Expensive Gyms Are Maybe Worth It

If it costs a lot of money, do you feel more guilty about not going?

She’d tell me to go.

The potential wastefulness of having a gym membership and not going even though you pay for it is something I think about quite often, only because I have a gym membership that is cheap and I don’t go because I really hate the gym.

(I’ve looked into getting out of my contract, for all of those who might be worried, and it is a separate post in and of itself.)

As this is a thought that weighs heavy on my mind, I am especially susceptible to the kind of clicky nonsense that purports to shame me into going to the gym on a Saturday morning instead of taking a prolonged nap.

The gist of this listicle over at my favorite source for dubious trends is that there are many reasons to spend over $100 on a really, really nice gym, one of which is that if you do, you’ll feel guilty not going. Theoretically, this makes sense — it operates on the same level as say, buying a $200 sous-vide machine and using it once, before letting it gather dust next to the snow boots in the hall closet. Aside from being what reads suspiciously like spon con for Equinox, a very upscale chain of gyms that costs around $195 a month and has unlimited Kiehl’s products in the bathroom, the piece argues that the bonuses of a fancy gym make it “worth” it.

I just don’t know if that’s true. In college, I belonged to an all-women’s gym in Boston with a rock climbing wall, a eucalyptus sauna and a giant hot tub. It is the nicest gym I have ever belonged to in my entire life; it cost $80 a month and I never, ever went. I’m not sure I’d go more if I bit the bullet and joined a gym that looked like an ad. That’s just me, though. What about you?

Does paying more money for a service, be it the gym or fancy cable, inspire you to use that service more? Do you calculate the cost per day of say, a jacket or nice shoes or a gym membership so you can see precisely what money you’re throwing away if you don’t use it, and how much worth you’re getting out of it if you do?