You’ve made the commitment to workout, now you just need to commit to a gym.
So, where should you go?
You’ve likely got several locations to choose from.
In fact, there are over 30,000 fitness centers in the United States alone. Even in a rural area, you may find a few options within a short drive of your home or work.
If you’ve never joined a gym, you may have no idea where to look.
Luckily, I’ve got some info that should help with your decision.
24 Hour Fitness and LA Fitness are two of the top gyms around. They both provide convenient features and pricing that should appeal to just about anyone.
Which should you choose?
Use this LA Fitness vs 24 Hour Fitness comparison to find out which one meets your needs.
LA Fitness Overview and History
LA Fitness opened in 1984 in Southern California. They now have over 690 locations in over 30 states in the US and a few locations in Canada.
LA Fitness is known for having clean, spacious locations with a lot of equipment and amenities. It has become the most popular gym in the US, based on memberships.
24 Hour Fitness Overview and History
24 Hour Fitness is the second most popular gym after LA Fitness and opened in 1983. It’s also known for its clean, spacious locations, but it’s not quite as widespread.
Currently, there are about 420 24 Hour Fitness clubs in the United States, but they only operate in 13 different states, mostly on the Westcoast. They also have locations in Texas, Florida, and New York.
Tips for Choosing the Right Gym
LA Fitness vs 24 Hour Fitness – which one should you choose? That may depend on what you’re looking for.
First, you need to ensure that they’ve got a gym near you. LA Fitness operates in over 30 states, while 24 Hour Fitness only has locations in 13 states.
If you live in the Midwest or the deep south, 24 Hour Fitness may not be an option.
For those with both types of gyms in their area, you’ll need to compare what each option offers. Some of the features that I consider when comparing gyms include:
How do these two options stack up against each other? Here is the comparison.
When Are They Open?
The first detail to consider is the hours of operation.
Some gyms remain open 24 hours while others close at night.
As the name suggests, 24 Hour Fitness is open 24 hours.
LA Fitness locations aren’t open all day and night.
While the hours vary, most locations open at 5 am and close at 11 pm during the weekdays. On the weekends, they’re often open from 8 am to 8 pm.
Keep in mind that some locations may close during the holidays.
If you’re worried about working out on Easter Sunday, check with your local club before signing up. This applies to both LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.
Winner: 24 Hour Fitness
What Are the Membership Fees?
The average cost of a gym membership in the United States is close to $58 per month. At most of the budget or mid-tier locations, you’ll pay less.
The cost isn’t the same at every location. You’ll spend more for a 24 Hour Fitness membership in New York City compared to St. Louis.
Unless you live in a major city, a membership to 24 Hour Fitness may cost:
- Single club membership – $29.99 per month
- Multi-club membership – $35 to $50 per month
- $0 annual fee
- $39 signup fee
How does LA Fitness compare? Depending on the location, you may pay:
- Single club membership – $24.99 per month
- Multi-club membership – $29.99 per month
- $49 annual fee
- $99 signup fee
This is a close one. At 24 Hour Fitness, you pay about $359 per year for a monthly single-club membership.
At LA Fitness, the single club membership costs you about $348 per year, including the annual fee. However, you also need to pay a $99 signup fee at LA Fitness while 24 Hour Fitness only charges $39.
If prices stay the same, you’d start to save more with LA Fitness after about six years.
As for the initial costs, 24 Hour Fitness is less expensive, thanks to no annual fee.
Winner: 24 Hour Fitness
What Type of Equipment Do They Have?
If a gym doesn’t have the equipment that you want to use, what’s the point of joining? Before you sign a contract, find out what type of equipment they have.
As LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness are chains, the variety of cardio machines and weights tends to vary from location to location.
Luckily, both options are often well-stocked with just about every piece of gym equipment that you’d expect.
You can work out on all types of cardio machines, from treadmills to stationary bikes or elliptical machines. They also offer weights, but some people claim that the selection remains limited.
LA Fitness also offers a wide selection of machines. The main difference – LA Fitness locations often have a full range of free weights.
If you need to pump iron, you’re more likely to find what you need at LA Fitness.
Winner: LA Fitness
What Fitness Classes Do They Offer?
Besides equipment, many gyms offer fitness classes to help you get in shape.
Classes are convenient options for those who struggle to stick to a workout routine. Taking a class with others can provide extra motivation to follow through with your fitness goals.
So, what classes do they offer at LA Fitness?
You’ll find almost any type of class that you can imagine.
Have you always wanted to learn kickboxing? Are you interested in belly dancing or yoga? LA Fitness has you covered.
24 Hour Fitness also tries to provide a wide range of classes and fitness programs.
You can sign up for various cycle classes or small group training programs. They even have personal training available with Spartan Certified Coaches and US Olympic Certified Trainers.
This is another close call.
If you’re looking for a specific type of class, your best bet is to check with your local clubs, as the available classes are different at each spot.
Do They Offer Any Amenities?
After a long workout, you may enjoy a lap around the pool or a hot sauna.
Unfortunately, some of these options aren’t available everywhere.
You always need to check with your local club to find out what’s inside.
However, most 24 Hour Fitness locations include a lap pool, whirlpool, and sauna. You’ll also typically find a basketball court.
At some of the nicer clubs, you’ll get access to a dedicated Turf Zone. You can work on your interval circuits on indoor artificial turf.
LA Fitness also offers pools, spas, and saunas. However, instead of a small lap pool, you’ll often have access to a full-size pool.
This gives LA Fitness a slight edge.
Both locations also provide showers and onsite childcare. Of course, you can’t just drop off your kids and leave. You need to pay an extra fee, and it’s only available while you’re working out at the gym.
The amenities are comparable, but this also depends on what’s available at your local clubs.
LA Fitness vs 24 Hour Fitness – Which One Is Better?
LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness are popular gyms with a lot of similar features.
Both gyms offer reasonably priced membership options, a variety of fitness classes, and a good selection of amenities.
If you want to swim around in a full-size pool or need access to a wide range of free weights, LA Fitness may have what you need. However, you want to work out at night, 24 Hour Fitness is your best option.
As mentioned, these features aren’t always the same at every club.
So, to find the right choice, you may need to research the available features at your local gyms.