I'll be the first one to admit, I get wrapped up in the moment every time I visit - or see - a swanky new gym open up in the neighborhood. It's usually filled with hot guys all the time, as if they were planted there to sucker me in. I used to be a member of a high-end gym in Nashville, Tennessee which charged by the class. It was group fitness boutique-style gym and the hottest guys in the city were members, so of course I had to be as well.
The cost of these group fitness gym memberships can run anywhere from $60 to $120 per month, or more. Some of these boutique gyms don't offer a complete set of fitness equipment and have limited hours, so often times, you are forced to have yet another gym membership to supplement your fancy gym membership.
Don't get me wrong, I loved working out at this gym. I am not a runner and they pushed me to run every time I visited. But is spending $1,200 a year justified? Maybe, maybe not. If you are out of shape and need an extra push, sometimes these gyms can prove to be very beneficial. One-on-one personal training can run $60 per session, so joining a group fitness gym may be a good option to help you reach your fitness goals. I'm all about living a healthy lifestyle, so if you feel like you need to join, I'll give you permission to go for 6-months - but you have to promise me you will actually use the membership. Gyms love when you don't attend. They make money either way.
If you live in an apartment building or complex which offers a gym as one of the amenities, use it. Why spend the extra money if you have a fitness center steps away from your home. You'll actually find yourself going more often, and it's free. Well, you're still paying for it through your rent or HOA if you live in a condo, but you have to pay that anyway, so why not get the best bang for your buck.
I currently live in a 12-story building with a small fitness center - 2 treadmills, 2 elliptical's, a bench with some free weights and a multi-gym. Is it fancy? No. But it's always empty, I never have to wait to use a machine, I can watch CNBC while working out and it doesn't cost me a dime. Life can't get much better than that!