While equipment for working out at home has become more and more available, many people find that working out at the gym is still the best option for them.
Some gyms even have special amenities that they can’t have at their homes.
If you’ve recently searched for a gym to join and found its prices expensive, then you may wonder why gyms charge so much.
Here are 10 reasons gyms are so expensive.
Why Are Gyms So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
Gyms are as expensive as they are because of the cost of equipment.
You’ve likely seen how expensive it is to buy a high-quality treadmill, weight machine, or bike.
Imagine buying multiples of those.
Gym equipment is expensive.
Even something like dumbbells and weights can start to become expensive when you buy a lot of them.
Gyms have to buy a lot of equipment.
Not only do they need to ensure that there’s enough equipment to go around, but they also need a variety.
Not everyone is coming to the gym to work on cardio.
Some want to work on strength training instead.
Others want to work on certain muscle groups.
Gyms need to be able to provide those services to their members.
Otherwise, the members will leave and join a gym that does cater to them.
Gym equipment isn’t a one-time investment either.
Equipment starts to degrade, especially with extended use.
Gyms have to replace the equipment.
They also have to upgrade them.
Whenever something new comes out that pushes fitness to the next level, gyms have to get their hands on it because their members expect them to.
The members want to use it to advance their fitness.
If another gym gets it before them, then they might lose members as a result.
The problem with gym equipment is that they’re all expensive.
To cover the cost of buying, repairing, and replacing equipment, the gym has to charge a high price for their memberships.
Gym equipment makes gym memberships expensive.
Another reason gyms are expensive is their employees.
While gyms will often have a variety of employees, many of them tend to be trainers.
That’s because they know that the main aspect that sets a gym apart from a home gym is having a trainer on hand to help you.
Whether you need someone to spot you while you lift weights or suggest ways to help you increase your ab definition, trainers are there for you.
Some gyms even hire specialists as their trainers.
They may have specific knowledge about something that can impact how well someone works out.
For example, a specialist may have a background in nutrition.
They can help members make the most of their workouts by suggesting the types of meals that they should be eating, too.
Because these more advanced trainers often come to work with some form of college degree under their belt, they’re more expensive to hire.
To cover the cost of hiring them, gyms will sell pricier memberships.
The advantage is that members have access to high-quality trainers who can completely transform their lives.
Gyms are expensive based on the quality of trainers that they hire.
3. Rental Fees
One cost that adds to the price of the gym membership that many don’t consider is the rental fees that gyms need to pay.
In most cases, the gym takes up residence in a strip mall or another rented building.
To use the building, the gym has to pay rent like a tenant in an apartment.
Commercial rental fees tend to be extremely expensive.
Since those fees correlate with the location, gyms that are in prime locations tend to have very expensive rental fees.
A prime location is somewhere that is easily accessible to the general population.
It’s situated in an area that sees a lot of traffic geared towards its particular service.
Since landlords know that the business is going to flourish, they want their piece of the pie.
Gyms spend a lot of money on rent alone.
Even if they choose to build their own building, they’ll still need to pay for the land.
Either way, there’s no getting out of paying for the building or its location.
To ensure the gym can keep operating, they have to make sure they make enough money to pay everyone and pay the rent.
That’s why some gym memberships are more expensive than others.
Their location, and thus their rental fees, may be higher than others.
Gyms are expensive because they need to pay their rent.
Along with paying the rent, gyms also face high utility costs.
Back in the day, the only main utility that gyms had to worry about was the electricity.
Some didn’t even have air conditioning.
These days, people expect a lot from their gyms.
Electricity is a no-brainer.
However, they also expect the gym to have air conditioning in the summer and heat during the winter.
Because gym equipment has become integrated with smart technology, gyms also need to have a strong internet connection.
A weak one means the equipment might not work at its best.
This can frustrate members and cause them to leave.
Members also expect working internet to use their phones.
They may be recording their workout for social media or using apps to play music that can help improve their workout.
There’s no question that gyms need to pay for more utilities now than they did before.
That makes their costs of doing business higher than ever.
To combat this cost, the gym uses an expensive membership.
Gyms are expensive because of the increase in utility costs.
Not all gyms have pools, but those that do tend to have a higher price on gym memberships.
That’s because pools are expensive.
Gyms first need to determine whether they need to buy more space for a pool or if they can use their existing space.
Using their existing space is cheaper, but it sometimes comes at the cost of having a smaller gym with equipment in it.
This can be a gamble since not all gym members intend to use the pool.
They might not appreciate the smaller number of gym equipment available for them to use.
Gyms that plan on buying more space to install their pools are going to add a substantial cost to their budgets.
Then there’s the price of the actual pool installation.
They’ll need to pay a pool company to do the installation, which is a pricey endeavor.
Once the pool is ready, the costs don’t go away from there.
To keep the pool sanitary, they have to monitor the water’s pH level constantly and make adjustments.
This means they’ll need to purchase pool supplies and cleaning tools to keep the pool healthy.
They’ll have to regularly clean the pool and drain its water.
Refilling it is also costly.
In short, it’s expensive to own a pool.
The benefit is that having a pool can attract more members to the gym.
Even those who are just looking for a place to cool down in the summer might buy a membership.
However, due to the cost of owning a pool, the gym is going to need to have a higher membership price.
This ensures that they can cover the costs associated with the pool and keep it open for their members to use.
Gyms are expensive if they have a pool.
Some gyms try to make their establishments a place where people can work out and then relax.
To help them relax, some gyms have a spa area.
The spa area usually has showers and a locker room.
Some have saunas while others have hot tubs.
