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Getting fit: The gym versus the fitness studio

Women working out on spinning bikes at the gym

With new fitness trends emerging seemingly on a weekly basis, many gym schedules are filled to the brim with a range of classes and equipment, and specialty fitness studios are popping up around the country.  Options are great, but it can be overwhelming when it comes to deciding where to exercise your wallet, especially if you live in a city with a range of places to choose from. Debating between the gym and a studio?  Read on to determine the best fit for getting you fit.


With big national chain facilities to smaller neighborhood spaces being lumped into this category, what to expect can vary, but in general, there’s usually a wide variety of equipment available, and many gyms include group fitness classes as part of the membership cost.  You can generally find some good deals on gym memberships, especially at some of the no-frills franchises that are increasing in popularity.

Keep in mind that gyms tend to get crowded during peak hours (before 9 am and after 5:30 pm), and you’ll have to rely on yourself for motivation to show up.  If you’re strapped for cash, you like the classes being offered or you can push yourself through a solo sweat session, the gym can offer a lot of bang for your buck.


From group cycling to barre-style workouts, specialty studios continue to make a huge mark on the fitness scene.  These places typically find a formula that works and do it well; sometimes class sizes are intentionally kept small so that instructors can offer a lot of personal attention, and there are usually nice amenities in the studio and locker room that make going to work out feel like an upscale experience.

Perhaps the biggest potential drawback to going the studio route could also be your best source of motivation: you typically sign up for (sometimes pricey) classes in advance, and may be charged if you don’t show up.  Other than their specialty, there may not be other types of classes or equipment available, but if you really enjoy the workouts offered or have the ability to take different classes from other studios to mix it up, this might be a good option for you.

In either case, make sure stop by the facility at the time of day when you’ll be working out in order to get a sense of how crowded it will be during that time.  And remember that the best workout is the one that you’ll actually do, so talk to other members and employees, and ask about a trial offer to make sure you’re comfortable before you make too much of an investment in a gym or studio.






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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing