How much does a gym membership cost in the UK in 2023?
Whilst the average gym membership cost in the UK is £40, gym membership prices vary considerably depending on a few different factors. These factors are usually the location of the gym, the amenities on offer, and the different types of membership you are able to sign up for.
At the lower-budget end of the market, it is feasible to join a gym with a membership starting at just £10 a month. However, at the higher end of the market, this price can quickly increase to £50-60. That being said, with almost 3,500 gyms and fitness centres in the UK, it is now more possible than ever to find a gym that doesn’t just meet your fitness needs – but suits your budget as well.
This article will explore the average cost of a gym membership in the UK, explain the factors that affect the cost of gym membership prices, list the most budget-friendly UK gyms, and discuss how you can save money on your own gym membership.
- 1 How much does a gym membership cost: An introduction
- 2 Which factors affect the price of a gym membership?
- 3 Do gym membership prices change across the different regions of the UK?
- 4 What are some of the cheapest gym memberships in the UK?
- 5 How Much Does a Gym Membership Cost: The Average Prices Per Gym
- 6 7 benefits of having a gym membership
- 6.1 Joining a gym can help relieve stress
- 6.2 Signing up for a gym will make you more social
- 6.3 Working out at the gym will help you sleep better
- 6.4 Exercise will increase your balance and flexibility
- 6.5 Joining the gym will help you hit your health goals
- 6.6 Working out works out your brain muscles, too
- 6.7 The gym has its own financial benefits…
- 7 Ways to save money on your gym membership
- 7.1 Take advantage of free trial periods
- 7.2 Use gym discounts and offers
- 7.3 Choose a pay-as-you-go membership
- 7.4 Consider an off-peak membership
- 7.5 Opt for a non-contract membership
- 7.6 Sign up for a yearly membership
- 7.7 Change to a basic gym membership
- 7.8 Join the gym at the end of the month
- 7.9 Research concession gym memberships
- 7.10 Consider if you’re actually using your gym membership
- 7.11 Negotiate your membership
- 8 Summary
How much does a gym membership cost: An introduction
As stated above, while the average gym membership cost in the UK is £40, the cost of gym membership largely depends on a number of different factors. A big one of these factors is location. For example, it’s more likely that gyms in London will be more expensive than those across the rest of the UK. Nevertheless, there are still many budget-friendly gym membership options in the capital city.
The economy can also have a big effect on the price of gym memberships in the UK. In order to combat the decrease in clients over the pandemic period, many gyms made their monthly prices cheaper. Likewise, since a decline in gym memberships is a big concern for the fitness industry during a recession, many gyms are now also charging less for their gym memberships than before the cost of living crisis.
Which factors affect the price of a gym membership?
There are many different things that affect just how much you need to pay a gym to use its facilities. Here are some of the most common.
Amenities and Services
If a gym offers a large number of amenities, it’s more likely that the membership will be more expensive. This often means the difference between the most up-to-date equipment and basic workout machines, and having a gym with a swimming pool and sauna also on-site.
Type of Gym
The type of gym can also heavily affect prices. For example, many gym’s that offers 24-hour access may not actually cost more than one that has determined opening hours as often they have gated access points, allowing for less or no staff team to be present. Conversely, local independent gyms often have a customer friendly staff team on hand to support you, this however often means a slightly higher membership price. Additionally, CrossFit gyms, training gyms and fitness boot camps will also charge more than their national competitors.
If you’re looking for a personal trainer to help you on your fitness journey while you’re at the gym, you’ll have to pay an additional cost on top of your monthly membership price. The different costs of a personal trainer vary depending on their experience and what you want to get from the session.
Excluding the additional charge for personal training, the cost of fitness trainers might affect the price of the general gym membership, too. For example, if you’re looking to sign up for a gym that employs popular fitness trainers, you’ll likely have to pay an elevated membership price.
The cost of a gym membership fluctuates significantly if the gym is in a high-traffic location with expensive real estate, like London. But location can also affect the price of membership in other ways. If a gym is competing with other gyms nearby, this competitive location often encourages businesses to reduce their prices to attract more customers. They might also introduce multiple discounts to further tempt people away from local competitors.
Size of the Gym
Naturally, you would think that since smaller gyms require less maintenance and have less space for additional equipment, their memberships would often be cheaper than their larger counterparts. However, this is not always the case, and you will often find the large, national chain gyms like Pure Gym, Everlast or JD Gyms are huge but have low membership prices. The size of the facility does not always correlate to the price of the membership.
