From $10 – $100: gym membership price comparison

Is it worth paying more?

Let’s start at the end: when it comes to gym memberships, you generally get what you pay for – unlike say, comparing face creams where you might find that an inexpensive option is a superior product compared to a more expensive one. If you’re paying for a gym membership that costs less than a head of lettuce ($10 at the time of writing), you should expect a limp vegetable offering.

Membership prices come down to 3 things: service, specialisation and space. So is it worth paying more?


The more you fork out for a gym membership the more service you can expect on and off the gym floor; there is a direct correlation between membership cost and the likelihood of the staff knowing your name/realise you exist. From understanding your goals and personal circumstances through to resolving practical issues efficiently (such as issues relating to your membership), the higher price point, the more personalised the service. Typically the higher price point facilities are boutiques i.e. catering to a smaller number of customers meaning you won’t get lost in the crowd.

On the flip side the more you slide down the lettuce scale of price, you will be lucky if your existence is acknowledged when you walk through the turnstile and you can forget talking to a human on the phone to have anything resolved efficiently.


Perhaps counterintuitively, the less you pay for your gym membership, the more variety your facility will offer. Think of a big gym near you that might offer everything from the weights floor to yoga, to Pilates, to circuit classes to a pool (and more) under one roof. This, as opposed to a facility that offers a single activity (such as Pilates) charging double or triple the facility that is offering everything.

Makes no sense right? But think of the big gym like a supermarket where you can do your entire shop under one roof, your meat, your veg (that fucking lettuce again), your bread. But when you compare the same products from a butcher, a farmers market, an artisanal bakery you start to understand that while the products from the supermarket are fine, the products from the specialty store do one thing and they do it bloody well. Think your dedicated yoga studio.  


Location, location, location and scene of a murder. There are some truly horrifying locations of facilities in dimly lit office buildings on the 5th floor of questionable suburbs with equipment that may or may not decapitate you. Honestly it’s all you can expect from your $10 membership, commercial rent is expensive (I should know). As we move up the membership price scale the location and spaces start to take on a less murderous and more luxurious, comfortable feel.

So is it worth paying more?

The best value membership is the one that you will use. If you are self-motivated and can be left to your own devices, the $10 membership is amazing value. If you are just getting started in your fitness journey, require specialised care, need to be held accountable, wish to focus on a single activity, then the services and offering of the boutique facility with the higher price point will be far better value to you.

The value of your gym membership honestly comes down to YOU. Memberships that you would consider ‘cheap’ but never use, is actually a terrible value membership. Not only are you forking out money for nothing, you are doing yourself a disservice not investing in your health – think of the cost of not looking after your health down the track. Memberships that you consider ‘expensive’ but utilise every single day resulting in better health and wellbeing – there is no price you can put on that.