/ Money, Travel & Leisure

Does the cost of gym memberships work you up?

Treadmills in gym

How much did you exercise last year? A lot, a little or none? If it’s the latter, maybe you just don’t want to shell out on a gym membership. You’re not alone – apparently a third of us think gyms are too expensive.

When did you last go to the gym? I’ll fess up to not going since before Christmas. Actually, it was most likely before I ate my advent calendar’s first chocolate.

Outwardly I blamed an ear infection and other engagements, but on the inside I knew that I was just being a lazy sod.

Yet I’m lucky – my local leisure centre is half the price of most gyms in London. At university I used to belong to Fitness First, but would I pony up the cash now that I don’t get a student discount? Probably not.

The high cost of gyms

I’m not the only one – a survey by the World Cancer Research Fund found that a third of people think gyms and leisure centres are too expensive. When separating the age groups, 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds think they’re too costly, compared to 19% of those aged over-55.

But there are other reasons why we’re wasting away in our sedentary desk jobs. Of the 2,000 people questioned, 18% blamed this country’s weather for their lack of exercise. Now that’s almost as bad as the defence I used yesterday – “my shopping won’t fit in the gym locker”.

Time pressures caused by work and family, and a “can’t be bothered” attitude were also used as an excuse. According to a separate survey by the Stroke Association, this has left a fifth of people not taking any exercise whatsoever.

Are you put off by the price of gyms?

Still, the cost of a gym membership does make exercise feel like a luxury. And in these financially tough times, it’s the luxuries that are first to go. Of course, there’s the argument that gyms wouldn’t charge such high prices if people weren’t willing to pay them – but come on, give us a break and help us get fit!

As for me, I’ll be dragging myself to the treadmill tonight – but if you find gyms too expensive, sound off about them below and maybe take up running.

Marcio says:
5 January 2011

Rubbish post with a link to a totally usless ‘save on the gym’ article. ‘Take your own water’ – ‘Go in off peak times’, haggle!!!!! master minds at Which eh. Bollx, write when you’ve something to say rather than when you simply need to fill up space, eh.


Hello Marcio, thanks for your comment. Which? Convo is here for us to present a debate for you to then give your opinion on – this means that they’re often not about giving advice.

The cost of joining a gym is something that winds up lots of people, and the World Cancer Research Fund thinks it’s worrying for this country’s health.

And we’re not too keen on swears, even though you were clever enough to get round our usually too sensitive profanity filter 😉


When a change of circumstances meant we had to drastically cut back financially, my gym membership unfortunately had to be sacrificed. 🙁
I do still get exercise as I have dogs and enjoy plenty of long walks with them. At least that doesn’t really cost anything but I always loved going to the gym as well – usually at least three times per week.
I guess that’s why I’ve now got extra time to spend on the computer!
Any offers to gift me my gym membership back to stop me commenting on almost every topic?
Anyone??? 🙂


Not from us sadly – I say keep on giving your fingers a work-out by commenting on the Convos =D


My fingers are indeed keeping fit – it’s just the rest of me that’s turned into a slob!
By the way, I do think that gym membership fees are too high!


I have off-peak membership with a well-known gym company.
Even at “Off Peak” rates it’s hugely expensive and whilst I would love the “access anytime” membership that’s double my current rate and far out of my reach.
This genuinely saddens me as I would like to be able to get to the gym at more convenient times but instead invariably find myself bleery eyed getting up at 5am to get to the gym.
As to the weekends, I’m not permitted to get in to the gym until after 2pm and frankly by then, my time is genuinely dedicated to my friends and other life commitments (not many friends are going to forego lunch & meet me for breakfast on a Saturday / Sunday just so I may go for a swim!)


Those time limits certainly aren’t convenient – that’s a shame. I’d advise you to try changing gyms, but I know how difficult it can be to cancel your contract without being hit by a large charge.


Thanks Patrick.
I fear that because of my location, it is the only ‘decent’ gym in my area.
I think however that should I move, it should be something I factor into my personal location / life balance equation.


Dedicated gym bunnie 🙂


Yes, my £26 a month gym is one of the main reasons keeping me living where I am (it’s in walking distance from my house). But it’s more than just the price, I pay on a monthly basis meaning I can cancel at any time. Bonus. Why can’t other gyms be as flexible?