Do Gyms Have Scales? (Types, Pros & Cons Explained)

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Plenty of people – many even most of them — who join gyms, do so because they’re hoping to lose weight.

To that end, regularly weigh-ins are a crucial part of tracking your progress.

Just remember, there is more to your health than a number on a scale.

You shouldn’t obsess about your weight to the point where you’re checking it several times a day. It can lead to serious mental health problems, so it’s best to use a scale sparingly. 

That being said, you may not own (or want to own) your own scale:

So do gyms have scales? What types of scales do gyms have and which clubs usually offer them?

Almost all gyms have scales available for members. You’ll usually find a selection of either digital or analog scales in the locker room area.

Just remember to take the number with a grain of salt, as your weight can fluctuate greatly before, after, and during your workouts.

Let’s take a closer look.


Do gyms have scales?

You should be able to find a gym near you that has a scale whether it’s a big box gym or an independently-owned studio.

Almost all gyms offer scales for members in the locker room area.

You may have to go into the shower area to find one, but it’s typically an integral component of a gym. 

A scale shouldn’t be your make-or-break reason for joining a gym, but all of the most popular gyms have scales, including:

  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Crunch Fitness
  • Equinox
  • Life Time Fitness
  • LA Fitness
  • YMCA
  • And More

The only brand-name gym you probably won’t find a scale at is Planet Fitness. The entire ethos of that organization is that you shouldn’t obsess over your looks.

(It is, after all, a “Judgment Free Zone”.)

If you join up at a fitness studio, your experience may vary.

Orangetheory usually has scales on-site. However, you won’t usually find one at a yoga, spin, or barre studio.


Types of sales at the gym (Digital vs analog)

You can’t control what type of scale a gym has, but you’ll typically find either digital or analog scales at the gym.

They each operate differently, so you should understand how they work before you weigh yourself.

It’s also good to know the differences between digital and analog scales if you’re shopping for one to keep at home.

Digital

Digital scales use sensors to determine your weight and produce a readable number.

If you own your own digital scale, it may use Bluetooth to connect to a mobile app on your phone for longterm weight tracking.

Digital scales at the gym are easy to use and are preferable, if you can find them.

The only downside is that they may be out of order if the batteries have died and the staff hasn’t changed them out.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easier to read
  • Higher weight capacity

Cons

  • Batteries require regular replacement

Analog

Analog scales use springs to determine how much you weigh, while you slide an indicator along the scale to try to balance it and pinpoint your weight.

They don’t show an easily readable number, and you have to try to figure out where the line is pointing to in order to get your weight.

They also tend to be less precise.

However, they’ll never be out of order — so that’s something!

Pros

  • No power consumption
  • No modifications needed

Cons

  • No additional advanced features

What to know about weighing yourself at the gym

It seems easy enough to weigh yourself on a scale. You just step on it and let the machine do the work, right?

As it turns out, many people can get it wrong. Here are some tips to ensure you have the most accurate reading every time.

Place the scale evenly

You need to ensure the scale is on a hard, even surface. You don’t want any carpet, although that really shouldn’t be an issue at the gym.

Most importantly, you don’t want to step on a scale while it’s wobbly. It won’t provide you with an accurate reading otherwise.

Wear as little clothing as possible

Ideally, you would weigh yourself naked.

That might not be feasible at a public gym, but aim to get as close to naked as possible for the most accurate reading!

(This is why most gyms place the scale next to the shower.)

Clothing adds extra weight, so it can throw off the reading.

Whatever you do wear on the scale (underwear, short, etc.) try to keep it as consistent from weigh-in to weigh-in as possible.

Weigh yourself at the same time every day

Your weight goes up and down throughout the day. If you weigh yourself once and then again an hour later, it may be slightly different, even if you haven’t eaten anything.

To know whether your weight is heading downward or upward, you should weigh yourself at the same time every day.

That means if you weigh yourself at the gym, try to go at the same time every day as consistently as possible.

Ideally, you’d weigh yourself first thing in the morning before eating to get a true reading.

Track your mental health

As I mentioned earlier, weighing yourself all the time may trigger feelings of anxiety.

You should be aware if weighing yourself regularly is taking a toll on your mental health

Your mental well-being should be of the utmost importance. Physical health is important, but don’t pursue it at the expense of your well-being.


Wrapping Up

Scales are fairly easy to find at gyms.

If you don’t want to leave it up to chance, though, you should consider buying your own scale to keep at home.

Some scales go for as cheaply as $20. It’s not a bad investment, especially since you don’t have to worry about stepping barefoot on an unsanitary surface.

And while lots of people claim you can weigh yourself without a scale, there’s really no good way.

Join any big box gym other than Planet Fitness, or buy your own scale, and you’ll be all set!

For more, check out:

Hope this helped!

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