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Best Gyms for Weight Loss: 7 Gyms to Melt Fat in 2023

The best gyms for weight loss offer personalized training plans, nutritional advice, and a variety of equipment to target different muscle groups.

7 min readAugust 3rd, 2023


Trying to shed body fat can be a confusing and frustrating journey. Everywhere you look, a new health guru is touting the latest fad diet, cleanse, or booty-blasting workout, promising quick fixes with magic bullets.

If you are trying to lose fat, I have great news: fat loss is actually a straightforward process. All you need is a sustainable exercise routine, some basic nutrition guidance, and a lot of patience and self-love. Let’s dive in.

Do I Need a Gym for Fat Loss?

If you are trying to lose extra pounds, a gym membership isn’t required – but it can be very helpful.

Contrary to the 1990s diet dogma that called ten almonds a meal and encouraged hours of cardio, we know now that the best path to fat loss includes weight lifting, adequate protein and carbohydrates, and appropriate recovery.

Speaking of the 1990s, notice I say fat loss instead of weight loss.

The truth is that the most liberating thing you can do is detach emotionally from the number on the scale and focus on building muscle and healthy habits.

Muscle is significantly more compact than fat, so we look trimmer the more we have – even at the same weight.

The days of 1200-calorie diets, obsessive weighing, and punishing our bodies with boring elliptical marathons are over. What’s in? Strength, nourishment, and gains. But where do you start?

Gym Memberships: Everything You Need to Know

There are numerous benefits to a monthly gym membership, the most important being access to different equipment. If you have ever tried to buy a Peloton, you know that a gym equipment is not cheap. Gym memberships allow us to access hundreds of pieces of strength and conditioning equipment that can fast-track our fat loss.

Additional benefits include access to fitness professionals like personal trainers and nutrition coaches, as well as amenities like pools, basketball courts, saunas, and more.

Choosing a Gym for Weight Loss

So you’ve decided you are ready to join a gym – congratulations! The next crucial step is selecting the right gym for you.

Take a Tour

Most commercial gyms have staff trained to show you around and answer your questions. Take advantage of this and get a feel for the space. I recommend going at the time of day you are most likely to work out.

Evaluate Culture

Each gym has a unique culture, and you must feel comfortable there. First, know that no one is looking at you. No, really. Most gym goers are preoccupied with themselves and their workout. It can be hard when you’re new to lifting, but own your space and know that this is your gym too.

Perks, Location, Price

What is your budget? Do you need childcare during your workout? Prefer to take a dip in the pool after your sweat session? Do you want massage chairs, snack bars, or a spa treatment? Is a 20-minute drive too far? These are personal preferences to consider.


Heavy lifting is king when it comes to changing the way your body looks. Some equipment you want to see is a squat rack, a lifting platform (but a hex bar is fine, too), and dumbbells that go up to 100 pounds. Bonus equipment includes kettlebells, sleds, ropes, or a rowing machine.

Beware of One-Size-Fits-All

While the fitness industry has come a long way, there are still red flags to look for. Many gyms offer ‘nutrition’ counseling which can be an excuse to sell you overpriced, sub-par supplements.

Personal trainers at these gyms are often on the hook for pushing these products. If a personal trainer sells nutrition supplements, take those recommendations with a grain of salt.

Likewise, if you meet with a fitness professional and they do not offer you a customized fitness or nutrition strategy – run. There are endless ways to achieve fat loss, and it is the trainer's job to consider your individual needs, health concerns, and preferences.

Top Gyms for Fat Loss

Individual Reviews
Starts at $10/mo

Planet Fitness


  • Great guest pass program
  • Affordable
  • Many open 24/7

Budget-friendly: Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness (PF) is a budget-friendly gym option that provides a welcoming environment for first-time gym-goers for an unbeatable price. PF has over 2,300 locations nationwide, and at $10 per month for the basic package – it’s the most affordable gym in the US.

  • Starts at $10 per month
  • Welcoming environment
  • 2,300 locations nationwide
  • Limited strength training equipment
  • Limited personal training
  • No nutrition coaching

Starts at $9.95/mo

Crunch Fitness

Most Inclusive

  • Very inclusive
  • Variety of classes
  • 400+ locations in US

Most Inclusive: Crunch Fitness

With a motto of ‘No judgments,’ and a culture of positivity and inclusivity for its members, Crunch Fitness is a friendly place for all. Memberships start at just $15 per month and come with access to various group classes, perfect for fat loss.

  • Starts at $10 per month
  • Emphasizes inclusivity for all
  • Group fitness classes
  • Only 400 locations nationwide
  • Limited Amenities
  • No nutrition coaching
Starts at $29.95/mo

LA Fitness

Best Overall

  • Varied equipment
  • Many amenities
  • Child care services

Best Overall: LA Fitness

With over 700 affiliate locations, basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, sauna, and group fitness classes, there are endless ways to get up and move at LA Fitness. This gym is moderately priced, starting at $30 per month but offers excellent value with a large personal training staff and a fitness app.

  • Starts at $30 per month
  • Lots of cardio & strength training equipment
  • Pool, sauna, basketball and racquetball courts
  • Several different group fitness classes
  • Child care services
  • Personal training
  • No nutrition coaching
Starts at $36/mo

Anytime Fitness

Best No-Frills

  • Open 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Personal trainers
  • 2,300 locaitons in US

Best No-Frills: Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness has all the essential equipment you want and nothing that you don’t. Smaller spaces and minimal amenity offerings allow for an affordable monthly price and brand-new equipment in all locations. This gym is a good option for anyone looking to stick to the basics of weight training and keep their programming simple and streamlined.