Cost of Running the Gym
The cost of running the gym greatly affects the price of signing up. For example, if the gym has brand-new equipment it will likely be more expensive than one that needs its equipment updating. However, national gyms can often have new equipment and keep membership prices low. They can achieve this through large partnerships with equipment suppliers and the scale of their operation to delay these costs or absorb the costs.
Most gyms offer customers a variety of different membership tiers when they join, and the tier you choose generally affects the price you pay. Some gyms, for example, might encourage you to pay more to use their other branches across the UK whenever you are away from home. Similarly, the majority of national gyms offer both annual and monthly memberships. Annual memberships, while being more expensive initially up-front, will work out cheaper in the long run than a monthly contract.
Do gym membership prices change across the different regions of the UK?
Searching for t”he cheapest gyms near me” is a question googled by the majority of those looking to join their local gym at a cost that suits their budget. However, given the incredibly large number of gyms and fitness branches across the nation, while the prices do naturally vary with region, the average cost of a gym membership remains roughly the same across most of the UK, with London prices often being slightly higher.
How much does a gym membership cost in London?
Searching for the right membership in London might seem like a minefield given the sheer number of different gyms on offer in the city. However, the cost of a membership in London gyms also varies like in other UK locations. On the one hand, it is possible to find a London gym membership for just £10 a month. But on the other, you can also pay upwards of £350 a month to use some of the most exclusive fitness clubs in the world, like Equinox Gym.
What are some of the cheapest gym memberships in the UK?
With so many gyms in the UK offering a variety of amenities and classes at a variety of different price points, researching the best gym membership prices to suit your budget can be tricky. That’s why we’ve collated some of the most budget-friendly gyms in the UK below, as well as providing a few other popular options at higher prices that include a more extensive gym offering.
The Gym Group
With over 100 facilities in England, Scotland, and Wales, memberships at The Gym Group start from as little as £15.56 per month. As well as a budget-friendly student gym membership option (equivalent to £16.58 per month), The Gym Group offers two tiers of membership packages.
The Live It membership lets members access multiple Gym Group gyms around the UK for £22.98 paid monthly, or from £249 annually (approximately £15.56 per month). While the Do It package gives members access to unlimited training and unlimited classes at one specific gym from £17.99 a month.
The Gym Group offers members basic gym equipment, access to multiple fitness classes like boxing, spin, HIIT classes, and weight training, and 24/7 access to their facilities.
One of the most popular budget-friendly options is PureGym. Memberships at PureGym start at just £15.99 a month, and the 350+ PureGyms nationwide mean members are never far away from their local centre.
The Pure Gym monthly fee comes without a contract. From £15.99 a month, members can access the gym and fitness classes during off-peak hours. The Core membership package gives members unrestricted 24/7 access to facilities from £20.99 a month. The Plus package, from £26.99 a month, includes multiple gym access and the option to bring a guest with you to the gym 4 times a month.
All PureGym facilities come with standard gym equipment like cardio machines, a weights area, spin bikes, and more. They also offer a number of fitness classes like yoga and pilates, functional strength training, and cardio.
With 80+ gyms nationwide, JD Gyms is a smaller franchise than the two gyms mentioned above. However, with a larger-than-normal offering of fitness classes and up-to-date equipment, a membership at a JD Gym is still a popular choice.
Depending on the location of the JD Gym, the standard membership package for £22.99 a month gives members complete and 24/7 access to all facilities and classes at one gym. At £25 a month, the Plus package expands the standard membership to the other 80+ JD Gyms across the nation. You may also be able to find a JD gym sign up discount when a new club launches in your local area too
On top of basic gym equipment, JD Gyms also offer members a large free weights zone, a sprint/sled track for training, and access to bespoke JD classes like JD Burn.
Better has multiple leisure centres, swimming pools, and gyms across 200 facilities over the UK. The range of affordable memberships at Better means this fitness franchise is a good choice for those that are particularly looking for a swimming pool included in their gym membership.
Different Better locations offer different membership packages. However, the Better Health UK Monthly membership at £65 a month is offered nationwide and gives members access to every gym, pool and fitness class at their local Better facility. At £24.50, the Better Health Saver membership gives members discounted off-peak access to Better facilities, while the franchise also offers students a discounted membership at £38 a month.
Owned by the easyJet airline group, easyGym is a budget-friendly gym franchise with facilities in Bradford, Basildon, Camberwell, and Slough.
Monthly memberships at these facilities cost £17.99, and they also offer one-day passes for just £6.99
Most easyGym locations come with high-quality gym equipment and offer extra personal training options for those looking to take their workout even further.
