It kind of depends what you need.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to hole in the wall gyms and country clubs that are decked out to the nines, though I’ve never been to a gym that has a membership fee that’s more than my monthly mortgage. In all fairness, everyone wants a different gym experience, and a place to workout can range from being a room with a few pieces of workout equipment (looking at you apartment buildings) to a place where there are guys in the locker room ready to hand out towels and the term ‘gym’ is seen as low-brow. But we pay for the experience, the niceties, and the overall idea that this is where we want to go and spend our time when we’re trying to stay healthy or get shredded.
Some places are gussied up with the latest technology and are designed to cater to those that want the finer things in life, and some might as well have been a junkyard in their previous incarnation. But the point is that a gym is a gym no matter where you decide to go, since the ultimate goal is to get fit in one way or another. The more expensive gyms might be seen as the types of places that can help you get your pump on in a manner that is comfortable, allows you to go at your own pace, and isn’t super-crowded due to the fact that it costs so damn much just to sign up. Then there are some gyms that manage to barely exist since their membership dues are just barely enough to keep the lights on and the rats from crowding in around the equipment. I’m kidding, kind of, since there is a certain level of hygiene and overall safety that a gym needs to possess in order to do business.
But if you’re thinking that a high-priced gym is the way to go since it can offer a greater workout and a better chance at getting in shape with state of the art equipment, then you might need a serious reality check. Plenty of people would remind you that some of them managed to get in shape at home, or found ways to exercise outdoors that didn’t involve weights as much and allowed them to use their own bodyweight as a means of getting in shape. Honestly, an expensive gym can give you better access to trainers, equipment that is specific to one muscle group, and can make you feel like you’re getting more done. But the high-priced gyms aren’t always the best since it takes more than great equipment and top-notch trainers to make things work.
There are pros and cons to a high-priced gym, of course.
Some of the pros of a high-priced gym are hard to get away from when one really sits down to think about it, since they tend to include a few great points that can’t be downplayed, such as:
- The equipment is all well-maintained: This is something that can make or break a gym since people come to work out in a variety of ways, and many folks will sit on one machine and convince themselves that they’re working out. Hey, no judgment, but if the machines are constantly breaking down it becomes a bit of a hassle. The gyms that cost a grip are those that tend to take care of their machines and keep them running as much as possible.
- It’s a friendly atmosphere: Of course it’s going to be friendly, even if the smiles don’t reach the eyes of the employees and trainers. They’re getting paid to do a job and to keep the people coming back, so yes, they’re going to be welcoming and accommodating in order to keep the business. The upside is that some gyms are going to be completely comfortable since the people do enjoy their jobs and promote a general feeling of well-being among their members.
- It does come with a certain comfort level: For the amount of money that people spend on these gyms it damn well better, right? But seriously, the money put into these high-priced gyms do make them feel like luxury spas at times since they’re all about comfort at every level.
A person can choose to believe that these gyms are there for the benefit of the members or not, but any successful gym is going to do the best it can to keep the members happy.
You knew there would be a few cons, right?
Just as there are pros, there have to be cons, if only to keep things balanced and the people aware of what they should be looking for.
- They’re a bit exclusive sometimes: This isn’t to say that they’re racist or bigoted, but there might a few of these places still out there. But the biggest dividing line between people when it comes to these gyms is the price tag, since a lot of folks can’t afford gyms that cost more than their rent every month. This tends to mean that the clientele are often those that have the means to pay, which creates a certain type of attitude that such places are, well, off-limits to those that don’t make six to seven figures a year.
- They’re a little too comfortable: The onus for your workout is on you more often than not, and blaming a place for being a little too:
is not always the best idea since one can go hard in a gym whether they’re high-classed or working out in the dirt. But the point here is that working out in an area where all your needs are met and there aren’t any challenges to get creative does make one a little too comfortable at times.
- The cost, of course: If you’re struggling to pay for your home, keep the lights on, or put food on the table, then a gym isn’t your main concern, and if it is, then you need to rearrange your priorities a bit.
Being able to see the cons when it comes to a high-priced gym might not be as easy since a lot of people are bound to be caught up in the advantages. But the trick is to see everything, not just the glitz and glam.
The updated equipment does help.
It’s not hard to be honest on this front, since working out with a set of rocks would be much more difficult than working out with weights that are perfectly shaped, measured, and designed to be efficient. Some might look at the pile of rocks and say that it was ‘old school’ when it comes to training, but this is one instance in which old school wasn’t necessarily better. The discussion of which workout is best for each person is a long and detailed story, but from a general standpoint, the implements one uses to work out with are usually better of being a bit more advanced than some of the old school methods. As much as some folks don’t want to admit it, the research that has gone into what types of exercises really work and what people need in terms of implements does make a lot more sense than traipsing out into nature to find the next challenge that can help one to get in shape. In other words, high-priced gyms usually have the best workout materials that help people to maximize their time in the gym.
Does it really help motivation?
Some folks tend to believe that having access to the best machines, the best weights, and the best possible training is a great motivator to get in shape. If that’s the case then why are people like Michael Moore still as heavy as they are? Why are there still celebrities that can easily access these types of places, but obviously don’t? The point here is that the best and most expensive gyms aren’t exactly the best motivators since it takes more than state of the art machines to get you in the mood to exercise. What you really need is the desire to be in good shape, to be healthy, and to be able to get to the gym and make the best use of it that you can. It’s true that belonging to a nice gym is bound to increase your comfort level, but if you don’t have the motivation to get in there and exercise, then the gym is just another place to go and hang out.
Bottom line, you’re there to work out, just keep that in mind.
To be completely honest, the gym is a place to work out, to get in shape, and to utilize when you want to change your body in ways that only an intense workout can help with. While it’s true that a high-priced gym can offer up some of the best equipment and trainers that money can buy, it doesn’t matter if you’re not motivated to get in shape. You can belong to any gym you want, no matter the price, but if you’re not into it, then none of it matters.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
You can belong to any gym you can afford, it doesn’t make much of a difference, even if a gym is lacking in equipment or has enough ellipticals to satisfy an entire neighborhood. The point of going to the gym is to better yourself through any way possible. Are high-priced gyms worth it? Sure, if you can afford them, and if you’re willing to get your butt in there and do the work.