Don’t Think You Can Afford Pricey Fitness Studios? Try These 3 Tips

by Jessica Sommerfield · 1 comment


To me, fitness studios have always seemed like the elite club of fitness venues, featuring small classes, professional instructors, and an exclusive feel. They’re also notoriously pricey, running around $40 per session — more than the price per month at some big-box gyms!

In spite of their expense, fitness studios hold great appeal to people who enjoy the motivation and interaction of a classroom setting, the challenge of a new discipline — such as yoga, Pilates, or spinning — and protection from any creepers who frequent the gym.

If your fitness needs are best met in a studio, here are a few ways to save money while still enjoying your sweet sweat sessions.

Leverage a Newbie Discount

Fitness studios are constantly trying to bring in more clients, and one way they do this is through introductory specials. Take advantage of these to get a feel for a particular studio you’re interested in. When the discounted sessions or time period runs out, you can decide if the price is worth investing in at the normal rates.

Once you’re committed, booking an entire package of sessions (whether they’re sold on a monthly unlimited or per-visit rate) will save you more money per session than paying week-to-week.

Spread the Word on Social Media

Many fitness studios participate in deal-of-the-day sites, like Groupon or Living Social, and make it a point to stay connected on social media to draw customer traffic. If you’re subscribed to one of these features, keep your eyes peeled for discounted packages from your favorite studio to save even more money.

Follow your local fitness studio on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed about weekly or monthly specials, or even participate in “chance to win” deals by sharing the info with your network.

Join ClassPass

ClassPass is a growing phenomenon developed a few years ago by Classtivity in New York. The membership includes not one but several fitness studios, so you can mix and match your workouts.

Since it’s launch, the studio’s Passport membership has grown to include over 4,000 studios in 35 states and 3 countries. At $79-$99 a month (based on location), ClassPass allows you to make unlimited visits to different studios within the network, including up to 3 repeat sessions at any one studio.

The process includes booking your desires sessions online up to a week in advance. You can even use a ClassPass membership to book studio sessions in another city or area in the network, a great advantage if you’re a frequent traveler.

Because of its partnership with studios, there are other fees involved — a $15 late fee if canceling a session less than 12 hours before it starts, a $20 non-refundable no-show fee, and $19 a month to place your membership on hold. You aren’t guaranteed to always get into the classes you want, either. Popular classes fill up quickly, so the sooner you book your sessions, the better your chances of getting in.

Are Fitness Studios Worth It?

Yes, fitness studio sessions will cost more than many regular gym memberships, or simply working out on your own. But like anything else in life, if it’s valuable enough to you, you’ll find a way to afford it, and following these tips might just make that a little easier.

How do you save money on fitness studios and programs?

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  • Chris says:

    I belong to a small gym(6+years) like the one described in the blog. It is the best money I’ve ever spent for fitness and exercise. I pay about 130/month for unlimited classes. There are other memberships that cost more for unlimited classes and one small group(less than 6 people) sessions with a trainer. That is actually the most popular membership, believe it or not.
    It was hard to swallow the price at first, I got hooked by a low introductory promotion and then had to sign up for a regular membership. Frankly, though I was hooked and wasn’t going to leave. So being thrifty, I looked at it this way, the more I went to class, the cheaper it was per class. I schedule my gym visits on my calendar for the month just like any other appt, so that I have plan to go. My goal is to go to class between 15($8.60/class) and 20($6.5o/class)times in a month at the minimum. The more I go the cheaper it is per class. They also have nice perks when members renew their membership each year, we receive a free tshirt sometimes, this year I received a nice thermal lunch bag with plastic food organizer in it. They also give us one free one-on-one with a trainer to use as a thank you for renewing that doesn’t expire. They will allow you to break that into two small group sessions too.
    The benefits of regular exercise with a lot of one on one attention, meeting great like minded people, and making a lot of good friends, are worth the price as far as I’m concerned. I’ve cut back on a lot of other things in my life in order to get out of debt, but this is not one of the things I’m willing to give up. Money well spent.

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