At the higher end of gym membership prices is David Lloyd. However, this gym network remains one of the most popular franchises in Europe and now has more than 100 club locations in and around the UK.
Memberships at David Lloyd start at £94.50 a month for individuals and £77 monthly for a couples membership. They also offer young adults a discounted price of £55.95 monthly for a young adult membership.
While membership packages and gym offerings vary from club to club, David Lloyd is known for offering its members state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and health, racquets and spa facilities. There is also a member’s clubroom where you can eat and relax after your fitness session.
Virgin Active have 43 clubs across the UK and specialises in offering their members exciting fitness classes and up-to-date equipment.
For a monthly off-peak gym membership at Virgin Active, expect to pay £54. For anytime access to a Virgin Active gym, members can sign up for a year and pay £59.99 per month.
Similar to Better, Everyone Active is a fitness franchise that offers members a swimming pool in their membership package. In their 200+ centres nationwide, Everyone Active runs a wide range of activities through their fitness classes, in their pool, and within their gym facilities themselves.
An adult gym membership at Everyone Active costs £24.99 a month and will give you access to the gym facilities, swimming pool, and exercise classes. For a monthly fee of £49.99, the Platinum membership package also lets members go to any Everyone Active gym facility across the UK, as well as spa and hot yoga sessions.
Bannatyne Health Club & Spa have centres all across the UK and focus not just on the gym experience itself, but on the relaxing and unwinding afterwards, too. The slightly higher-than-average price for a gym membership at Bannatyne means that members can also make use of the swimming pool and spa facilities at these health centres.
Full-access membership to Bannatyne Health Club & Spa costs £69.99 a month, while off-peak access is slightly cheaper at a monthly price of £59.99.
As well as the newest gym equipment and a wide variety of exercise classes, members get personalised training programmes tailor-made for them by the Bannatyne fitness team. A membership also gives you 10% off Bannatyne spas, cafe bars and lounge areas.
As the UK’s largest healthcare charity, there are 114 Nuffield Health fitness & wellbeing centres across the nation. With gym facilities, swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms, a gym membership with Nuffield Health gives members access to many great leisure facilities.
The price of a gym membership at Nuffield Health depends on the location of the fitness centre, however, anytime access is around £75 per month, and off-peak access is £64 monthly.
With every Nuffield Health gym membership, members get 20% off physiotherapy services, 20% off health assessments, and also 20% off mental health support services.
How Much Does a Gym Membership Cost: The Average Prices Per Gym
Below are some examples of the average costs of gym memberships in the UK. Please note these are average figures only for standard adult memberships, prices can fluctuate depending on a number of factors like location, offers running at the time and other types of memberships such as junior gym memberships or senior adult memberships.
|Standard Adult Gym Membership Costs 2023 (average £)
|£15.99 - £26.99
|The Gym Group
|£13.99 - £24.99
|£16.99 - £25.99
You should always contact the gym directly to clarify membership costs and our table is for for illustrative purposes only, these prices are not guarenteed.
7 benefits of having a gym membership
Improving your fitness is just one of the many benefits of joining a gym. Here are 7 more overlooked advantages of signing up for a fitness club near you.
Joining a gym can help relieve stress
Exercise and physical activity has been proven to lower your overall stress levels. By releasing endorphins in your brain, going to the gym to exercise is a guaranteed way to improve your mood and reverse the negative effects of stress on your day-to-day.
Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a solo activity. In fact, exercising with a friend makes you more likely to stick to your predetermined exercise plan. Even if you don’t sign up with someone, it’s easy to meet like-minded people at a fitness class, or even on the gym floor. These new friends will share a common interest, and you may even become workout partners over time.
Working out at the gym will help you sleep better
Did you know that exercise can also improve your sleep? Studies have shown that doing moderate to vigorous exercise during the day can significantly reduce sleep onset in the evening. This means you’ll be able to fall asleep quicker – and will spend less time counting sheep in your bed during the middle of the night.
Exercise will increase your balance and flexibility
A side benefit of also improving your fitness, going to the gym will increase your balance and flexibility; improving your balance and flexibility is important for all ages, however, it’s especially great for older people that are exercising in their later years of life.
Joining the gym will help you hit your health goals
While it’s important to prioritise your enjoyment at the gym instead of only fixating on specific health goals, regular exercise is a proven way to manage your weight, add muscle mass or improve performance by focusing on a specific goal. The calorie-burning effect also continues for at least several hours after you have left the gym.
