A gym membership can be expensive, but for most people, it is well worth the investment. Here’s a list of five cheap gym memberships in Washington D.C. I realize that what may seem cheap to me may not seem cheap to everyone, but comparatively speaking, these are good deals, and if they help you get in shape and improve your health, they are priceless. Let’s start with the club that has the most locations in D.C.
Washington Sports Club (WSC)
Washington Sports Club operates eight locations within DC; Capitol Hill, Downtown-Connecticut Ave, Dupont Circle, F Street, Gallery Place, Georgetown, Glover Park and K Street. For commuters from Virginia or Maryland looking for a gym with locations near work AND home, there are four WSC locations in Maryland (Germantown, North Bethesda, Silver Spring, South Bethesda) and five in Virginia (Alexandria, Clarendon, Fairfax, Sterling, West Springfield).
As with most gyms, membership fees vary from location to location, based primarily on the activities and amenities offered at the individual location, but the WSC is now offering a two week trial membership for $19.99. During the trial, you can choose from group exercise classes, such as cycling, yoga or boxing and have full use of the equipment. WSC offers a unique workout called the XpressLine, a 22 minute total body workout, supervised by a professional trainer. 22 minutes can be just what you need to jump start your morning or to refresh, invigorate and de-stress after a long day.
Most clubs are open from six in the morning until 11 at night. The Glover park location is open 24 hours a day from Monday morning through Saturday night with normal operating hours on Sunday. Use of the club from 11 pm to 5 am costs an additional $39 or $49 per month, but it might be the only time you can fit a work-out into your schedule. There goes that excuse about “no time to work-out”.
Results Gym has locations in Dupont Circle (1612 U St, NW), Capitol Hill (315 G St, SE) and Downtown at 1101 Connecticut Ave, NW. Capitol Hill is open 24 hours. Enrollment is free in December. You can pay monthly or prepay for one or two years. Month to month memberships are appealing to many people, as no long term contract is required. Cancellation of membership does require a 30 day written notice, so you would need to make the decision to cancel early or be prepared to pay for the next 30 days, during which time, you can still work out and make use of all of the clubs services.
Results may have the widest range of activities of any gym in DC, with everything from rock climbing to squash fields. Exercise equipment includes “cardio theatre” to escape the boredom of 20 or 30 minutes on the treadmill. Of course they have personal trainers, most clubs do these days, but they also offer massage therapy, tanning salons, nutritional advice and a training pool at the Downtown location. As a member, you can join a sports league, a riding club or a running club.
In addition to the free enrollment special, Results gyms offer discounts to law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical providers, teachers and active military. A coupon for a free trial workout, good at any Results location is available at www.resultsthegym.com.
Sport and Health
With four locations in DC and 24 locations in the DC metropolitan area, Sport and Health may be the ideal gym for commuters. You can get a free 7-day pass at its Web site http://sportandhealth3.reachlocal.net and if you sign up for at least a year by December 31st, you get a free gift package that includes one personal training session, 30 days of online meal planning, one free week of group training and a free 30 day membership for a friend. The company values the gift package at $200, which seems about right considering the one month trial for your friend.
The DC Sport and Health Clubs are located in Hilton, Brandywine and Tenley. Membership fees vary among the locations and using your membership at multiple locations will require an additional fee. Contracts are required. There are special cancellation requirements and specials are not available at all locations. For example the $200 gift pack is not available at the Arlington Y or Washington Hilton locations.
Sport and Health clubs have the usual fitness equipment and personal trainers; it is their sports programs that set them apart. For example, if boxing is your “thing”, you cannot “get in the ring” at most fitness centers. Sport and Health has a complete boxing program at a number of their locations.
Yes, the name that you know and trust is offering a “cheap” gym membership this holiday season at their three DC locations. You can get three months of complete access to everything that Gold’s has to offer for $99. Free weights have always been the focal point at Gold’s, but you will also find state of the art cardio equipment and resistance machines. If you have never been to Gold’s gym, you can get a free 1 day VIP pass at www.goldsgym.com and check out the facilities.
If you are familiar with what Gold’s has to offer, but thought the memberships were too expensive, how about six months for $199, another special they are running through the end of December. Gold’s also offers discounts to members of other organizations, including AARP.
And, just one more special, sessions with a personal trainer typically run around $100 per half hour, at just about any club, more in some. Right now, you can get three thirty minute sessions with a personal trainer for $99.
Gold’s offers month to month or yearly memberships. The specials mentioned above are only available at the three DC locations; Capitol Hill, Van Ness and Midtown.
With only one location in Cleveland Park (right near the metro station), you may wonder why I mention City Fitness. One reason is as a point of comparison. City Fitness openly lists their fees at their website (www.cityfitnessgym.com). They are comparable to YMCA membership fees and if you visit one of the other clubs, because of the specials, at least you will have an idea of how much a membership at an excellent fitness club normally costs.
Another reason to consider City Fitness is that, right now, they are offering a “share the love” special. If you sign up and get a friend to join, you get a free month, an $80 value. Your friend gets $50 off the initiation fee, which is regularly $175 and the amenities at City Fitness can not be beat. Fitness classes are included in all membership types. Members are not required to sign long-term contracts. Temporary memberships, for students or those here in DC for short-term assignments, are available. Discounts are available for senior citizens, couples, families and students.
If you are a parent, specially priced teen memberships for 13-17 year olds may appeal to you. At most clubs, except the Y, no programs are available for the under 18 crowd.
The list of classes offered and equipment available is too long to cover completely in this article, but worth mentioning are hard-to-find classes like kick-boxing and unique equipment like balance boards and rowing machines. Paid members get three free personal training sessions. Personal training will cost extra at any of the “chain” clubs. There member “perks” include free morning coffee, tea and bagels. So, if the location is convenient, and the price is right, you may want to give City Fitness a try.