Find the best value gym, for the best value price.

Whether you want to try the treadmill for the first time, or you practically sleep with a dumbbell, everyone has unique health and fitness goals that gym memberships act as an investment to achieve.

With approximately 3100 gyms across the United Kingdom according to recent statistics and an industry value of 1.62 billion British pounds, choosing a gym membership may feel like choosing who to marry.

You could end up with the wrong gym membership and lose money if you only focus on finding the cheapest gym offers and not if it’s the best value for money.

We’ll help you cut through the noise by breaking down the UK’s most popular gym memberships. Not only are we comparing which gym offers the cheapest memberships, but we also answer:

  • Do they offer 24-hour access?
  • Do they offer day passes?
  • Do they offer fitness classes?
  • Can you bring a friend?
  • How many locations are there?
  • We will also answer your frequently asked questions about gym memberships including:

How Much Is A Gym Membership?

  • How To Cancel A Gym Membership?
  • How To Get A Free Gym Membership?

Not only that, we will take a look at what other young gym-goers have to say about the UK’s most popular gyms to gather personal insights into those who are or have previously invested in a gym membership. All with the aim of helping you find the best gym for you.

We have chosen to look at the most popular UK gyms with a focus on their membership services, there are other gyms that offer more pay-as-you-go type memberships which are cheaper but today, we will be covering and comparing:

  • PureGym
  • The Gym
  • Xercise4Less/ JD Gym
  • Nuffield Health

After reading this, you may find that paying a couple of extra pounds more could provide you with a gym membership that’s perfect for your fitness goals and great value for money!

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Describing themselves as the ‘no-frills’ gym of the UK, PureGym membership services is proud to offer affordable fitness centres nationwide. A popular choice not only for young adults but for people of all ages and with no contracts plus you can cancel anytime, we can see why.

They host a selection of weekly classes including cycling, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), Strength and Cardio sessions with expert personal trainers you can hire separately too. All PureGym locations come with a wide range of equipment including a fully stocked weights area, spin bikes, cardio machines and studios however they do not offer other more premium amenities such as a swimming pool or spa facilities.

Why we like it

The best gym for easy access with the ability to add extra personal features to your gym membership plan to suit your fitness needs.

“I managed to get the free joining fee offer and was only £19.99 for my first month, but from next month my plus membership will be £25.99 a month but is soo worth it and there’s no contract so can leave at any time which is good but I’ve finally found a gym I want to stay at and I had my 2nd visit to the gym tonight and also a get started session”


The Gym

Another great option for a no-fuss gym membership with no contract is The Gym. Boasting similar perks to PureGym except with slightly fewer locations, The Gym’s standard ‘Do It’ membership provides fitness classes with expert personal trainers and 24/7 unlimited access.

Their gym classes include cycling, weight training, body conditioning, circuits, HIIT and boxing (something PureGym does not offer) so if you are interested in this particular type of workout, give TheGym a try).

They don’t offer ‘bolt-ons’ to their gym memberships the way PureGym does, making it slightly less tailored and meaning if you would like more from your membership you need to upgrade your entire plan to their ‘Live It’ package. For approximately £5 more per month this gym package offers you to bring a friend 4 times a month, multiple gym access and personal fitness/ body tracking. To compare, the PureGym bolt ons can offer the same perks for just £3 extra per month.

Why we like it

For the same amenities as PureGym, The Gym is cheaper for standard membership and day passes, except less options to tailor your membership and fewer locations.

“Surprisingly spacious and well-equipped. The PTs are approachable and have flexible schedules. The overall value of the gym is excellent – there are other gyms nearby where the membership is over double the price but you don’t get anything extra for that money. Would definitely recommend.”


Xercise4Less / JD Gyms

For those solely focused on finding the cheapest gym memberships, take a look at Xercise4Less and JD Gyms no contract gym memberships.

JD Gyms only offer 70 gym locations, less than half of The Gym, and only 11 Xercise4Less gyms currently open, you will have to live close to one to even consider a membership.

However, if you are lucky enough to easily reach one of their gyms, there are a lot of great amenities this gym offers. They host over 300 free gym classes including ‘Les Mills’ workouts, an exclusive fitness brand popular with celebrities like Nina Dobrev and famous for their workouts.

You also have easy access to a fully kitted weights section, open studios, cardio machines and even a unique ‘Ladies Only area’ in the select Xercise4Less locations, a fantastic amenity for women who want to feel safer whilst working out. As well as free parking and personal trainers, the only clear negatives are the lack of locations and that both are not open 24 hours a day.

Why we like it

You also have easy access to a fully kitted weights section, open studios, cardio machines and even a unique ‘Ladies Only area’ in the select Xercise4Less locations, a fantastic amenity for women who want to feel safer whilst working out. As well as free parking and personal trainers, the only clear negatives are the lack of locations and that both are not open 24 hours a day.

If you are working 9 to 5 and have to drive out of your way to reach a gym, you may be paying more for petrol than for the actual membership.

The cheapest gym membership but extremely limited locations.

“Great value for money gym, much improved since the takeover from X4L. However you like to train – free weights, cardio, classes, there’s plenty of equipment/options for your taste.”


Nutfield Health

Although not the cheapest gym, it is definitely worth looking at Nuffield Health as it is amongst The Gym and PureGym as one of the most popular gyms in the UK that also target a younger demographic.

Their gym membership prices make sense for what Nuffield gyms offer: access to multiple gyms (competitors make you pay extra for this), personal training services included, diverse classes and discounts on physiotherapy, health assessments and even beauty services!

They are also one of the few that offer wellness facilities including a pool with swimming lanes you can book beforehand and squash courts, all of this is still included in a flexible that can be paid for monthly or as a 12-month membership. Nuffield health is more than a gym membership, you are paying to be part of a health and wellbeing community that surrounds you with the support you need to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Sometimes it’s not always about finding the cheapest gym membership, but the best value for money and with 12 month contracts from £50 per month, what you get included in your might actually be worth that initially expensive price.

Why we like it

The best for a full health and fitness experience with premium amenities included and multiple locations at the best price for this bracket. Do keep in mind they have severe customer reviews.

“I am not well off but I know that we get great value at this gym. And it is worth every penny!!! If you pay for swimming lessons and classes outside of the gym you would be paying so much more per class.

It is somewhere you can go to, to exercise, relax, socialise, be with people get away from people lol, All for less than a cup of coffee a day.”


Time For A Cool Down

When it comes to deciding what gym membership is right for you, not to mention which is cheapest, it’s important to compare prices but also what each gym offers.

When starting your fitness journey with a new gym membership, ask yourself:

  • Does this gym offer zero contract memberships in case I want to cancel?
  • Is there an easily accessible location near me?
  • Are they open at suitable times or preferable 24/7?
  • Is it worth paying this price for the amenities I receive?
  • What discounts can I get?
  • Which Gym membership is best tailored to my fitness goals?

Frequently Asked Questions

The average price of a gym membership in the UK is £40 but this can vary greatly depending on location, what each gym offers and what discounts are available.

Take the time to think about what you want from a gym membership: maybe classes don’t matter that much to you, so don’t choose a gym that charges you more for a range of classes you won’t use. Also, check to see what employee benefits you have as you may be able to get great discounts on gym memberships through health and fitness schemes this way.

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