership.

However, if you’re motivated and getting the most out of the time you spend at the gym, it’ll actually be quite cost-effective. While you might be able to run outside for or exercise at home for free, you’ll see much better results from focused workout sessions at the gym.

We recommend that you only sign up to a gym membership once you’ve established whether or not you can afford it. You can put together a good workout plan and start seeing results quite soon if you’re dedicated. You can also get group coaching sessions from tutors on Superprof!

Learn more about gyms in the UK.

Low-Cost Gyms in the UK

Generally, gym memberships are quite expensive and many of us would rather use this money for essentials or fun things like holidays. But to get that beach body, exercising is unavoidable.

Which are the cheapest gyms in the UK?
There are some very cheap gym chains around the UK now. (Source: janeb13)

Fortunately, there are a number of cheap options available. It’s becoming increasingly common for some gyms to charge much less than the average.

There are gym memberships available starting at little over £10 a month. These gyms still include all the equipment you’d expect to get access to at a higher price.

While PureGym, EasyGym, and Xercise4Less all offer very affordable memberships, we still recommend that you check out the gym before you start paying for your membership.

It’s not a one-off cost, either. More often than not, you’ll be looking at a membership. You might want to see if there are short-term membership options available. There are often deals for students and young people. Usually, you’ll pay less if you sign up for longer periods.

There are many gyms offering free trial periods, too. Sometimes, the first week or month will be free.

It’ll cost more if you opt for extra services like coaching or attending certain classes. That said, you’ll get a lot more out of your workouts with the help of a professional or classes.

A good way to save money is by choosing memberships that only allow you access during the quiet periods. This is usually at times when most people are at work.

Finally, you can pay on a session-by-session basis and only pay when you actually go to the gym. Hussle isn’t a group of gyms but rather a service that sells day passes to gyms without needing to sign up for a monthly or yearly memberships.

Discover the UK's best gyms.

Are Expensive Gym Memberships a Good Idea?

You can save a lot of money by opting for low-cost gym memberships. However, that also means you’ll miss out on some of the services that more expensive gyms offer. After all, you get what you pay for and there are some gyms that charge more but also offer a whole lot more.

Which are the best gyms in the UK?
The more expensive gyms tend to have better facilities. (Source: 12019)

The expensive gym memberships may come with personal training to help you get the most out of your workouts, access to a variety of classes, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, plunge pool, etc.

Your membership will grant you access to all the machines, services, and facilities you could ever want.

But nothing in this world is free and you really only want to pay this amount if you can afford it and are going to get the most out of the time you spend there. Unsurprisingly, London is home to more of these types of gyms than elsewhere in the UK.

With that in mind, you also need to know that the cost of a gym membership can vary across the country. With the cost of living more expensive in the capital, the average cost of a gym membership is higher than you’d see in cheaper cities.

Learn more about gym equipment.

Compare the Cost of Gym Membership to Find the Best Price

You should check the cost of gym memberships where you live.

Is it better to pay extra for coaching or save money and exercise on your own?

This is a question that a lot of us will have to ask ourselves before choosing a gym membership. In any case, you’ll now get access to exercise machines with a membership. However, not all machines are the same.

Get an online personal trainer on Superprof.

Which are the best gyms in the UK?
Classes are a great way to work out with others. (Source: skeeze)

Almost every gym will have a treadmill but the expensive gyms will probably have the latest technology. Expensive gyms tend to have a wider range of machines and machines in better condition.

Compare the price of the gyms but also compare what you’re getting for that money. Check prices regularly, too, as there are often deals for new members, especially in low-cost gyms.

You might also want to look at what other members are saying about their gym. The local low-cost gym may have everything you need to help you achieve your fitness goals.

It’s your decision at the end of the day. Take into account practical considerations like where the gym is, how you get there, when it’s open, and how often you could make it there to exercise.

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

Read 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 really 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 personal 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.

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