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September 02, 2022 8 min read

Choosing a gym can be tough especially with hundreds and thousands of options available. You may decide on a gym membership based on their amenities, strength and cardio equipment, or the membership cost, but another factor to consider is whether it’s a nationwide chain with multiple, convenient locations.

Traveling for work or going on vacation can sometimes disrupt your exercise routine, and for avid gym rats, this can be a problem.

Luckily, there are plenty of gym chains that allow you to use your membership anywhere.

If working out while traveling is on your top priority list, check out the seven best gym chains in the nation.

Gold’s Gym - Best Gym for Bodybuilders

Arguably one of the most popular gym chains is Gold’s Gym. Their gold and black logo can be recognized almost anywhere, and the name Joe Gold is a household name for many lifters. 

The first Gold’s Gym opened in the 1960’s in Venice Beach, California by Joe Gold, and since then, you can find  over 200 locations across the United States.

Even the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out at Gold’s Gym when he first came to the United States, and up until 2020 when he was upset about a no mask mandated rule, he had worked out there frequently.

The Equipment

An icon like Schwarzenegger is known for being a bodybuilder, and Gold’s Gym can accommodate just that.

The gym has a variety of free weights, like barbells and dumbbells, and the huge space can fit a good amount of bench stations, squat racks, cable machines, and other strength training machines. 

Although lifting is popular at Gold’s Gym, they also have cardio equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and stair climbers.

Lastly, if you’re a beginner lifter, you can check out the gym’s certified personal trainers, or if you prefer a group environment, hop into a group fitness class.

What’s it Cost?

For single club use, a typical monthly membership is $49.95, but to use multiple locations, the price rises slightly to $54.95 with a $59 enrollment fee. However, it’s important to note that each location can vary depending on the city.

Equinox - Best Luxury Gym

For some exercisers, the amenities are the most important part of choosing a gym membership. Equinox is a fitness club that really focuses on the finer things in life. 

It’s a club known for its sleek branding and design, high-quality equipment, and high-end amenities down to the toiletries in the locker rooms.

Since the pandemic, they’ve added even more features, such as UV-C light sanitizers to instantly disinfect cell phones, music players, and other electronics, multiple hand sanitizer stations, purchasable, reusable masks, and even bags to hold your masks in.

When you join, they may offer a complimentary fitness assessment, a complimentary personal training or pilates session, and 15% off at their retail shop. There are over 100 clubs in the United States, in Canada, and in the UK.

The Amenities

Workout one-on-one with a personal trainer, or download the app to workout on your own but be led through a workout. 

With a personal trainer, a workout will be tailored to you and your fitness goals, and you can workout in the gym or virtually. You can also attend a variety of classes for just about any type of fitness and wellness. 

Classes include:

  • Boxing
  • Stretch and recovery
  • Athletic training
  • Barre
  • Pool cycling
  • Pilates
  • Dance
  • Running
  • Yoga

Relax in the spa or the sauna after a tough workout to wind down and recover.

What’s it Cost?

It might come as a bit of a sticker shock when you see the membership cost, but for a luxury gym, $200 monthly is about right. That price will rise slightly to $260 for multi-club usage.

24-Hour Fitness - Best 24 Hour Gym

Demanding work schedules or a busy life in general can leave little time in the day to hit the gym. There are options to get your workout in at any hour of the day, and one of the best one is 24-Hour Fitness.

As the name suggests, this gym is open 24 hours and offers unique amenities like basketball courts, racquetball courts, saunas, juice bars, and swimming pools. 

Typically in a large facility, there's a lot of space, but some reviews mention that it can get crowded and lack cleanliness during peak hours.

The Amenities

Bodybuilders and powerlifters may benefit from 24-Hour Fitness because unlike other 24-hour gyms like Planet Fitness, they have high-quality and a large variety of free weight barbells and weight plates. 

There are also plenty of strength and cardio machines to hop on.

They offer group training like high intensity interval training, cycling, strength, and dance. If you need a little extra guidance, you can also opt to workout with a personal trainer in the gym or virtually.

What’s it Cost?

There’s no membership pricing on their website, but it does show three different options: silver, gold, and platinum. However, reviews state you can likely expect to pay around $40-$50 per month based on your location, and an annual fee of $49 comes with most membership options.

Anytime Fitness - Best Gym with the Most Locations

There are other gym chains that are open 24 hours, but Anytime Fitness provides a key fob for all members to utilize the gym anytime, no matter what. 

Accessibility can be a huge benefit to members who need access to the gym at various times, and the large chain makes it a great option for anyone.

With over 3,000 locations in the United States, you’re bound to find an Anytime Fitness in your proximity.

It’s known as the fastest growing gym franchise in the world and can be found in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and 20 more international locations.