  • Starts at $36 per month
  • Over 2,300 locations nationwide
  • Strength training, cardio, TRX, and more equipment
  • Personal training and group fitness classes
  • Few amenities
  • No nutrition coaching
Starts at $31.99/mo

24-hour Fitness

Best Hours

  • Open 24 hours
  • Personal trainers
  • Group classes

Best Hours: 24-Hour Fitness

No matter your work schedule and family responsibilities, you can make time for fitness when your gym is open 24 hours a day! This gym offers amenities such as a pool and basketball courts, as well as personal trainers and group fitness classes.

  • Starts at $32 per month
  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Basketball courts and pool
  • Personal training and group classes
  • Limited amenities
  • No nutrition coaching
  • Only 287 locations nationwide
Starts at $69/mo

Life Time Fitness

Best Amenities

  • Premium amenities
  • On-demand classes
  • Kids classes

Best Amenities: Lifetime Fitness

Lifetime Fitness is a premier athletic club with select locations boasting the best amenities in the business. Rooftop pools, cafes, child play areas, spa treatments, and more – the gym has every comfort imaginable.

  • Spa and Sauna
  • Tennis, racquetball, squash courts
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Personal training and group fitness classes
  • Classes for children
  • Average monthly cost is $199+
  • Only 156 clubs in US and Canada
Starts at $185/mo


Biggest Luxury

  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Luxurious amenities
  • Unlimited group classes

Biggest Luxury : Equinox

Known as the gym of choice for celebrities, Equinox offers luxury fitness with a matching price tag. With a starting monthly fee of $185, it is the most exclusive gym on our list, but with colossal gym spaces, loads of amenities, and premium offerings—it may just be worth the splurge and the perfect place to jumpstart your fat loss journey.

  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Numerous group fitness classes and expert personal trainers
  • Fitness app and virtual class offerings
  • Pool, sauna, and spa
  • Outdoor track
  • Starts at $185 per month
  • Only 106 clubs in the US

GymMonthly PriceAmenitiesPersonal TrainersNutrition CoachingGroup Fitness ClassesTypical Hours
Planet Fitness$10-20- Tanning- Massage chairs- Snack bar-Hydromassage bedsYesNoSmall group sessions available5 a- 11 pMon-Thurs7a-7pWeekends
Crunch Fitness$15-22-Tanning-Sauna-Hydromassage bedsYesYesYes5 a- 11 pMon-Thurs7 a-7 pWeekends
LA Fitness$30-50-Basketball-Racquetball-Pool-Sauna-Child care-CafeYesNoYes5 a-10 pMon-Thurs8 a-6 pWeekends
Anytime Fitness$36N/AYesNoYesMany locationsOpen 24/7
24 Hour Fitness$40-50 -Basketball-Pool-SaunaYesNoYesOpen 24/7
Lifetime Fitness$79-229-Rooftop pool-Tennis courts-Sauna-Spa-Cafe-Kids classes-Rock wallYesYesYes4 a - 12 aMon-Thurs5 a - 10 pWeekends
Equinox$185-500-Tanning -Pool-Sauna-Spa services-Outdoor trackYesNoYes5:30 a- 10 pMon-Thurs8 a - 6 pWeekends

Creating Your Fat Loss Program: Mindset, Strength, and Nutrition

Now that you’ve picked a gym, signed up for a membership, and are ready to train – how do you use the gym to lose fat?

Check-in with Yourself

While there are multiple vital components to a healthy and sustainable fat loss program, I can tell you that understanding your motivation for losing weight is a critical first step, one that is often overlooked.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight. But if that desire comes from self-loathing or feelings of failure, we are more likely to yo-yo diet or succumb to unhealthy fads, dangerous trends, and disordered eating.

We do not become healthier, fitter, or leaner versions of ourselves through shame or guilt.

Instead, the process starts with total acceptance of everything you are – and everything you aren’t – right now. By focusing on the process, how it makes us feel, and detaching from the number on the scale, we are far more likely to stick to these healthy habits.

You only need a strength training program, sound nutrition, and patience to see results.

Create an Exercise Plan

If fat loss is your goal, you will want to exercise 3-5 times weekly, prioritizing heavy weight lifting.

A good strength program should hit all our main muscle groups and include squatting, deadlifting, pushing, pulling, and rotation.

If possible, work with a certified personal trainer to learn the correct form and get a tailored exercise program written for you.

Don’t Overtrain

So often, people with the best intentions end up overtraining – exercising vigorously more than five times per week or enduring intense cardio sessions – and do not see results.

This is because overtraining harms our bodies and increases our stress hormones like cortisol, which makes us retain body fat.

Create Healthy Eating Habits

Including protein and prioritizing veggies in most meals is also an excellent strategy to adopt if you want to lose fat.

Lastly, don’t skimp on carbohydrates, especially after your weight training session! Carbohydrates refuel our muscles and help the repair process after weight lifting.


You can lose fat and create healthy habits with or without a gym. It’s all about finding a sustainable routine that works for you as an individual.

By understanding your motivations, focusing on getting healthier instead of the number on the scale, and incorporating strength training, you will be well on your way to fat loss and a healthier, stronger you.

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