The Top Cheap Gym Memberships In The US 2023
Get your sweat on in 2023.
Fitness should be accessible to everyone, but it’s often one of the most challenging and expensive habits you can pick up. If you’re a student looking to improve your health in the new year but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
We here at Student Beans have rounded up the best gym memberships for students. Various criteria were compared to find out which gyms give students the most bang for their buck. Whether you want to start weightlifting, run on a treadmill, or try a group fitness class, we’ve found the perfect choice for you.
- The Best Cheap Gym Memberships For Students
- Cheaper Alternatives To A Gym Membership
- How To Save Money On A Gym Membership
- Things To Consider For Cheap Gym Memberships
The Best Cheap Gym Memberships For Students
Gold’s Gym has been synonymous with fitness for decades now. Aside from their clout in the bodybuilding and weightlifting world, they also offer extensive options for anyone looking to start their fitness journey. Some gyms even offer as much as 50% membership prices for students.
You’ll have access to the entire gym, along with boxing and yoga studios, basketball courts, and unlimited group fitness classes. The EFT membership also allows you access to any Gold’s Gym in the country.
Just note that actual prices vary by location. Be sure to call your local Gold’s Gym to confirm their prices (or see if they’re running any specials).
What Time Does Gold’s Gym Open?
Each Gold’s Gym’s hours varies by location, but most Gold’s Gyms open somewhere around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m.
What Time Does Gold’s Gym Close?
Again, individual hours vary by location. The general closing hours for Gold’s Gym seems to be about 8:00 p.m.
How Do I Cancel a Gold’s Gym membership?
Gold’s Gym does let you cancel your membership online, but you have to give at least a 30 day notice. They generally do not prorate any refunds.
How Much Does Gold’s Gym Cost Monthly?
The average cost of a membership at Gold’s Gym is:
- Electronic funds transfer (EFT) 12-month membership—$39.99 per month with a $59.99 club enhancement fee
- One year upfront—$499 (plus tax)
- Monthly, no contract—$54 per month
What Are Gold’s Gym’s Locations?
Click here to find your nearest Gold’s Gym.
For those short on time and the most flexibility with their membership, HOTWORX is a fantastic choice. The studio is open 24 hours, and there are a wide variety of classes to choose from, ranging from yoga to cycling.
The science behind HOTWORX is that each class takes place in a small infrared sauna (which holds up to three people at a time), which helps your muscles recover and repair from exercise faster. Most clients choose one isometric workout and one HIIT workout per session.
HOTWORX does give students a reduced monthly rate, but it varies by location. Be sure to call your local HOTWORX to confirm pricing and discounts.
What Time Does HOTWORX Open?
HOTWORX is a 24 hour fitness studio, but it’s not staffed for 24 hours. Staffed hours for opening are generally 11:00 a.m. Monday-Thursday and 9:00 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and not staffed on Sundays.
What time does HOTWORX close?
Again HOTWORX is open 24 hours a day. For staffed closing times, it’s usually 8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
How Do I Cancel a HOTWORX Membership?
HOTWORX requires you to give a 60 day cancellation notice. It must be completed in-person, and you will be required to sign a cancellation document.
How Much Does HOTWORX Cost Monthly?
The pricing for HOTWORX is just $59 per month, giving you unlimited access to the studio. If you want access to every HOTWORX in the country and around the world, you’ll need to upgrade your membership to $79 per month. There are no contracts (making it month-to-month), and you can even pay for a certain number of months up front.
What Are HOTWORX’s Locations?
Click here to find the nearest HOTWORX.
One of the largest gym franchises globally, Anytime Fitness is a great gym membership options for students. Plus, your standard gym membership is valid at any location, both in the United States and abroad.
You will always benefit from no enrollment fees as a student, though. You’ll also have access to the entire gym, along with a free seven day trial period before you officially sign up.
Keep in mind that your initial month might be at a regular rate, which then gets reduced to a student rate. Call your local Anytime Fitness to confirm which deals they can offer you as a student.
What Time Does Anytime Fitness Open?
Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour gym, meaning it’s always open.
What Time Does Anytime Fitness Close?
Again, since Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour gym, it doesn’t close.
How Do I Cancel an Anytime Fitness Membership?
You can cancel your Anytime Fitness membership online. Simply login to your account and access the “membership cancellation” section. You can also cancel over the phone or in-person as the gym where you’re a member.
How Much Does Anytime Fitness Cost Monthly?
Almost every Anytime Fitness offers a discounted rate for students. How each membership is run, however, varies by location:
- Some gyms offer a flat monthly rate with no enrollment fee
- Some gyms offer student discounts, but it depends on which school you’re attending
- Some gyms opt instead for payments every two weeks, averaging around $29.50 or $27.50 for an annual and two-year plan, respectively
What Are Anytime Fitness Locations?
Click here to find an Anytime Fitness near you.
24 Hour Fitness
If your class schedule is a bit crazy, 24 Hour Fitness is probably the way to go. As the name implies, it’s open 24 hours a day. This gym is also great for those who do more weightlifting and powerlifting, as you’re allowed to use chalk and drop your weights.
You get a free three day trial period to try the gym before you officially sign up, along with access to multiple 24 Hour Fitness locations. Just remember to bring your student ID with you in order to qualify for the discounted rate.
Contract length also varies by location, so be sure to check with your local 24 hour fitness to see if they offer month-to-month or a 12-month plan.
What Time Does 24 Hour Fitness Open?
As the name implies, 24 Hour Fitness is a 24 hour gym, so it’s always open.
What Time Does 24 Hour Fitness Close?
Again, 24 Hour Fitness doesn’t close since it’s a 24 hour gym.
How Do I Cancel a 24 Hour Fitness Membership?
To cancel your 24 Hour Fitness Membership, you’ll need to call their toll free number, 866-308-8179. Once you verify your account information, you’ll be able to cancel your membership.
It is worth noting that, if you’re on the fence about staying a member at 24 Hour Fitness, you can get 30% off your next three months if you threaten to cancel.
How Much Does 24 Hour Fitness Cost Monthly?
Again, the availability of a student discount varies by location:
- Some 24 Fitness gyms don’t offer student discounts at all, with the standard rate being about $57 per month
- Certain locations offer a reduced rate of $29.99 per month
What Are 24 Hour Fitness’ Locations?
Click here to find your nearest 24 Hour Fitness.
The Y has been a staple in communities around the country for decades. Aside from having solid exercise facilities and equipment, it’s also a great place to network. For everyone who’s just about to graduate and looking to expand their circle, be sure to hit up your local YMCA.
The Y defines their student memberships as anyone currently attending school is under 29 years old. You have access to all facilities, but you might be charged up to $50 worth of enrollment fees. There are also free trials available ranging from one to 14 days.
What Time Does YMCA Open?
Most YMCA locations across the country open at around 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.
What Time Does YMCA Close?
For most YMCA gyms, doors close at 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
How Do I Cancel a YMCA Membership?
Even though there no contracts with the YMCA, you still need to give a 30 day cancellation notice. You can cancel over the phone, though. Simply contact your local YMCA to do so.
How Much Does YMCA Cost Monthly?
Pricing varies by location, but here are a few things to note:
- Most student memberships are $39 per month
- Some student discounts are based on which school you attend
- You can pay month-to-month or for an entire year upfront
What Are YMCA’s Locations?
Click here to find your nearest YMCA.
Cheaper Alternatives To A Gym Membership
ClassPass is a way to try all kinds of different fitness studios in your area without signing up for a membership. The pricing is as low as $19 for eight credits, so it’s definitely a budget-friendly option.
If you’re shopping for gyms or studios, ClassPass is a low-stakes way to try tons of different classes without committing to any of them long-term. They also offer some virtual classes, too!
There are hundreds of thousands of fitness videos available for free on YouTube. With a huge variety of exercise tutorials and workouts available, there are plenty of options.
Be sure to search for no equipment videos to ensure you can get a great workout in without needing anything extra. Some influencers will even help you use furniture in your apartment or dorm to even give you an added push if you want something more than a bodyweight exercise.
