Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Which Buffalo, NY Gym is the Best Value?

If you're thinking about joining a gym or switching to a new location, you have plenty of choices in Buffalo, NY.

Generally, the more you pay, the more amenities will be available to you, such as a pool or child care. If these features are unimportant to you, you may be satisfied with a lower cost gym, in the $10 to $25/mo. range.

Also, be aware that some lower cost gyms require a yearly contract, whereas month-to-month gyms may charge a higher fee but are less of a commitment.

Side by Side Gym Comparison

To help you find the gym that meets your needs, I've created a comparison of several popular gyms in the Buffalo area.

Data was taken from the gyms' websites and by phone when information was not available online. Please call or visit the gym to confirm the details below before making a purchase. 

An "S" indicates "select locations."

BAC Fitness 360 Planet Fitness World Gym L.A. Fitness JCC YMCA
Buffalo X X X X X
Orchard Park X
Depew X
Hamburg X
Lancaster X
West Seneca X X
Amherst X X X
Cheektowaga X X
Clarence X
Getzville X
Niagara Falls X X
Tonawanda X X
Williamsville X X
BAC Fitness 360 Planet Fitness World Gym L.A. Fitness JCC YMCA
Before 6 a.m.  S X X X X X S
After 6 p.m. X X X X X X X
Pool S X X X
Suana S S X X S
Day care S X X X X
Pilates S S X X X
Spinning S S X X
Yoga S X S X X X
Zumba S X X X X
BAC Fitness 360 Planet Fitness World Gym L.A. Fitness JCC YMCA
Monthly X
Yearly X X X
None X X
Unknown X
Monthly Rate $29.99 $10-$20 $10-$25 $29.99 $44.67 $24-$50
Enrollment $99 $10 $99 $49 $47-$85
Start Up Fee $0-$49 $29
Annual Fee $29-$39
Unknown X
Avg. Yelp Rating  3.64 1.5 2.5 2.88 3 4 3.25
The Yelp rating is an average across all rated locations, at the time of this writing.

No-Pressure Calls at Three Gyms, BAC Gives Sales Pitch

For this article, I called Planet Fitness, the Jewish Community Center, the YMCA and the Buffalo Athletic Club (BAC).

The first three were friendly, no-pressure calls. Planet Fitness told me that they keep things "basic and simple to reduce overhead." Many of their members are new to the gym, and they want to make them feel comfortable. They're also open 24 hours per day for your convenience.

The Buffalo Athletic Club was a different story. I've called several locations and have had the same experience each time. Before they respond to questions about pricing, they will give you an overview of their club and its amenities. When asked again about pricing, their default answer is that "the cost depends on the program" and that you must come in and speak to a fitness coach. Once there, you can tour the facility and fill out an application. So, if you call the BAC, be prepared for sales pitch.

Have you been a member of or had contact with any of the above gyms? What was your experience?

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