The Amenities

Like any other commercial gym franchise, the equipment offered may vary by location, and with so many Anytime Fitness gyms, it may not be totally the same in each one.

Typically, you can find at least one squat rack, heavy free weights from barbells to kettlebells, and cardio and strength machines.

You can also receive a fitness assessment and a program tailored to you, or work one-on-one with a personal trainer. If group classes are more your thing, hop into a base, burn or build, which caters to anyone from beginners to athletes.

What’s it Cost?

Prices may vary by location, and there’s no pricing on their website, but reviews state you can expect to pay between $30-$40 monthly.

LA Fitness - Best Diverse Gym

Having access to a diverse amount of equipment can make a gym membership worth it. 

A fitness center like LA Fitness offers different areas of equipment and training in a notoriously large space, so even peak hours don’t seem so bad.

Most gym locations even offer child care known as Kids Klub where children can play in a secure place while their parents get a workout in.

With over 700 locations in the United States, you have a good chance of finding an LA Fitness location near you.

The Amenities

When you first walk into an LA Fitness, you may notice the large variety of equipment, the two-story setup, and even the pool. 

Whether you’re looking for weightlifting, cardio, personal training, or anything in between, you can likely find it at this gym.

They have an area dedicated to machines, free weights, squat racks, and Smith Machines, and another area dedicated to cardio equipment like treadmills, rowers, stair climbers, and ellipticals.

They also offer group classes like boot camp, yoga, cycling, aqua fit, Zumba, pilates, and more.

What’s it Cost?

You can try a free pass for a few days to get a feel for the gym, or you can sign up easily online. Typically, you’ll pay between $30-$50 monthly depending on if you decide to pay the $99 initiation fee up front.

Orangetheory Fitness - Best HIIT Gym

High intensity interval training is definitely not a new concept in fitness, but it has been a rapidly growing one with gyms opening up specifically to offer it. 

Orangetheory Fitness is a boutique fitness studio that uses heart rate monitors to track your heart rate during a coach-led workout.

Orangetheory is similar to CrossFit as it’s based on group classes and is known for its communal atmosphere. The conditioning you can get from this type of workout is great for endurance, strength, power, and weight loss.

With over 1,300 locations worldwide and growing, you can find the recognizable orange splat in just about any city you go to.

The Amenities

The workout room is dimly lit by orange lights, and the smaller studio space helps enhance the community feel. Each Orangetheory may be set up differently throughout the country, but typically, the lobby and workout room will look familiar no matter where you go.

Their flex deck treadmills absorb impact better than other commercial treadmills, and their orange water rowers help create a low impact workout.

There’s also a dedicated space for weightlifting with dumbbells, TRX straps, BOSU balls, medicine balls, and benches. 

Each workout is led by a certified coach, and although the workout changes daily, it will be the same at every single location.

What’s it Cost?

As boutique fitness studios go, you can expect to pay more than your traditional gym. Depending on the location and how many times you want to workout per week, memberships typically range from $60-$160, plus your own personal heart rate monitor which can cost around $100.

Pure Barre - Best Barre Gym

Barre is a type of workout that is different from traditional weightlifting but not any easier. It combines elements of ballet, pilates, and yoga with small movements. It’s typically offered in a group class environment, and Pure Barre is a studio designed solely for this type of workout.

This strength workout is full-body and low-impact, focusing on strengthening your abs, arms, legs, and glutes.

There are over 650 locations in the United States, so if you’re looking to change up your workout, you can likely find a Pure Barre close to you.

The Amenities

Pure Barre’s group classes are 50 minutes long and vary in intensity. 

The first is Foundations, which teaches the basic movements of a Pure Barre class and is great for beginners.

The second is Classic, which is the original barre class that includes high-intensity isometric movements to help improve flexibility, muscle tone, and strength.

The third is Pure Reform, which focuses on resistance-based strength training with resistance bands, sliders, and the barre to help improve strength, coordination, and balance.

The last is Pure Empower, which combines elements of cardio, strength, and interval training by using ankle weights and a plyometric platform.

What’s it Cost?

Like other boutique fitness studios, Pure Barre doesn’t list their pricing on the website, but reviews state you can expect to pay up to $199 per month for an unlimited membership.

Hop on the Chain

There’s nothing wrong with a membership at a local gym, and in fact, shopping locally has become increasingly popular and encouraged since the pandemic, but the benefits of being able to use a bigger gym chain may be enticing to people who travel frequently.

Constantly traveling for work or going on vacation doesn’t have to put a damper on your fitness goals. With these popular, high-quality gym chains, you’re bound to find a place to call home no matter where you are.

Wherever you go, don’t forget your Charged-AF  to increase performance, energy, and focuswhile providing you with essential nutrients to optimize anaerobic and aerobic capacity.