There are many types of gyms, and the gym types keep evolving. One reason for the many gym types is that individuals have unique fitness goals, interests, and preferences. No matter what motivates you, there’s sure to be a gym that serves your style. 

There are 10 basic types of gym listed below.

  • Rock Climbing Gyms. Rock climbing gyms are sports centers for learning rock climbing and practicing for climbing competitions.
  • Powerlifting Gyms. Powerlifting gyms are specialized to strength sports and have different equipment than commercial big box gyms. Powerlifting gyms often have dumbbells at heavier weights than normally found in gyms and power cages built to handle greater amounts of weight for squatting and other exercises.
  • CrossFit Gyms. CrossFit gyms do daily Workouts of the Day (WODs) that follow CrossFit’s high intensity lifting and exercise philosophy.
  • Boutique Gyms. Boutique gyms are small speciality gyms that include high performance sports gyms, yoga, pilates, special forms of strength training, and martial arts.
  • Boot Camp Gyms. Bootcamp gyms run ongoing fitness boot camps which can last anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks, or even longer. 
  • Personal Training Gyms. Personal training gyms are dedicated spaces for personal trainers and their clients to work in.
  • 24-Hour Access Membership Gym. 24-hour access gyms are small to large gyms that allow access at any time of the day or night. 
  • Big Box Gyms. Big box gyms are the popular name brand gyms located in strip malls.
  • Small Group Training Facility. Small group training facilities are dedicated to semi-private and small group training, including individualized strength programs, sports performance programs, and group training classes like spin or zumba. 
  • Women’s Gyms. Women’s only gyms only allow women to become members and use the facilities.

It can be difficult to decide which gym is right for you because there are so many gym types available. The most common type of gym is the big box gym, which offers a wide range of equipment and benefits, usually at an all-inclusive cost. Still, every kind of gym offers a unique atmosphere. 

1. Rock Climbing Gyms

Rock Climbing Gyms offer a fun and engaging physical workout that challenges the mind. Rock climbing is a whole-body exercise that works different muscles, including the arms, shoulders, back, core, and legs. The various climbing routes offer a problem-solving challenge as fitness enthusiasts navigate new courses. 

These workout facilities offer a unique way to break up the monotony of a traditional gym routine in a setting that creates a strong sense of community. Monthly membership fees typically range from $50 to $150 depending on factors such as size and amenities.


  • Full-body workout
  • Physically and mentally challenging
  • Strong sense of community support
  • Extraordinary and exciting experience


  • Can be intimidating
  • Requires some skill and technique
  • It is tough on the fingers and hands
  • Limited options for cardio workouts

2. Powerlifting Gyms

Powerlifting Gyms are for maximizing gains and exercising with a community of like minded individuals. These commercial gyms focus on the “big three” powerlifting movements: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. 

Powerlifting gyms have specialized equipment like power racks, benches, and lifting platforms to help you crush your goals and increase your strength and power. Monthly membership fees typically range from $50 to $200. 


  • Focused on strength and power
  • Access to specialized equipment
  • Coaching tailored to powerlifting
  • Strong sense of community


  • Overwhelming for beginners
  • Limited variety of exercises
  • Does not offer cardio or fitness classes
  • Lacks common amenities found in other gyms

3. CrossFit Gyms

CrossFit is a popular type of gym program that combines strength, cardio, and coordinated movements into a high-intensity workout session. There’s rarely an opportunity to sink into a fitness rut at one of these gym facilities, as the routines are constantly changing. 

CrossFit workouts are motivating to competitive people. These common gyms have daily challenges, which can help increase motivation and performance. Expect to pay between $100 and $250 monthly for a CrossFit gym membership.


  • Constant variety in workouts
  • Emphasis on functional movements
  • Opportunity to compete competitively
  • Sense of camaraderie and accountability


  • Workouts are extremely challenging
  • Boxes do not have as many amenities, often
  • Workouts are not suitable for injuries or health conditions
  • Boxes have higher membership costs than traditional gyms

4. Boutique Gyms

Boutique gyms are less common gyms with personalized attention and specialized training. Boutique gyms are typically smaller and offer a focused specialization in exercises such as yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling, or other fitness outlets. 

