clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

25 Cheap Spots for Working Out on a Budget

View as Map

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.


Synergy Fitness; Image via Synergyfitclubs.Tumblr.com

Though we'd love to attend the city's boutique fitness studios every day, the truth is our wallets won't allow it. Between rent, internet, and our monthly sample sale allowance, justifying a $34 spin class can be pretty difficult. And unless you have the motivation to head out for a solo run every time you need to get your heart rate up, you have to pay to sweat it out. But the good news is, you don't always have to pay a lot for it.

Here, we've rounded up a list of 25 places for working out on a budget. We've got a whole range of options here, from your standard gyms to donation-based yoga studios to some of the city's best running clubs. In other words, there's a cheap workout for every body—literally. Check out our map after the jump and get excited for knocking out two New Year's resolutions at once—getting fit and saving cash.


· All Fitness Week 2014 Posts [Racked NY]
Read More

J's Big Gym

Copy Link
In case you were looking for a cheap gym and tattoo parlor hybrid, this Washington Heights outpost is calling your name—after your sweat sesh, get inked at Higher Level Tattoo. There's also several payment plans available for their various low-price memberships. [Photo]

Beloved Yogi Harlem

Copy Link
If you drop in for a class at this Harlem studio, there's a suggested donation of $10. Or if you're a regular, you can give the suggested donation of $80 for as many classes as you can (hand)stand in a month. [Photo]

Harlem Yoga Studio

Copy Link
Each 60-minute yoga class is just $12, while 90-minute classes and any pilates class is $14. But their community yoga classes, held a few times a week, have a suggested donation of just $6. No membership required—just drop in whenever you need to get your vinyasa flow on. [Photo]

The Reservoir Dogs

Copy Link
No commitment necessary when you first show up for this running club, which meets in and around Central Park. Try out a few runs and see how you like it before paying their $35 annual membership fee. [Photo]

Synergy Fitness Clubs

Copy Link
One Racked reader recently paid $40 a month with a one-year contract for this location, which is one of their many 24-hour gyms. Certain locations also have group classes available. [Photo]

Bikram Yoga NYC - Upper West Side

Copy Link
Though purchasing a regular single class is $25, this studio and its sister sites across Manhattan offer several classes a day that are just $8 to drop in. If you're new to Bikram, you can also pick up a 30-day unlimited pass for $39. [Photo]

Bally Total Fitness

Copy Link
At many all-purpose budget gyms, you often sacrifice group classes. Not so at BTF: All classes are included with a $35 monthly membership. Or get access to all their gyms for just $5 more. [Photo]

Mid-City Gym & Tanning

Copy Link
A convenient option for the midtown work crowd that's not getting Wall Street salaries. Rates start as low as $20 a month for a single gym membership, while tanning packages (if that's your thing) are sold separately. [Photo]

Boom Fitness

Copy Link
If you're ready to pay a bigger up-front initiation fee, you can lock in a $20 monthly membership rate for life. Short on cash after the holiday sales? There's a package with a much smaller fee and a $30 rate. Either way, you get access to tons of cardio equipment, free weights, and classes. [Photo]

Lucille Roberts

Copy Link
Sure, their commercials may be a bit cheesy, but their prices certainly aren't: Membership to this gym is $23.88 with just a $1 registration—and that's not a New Year's resolution special. That provides access to all gyms and classes as well as personal training discounts. [Photo]

Yoga to the People

Copy Link
This donation-based studio suggests a payment of $10 per class, but you can give what you wish. Be sure to arrive early, as these no-registration classes fill up fast, and be comfortable getting into down dog about ten inches away from your classmate. [Photo]

Blink Fitness

Copy Link
This Equinox no-frills off-shoot boasts tons of new equipment, lots of HD TVs, and a price tag that won't sweat your wallet: While this location is $20 a month, other gyms like the new Astoria one is only $15. Their personal training packages are also some of the cheapest you'll find on our fair island. [Photo]