Some even have massage parlors where people can get a massage to ease their sore muscles.
Like any other amenity, spas cost money to run.
Depending on the types of luxuries they have to offer, some may increase the gym membership more than others.
Saunas and hot tubs, for example, require a lot of energy to run.
Hot tubs, in particular, need regular cleaning.
Massage parlors also vary based on their costs.
While some gyms use hydro-technology in massage chairs, others have trained massage specialists to massage their members.
Spas also make the gym seem more luxurious than being a mere gym.
It attracts a certain client base who can afford higher gym memberships.
This only further reinforces the expensive price of the gym.
Gyms are expensive if they have amenities like a spa or massage parlor.
Some gyms simply offer equipment for their members to use.
Others also offer classes.
Whether you want to learn aerobics, karate, or learn hip-hop dance, you can usually find a class at a gym.
Everything from yoga to Pilates is a common staple.
Gyms like to have classes because it helps encourage more people to join their gym.
They’re relying on the shared class experience instead of doing it at home by themselves to attract people to the class.
The problem with having classes is that it adds a bit more cost to the gym.
For one, they need to find teachers to instruct the classes.
In some cases, the teachers are volunteers.
In most, they’re hired trainers.
They also need space for their classes.
This means that the gym may need a bigger building.
It might mean they need to close down another part of the gym to make room for the classes.
Either way, the gym is going to face more costs.
To combat the costs and ensure they can provide several different classes, they have to make their memberships more expensive.
A gym is expensive if they have a lot of classes for members to take.
8. Liability Insurance
Another big expense that adds to the price of gym memberships is liability insurance.
Gyms are an easy place for accidents to occur.
All it takes is for one person to not watch what they’re doing to seriously injure themselves or someone else.
Without insurance, gyms could easily become bankrupt after settling in court.
To ensure they’re able to stay operational even if an accident does occur, they carry insurance.
The insurance covers medical costs and keeps the business afloat.
As with any type of insurance, it costs the gym money to have the insurance.
Also like other types of insurance, the type of insurance policy that they choose can make the price cheaper or more expensive.
The more expensive the insurance policy is, the better coverage the gym has.
Gyms are expensive because of liability insurance.
There’s no question that marketing also adds to the cost of a gym membership.
There’s fierce competition between rival gyms.
Each one is always trying to outdo the other with new equipment or services.
To get the word out about the new equipment and services, gyms pour a lot of money into marketing.
That’s because they’re also competing against home gyms.
They need to show why people should leave their homes to work out at their gyms instead.
That means that they do a lot of advertising by increasing the number of commercials they have on TV or at sporting events.
If the company receives more airtime than its rival, then the chances of the target audience choosing them instead of their rivals increases.
They might also choose to hire a well-known celebrity to be their spokesperson.
When a celebrity endorses a gym, then people may be more willing to go to that gym because they’re expecting the same results.
The cost of hiring a celebrity isn’t cheap.
To cover their marketing costs, gyms have to use funds generated from their memberships.
This means that the price of those memberships may increase whenever the gym wants to run a big marketing campaign that requires more money.
Gyms are expensive because of the amount of marketing that it does and the associated costs.
A final reason gyms are expensive is that they want their members to perceive them that way.
Some gyms that consider themselves boutique or geared towards a specific fitness audience will have higher prices because they know that’s what their members expect.
In exchange, they offer the use of quality equipment with experienced trainers and a clean and safe environment in which to work out.
If two gyms offered the same services with the same staff and used the same equipment, but one charged more than the other, then customers paying at the cheaper gym might think they’re receiving a lower quality of service than those paying for the more expensive one.
They perceive that, because the gym is cheaper, the service isn’t going to be as good or the equipment isn’t going to be top level.
A gym that charges more, however, creates the perception that it’s providing the highest quality in everything.
Its members can expect high-quality and experienced trainers, the best equipment there is to have, and luxurious amenities to enhance their workout.
Gyms are expensive because they want their members to perceive them as high-class and luxurious.
How To Save Money At The Gym
Gym memberships can be expensive, but it shouldn’t stop you from being able to get the best workouts of your life.
Here are a few tips you can use to save money at the gym.
1. Buy The Lowest Tier Membership
Many gyms offer different types of memberships.
The more expensive the membership, the more amenities that you have access to.
Amenities are luxuries.
You don’t need them to get a great workout at a gym.
If you want to get the best results at the gym and save money, then you should buy the basic tier at the gym.
You’ll usually have access to all the equipment that you could need to get a great workout.
The best part is that it will only cost you a fraction of what the top-tier membership costs.
2. Attend A Class
In some cases, you can skip the membership entirely and pay for a class.
Some gyms offer classes at a certain price per class.
You can sign up for something that’s always interested you and have a great time working out.
Since classes are only for a few weeks or a couple of months, you usually end up saving money, especially if you have to pay the gym membership by the week.
Attending a class is also a great way to ensure you keep going to the gym.
You meet great people in the class who are all motivated to have a great time and improve their fitness.
3. Buy Home Equipment
Another way to save money on your gym membership is to decrease the amount of time you spend at the gym.
You can work out at home during the winter with your own equipment and then work out at the gym during the summer months.
By cutting a few months off your gym spending, you can save a good amount of money every year.
By investing in home equipment at the start, you can also continue to keep your fitness level in check even if you’re not at the gym.
Gyms are expensive based on the number of amenities they offer and the costs associated with running a gym.
Some also target a specific type of clientele with higher gym membership fees.
There are ways you can save money like using a basic membership and decreasing the amount of time you use the gym membership.