Gym membership fees

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Home and Garden November 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Gym membership fees


I’m contemplating re-joining a large gym. The only way I can keep up my exercise motivation is to attend classes, so the treadmills in my apartment building don’t cut it; and while I’ve enjoyed exploring some of the new boutique fitness studios popping up (spin/barre, spin/yoga, etc.), I do somewhat miss the variety of classes at a large gym.  So I’m curious, what do folks pay for their monthly gym memberships?
I’m especially interested in some intel on VIDA, as they’re near my home/work and seem to have a robust class schedule (although I know the Yelp reviews are mixed)–but other ideas are welcome.  I know prices can vary by membership option and timing of specials, but in my experience most gyms want you to visit before they disclose prices–and I’d rather get a ballpark idea of whether a gym is even within my affordability range BEFORE I go through the entire sales pitch.  (I was a member of WSC, and before that their counterpart NYSC, for many years, so I already know their pricing.  I may end up back there, but over the past year I found their class offerings to be so-so and many of the instructors lackluster, so I’m investigating other options.)

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I am not sure which Vida you are thinking about joining. My experience is with verizon. I joined first with a 60 day groupon deal. I fell in love after day 1.  I then joined via a corporate membership thru my husband’s work and paid $87/month for the one location.  However as months wore on I became less enthusiastic. I have since quit… Their equipment is great and I rarely had issues unless I was there right at 6 pm but I still could usually find equipment to use. The weekends were really quiet (I am sure that’s not the case at metropole or U street though).  The down sides were:
1. every spin class plays the same/similar music.  I used to belong to xsport in arlington and loved that each instructor made their own mixes.
2. barre classes are beyond packed and they don’t limit the number of students.
3. I used to love Tami’s (she teaches the kickboxing) classes, but she seemed to get meaner and meaner as time went on and not in an encouraging kind of way. Threatening to end class because we couldn’t keep up with her. She seemed to forget that teaching the class was her JOB! 
The final straw for me was that they continue to add programs that were “extra” and cost the same to non members.  I now just participate in those (pilates reformer, boot camp) and opt to be a non member.

I’ve been a member at Vida since they opened the first (Verizon) location.  I pay $84 a month (with no corporate discount or affiliation), but that might be lower than other folks since I joined so early.  My husband has gone in a few times over the years to inquire about a membership and they’ve quoted him rates any where from around $100 (about 4 years ago) to $79 (about 2 years ago with a corporate discount).  I’m like you – I take a lot of classes (try to make at least 3 a week), so the cost is worth it to me, especially when comparing the cost to a per class cost at the specialized gyms/yoga studios.  I also go to four of their locations to mix it up, so I don’t get bored.  Also, as the above poster mentioned, they have some “extra” cost classes/training, but I’ve never bothered to do those because I’m happy sticking with the classes that are included in the monthly membership fee. 


I’m at the Vida Metropole and pay $94 a month.  I joined about two and a half years ao, when Results on U St. closed.  It’s definitely on the pricey side, but I am lucky since my work subsidizes my membership.  I think the rate goes up if you want the membership that allows visits to multiple locations!  Hope that helps! 

I live on U Street and for the last year I’ve been a member at Mint. Its expensive at $110 but I love it and think they have the friendliest and most responsible instructors of any gym I’ve ever belonged to. The classes are great and I go nearly every day. So its worth it to me.
Before that I went to the Results on U Street (pre Vida) and then Washington Sports Club in Dupont.
Most gyms let you do a multi day trial and then give you a deal after the end of the trial period. I would recommend that with any gym you are considering. Also, what I learned with my most recent experience signing up for Mint is that DC has a cancellation period that protects consumers, so if you decide you hate it within a week (or 10 days I can’t remember) you can always cancel it.

I know you aren’t interested, but I’m paying $55 for access to all the Washington Sports Clubs. Not a bad deal but you do have to put up with the occasional bad instructor. 

I would highly recommend checking out Balance – they have a few locations but I think their downtown location is the cheapest (I pay $59/mo.)  They have all the standard classes – spin, yoga, zumba, body pump – and they also have really great boot camp classes that are an amazing workout.  I used to go to the Columbia Heights WSC and I think Balance is 1000 times better. 

I really enjoy the classes at the YWCA at 14th and Florida.  It’s $45/month for unlimited classes, you can do a 10 class pass for $60, or drop-in is $7.  The selection is not huge, but they have some good (and unique!) stuff.

I joined the YMCA at 17th and Rhode Island. I think they have other locations, but I believe this is the main one. Classes are included and i have had almost 10 different instructors (but for only two types of classes-bodypump and yoga), and they were all pretty great. I pay $110/mo for a family memebership with a discount for blue cross as my insurance. If you are doing individual, it is probably around $70 w/out discount for a single membership. I joined in Sept and they waived the registration fee. I play racquetball, go to classes, hang out in the sauna for too long, and my wife likes to go there to swim. I highly recommend the Y.

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