cheap gym in DC?
March 21, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I live in DC, and I'm looking for somewhere with a cheap gym membership. I don't need time with a personal trainer, I don't need access to tons of amenities, just basic exercise equipment.

I always have worked out outside a lot of the time, running and biking. so I only occasionally need/want a space to work out inside (and to lift weights as well)

The problem is that every gym I look at seems to be really expensive. $100 joining fee + $70/month? This is the case for Washington Sports Clubs and even the YMCA (neither were cheaper).

Can anyone recommend a gym that just has the basics without frills, that would be reasonablly priced?
posted by jare2003 to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also - I live in a studio apt that is smaller than 400 sq ft, so buying equipment/machines is definetly out of the question.

I'm also looking for basic excercise machines (ellipticals, steppers, etc) - not necessarily an indoor track or sometihng like that.
posted by jare2003 at 11:36 AM on March 21, 2007

Are you, by any chance, a student? My student membership to the YMCA (not in DC, but in a very expensive area of NJ) is $24/month.
posted by amro at 11:45 AM on March 21, 2007

If you live near one, Gold's has various deals that will get the price down. See if they have deals with your employer, or your health insurance, or anything else you can think of.

Check with and see if there's anything (a) near you, and (b) with deals through them.
posted by inigo2 at 11:52 AM on March 21, 2007

Response by poster: No. Student memberships are like 50/month (no joiner fee though) anyways, to that Y.
posted by jare2003 at 11:53 AM on March 21, 2007

My gym membership, Washington Sports Club, is $56 a month, but I'll let you take it over because I smoke and am a slob. E-mail is parman at oddpost dot com
posted by parmanparman at 11:54 AM on March 21, 2007

The Rhode Island Ave Y is running a special this month; no joining fee.
posted by elle.jeezy at 12:09 PM on March 21, 2007

Fitness First is supposed to be pretty reasonable.

My health insurance (kaiser) offers discounts to local gyms, and some gyms offer discounts to local businesses.

This Washingtonian article offers a comparisons of DC gyms, but it's also 4 years old.
posted by amarynth at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2007

Bally Total Fitness at L and 20th is $44.
posted by lkm at 12:18 PM on March 21, 2007

The gym in the Hyatt on New Jersey between D and E NW is very lax in checking for membership. Just walk in like you own the place
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 12:29 PM on March 21, 2007

The Anthony Bowen YMCA at on W St. NW (about two blocks from the U St. metro stop and easily bikeable from Columbia Heights) is only $35/month with a $50 joining fee.
posted by kdar at 12:32 PM on March 21, 2007

i am a member of the golds in ballston. my friends and i all found it to be one of the nicest in the area. the other golds locations may not be as nice, but the price is right. with my employee discount, it comes out to a little more than 30 bucks a month if i pay by the year. there isnt any reason you couldnt negotiate down to that and with golds you can go to almost any of their locations in the area.
posted by kneelconqueso at 1:02 PM on March 21, 2007

I'm a member of the Gold's in Sterling. I love it and I have lots of flexibility to go to other Gold's in the area (they are all part of the same franchise group). I didn't pay a membership fee and my monthly fee is about $34. Like car salesmen, the gym salespeople have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the price so they'll probably be willing to negotiate with you about the monthly fee or membership fee.

This is the second time I've been a member of Gold's, I used to belong to one in Florida years ago. I really like it better than any other gym I've belonged to. It isn't fancy like Bally or LA fitness, but they tend to be clean and have everything you'd need w/o the attitude.

I'm pretty sure the membership is good at any Gold's gym, no matter which one you've joined. If that is the case and you can't get a good deal in DC, join one out in VA and just use the one closest to you in DC.
posted by necessitas at 1:26 PM on March 21, 2007

+1 for Fitness First. Reasonably priced, and no BS -- just a clean, nice place to work out.
posted by somanyamys at 1:53 PM on March 21, 2007

Response by poster: wow. great suggestions, all.
posted by jare2003 at 1:54 PM on March 21, 2007

I was using the Capital Hill Gold's, but I hated it. It is super cheap though, and while you get what you pay for, if you just want the equipment it might be all right for you. I have been lucky enough to have my employer put a gym in my building. You have to pay to use it, but the convenience does make one guilty for not going...
posted by indiebass at 5:12 PM on March 21, 2007

How often will you be doing this? If you have friends with memberships, it could be worth looking into trying to get in on a guest pass with your friend. At my gym, our guests work out for $10. If you think you'll be going once a week or so, that's not a bad deal and you can do it with a buddy. Also, see if any of your friends live in buildings with gyms and will lend you the access key. One more thing, some of the management companies in DC have deals with area gyms for their residents - ask your management company and some of the gyms you're interested in if they have anything like that. You could also bargain down the gym membership in most cases, particularly if you agree to pay up front for the year (if that's an option budget-wise).
posted by ml98tu at 7:52 PM on March 21, 2007

I had a Gold's membership in DC for $35 a month. Super cheap. But it was inconvienent and you get what you pay for. I now go to Results on Cap Hill which is $90 a month but man is it nice (Basketball court and a whirlpool, whoo-hoo!). But if you can't justify the cost, Gold's may be the way to go.
posted by Heminator at 8:58 PM on March 21, 2007

I've heard great things about Fitness First, it's cheap and all over the place. I have a Sport & Health membership b/c it's more convenient and it costs $58/month I think, that's $15 cheaper than the Y.
posted by echo0720 at 12:15 PM on March 22, 2007

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