Boutique workout facilities often offer a modern or trendy atmosphere with stylish decor and targeted equipment. Boutique gym members pay monthly fees between $100 and $250, depending on the type of boutique, size, and location.


  • Personalized attention
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Specialized trainers
  • Trendy environment


  • Higher price point
  • Limited social interaction
  • Limited hours of operation
  • Less variety in fitness programs

5. Boot Camp Gyms

The high-energy atmosphere of a boot camp gym leaves little room for wavering motivation. Stay pumped and focused while pushing yourself to new limits in this type of training gym. Boot camp gyms often use a variety of exercises, equipment, and styles to keep the workouts fresh. 

Boot camps are an efficient way to get the results because  typically shorter sessions of higher intensity workouts than traditional gym workouts. Monthly membership fees range between $100 and $250 depending on the niche, location, and size of the fitness facility. 


  • High-energy & motivating atmosphere
  • Varied workouts incorporating various styles
  • Time-efficient workout sessions
  • Results-oriented approach 


  • Workouts are intense
  • It is not suited for everyone
  • Limited focus on skill development
  • Does not serve long-term desires

6. Personal Training Gyms

Get undivided attention and support from a certified personal trainer with this type of training gym. A customized exercise regime from a fitness professional is the solution if you need a push in motivation or guidance on form.

Personal training sessions are scheduled at a time that works for you, making incorporating fitness into a busy schedule easier. Personal training sessions run between $50 and $150 per hour. 


  • Tailored workout plans
  • Accountability from professionals
  • Expertise in exercise techniques
  • Flexible scheduling options


  • Higher costs than other options
  • Less opportunity for social engagement
  • Limited equipment
  • Cost deters from purchasing multiple sessions

7. 24-Hour Access Membership Gym

24-hour access gym memberships offer the advantage of an on-demand workout at any time. Enjoy flexibility and convenience with commercial gyms that offer 24-hour exercises. 24-hour gyms are good for night owls, shift workers, or those who like to avoid crowds.

Most of these fitness centers provide a range of equipment that entices various interests, such as treadmills, weight machines, and free weights. Another strong advantage is the variation in costs. 24-hour access gyms range from $10 a month to $200. 


  • Flexibility to workout anytime
  • Access to a range of equipment
  • Lowered gym membership costs
  • Fewer crowds during off-peak hours


  • Limited or no staff during certain hours
  • Amenities are not available for 24-hour access
  • Safety concerns in less populated areas
  • Risk of injury with limited supervision

8. Big Box Gyms

Big box gyms are advantageous to those independent in their workout routines, have been at it for years, and are their own self-guided partner. These commercial gyms provide virtually all types of fitness equipment and have multiple attractive amenities.

Since big box gyms have multiple locations, allowing you to work out even when traveling or relocating. Pricing for this type of training gym is typically between $20 and $50 a month.


  • Wide variety of equipment and amenities
  • Located in multiple cities and states
  • Lower cost than boutique or specialty gyms
  • Provides autonomy in a workout regime


  • Is crowded during peak hours
  • Lacks a sense of community
  • Contains additional fees or upsells
  • Overwhelming for fitness beginners

9. Small Group Training Facility

Small group training offers the best of both worlds in workout facilities. They provide smaller class sizes so you get personalized attention. Still, they offer a social outlet in a supportive community. 

Another benefit of these training gyms is that they cover multiple disciplines, including HIIT, martial arts, yoga, and others. You pay as little as $100 or as much as $300 in monthly membership fees, depending on your interests and amenities.


  • Tailored instruction to fitness ability
  • Motivation from peer support in group
  • Variety in instructional workouts
  • Focus on improved technique


  • Limited or inflexible class times
  • More expensive 
  • Requires advanced sign-ups
  • The atmosphere depends on the group’s dynamic

10. Women’s Gym

Girl power might be the fuel to your fitness fire, and in that case, a women’s gym could be an empowering setting to crush goals. Women’s gyms offer a wide variety of workout options including strength training and dance classes.

Many female athletes often feel more comfortable in a women-only gym, especially if they’re new to exercise or prefer unwanted attention. Women-focused workout facilities range in price depending on the type of facility or fitness interest but are typically set between $30-$80 monthly.


