Corporate vs. Private Gyms

As important as it is to find a trainer that is the right fit for you, it can be equally as important to find the right gym to work out in. It’s hard to be motivated to go to a gym if you’re working out in an environment that doesn’t work for you.  I recently relocated back to Western New York and needed to find a new gym to work out in. The process of finding a gym can be daunting… there are literally a million and one options. Unisex gyms, large corporate gyms, small pop up gyms. So, which one would work for me and why?

While researching for a new gym I found author, personal trainer, and podcaster Jamie Logie’s blog that explores the pros and cons of large corporate gyms vs. privately run gyms. Jamie has been in the industry over a decade and has been fortunate enough to work in gyms in Australia, England and the U.S. His first piece of advice is when choosing a gym it is critical to establish a goal. Once you have your fitness goal in place it will be easier to choose a gym.

Corporate gyms (for example, LA Fitness) are larger, filed with the latest equipment, offer a variety of classes and often have low membership rates. On the flip side corporate gyms have an impersonal feel, can be overcrowded, and tend to have lower quality trainers with limited experience. Conversely, privately run gyms can give the client the individualized attention they need to attain their goals and keep them on track. Small gyms have a greater sense of community since they are in a smaller and more personal setting. In private gyms there is never an issue of accessing equipment. Lastly, by supporting a smaller gym you are giving back to your local community. The drawback to a smaller gym is that smaller gyms are typically more expensive since you are paying to have individualized attention. However, you often pay for what you get.

Following Jamie’s advice I outlined a fitness goal for myself. I wanted to tone, improve my form, and I needed accountability. I had joined a corporate gym for low cost and convenience but I needed to join a private gym to achieve my goals. San Diego Fitness expert Mike Diebler agrees that the amenities at corporate gyms are very good, but when hiring a trainer it is best to go a more alternative route and choose a private gym. In his career he has found that the level of experience of trainers in private gyms is much greater than trainers in corporate gyms. It has also been my experience that trainers in private gyms have the experience and the education I’ve needed to reach my goals.

For more information on private vs. corporate gyms I’d recommend reading Jamie’s blog at

For additional information on the collaboration of private and corporate gyms check out San Diego Gym owner Mike Deibler’s blog at

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