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How much does a gym membership cost?

How much does a gym membership cost? Maybe a more important question is, how much should you spend on a gym membership?

In this article, we take a dive into the average cost of gym memberships, and what factors you should consider when choosing a facility that best meets your needs.

Gym Memberships typically consist of a few components when it comes to cost;

Enrollment Fee

Most gyms charge some type of enrollment fee, which is a one-time charge that initiates membership to the gym. This often helps to off-set operational costs at the gym, and also helps to ensure those who are joining are committed and serious about their fitness. If a gym is charging an enrollment fee, you may find a more dedicated and serious clientele, and it also means the gym has to back up the value proposition they are asking you to buy into.

These enrollment fees typically range from $50-$200.

What does Ark Fitness Charge? We typically have a one-time, $100 Enrollment Fee.

Gym Dues

The most common practice for modern gyms is to charge a recurring fee for membership. When you pay this fee, you are essentially paying your small share to "rent" use of the gym's equipment, facility, and services. When you compare the cost of gym equipment to the cost of the membership, typically the value is substantial.

Gyms will typically charge monthly dues, and more recently some gyms have begun switching to bi-weekly dues, which comes at a greater cost to the member due to the number of weeks in a year.

Chain & Franchise gyms such as Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness offer a low base-level membership price of around $10-$12/month, with an aim of attracting a large amount of members to increase revenue. They encourage members, however, to upgrade to premium membership options which typically offer extra amenities and services.

Private clubs typically charge a higher monthly cost, but aim to bring a more personal and higher level of service. Independent and locally owned clubs tend to attract a more mature crowd, and individuals who take their wellness seriously. They are also typically family run and are contributors to the local community and economy.

Private clubs offer membership prices that usually range from $20-$60/month.

What does Ark Fitness Charge? We have a flat monthly rate of $34.99/month, with discounts for family plans, military, and first responders.

Club Maintenance Fees

A long standing and common practice in gyms is an annually recurring maintenance fee, with the intended purpose of providing additional cash for equipment repairs, club upgrades, etc... This should be disclosed at the time you join, and is usually set up to charge shortly after joining. While this fee may have a reasonable purpose, it's important to investigate that a club is keeping up with their machines and maintenance, especially if they impose an annual fee. It's also important to put this in your calendar to be prepared for the charge, since most clubs don't send out a reminder for the fee.

What does Ark Fitness Charge? We do not impose any annual or maintenances fees whatsoever.

Membership Terms & Contracts
One of the most important, and sometimes overlooked variables when looking at gym pricing, is whether or not there is a required term or contract to be fulfilled. Historically, gyms have implemented year-long contracts to guarantee revenue, which are legally binding and can be very difficult to get out of. There are typically cancellation fees with these agreements, and require notice in writing to cancel.

Many of the larger chain gyms are noticing the customer service issues with contracts, however, and the industry seems to be moving away from that direction. The majority of gyms do require a 30+ day notice to cancel, however, and often charge a final month's dues even if you are cancelling immediately.

What does Ark Fitness Charge? From day one, we have been adamant about never putting anyone into a contract, and all memberships are month-to-month. We also do not require a cancellation notice in advance, which means members will not be billed additional months after requesting to cancel. We also make this process painless and easy, because we want your first day at the club to be as pleasant as your last one.

Choosing the BEST gym for YOU
We hope this article was helpful to understand the many factors to consider when it comes to gym pricing, and how many gyms structure their fees. While price is certainly an important factor to consider, our belief is that value and community are some of the most important things to look for when choosing your gym home.

Your success in health and fitness is a result of your consistency and dedication to creating a healthier lifestyle. Having the right environment to carry out this mission, makes it a whole lot easier. Surround yourself with a community of individuals who share a common goal and want to see you succeed, and your chances at achieving your goals increase substantially!

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