The Cheapest Gyms In Boston

The price tag may be small, but the health benefits are not.

Exterior of the oldest gym in the country, Union Gym

Exterior of the oldest gym in the country, Union Gym

Boston is not known for having small price tags…on anything. Yesterday, we read that an apartment in Chinatown averages $3,491 (Chinatown!). The cheapest rent? Chelsea, for the not-even-close-to-being-a-low-price of $1,779. You can get a two-bed on the water in Florida for the price of a basement studio in the Back Bay. So it’s not surprising that many gym memberships in town can cost more than $100 a month.

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Now, if you are looking for salt-infused steam rooms, eucalyptus-scented locker rooms, or spa-like amenities, then the below gyms may not be for you. But if you are looking for a great workout with updated equipment and a low price tag, then read on.

South End Fitness Center basketball court. Photo via Facebook.

South End Fitness Center basketball court. Photo via Facebook.

South End Fitness Center

The South End Fitness Center (SEFC) offers preventative health services in addition to regular gym amenities. They have special partnerships with the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Medical Center, and local non-profit organizations. The gym has the usual weight training, cardio equipment, and group fitness classes, but surprisingly also has a full size, indoor basketball court and a swimming pool. Memberships are $360 for the year, which comes out to only $30 a month if you do the math. Discounted rates are available.

35 Northampton Street; 617-534-5822;

YMCA Oak Square pool. Photo via Facebook.

YMCA Oak Square pool. Photo via Facebook.

YMCA Oak Square

The Oak Square YMCA is $50 a month with no contract and only a $25 sign-up fee. They have brand new locker rooms, a brand new spin room with all new bikes, and new free weights. The gym also has a pool (typical for YMCAs, who doesn’t remember the chlorine smell from your childhood?), and a full size basketball court. The membership fee includes all of their group fitness classes (the offer close to 75 a week). The best part is that if you can’t afford the monthly fee, you will not be turned away. Joe McLean, director of membership and sales, says that they offer financial assistance if needed.

615 Washington Street, Brighton; 617-782-3535;

Regan's Motivated Fitness. Photo via Facebook.

Regan’s Motivated Fitness. Photo via Facebook

Regan’s Motivated Fitness 

This family-owned gym is located in a storefront in the heart of Southie on Broadway. It offers all of the basic equipment you need, and has a full array of group fitness classes. Prices are $40 a month for a regular membership and $60 if you want to take the classes. There is a $99 sign-up fee, but that is waved if you pay for the full year upfront for $480. While this isn’t the cheapest gym on the list, the facility is always kept spotless, and it is the perfect not-too-crowded neighborhood gym.

315 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-269-5555;

Union Gym group fitness room

Union Gym group fitness room. Photo via Facebook.

Boston Union Gym

Founded in 1851, Union is the oldest gym in the country and a commissioned historical landmark by the City of Boston. The non-profit facility prides itself on being a gym, not a health club, although with amenities like a full size, indoor basketball court (which you’d never expect in the middle of a narrow, downtown street), a racquetball court, and saunas, this gym is anything but basic. Membership is $39 a month with a one-year contract, or $65 a month with no contract. There is a $25 enrollment fee.

48 Boylston Street; 617-482-1122;

Gym It interior. Photo via Facebook.

Gym It interior. Photo via Facebook.

Gym It

The concept is simple: $20 a month, no contract. They offer more than 100 pieces of equipment in 18,000 square feet in a super clean facility. But, there are no group fitness classes, which is how they keep the price so low. If you are a hop on the elliptical and then hop out of the gym kind of person, this is the perfect place for you.

920 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline; 617-208-4555; 36 Arlington Street, Watertown; 617-923-4441;

Planet Fitness interior photo via Facebook.

Planet Fitness interior photo via Facebook.

Planet Fitness 

Known for their bright purple colors and “no judgement zone” philosophy, not-to-mention those awkward “I lift things up and put them down” commercials, Planet Fitness is similar to Gym It in that there are no group fitness classes. For $10 a month, you have access to all of the cardio and weight equipment that you need. There is a $29 sign-up fee (but sometimes there are specials where that is waved) and a yearly $39 (charged one time to your account) maintenance fee.

City Hall Plaza, next to 28 State Street; 617-248-3877;