The Best Cheap Gyms in Canada For Beginners in February 2024

Posted on February 18, 2024 by Dan Kent
Cheap Gyms in Canada

Wellness is the ability to feel happy and healthy. For many people, this means going to the gym. The following article contains information about low-cost gyms in Canada for people looking to get in shape.

The importance of a low-cost gym for beginners

When all beginners start their fitness journey, they wonder the same thing. Where do you sign up for a gym membership? The most significant factor that plays into your decision is the membership cost. With enrollment fees, annual or monthly fees, and potential additional fees to consider, the cost associated with joining a gym may turn away beginners. Even though all of the added fees may only be a couple bucks a month each, they can still add up.

This is why starting with a low-cost gym is so important. There's an erroneous belief that the only way to get fit in the gym is to shell out thousands per year on an expensive membership. 

In truth, however, so long as a person is in a place that has the equipment, they can progress toward getting in shape.

With low membership fees and all of the equipment offered by high-cost gyms, minus the premium amenities, cheaper gyms can allow a beginner to feel comfortable during their first-year contract before levelling up to something more expensive if they wish. 

What to look for in a gym membership

Signing up at a cheaper gym naturally means there will not be premium amenities such as massage chairs, unlimited access, or even a personal trainer. However, keep an eye out for some of the following necessities in any gym:

  • Strength training equipment in the form of free weights and machines
  • Cardio equipment such as treadmills or a stair master
  • Memberships that charge a low one-time initiation fee or no fee at all
  • Cheap gyms that offer some premium amenities such as a swimming pool, guest passes, or other perks

So what are the five best cheap gym memberships in Canada today?

  • Planet Fitness
  • LA Fitness
  • Goodlife Fitness
  • YMCA
  • World Gym

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is the cheap staple gym suited for beginners. While it may not have specific amenities such as massage beds, the large number of machines and free weights make this gym stand out. With gym memberships starting as low as $10 a month, depending on current promotions, Planet Fitness aims to be affordable for everyone and can be one of the best gym memberships for budgeters.

The PF Black Card Membership is a more exclusive option for those seeking additional benefits such as using any Planet Fitness location, bringing guests, or even gaining access to a Hydromassage. However, this premium offering is only priced at $25 per month, which is still quite affordable. 

LA Fitness

LA Fitness

Despite what the name implies, LA Fitness is not just a Los Angeles, California gym. Although this gym is situation all over Canada, over 90% of its locations are located in Ontario. This gym is slightly pricier than Planet Fitness but comes with more perks. There are two membership packages to consider. 

First, a person can pay a $99 initiation fee, followed by a monthly fee of $45.99.

Alternatively, a person can pay no initiation fee for a slightly elevated membership fee of $55.99 monthly.

Regardless of which option a person chooses, they can access amenities, including free weights, machines, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a sauna, and even a juice bar. These amenities may vary depending on location.

Goodlife Fitness

Goodlife Fitness

Out of all the cheap gyms on this list, Goodlife Fitness is one of the more expensive, though still reasonable, options to consider. There are three packages to choose from— Essential, Ultimate, and Performance. The Essential package starts at $33.99, is paid every other week (including a $49.99 one-time fee), and gives access to the basics, including the workout floor, swimming pool, and sauna.

For those who can afford slightly more, the Ultimate package is priced at $39.99 every other week and gives access to all 200+ Goodlife Fitness gyms in addition to the following:

  • Squash
  • Meditation rooms
  • Towel service
  • Hydromassage
  • Group fitness classes
  • Free membership holds
  • No one-time fee

Finally, the most premium package Goodlife Fitness offers is its Performance package, priced at $54.99 every other week. This includes all of the benefits of the Ultimate package in addition to more workout class options. 

YMCA

YMCA Logo

The YMCA is undoubtedly one of the more recognizable names on this list, having been around since the mid-1800s. A YMCA membership gives people access to amenities, including top-of-the-line equipment, workout classes, sports courts, indoor and outdoor lounge spaces, and more. The pricing can vary depending on the YMCA you are looking at, but the bi-weekly cost usually starts at $27.99 for young adults aged 19-35. 

For access to the most amenities, a Membership Plus Adult plan can be purchased for a bi-weekly cost of $51.74. This is the best option for a family regarding cheap gyms. However, their Family package for two adults and two dependents is $75.49 bi-weekly, which is far more affordable than other gyms' group package rates 

World Gym

World Gym Logo

Finally, World Gym is another excellent cheap option for those starting to work out. Their basic membership starts at $4.99 weekly (with a $49 enrollment), which gives a person access to their home gym, the free weight area, a sauna, and showers. Their slightly more expensive VIP package starts at $8.99 per week (with a $5 enrollment). It allows 24-hour access to the fitness centre, basketball court access, unlimited guest passes, unlimited personal training, and more. 

The last of the affordable gym memberships offered by World Gym is the VIP No Commitment package that starts at $14.99 (with a $95 enrollment) which provides everything the VIP package does, in addition, to access to women's only gyms, unlimited hydro massages, and discounts on smoothies throughout the week. 

Find the gym that is right for you today

Choosing the right gym will be difficult, especially if you come from a home gym. A myriad of factors need to be balanced, such as annual fees, additional membership costs, and the all-around amenities that different gyms offer. 

Remember that at the end of the day, any gym, no matter how simple it may be, will be more effective than not working out at all.

Disclaimer: The writer of this article or employees of Stocktrades Ltd may have positions in securities listed in this article. Stocktrades Ltd may also be compensated via affiliate links in this post. Stocktrades Ltd will run advertisements on our posts. These advertisements do not represent an endorsement by us.

Dan Kent

About the author

An active dividend and growth investor, Dan has been involved with the website since its inception. He is primarily a researcher and writer here at Stocktrades.ca, and his pieces have numerous mentions on the Globe and Mail, Forbes, Winnipeg Free Press, and other high authority financial websites. He has become an authority figure in the Canadian finance niche, primarily due to his attention to detail and overall dedication to achieving the highest returns on his investments. Investing on his own since he was 19 years old, Dan has compiled the experience and knowledge needed to be successful in the world of self-directed investing, and is always happy to bring that knowledge to Stocktrades.ca readers and any other publications that give him the opportunity to write. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course, manages his TFSA, RRSPs and a LIRA at Qtrade, and has compiled a real estate portfolio of his primary residence and 2 rental properties, all before his 30th birthday.