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    The core of a home gym for many people is a good all-in-one strength machine, which is why these also tend to be called "home gyms" themselves - they offer a wide range of exercises covering most major muscle groups. They equally offer an excellent starting point or long term way of maintaining ones fitness, and owning one makes an excellent alternative to a monthly gym membership. Not sure where to invest between the two? You're not alone. That's why we've provided a handy and honest comparison guide below. Browse our selection or read on...  

    Monthly Gym Membership vs Financing a Home Gym: Which One is Right for You?

    What is a Gym Membership?

    A gym membership is a service that a client pays for in either monthly or bi-weekly payments that allow the client to access the facility. Gym memberships are sold at different price points depending on the gym you visit and what they offer. Further, many gyms offer different levels or tiers of memberships that come with additional perks, and in turn, vary in cost.

    Some services you may get to enjoy with a gym membership include:

    • Access to a variety of fitness equipment.
    • The ability to visit one or multiple locations to the gym you have a membership for
    • Fitness classes such as spin classes or weight training programs.
    • Workout sessions with a personal trainer.
    • 24/7 hours at select locations.
    • Access to pools, saunas, and showers.

    Examples of Gym Membership Costs

    Below are some popular Canadian gyms that offer memberships of varying cost:

    Goodlife Fitness

    Goodlife fitness is a Canadian fitness company that opened its first gym in 1979 in London, Ontario. Since then, they have opened over 200 gyms Canada-wide. Goodlife Fitness offers three different types of memberships to choose from:

    Essential Membership$29.99 bi-weekly:

    • Access to commercial gym equipment
    • Access to one location
    • Access to swimming pools at your one gym
    • Basic access to digital services such as virtual classes, and fitness plans.

    Premium Membership $31.99 bi-weekly:

    • All the same features as an essential membership
    • Access to all 200+ Goodlife gyms

    Ultimate Membership $36.99 bi-weekly:

    • All the same features as a premium membership
    • Increased on-demand access to digital services
    • Access to tanning rooms
    • Access to saunas
    • Group fitness classes and programs
    • Access to squash courts
    • Family add-ons

    All Goodlife memberships require a $49.99 joining fee

    Fit 4 Less

    Fit4Less is a division of Goodlife fitness but also offers over 90 locations across Canada and has two different membership options to choose from:

    4Less Card $6.99 bi-weekly (plus $44 annual cleaning fee):

    • Access to commercial gym equipment
    • Access to one Fit4Less location

    Black Card $11.99 bi-weekly (plus $44 annual cleaning fee):

    • Access to commercial gym equipment
    • Access to all Fit4Less locations
    • Family and friends can use your membership when you’re not
    • Unlimited massage chair use
    • Free tanning access
    • Free gym bag

    Movati Athletic

    Movati Athletic is another popular commercial gym facility users frequent in Canada and they have 18 locations across the country. 

    Movati membership plans include:

    Basic Membership $33.95 bi-weekly:

    (12-month commitment required - Non-commitment membership for $43.95 is available)

    • Access to commercial gym equipment
    • Access to all fitness classes and programs
    • Workouts with a personal trainer
    • Access to Movati amenities such as pools, lounges, and spas
    • Access to local locations

    Premium Membership $43.95 bi-weekly:

    • Same features as premium membership
    • 12-month commitment required
    • Access to out-of-city locations
    • Access to towel service

    All Movati Athletic memberships require a commitment fee which varies depending on your membership and promotions during the time of purchase.

    Planet Fitness

    Planet Fitness is a fitness company with multiple locations worldwide including locations in Canada. They offer two different types of memberships (cost varies depending on location)

    Classic Membership, average cost of$15 per monthin Ontario:

    • Access to commercial gym equipment
    • Access to one location
    • Access to fitness training programs
    • Free Wi-Fi

    Black Card Membership, average cost of $25 per month in Ontario:

    • Same features as classic membership
    • Access to any location worldwide
    • Bring a guest anytime
    • Access to tanning services
    • Access to massage chairs
    • 50% off drinks
    • 20% off Reebok equipment

    Important Factors To Consider Before Purchasing a Monthly Gym Membership

    Before you decide to sign up for a gym membership, you should ask yourself the following:

    • Can you access the facility within your schedule?
    • Are 12-month commitments right for you?
    • Does the gym offer a location that is convenient for you?
    • What are your fitness goals? Do you require the use of multiple products?
    • Are all the features of your membership enough for your needs? 
    • Do you feel comfortable working out in a public setting?
    • Does your gym offer programs with increased privacy and lack of judgment?
    • Is the gym designed for the type of workouts you are seeking?

    Many commercial gyms offer day-passes and tours of their facilities. Take advantage of these offers before you decide to purchase a gym membership so you can find the gym that is right for you.

    Pros and Cons of Gym Memberships

    Owning a monthly or bi-weekly gym membership can come with a variety of benefits but also may come with drawbacks depending on what you are ultimately looking for. 

    Benefits of a Gym Membership

    Some benefits of subscribing to a gym membership include:

    • The opportunity to leave the house or the space to workout with peers and friends
    • Access to working out with personal trainers with expert guidance to reach your fitness goals
    • You don’t have to clean or perform preventative maintenance on the equipment
    • There is always a large amount of fitness equipment available for use 
    • A monthly membership may cost less short-term rather than owning some fitness equipment
    • A variety of different programs, classes, and features are available at many commercial gyms compared to working out at home.
    • Paying a monthly fee may increase your motivation to use the service.

