Gyms in Columbia, MO

Not sure where to work out in town? Here are some gyms in Columbia, Mo that you should check out once you're ready - for new gym-goers and (future) former clients.

Black, York Dumbbells Stored on a Rack at the Gym

It's becoming more normalized to see a woman who wants to feel stronger, fitter, and more confident.

Over 95% of the clients that I've trained since 2015 have been women. As a son, friend, hopeful future-father, and personal trainer, I am so happy to see women lifted up.

Periodically, I conduct interviews to learn a little more about the problems that I'm solving for clients.

One of my proudest moments so far was to hear my former client Ashley positively talk about her new self.

Before Ashley started training she noted;

"I just didn’t want that big, open, loud environment. I wanted something more private so I could get through my insecurities and build up that confidence to where eventually I could get into the gym".

Now, Ashley has a hold of what she needs and wants to do. She's good on her own and she has a gym membership.

When I first started training, I traveled to client's homes and offices as I built up the confidence to secure a space of my own. Over time, I try to teach my clients how to leave me. That means we need to talk about what you do outside of the studio.

I've been fortunate enough to grow my network. If you need new shoes, physical therapy or, anything else, it helps my clients a lot more than having to Google search it on their own.

These are places that I mention by the way:

With that in mind, you might find yourself looking for a gym membership after you reach your goals. (Dear future clients, I wrote this for you).

Let's talk about gym memberships, how much they cost, and how you can stay active.

Here are some of the best gyms in Columbia, MO that I have recommended to clients in the past:

Gyms in Columbia MO

  1. ARC - Activity & Recreation Center - For the value, I worked out here for a year and a half and loved it. Located a couple of blocks from Broadway & Stadium Avenue, adult memberships run about $34.50 per month. Bonus; one of three gyms in town with a pool.
  2. Crossfit Fringe - While not technically a "gym", my good friend Libby Cowgill trains here and they do a great job if you're comfortable with the environment. Near Stephens Lake Park, unlimited open gym and classes run at around $150 per month.
  3. Moon Yoga - Also, not technically a gym, I just love this place and promote regular movement. Moon Yoga starts around $12 a class. (With membership, classes can get as low as $10)
  4. Wilson's Fitness - Forum - If you're looking for the biggest, most equipment filled gym in town with a pool, this is it. Membership prices vary based on location, I pay about $52 (potentially grandfathered) for a monthly membership.
  5. Planet Fitness - Starting at $10 per month, this is by far the cheapest gym membership in Columbia, MO. It's clean, the staff is nice and you can make it work for you - if you're okay training without barbells.
  6. Mizzou Rec - I want to love Mizzou Rec-they have all the equipment I need, there is plenty of room, I went to Mizzou and they're the last place in town with a pool. The downsides are working out around the school closures and confusing membership pricing.

Related Reading: A Workout plan you follow at Planet Fitness

Is a Gym Membership Worth It?

A gym membership is worth it if you know what you want to get out of it. When you pay for a membership to a local gym, you're paying to meet people and rent space.

Gym equipment can be very expensive. A squat rack on its own can easily cost over $550.

By paying a monthly (or yearly) membership fee, you avoid:

  • Paying upfront for all the machines, weights, and bands.
  • Finding space to house weights and racks (that may stand taller than 9 feet).
  • Maintaining, cleaning and repairing fitness equipment over time.
  • Eventually, replacing things that break.

In addition to weights and treadmills, gyms are also home to members that you'll develop relationships with over time. If you're looking to stay motivated, developing a sense of community may help hold you accountable.

How Much Does it Cost to Join a Gym?

Gym membership in Columbia will run you anywhere from$10 to $50+ per month.

Depending on what you're looking for, you can find a gym on different sides of town that may suit your needs and budget.

When you pay membership at a gym, you want to look at this the same way that you do restaurants:

  • A comfortable restaurant usually has higher menu prices and chairs that are rated for longer sitting hours.
  • Cheaper restaurants usually have uncomfortable chairs as they don't want you to stay long.

Some gyms are large, have more amenities, and therefore, bigger costs associated.

Frequently included in the price, some gyms allow access to additional classes and services.

What Should a Beginner do at the Gym?

A beginner should ask the front desk for help for a walkthrough when visiting a new gym.

When I was in the market, I thought about how I wanted to train and the time of day that I expected to exercise.

If you call, you can often get answers to a few great questions:

  • What kind of equipment does the gym have?
  • How busy is the gym during the hours you wish to workout?
  • Does your gym provide childcare?
  • Are there showers?
  • How long do I need to commit?
  • Maybe - How much is a membership? (Some keep this secret to get you to call/come in).

Every gym will have its own set of rules, hours, and standard operating procedures. Calling ahead can help you feel more comfortable when you walk in.

How Can I Get a Discount at the Gym?

If you lock in a long-term membership or pay upfront, most gyms offer some sort of discount.

Some gyms pay a referral bonus if you can get your friends to join with. Also, there are typically specials run at the beginning of the year for several months or dollar amount off of regular pricing.

If you know that you're ready to commit to a gym membership, it might be worth your while to wait until around New Years'.

Also, be sure to check with your employer to see if they provide discounted or free gym memberships. Some employers will often reimburse employees who are looking to improve their health (read productivity).

Is Planet Fitness a Good Gym?

Planet Fitness is a good gym if you're willing to workout without Barbells.

Working with the limitations in equipment, I have written programs for clients that involve all the major movement patterns:

  • Squatting
  • Upper Body Pushing
  • Upper Body Pulling
  • Hinging (Glute Bridges and Romanian Deadlifts)
  • Lunging
  • Loaded Carries

Dumbbells, fixed barbells, and the machines housed at Planet Fitness will allow you to create some sort of training effect involving some sort of exercise variation of the above.

When you're ready to pick out a local gym, keep your budget, schedule, equipment needs, preferences, and anything else you need in mind before committing.

Here's How You Can Search for Gyms in Columbia MO:

  • Figure out what you can afford - A gym membership can cost anywhere from $10 to $50+dollars per month.
  • Decide what you want to have access to - Do you need a pool? Childcare? Yoga classes?
  • Make sure you can easily make it to your gym - You're less likely to go if it is out of your way.
  • Find out what your first day will be like - Some people find mirrors, large spaces and heavy weights intimidating, is that a normal sight at the gym you're looking into?
  • Learn more about discounts - Ask the gym if your employer has a relationship with them. Gyms often offer discounts for referrals, upfront payment, and long term memberships.

Get Help Before Venturing into a Gym

Phone: 1-573-443-1495

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