Sixth Street Pilates

Copy Link
Doing pilates in a clean, dedicated studio isn't just a privilege for the rich. At this East Village spot, drop in for a mat class for just $14, or pick up a ten-class card for $120 and consider it your budget fitness splurge. [Photo]

Dolphin Fitness

Copy Link
None of the membership plans offered at this basics gym (that is, no classes) include initiation fees or maintenance dues. Drop $129 for a six-month membership, or start out slow with just $39 for one month. [Photo]

Ludlow Fitness

Copy Link
A private gym atmosphere without the private gym price tag. If you pay a year's membership up front, with no additional initiation fee, it works out to $37.50 a month. Not ready to drop a bunch of cash at once? Check out their shorter commitment options. [Photo]

East River Park Track Club

Copy Link
Just $40 for an entire year gets you multiple track workouts and long runs per week based out of the scenic East River Park. There's even simulated "hill runs" up the Williamsburg Bridge pedestrian path. [Photo]

Hosh Yoga

Copy Link
All donations, all the time—pay as little as $5 per class each time you go, but feel free to give more if your budget allows. You also have the option to make a lump sum donation online, and bring in proof of payment for a bunch of classes. [Photo]

North Brooklyn Runners

Copy Link
Here's the cheapest option on the map (literally): Membership costs "Nothing, nadda, $0," according to their FAQ. Check the calendar for their scheduled runs and then lace up at the recycling bins at the north end of the track in McCarren Park. [Photo]

Metropolitan Pool and Recreation Center

Copy Link
Just one of several affordable fitness centers run by the city's Parks Department, this Brooklyn location boasts an indoor pool for year-round laps, as well as great cardio equipment and classes. $150 a year gets you access to all locations throughout the five boroughs. [Photo]

Planet Fitness

Copy Link
How they manage to maintain their $10 down, $10 a month pricing while still paying New York City rents is baffling, but we're not about to question it. Double that monthly fee for unlimited access to any of the chain's gyms around the country. [Photo]

Prospect Park Track Club

Copy Link
Get thrice-weekly group runs, speed workouts, and discounts on race entry fees for $25 a year when you join this decades-old organization. Running with a significant other? There's a discount rate for families. [Photo]

Brooklyn Yoga Collective

Copy Link
Classes at this Pro-Cro studio are priced on a sliding scale from $7 to $15, which essentially means you give more on pay day and less the day before pay day. Teachers offer 90-minute sessions for all levels of yogis, so every student can find her fit. [Photo]

Harbor Fitness

Copy Link
This Brooklyn chain is a bit higher-priced than some of our other budget options here, with a $60 monthly rate and a year-long commitment. But with access to all four of its 24-hour gyms and all the amenities, including complimentary child care, you won't be sweating away your money here. [Photo]

Yoga Agora

Copy Link
It's just $5 to drop in at any class you wish, and they offer a wide range of levels for a donation-based studio. Just make sure you show up early—they'll turn off their door's buzzer once the class is full. [Photo]

Life Health & Fitness

Copy Link
No need to commute to Manhattan for a cheap sweat—the month-to-month rate at this Queens gym is only $50, though it's cheaper if you can pay the year up front. There's also discounted rates for students, teachers, transit employees, and more. [Photo]

Loading comments...

J's Big Gym

In case you were looking for a cheap gym and tattoo parlor hybrid, this Washington Heights outpost is calling your name—after your sweat sesh, get inked at Higher Level Tattoo. There's also several payment plans available for their various low-price memberships. [Photo]

Beloved Yogi Harlem

If you drop in for a class at this Harlem studio, there's a suggested donation of $10. Or if you're a regular, you can give the suggested donation of $80 for as many classes as you can (hand)stand in a month. [Photo]