    Cons of a Gym Membership

    With every service or product, there are always some cons associated. Here are some factors that may be considered drawbacks for some users:

    • A 12-month commitment may not be right for you if you decide to cancel your gym membership.
    • Some users feel more comfortable working out at home with no judgment or embarrassment.
    • While some gyms may offer 24-hour service, many do not. Depending on your schedule, this can make it difficult to find time to go to the gym.
    • You may have to wait for someone else to finish using the equipment you want to use.
    • Leaving your belongings in a public locker without a lock could result in your stuff being stolen.
    • Some may not feel comfortable in a public locker room setting.
    • Public gyms are dirty places and if the equipment isn’t cleaned properly, you could be exposed to germs and dirt.  
    • For some, it may be hard to concentrate on working out with people around, or loud music playing.

    What is Fitness Equipment Financing?

    Purchasing fitness equipment can be a hefty investment, especially if you are looking to buy a heavy-duty machine such as a high-quality treadmill or functional trainer. 

    However, we at Akfit have a variety of alternative financing options available to help you afford your purchase. 

    Alternative financing allows the customer to select a payment plan rather than submitting a one-time upfront payment to cover the cost of their fitness equipment. 

    Examples of Fitness Equipment Financing

    To provide a better understanding of fitness equipment financing, here are a few examples of options that are available to you.


    Paybright is a Canadian financial institution that provides you the opportunity to pay off your equipment under a payment plan. At Paybright they offer two different types of financing options:

    Four-week bi-weekly plan: This payment plan allows the customer to pay for their product over four cheaper payment installments over the course of eight weeks. These payment plans are only available for purchase under $1000.

    Equal monthly payment plan: The equal monthly plan gives you the opportunity to pay for your equipment for the same price every month. The monthly price will depend on the cost of your product and the length of the payment plan. These equal monthly payments can last for 3 to 60 months depending on the retailer you purchased your product from.

    For example, the Inspire M2 Home Gym at Akfit sells for $3,098. However, through Paybright financing, monthly payments for as low as $186 is possible depending on the payment plan. While on the surface this may seem like a significant difference to what you can expect to pay for a monthly membership, it is not a long term continuing expenditure. Just as importantly, it becomes yours


    Fairstone is another Canadian financial institution. They are considered a non-bank lender that offers loans to help you finance your equipment. 

    Depending on your retailer, you can use a Fairstone loan to finance your equipment and also pay back your loan to Fairstone via a variety of payment plans. The payment plans available to you may vary depending on the retailer you purchased your product from.

    Some examples of their payment plans include:

    Three-month payment plan: The customer has 3 months to pay back the entirety of the loan in any way they desire with no upfront or interest charges. If the amount is not paid back within the 3 month period, an annual interest rate of 29% will be retroactively applied to the full amount.

    36-month payment plan: The customer is required to repay the total financed amount within a 36-month period. However, an annual interest rate of of 13% will be applied.

    Before signing up for any loan, make sure that the equipment you are going to purchase is the right fit for your needs and budget. We highly recommend reaching out to us for a showroom visit or a virtual consultation to help you find the product that is perfect for you. 

    For more information, check out our article on alternative financing options available to you at Akfit. 

    Important Details to Consider Before Fitness Equipment Financing

    So maybe you have decided that purchasing a piece of fitness equipment is the right move for you. With this,  your plan is to finance it rather than purchasing it with one upfront payment. 

    However, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first:

    • Do you have the space for new fitness equipment?
    • Do you need to pay for additional delivery or installation fees?
    • Are you prepared to properly maintain your equipment
    • Do you require equipment servicing?
    • Does your product also require the use of a monthly digital membership to access the majority of its features?
    • How often are you or your peers going to use your equipment?
    • Do you have proper flooring for your fitness equipment?
    • Is your product built for your workout needs and goals?
    • Are you financially ready to be responsible for a payment plan?

    Pros and Cons of Financing Fitness Equipment

    Before financing your brand new fitness equipment, there are some pros and cons you should consider before signing up for a payment plan.

    Pros of Owning Financed Fitness Equipment

    Some of the pros of product financing include: 

    • Owning your own equipment allows you to work out at any time.
    • Financing your equipment could be easier on your wallet.
    • You don’t have to wait for someone else to stop using your equipment.
    • Working out at home provides you with a private space to enjoy virtual training programs.
    • You can create a unique workout environment that is based on what you are most comfortable with.
    • Your equipment won’t be under heavy commercial use such as equipment at public gyms.
    • Your workout equipment won’t be exposed to the germs and sweat of strangers in the public.

    Cons of Owning Financed Fitness Equipment

    Some of the cons of financing fitness equipment include:

    • You may be spending more money on financing one piece of equipment monthly compared to spending money on a monthly gym membership. 
    • Some products (such as Peloton products), require a monthly membership fee to get the most out of them.
    • You are required to perform regular preventative maintenance on your equipment.
    • You may need to purchase storage options for your equipment.
    • You may need to purchase flooring or mats for your equipment.
    • Delivery and Installation fees may be required when purchasing a fitness product.
    • Working out at home can feel isolating and you may lack motivation in this environment

    Reach Out to Akfit

    There are many factors to consider when debating if a monthly gym membership or financing a fitness product is the right choice for you. 

    Thankfully, we at Akfit are here to help! 

    Akfit is a Canadian specialty store located in Sudbury, Ontario, and we have been working closely with our loyal clients in northern Ontario, the rest of Canada, and beyond since 1989. 

    We highly recommend reaching out to us with any of your fitness-related questions. You can always visit us in-store at our Sudbury location, or book a virtual consultation with us as well. 

    Our fitness experts will help you find fitness equipment and services that are right for your fitness goals and within your budget. 

    Our service doesn’t stop there either! At Akfit, we offer a range of commercial services, as well as delivery, installation, and preventative maintenance services

    Whichever your fitness-related goals may be, we look forward to helping you reach them.


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