I belonged to a fancy gym in DC for years, originally signed up (in 2006) because it was a block from my apartment and my roomate was joining. DC gyms are expensive in general, so I decided paying $150 was really only an extra $75, and that got me really nice facilities (unlimited towels, steam room, toiletries in the locker room) and amazing classes. I would go to kickboxing and weight training classes several times a week, which really helped motivate me to get in better shape. The classes alone made it worth it because they were all small with great instructors. When I moved to an apartment farther away with an in-building gym, I quit for several years, and of course never exercised and gained a bunch of weight. I rejoined the gym after a few years and got really motivated and went all the time, including at lunch time because I had a flexible job. I quit again when I took a job farther away, and relied on the apartment gym, but this time I had already gotten really into running, so I did run all the time on my own, either outside or at the apartment gym. So I guess my results aren’t that clear cut, but I don’t think expensive gyms are a waste if you get a benefit from either the better classes or nicer facilities.