Harlem Yoga Studio

Each 60-minute yoga class is just $12, while 90-minute classes and any pilates class is $14. But their community yoga classes, held a few times a week, have a suggested donation of just $6. No membership required—just drop in whenever you need to get your vinyasa flow on. [Photo]

The Reservoir Dogs

No commitment necessary when you first show up for this running club, which meets in and around Central Park. Try out a few runs and see how you like it before paying their $35 annual membership fee. [Photo]

Synergy Fitness Clubs

One Racked reader recently paid $40 a month with a one-year contract for this location, which is one of their many 24-hour gyms. Certain locations also have group classes available. [Photo]

Bikram Yoga NYC - Upper West Side

Though purchasing a regular single class is $25, this studio and its sister sites across Manhattan offer several classes a day that are just $8 to drop in. If you're new to Bikram, you can also pick up a 30-day unlimited pass for $39. [Photo]

Bally Total Fitness

At many all-purpose budget gyms, you often sacrifice group classes. Not so at BTF: All classes are included with a $35 monthly membership. Or get access to all their gyms for just $5 more. [Photo]

Mid-City Gym & Tanning

A convenient option for the midtown work crowd that's not getting Wall Street salaries. Rates start as low as $20 a month for a single gym membership, while tanning packages (if that's your thing) are sold separately. [Photo]

Boom Fitness

If you're ready to pay a bigger up-front initiation fee, you can lock in a $20 monthly membership rate for life. Short on cash after the holiday sales? There's a package with a much smaller fee and a $30 rate. Either way, you get access to tons of cardio equipment, free weights, and classes. [Photo]

Lucille Roberts

Sure, their commercials may be a bit cheesy, but their prices certainly aren't: Membership to this gym is $23.88 with just a $1 registration—and that's not a New Year's resolution special. That provides access to all gyms and classes as well as personal training discounts. [Photo]

Yoga to the People

This donation-based studio suggests a payment of $10 per class, but you can give what you wish. Be sure to arrive early, as these no-registration classes fill up fast, and be comfortable getting into down dog about ten inches away from your classmate. [Photo]

Blink Fitness

This Equinox no-frills off-shoot boasts tons of new equipment, lots of HD TVs, and a price tag that won't sweat your wallet: While this location is $20 a month, other gyms like the new Astoria one is only $15. Their personal training packages are also some of the cheapest you'll find on our fair island. [Photo]

Sixth Street Pilates

Doing pilates in a clean, dedicated studio isn't just a privilege for the rich. At this East Village spot, drop in for a mat class for just $14, or pick up a ten-class card for $120 and consider it your budget fitness splurge. [Photo]

Dolphin Fitness

None of the membership plans offered at this basics gym (that is, no classes) include initiation fees or maintenance dues. Drop $129 for a six-month membership, or start out slow with just $39 for one month. [Photo]

Ludlow Fitness

A private gym atmosphere without the private gym price tag. If you pay a year's membership up front, with no additional initiation fee, it works out to $37.50 a month. Not ready to drop a bunch of cash at once? Check out their shorter commitment options. [Photo]

East River Park Track Club

Just $40 for an entire year gets you multiple track workouts and long runs per week based out of the scenic East River Park. There's even simulated "hill runs" up the Williamsburg Bridge pedestrian path. [Photo]

Hosh Yoga

All donations, all the time—pay as little as $5 per class each time you go, but feel free to give more if your budget allows. You also have the option to make a lump sum donation online, and bring in proof of payment for a bunch of classes. [Photo]

North Brooklyn Runners

Here's the cheapest option on the map (literally): Membership costs "Nothing, nadda, $0," according to their FAQ. Check the calendar for their scheduled runs and then lace up at the recycling bins at the north end of the track in McCarren Park. [Photo]

Metropolitan Pool and Recreation Center

Just one of several affordable fitness centers run by the city's Parks Department, this Brooklyn location boasts an indoor pool for year-round laps, as well as great cardio equipment and classes. $150 a year gets you access to all locations throughout the five boroughs. [Photo]