Fitness apps aren’t anything new, but there are plenty of free or low-cost options available for download. While some offer totally free workouts, others will charge you a small monthly fee to use the app.
Depending on how much you want to spend, you can even get personalized health and nutrition options, or even sync up with a personal trainer to help you meet your goals. Just be sure to read the fine print so you aren’t paying more than you anticipated.
Not sure where to start? We’ve found the best fitness apps for students!
Instagram & TikTok
Fitness influencers are all over social media, and most of them have free workouts available to try. While other have fully monetized their fitness inspo, they’re still usually cheaper than joining a gym.
Most fitness influencers also have a big community of people who help keep each other accountable. If you’re looking for a way to plug in with friends (virtually) during your workout time, scroll on social media to find someone you really vibe with.
Needing some extra inspiration? Check out the top student fitness accounts to follow on Instagram.
Don’t completely count out your college rec center. While you’ll only be able to use it while classes are in session, it should be free for all students attending the university.
There’s obviously a bit of planning involved here (i.e. missing peak hours so you can actually use the equipment), but even if your rec isn’t state of the art, there’s going to be a way for you to get a solid workout in. Some colleges even offer free group fitness classes to their students.
Check out your college rec’s website to see when they’re open and what kind of gear they have available to use.
How To Save Money On A Gym Membership
1. The time of year you sign up is key.
December and early January are the best times to snag your gym membership. With the “resolutioners” getting ready to improve their health after the first of the year, plenty of gyms will be offering great deals to try and get huge numbers of people to sign up.
Gyms will be making more money in January, so they’ll also likely be more flexible with their prices. Plenty of gyms also offer huge perks during these sign up periods, so keep your eyes peeled!
2. Don’t be afraid to haggle.
Much like going to a car dealership, haggling is common practice when it comes to signing up for gym memberships. Don’t take the first offer they give you, and opt to think about it for a few days. When you circle back with the sales staff, see if you can get any extra money off your membership.
Even if you don’t get physical money cut from your monthly rate, sometimes gyms will offer to throw in extra perks to incentivize you to sign up. Things like free workout gear, gift cards to their in-house smoothie bar, or free personal training sessions can help sweeten the deal.
3. Consider what you actually need.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re taken on a tour of a gym. Gyms are getting bigger and better every year, with things like tanning beds and pilates classes being offered in-house—for an additional cost.
Be honest with yourself and evaluate what you really need in your membership. How often are you going to be using those kickboxing classes? Are you actually going to be eating at the gym café enough that you need that additional 10% off? Don’t get swept up in the hype and nix the frills you don’t need.
Things To Consider For Cheap Gym Memberships
1. Contract Length
This is especially important if you don’t go to college in your hometown. Since you’re not at school during the summer and winter breaks, that’s money you’re going to be losing since you won’t have access to your gym. Be sure to read the fine print and find out just how long your contract is before you sign up.
Certain gyms offer three to six month memberships, or even just for a semester (especially if it’s a college town). Find a gym that offers enough flexibility so you won’t be burning money while you’re away from campus.
2. Month-To-Month Payments
If a shorter contract isn’t an option, see if the gym you’re looking at offers month-by-month payment plans. That means you can cancel your membership (and re-enroll) at anytime without facing a penalty or fee.
It also helps if you know you’re going to be extra busy one month (i.e. during the end of the semester), allowing you to flexible with your spending. It might be a little more money up front, but it will help you out more in the long run.
3. Access To Multiple Locations
Certain nationwide gyms offer access to all (or some) of their other gyms around the country. This is a great pick if you’re not spending the entire calendar year on campus.
You’ll definitely get more out of your membership since you’ll be able to use it anywhere. It’s also great if you plan on leaving your college town once you graduate—no messy cancellations. As long as that gym is wherever you move to, you’re good to go.
Save on all your health, wellness, and fitness needs with Student Beans
Looking for some new workout gear for 2023? Check out the best sweat-proof headphones for your gym session!