Working out works out your brain muscles, too
Going to the gym to exercise is also great for your mental fitness. Numerous studies have shown the link between working out and boosting your memory skills. This means that by making exercise a priority, you can look forward to many more healthy years to come with your family and friends, both physically and mentally.
The gym has its own financial benefits…
Believe it or not, joining a gym is its very own investment. Even though you have to pay for your gym membership, the health benefits over time will more than make up the monthly cost of regularly working out at your local club.
Ways to save money on your gym membership
As we’ve previously shown, the cost of gym memberships can greatly vary depending on the franchise and fitness club. However, if there is a specific gym you want to join that’s a little out of your budget, there are a few different ways you can save money on your gym membership and cut some costs.
Take advantage of free trial periods
Making sure you find the right gym that suits your lifestyle is especially important if you’re planning to pay for one that’s a little more expensive than average. That’s why it’s a good idea to take advantage of free trial periods. This way, you can try a few different gyms near you for free, before finally committing to one and signing up for a longer period of time.
Use gym discounts and offers
Many national gyms have exclusive offers and discounts for new members as a way of steering them away from the competition. This could be removing the initial sign-up fee, slashing the prices of an annual membership, or even offering you a free upgrade to a premium membership package if you sign up on the spot. Typically, gyms tend to introduce these great offers at the beginning of the year in the January Gym Rush, and just before summer starts.
Choose a pay-as-you-go membership
While not as common as an annual or monthly membership, pay-as-you-go packages are a great way to save money since you’re only paying for the gym when you actually use it. Some gyms also let you pay for a series of sessions without fully committing to a contract, so you can still utilise many of the discounts from bulk buying a membership.
You may want to check out popular pay as you go pass platforms like Hussle. Hussle allows you flexibility to attend gyms in your local area on day passes, weekly and monthly passes
Consider an off-peak membership
The cost of an all-hours gym membership is usually significantly greater than one that just lets you come in off-peak hours. So, if you’re pretty flexible with when you can go to the gym, an off-peak membership might be all you need to sign up for.
Opt for a non-contract membership
Leaving a gym contract can sometimes be more hassle than it’s worth. That’s why many gyms are now offering no-contract memberships. While you are still obligated to pay your membership fees, you can opt out at any time if you suddenly don’t have the budget to pay for a gym anymore.
Sign up for a yearly membership
If you do know that you’re going to use the gym regularly, an annual membership might be worth the contract. Usually, you’ll save a lot of money by signing up for a year rather than paying in monthly instalments.
Change to a basic gym membership
Doing your research before signing up for the gym will make it easier for you to find somewhere that specifically suits the way you want to work out. For example, there’s no point paying an elevated premium membership fee for swimming pool or spa facilities that you don’t use. Sometimes, all you need from a gym is good equipment and a wide offering of classes – which they usually offer with a basic gym membership.
Join the gym at the end of the month
The end of the month is when most gyms are looking to fill their sales quotas. This means they’re more likely to introduce welcome deals to new members. To easily save money on your membership, it’s worth enquiring about signing up for the best deal during the last week of the month.
Research concession gym memberships
Fitness centres know that joining the gym can be difficult for those that don’t have much spare cash. That’s why many local councils offer concession gym memberships in partnership with local health centres. For example, Better offers concessionary memberships to support those who cannot afford the gym. Usually, these memberships are aimed at those on benefits like universal credit, income support, housing benefit, and job seeker’s allowance.
Consider if you’re actually using your gym membership
It goes without saying that the best way to save money on a gym membership is not to have one at all. If you signed up for the gym but aren’t using it as much as you would have liked, consider cancelling your membership and looking for alternative workout methods like working out outdoors. You can always sign up to the gym again later when you’re confident you will actually go.
Negotiate your membership
Yes, sometimes you even can negotiate the cost of your membership. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to deter much more from the set membership prices, asking specific questions about current promotions and offers might mean the difference between paying full price and managing to whittle your costs down a little.
To summarise, while the average gym membership cost in the UK is £40, there are many different factors that affect just how much you should be paying for your membership. Joining the gym is a big commitment, but one that definitely pays dividends. With some thorough initial research into which gym and membership package best suits your lifestyle, you can be sure to find a club that suits both your fitness needs – and your budget.
Are you interested in taking your fitness journey to the next level through self development and further education? Perhaps you feel like you would like to help others achieve their goals in your spare time? Take a look at our Level 2 Gym Instructor Courses and our Level 3 Personal Training Courses for more information.