  • An inclusive environment for women
  • Classes designed for women’s fitness
  • Access to female trainers
  • A supportive community of women 


  • Smaller than co-ed gyms
  • Limited hours of operation or flexibility
  • Lacks a variety of equipment
  • Comparatively higher costs

How to Choose the Best Type of Gym?

Finding the best gym is challenging when there are so many options. It’s all about knowing what you want! Identify your fitness goals and find a gym that caters to those needs. A yoga boutique is most advantageous for increased balance and functional strength, for example.

Look for a gym with various equipment and workout facilities emphasizing weight training if you want to build extra muscle. Don’t forget about the people factor of a gym, either. Qualified trainers and a supportive community makes or breaks your dedication to fitness goals.

A training gym with a convenient location, inviting atmosphere, and the right equipment to serve your end-game is the gym that’s best suited for you. Keep an eye out for great membership deals, which truly sets a gym apart as a superior option. 

Why is it Important to Choose the Best Type of Gym that Suits Your Lifestyle?

Finding a gym that fits your lifestyle is like finding the perfect pair of workout leggings. It needs to be comfortable, supportive, and look great on you. Research supports that factors such as gym proximity, access to specific equipment, individualized programming, and social support all contribute to improved overall fitness.

One study found that gym proximity was positively associated with regular commitment and improved performance. The right gym makes all the difference in helping you engage and keep showing up. 

What are the Factors of a Good Gym?

Listed below are the factors of a good gym. 

  • Convenient Location: A gym facility that is easy to access makes it easier to incorporate regular attendance. 
  • Friendly Staff: Staff who are knowledgeable, helpful, and engaging make it easier to seek direction or guidance when you need assistance. 
  • Quality Equipment: Regardless of the type of equipment, it should be well-maintained and in good working order. 
  • Cleanliness: Gyms are places where people sweat. Good gyms should be clean, and the equipment needs to be wiped down regularly (as well as floors swept and mopped).
  • Available Variety: Workout ruts happen, but good gyms offer a variety of classes and equipment to help break up a fitness plateau.
  • Affordable Options: The best gym fits your budget. Look for a gym with flexible membership options. 

What is a Gym?

The gymnasion was an open-air space where athletes trained for competition in ancient Greek society. These arenas were used as a place to socialize and engage in intellectual pursuits such as philosophy, as well. 

Modern gyms function in many of the same ways. A gym is a place for physical exercise and fitness training with a range of equipment and resources available. They’re a place to socialize in a community of like-minded individuals. 

What are the Benefits of Going to the Gym?

Listed below are the benefits of going to the gym. 

  • Improved physical health in areas such as muscle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health. 
  • Exercise has been shown to support mental health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety while bolstering mood and self-esteem. 
  • Burning calories in the gym helps increase metabolism to burn more calories even post-workout. 
  • Regular gym attendance helps increase energy by increasing metabolism, improving circulation, and reducing fatigue.
  • Regular exercise improves sleep quality by allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 
  • Regular exercise helps you feel better, look better, and have the energy and confidence to pursue goals and improve overall well-being. 

How Many Times Should You Go to the Gym?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of intense activity) a week in addition to at least two days a week of strength training. 

It’s important to note that listening to your body and not pushing too far too quickly is essential. It’s better to start slow and build up your condition rather than going hard too soon, too fast and risk an injury that will set you back longer. 

What are the Top Gyms in the USA?

Listed below are the top gyms in the USA. 

  • LA Fitness has over 700 locations across the United States, making them one of the largest and best gyms in the USA. 
  • 24 Hour Fitness is a 24-hour access gym that has more than 400 locations nationwide, making it a good gym to choose from in the US. 
  • Gold’s Gym has a more than 50-year history and 700 locations spread throughout the country. Gold’s Gym is one of the best gyms in America.
  • Anytime Fitness is another option for 24/7 fitness is this big box gym with over 4,000 locations worldwide. 

Planet Fitness is known as a “judgment-free zone,” Planet Fitness offers members access to workouts in more than 2,000 worldwide locations making it another good gym option in the USA.

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