Are you looking to join a gym but don’t want to spend a fortune each month?
Some gym memberships may cost more than your rent or mortgage.
Luckily, there are plenty of budget choices throughout the country.
Planet Fitness is one of the most well-known low-cost gym franchises but several other options are giving it a run for its money, including Blink Fitness.
Both options are affordable but which should you choose?
Here is our detailed Blink vs Planet Fitness comparison:
Blink isn’t as old or recognizable compared Planet Fitness. It’s a newer option owned by Equinox, which is one of those high-end gyms that charge hundreds. It also owns SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, and The Yorkville Club.
With Blink Fitness, the company focuses on value.
They offer low-cost memberships. The gyms are often basic facilities with large open spaces and lots of equipment but they don’t have many amenities.
Planet Fitness Overview
Planet Fitness is the second-most popular gym in the U.S. after LA Fitness. Over 10 million people have Planet Fitness memberships.
Thanks to the popularity of the fitness club, you can now find over 1800 Planet Fitness gyms throughout North America.
Joining a gym often requires a commitment. Even if you sign up for a month-to-month plan, you still need to pay an annual fee.
So before shelling out your hard-earned money, you should compare the following:
- Available hours
- Membership fees
- Gym equipment
- Fitness classes
You also need to compare the locations.
Depending on where you live, you may not have an option.
For everyone else, here is a closer look at each of the main features:
Available Hours of Operation
If you work odd hours, you may need a gym that stays open later or opens earlier. Even better, join a 24-hour gym.
Most Planet Fitness locations are open 24 hours per day. If you’re having trouble sleeping, head down to the gym and pump some iron.
The hours aren’t the same everywhere. 24 hours is the standard for Planet Fitness but some franchises shut down at night.
Search for your local Planet Fitness clubs to review the hours.
Blink fitness clubs often open at 5 or 6 am and close at 10 or 11 pm.
As with Planet Fitness, some locations may set their own hours so check your local Blink gym to find out their hours of operation.
Winner: Planet Fitness
Membership Fees and Hidden Costs
As mentioned, these are affordable gyms but Planet Fitness has a cheaper plan.
- Basic plan – $10.00 per month
- Black Card – $22.99 per month
The Black Card gives you access to any Planet Fitness location and allows you to bring one guest for free.
Blink also offers two membership plans. If you just want to use one Blink location, the cost is $15.00 per month.
You can access all the Blink locations for $26.00 per month. As with the more expensive Planet Fitness plan, this option allows you to bring a guest.
$26.00 is the standard price for the more expensive plan but during special promotions, you may sign up for just $21.00 per month.
If you’re lucky enough to get the lower price, it’s slightly more affordable compared to the PF Black Card.
Both options from Blink cost a little more compared to the same choices from Planet Fitness but the signup fee can make a difference.
You only need to pay $1.00 to sign up at Blink. At Planet Fitness, the signup cost varies between $1.00 and $49.00.
Even if you pay $49.00 at Planet Fitness, you save $60.00 with their basic plan compared to the $15.00-per-month Blink membership.
So Planet Fitness is still the better deal.
Winner: Planet Fitness
Selection of Gym Equipment
At Blink and Planet Fitness, you’ll find the same cardio machines and weight benches that you see in any gym. They don’t have anything special, just the basic items that you’d expect to find.
Blink fitness clubs often have a large selection of strength-training equipment. You should find squat racks, barbells, and free weights.
According to the average selection available at both gyms, Planet Fitness may appeal to cardio enthusiasts while Blink may appeal to those wanting to bulk up.
Overall, this is a close match. You really need to check your local gyms for yourself as different franchises often fill their gyms with different equipment.
If the gym doesn’t have the equipment that you want, there is no point in joining. Before you make your choice, visit the gym in person.
Walk around and see what type of equipment they have.
Fitness Classes and Programs
Blink doesn’t offer classes with any of its memberships but some locations have personal trainers who offer paid fitness classes.
Planet Fitness only offers one class, PE@PF.
PE@PF is an instructor-led fitness class for people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s a general workout that includes cardio and strength training with groups of four or five people.
So neither option offers yoga, spin classes, or personal training but Planet Fitness at least offers a basic fitness program.
Winner: Planet Fitness
Blink vs Planet Fitness: Amenities
At some gyms, amenities may include pools, saunas, childcare, and other convenient features.
You won’t find those options at Blink or Planet Fitness.
Both options have locker rooms and showers. That’s about it.
Some Planet Fitness locations also have a hydromassage chair but it’s only available if you choose the Black Card membership.
Don’t write these gyms off yet. The lack of amenities is how they’re able to offer some of the cheapest gym memberships.
Comparing Blink vs Planet Fitness is difficult. Both choices give you access to a decent variety of gym equipment.
Blink tends to have more strength-training equipment while Planet Fitness generally has more cardio machines.
While Planet Fitness and Blink are comparable, Planet Fitness stands out for its $10.00 per month plan. It costs $5.00 less compared to Blink, saving you $60.00 per year.
Even if you spend $49.00 to sign up, you still end up spending less at Planet Fitness.
You can also join a fitness class, work out at any time of the day or night, and access a hydromassage chair.
In the end, Planet Fitness wins this comparison.
The only advantage of Blink may be the strength-training equipment. However, before you choose one of these options, remember to visit your local gym.
You need to ensure that they have the type of equipment that you want to use for your workout sessions.
In fact, I recommend that you sign up for a trial run. Most gyms, including Blink and Planet Fitness, offer one-week trials.
Test it out for a week before you commit for a full year.