Anytime Fitness vs LA Fitness: Pros, cons & comparison

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LA Fitness vs Anytime Fitness
Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0]
If you take out the Planet Fitnesses of the world, chances are that LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness are the two closest gyms to you.

They’re basically everywhere.

(OK, to be fair, I’m talking big box commercial gyms and not local studios.)

And for good reason. They’re both great and affordable places to work out!

But which one is right for you?

This is the premise behind my Gym Comparison Series.

I take two popular commercial gyms and pit them against each other on price, equipment, and amenities.

In this piece, we’ll dive deep on LA Fitness vs Anytime Fitness.

Let’s go!


What is Anytime Fitness?

What is Anytime Fitness?
Rand Tracy/Flickr

Anytime Fitness is a 24/7 convenience gym that you can find, well, almost anywhere.

As of this writing, there are over 3,000 locations in the United States alone.

If you’re looking for a pretty straight forward gym for a fair price, you’ll do well here.

The 24/7 access is awesome for night owls and early birds, the spaces are generally clean, you’ll get access to group fitness classes, and more.

You could do a lot worse.


What is LA Fitness?

LA FItness is almost as ubiquitous as Anytime Fitness, but offers just a little bit more to its members.

The locations are quite large, and often (but not always) offer a cafe, childcare, pools, personal training, group fitness classes, and a wider variety of equipment available.

LA Fitness is still budget-friendly, relative to high-end health clubs like Equinox and Lifetime Fitness, but has a ton of benefits for its members.

Full disclosure: I go to LA Fitness myself, and have frequented two different locations. Both have been great! Though the level of amenities have been slightly different at each.


Cost

LA FItness cost:

One thing I appreciate about LA Fitness is their straightforward pricing.

It’s relatively simple to understand, in comparison to a place like Gold’s, for example.

Every location is a little different and there’s always room for negotiation, but you should expect to pay:

  • About $35 per month for full access to all locations nationwide
  • About $25 per month for access to a single location
  • Something around $100 as an initiation fee, though this can vary or be waived in some circumstances.

Anytime Fitness cost:

Anytime also features really competitive and straightforward pricing.

You should expect to pay about $40 per month to join Anytime Fitness.

The sign-up fee will probably be a little cheaper than LA Fitness, around $85 or so. Though, again, I always urge you to get the latest prices from your local gym and not from me!

These are just estimates.

One thing I love here is the ability to do a 2-person membership or pay for the whole year up front to save a little money.

Overall, LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness will cost you roughly the same depending on your membership and access level, not to mention how well you negotiate!


Hours

LA Fitness hours:

LA Fitness has great hours. Most clubs are open early and close late.

It’s typical to see your local LA Fitness open up around 5am and close around 10 or 11 most nights.

Weekend hours are usually a little shorter.

Check with your local gym to find out for sure!

Anytime Fitness hours:

Anytime Fitness is open 24/7 to members, woohoo!

I would check with them before joining, though, to see whether they’re open on major holidays or if they have abbreviated hours on those days.

But yes, all day and all night access is a huge perk of membership here.


Equipment

LA Fitness equipment:

This place has everything!

In general, LA Fitness gyms tend to be really big.

You’ll find tons of cardio equipment (my LAF has 3 rows of about a dozen treadmills… Wow!) plus all the lifting equipment you could possibly need, and dumbbells that go up to 100 pounds or so.

Power racks and barbells will be plentiful here, as well.

Anytime Fitness:

Anytime Fitness is usually a wee bit smaller than LA Fitness, but the equipment selection is often quite good.

They have all the usual stuff (cardio, free weights, barbells) but also boast fun extras like battle ropes, resistance bands, kettlebells, plyometric boxes, and more.

This category is a wash. Both of these gyms are great for any kind of workout.

Though I would tour your local spot to make sure they have exactly what you need before you sign up.


Classes

U. S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Whitney Tucker

Both gyms have great class schedules included in your membership, with plenty of options to choose from during the week or on the weekends.

Whether you’re into:

  • Spin
  • Cardio
  • Boot camp
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Or something else!

You’ll probably find what you need here.

But if there’s something, in particular, you’re looking for, you can almost always see the exact class schedule of any location online before you sign up.


Pool/Spa Area

Both LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness will usually have an indoor pool, and will often have a spa and sauna area.

Now just keep in mind, these pools are usually designed only for lap swimming and aren’t great recreational pools.

But the ability to take a nice soak after your workout is AMAZING.

If that’s what you’re looking for, either of these chains will be a good fit.

Once again, though, check with your local branch.

The first LA Fitness I went to had a pool and hot tub, but the one I go to now only has the pool. These kinds of discrepancies can pop up between franchises, so keep your eye open.


Showers

Can you believe some gyms don’t have showers?

It’s true. When you get down to the SUPER budget gyms that strive mostly to keep membership pricing down and convenience high, you’ll find places that don’t offer any showers or even a locker room sometimes.

Luckily, both LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness always have locker rooms that are (usually) well-maintained, and that includes showers.

Good for the commuters out there!


Childcare

LA Fitness childcare:

You can drop your kids off here at the Kids Klub.

You can pay a few bucks per-use or roll unlimited childcare into your membership.

At the Kids Klub, certified child-care experts will keep an eye on your tots for up to 2 hours while you workout. You have to be on the premises, people!

Anytime Fitness childcare:

Ah, finally, a difference between these two chains!

As of this writing, Anytime Fitness does not offer childcare at their gym locations.


The Verdict

These two gyms are really pretty similar, and both are great for almost any style of workout.

They’ll cost about the same, overall.

Your amenities and equipment choices might be a little bit higher at LA Fitness, but the hours at Anytime Fitness take the cake.

So, if you’re still trying to decide:

You might prefer LA Fitness if:

  • You want the option to bring your kid(s) with you to the gym, either frequently or in a pinch

You might prefer Anytime Fitness if:

  • 24-hour access is a must for you
  • You want a 2-person membership as part of a couple

Other than that, these two gyms are a lot alike and I encourage you to check them out in person to make your final decision.

Hope this helped!

Don’t know what to do when you get to the gym? Check out the workout and nutrition program that helped me lose 15 pounds and finally get lean.

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