LA Fitness Review: Is It the Right Gym for You?

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 12, 2019

LA Fitness is a popular gym offering memberships you can buy for as little as $34.99 a month.

Their claim to fame is their reasonable pricing that includes access to fitness classes, a heated lap pool, whirlpools, saunas and, at some locations, child care.

The company started in 1984 and has since grown to more than 800 clubs in the United States and Canada. Their mission is to do what they can to improve your physical and emotional well-being through inclusive, amenity-laden facilities.

Exactly how LA Fitness does that is what you’ll discover in this review. Our goal is that you’ll get a clear sense of what LA Fitness is all about and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Pros
  • Most locations have a pool and sauna
  • Childcare provided at nearly all locations
  • Signature Clubs offer a premium experience
  • You can negotiate your membership fee
  • Group classes are included in membership fees
Cons
  • The cancellation process is cumbersome
  • You have to pay for racquetball court reservations
  • Expensive if you just need weights and cardio equipment

Membership Cost and Options

All LA Fitness memberships are month-to-month. You can choose to sign-up in-person or online. If you sign up online, you’ll pay the following prices:

  • Single-club: $34.99/month, $49 annual fee, $0 initiation fee
  • Multi-club: $39.99/month, $49 annual fee, $0 initiation fee

You’ll have to pay your first and last month’s membership fee when you sign up. Also, the following states may have different pricing when you join online: AZ, AK, KY, LA, NY, OH, SC, TN, and DE.

Your initiation fee will vary based on which promotion LA Fitness is running online or at your local club. It can go as high as $99. In that case, you’ll probably get a lower monthly fee since you’re paying more upfront.

LA Fitness will charge you $10 a month if you want to pause your membership for travel, sickness and other situations that make it impossible to work out.

Negotiating a Lower Membership Fee in Person

Your monthly fees could be lower than what’s listed online if you go to a club and negotiate with a sales rep. For example, a sales manager at my local LA Fitness quoted my monthly payments as low as $20 if I came into the club to sign up.

I went into an LA Fitness to research pricing and found that the sales rep was willing to discount my membership equal to what I’d have to pay to get out of my Planet Fitness membership.

If you’re not comfortable with negotiating in-person but you want to lower your monthly payment, call the club you want to sign up at and talk with a sales rep over the phone. Agree over the phone on a price, then head to the club to finalize it.

Single-Club vs. Multi-Club Memberships

If you’re a business traveler, you might entertain a multi-club membership. However, most business hotels provide enough workout equipment to keep up with your routine, even if it means cutting back some of your usual exercises in favor of more cardio work.

Multi-club memberships may be good for you, too, if there’s a club next to your school or work. This gives you the flexibility to sneak out during your lunch break or between classes to get a workout in.

However, if you tend to use the gym closest to your home no matter where you work or go to school, the single-club membership will suit you.

Five-Day Pass

If you want to try out your local LA Fitness before you join, the easiest way to do it is to go about a week or two before you want to sign up for a gym membership and ask for a five-day pass.

When I went to my local LA Fitness to research pricing, the salesperson seemed willing to give me a free pass only if I was making my membership decision soon. I noticed another customer getting the same treatment.

How to Cancel Your Membership

To cancel, you’ll need to go to your My LA Fitness online account and print out a cancellation form. Fill out the form and either take it to the Operations Manager at the nearest LA Fitness or send it to the following address: P.O. Box 54170; Irvine, CA; 92619-4170.

You should not be charged for another month of dues as long as the form’s envelope is postmarked at least 5 business days before your due date.

Amenities

All LA Fitness locations will include the following amenities:

  • Free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines
  • Several free group fitness classes
  • Lap pool, whirlpool & sauna
  • Lockers
  • Racquetball and basketball courts

Racquetball courts are first-come, first-serve. You’ll have to pay $7 a month if you want to reserve a court.

Some locations – LA Fitness doesn’t list them on their site – have additional amenities that may or may not cost you an additional fee to use:

  • Babysitting
  • Juice bar
  • Swim school

Because pricing for these amenities could change from club to club, we can’t give you an exact quote on how much these services will cost.

We did, however, give our local LA Fitness club a call and found that babysitting was up to $15 a month and allowed one two-hour session per day.

LA Fitness Signature Club Amenities

Signature Clubs will cost you more each month but include:

  • Full-size basketball courts
  • Towel service
  • Executive-style locker rooms with bigger showers
  • Digital lockers

These locations are low in number and tend to have higher membership fees. However, you may find the club worth it if, for example, you go to work after the gym and want better locker-room amenities while you get ready for work.

Personal Training

LA Fitness organizes your personal training sessions based on your fitness needs as determined in a free assessment before your first session.

You have three payment options for these sessions: 6- and 12-month contracts or per-appointment. The fee is $160 a month for once-a-week sessions, with pricing varying for single appointments. This price, though, will vary by location.

Remember, though these personal training sessions are contract-based, and you could be charged up to 50% of the price of your remaining sessions if you cancel your contract before it’s completed.

Group Classes

All or nearly all of your group classes will be free depending on which location you go to. These classes include the following workout styles:

  • Pool workouts
  • Belly dancing
  • HIIT
  • Spin
  • Hip hop dance
  • Kickboxing
  • Pilates
  • Latin dance
  • Zumba
  • Step

The variety of classes the gym offers are varied enough to keep your interest over time, especially if you enjoy multiple dance styles.

One way to get the most out of these classes is to find an instructor you like and attend their classes or classes each week. The connection you feel with them and their teaching style helps you stay consistent with your workouts.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Customers who leave good reviews for LA Fitness most often praise the gym’s amenities, citing a love for the gyms basketball courts, pools and saunas.

The main consumer complaint against LA Fitness is its rigid terms of membership contracts.

The gym will not let you out of a contract once it’s signed, which is something we saw time and again from customers on HighYa.com and other review sites. LA Fitness’ unwillingness to bend on membership contracts carries over to their personal training contracts, too.

A few readers mentioned that they felt the sales reps who sold them a membership were misleading and made claims that didn’t match what was in the contract and in the customer’s billing statements.

The Takeaway

You’ll be most happy with your LA Fitness membership if you read your contract carefully and understand your membership terms.

Doing this removes the surprise of additional fees and allows you to enjoy the many amenities that draw praise from LA Fitness customers.

LA Fitness vs. Planet Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness

The following chart shows you how LA Fitness compares to the competition regarding the most important parts of your membership. Pricing is based on online prices, which can differ from what the clubs offer in-person:

LA Fitness Planet Fitness 24 Hour Fitness
Cheapest single-gym membership $34.99 $10 $31.99
Cheapest multi-gym membership $39.99 $22.99 $31.99
Sign-up fee Up to $99 Up to $29.00 Up to $29.99
Annual fee $49.00 $39.99 $49.99
Cancellation fee None $58.00 Remaining months on contract
Free classes Yes No Yes
Child care Yes No Yes

If you want to know which gym is best for you, consider:

  • How much you can afford each month?
  • Does your schedule require you to work out at multiple locations?
  • How comfortable you are with negotiation?
  • Which amenities are non-negotiable?

Prioritize these questions in an order that makes sense for you, then find out which gym best fits your priorities.

The Bottom Line: Who Is LA Fitness Good For?

LA Fitness is an excellent all-around gym because of its extensive amenities and free classes. These two features mean that they can cater to almost any customer. Furthermore, the variety of amenities and classes means you can expand and adjust your workout routine over time.

In addition to these scenarios, we think this gym is a good fit for the following type of people:

You Need Childcare While You Exercise

Many LA Fitness locations have childcare facilities you can use when you work out. This makes their gym convenient if the only time you can work out is with your child. Furthermore, their two-hour time limit means you have enough time to take a class and do a workout on their cardio equipment, weight machines or in their pool.

A Pool Is Necessary to Your Workout

Nearly all LA Fitness locations have a pool, which is part of what makes their facilities unique. If swimming laps is part of your exercise regimen or is your workout plan, your local club’s pool may be the only reason you join.

You Thrive in Group Workouts

LA Fitness’ extensive list of group classes means you have dozens of options each week for classes that put you next to other people who are pushing toward a goal just like you. The natural accountability you feel in your group workouts will help you meet your fitness goals.

You’re Willing to Negotiate Membership Prices

LA Fitness salespeople are willing to negotiate plan pricing depending on how much you want to pay each month and if you’re willing to sign a year-long contract. If you’re good at getting what you want through negotiation, you’ll find that you could talk your monthly fees down below $25.

You’re Bored with Your Budget Gym

Budget gyms give you plenty of cardio and weight stations to get fit but often lack additional amenities. If you’ve grown tired of what your budget gym has to offer, LA Fitness’ pools, saunas, and basketball courts provide a significant upgrade over your current experience.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of LA Fitness:
  • 22 Customer Reviews
  • 5% Recommend This Company
1.3 out of 5
5 star: 0% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 13% 2 star: 4% 1 star: 81%

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To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • My first day at LA Fitness

    • By Yuliia O.,
    • Mississauga, Ontario, Canada,
    • Mar 18, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Just bought my membership card on Sunday, after being bombarded by phone call of their sales. They offered a free evaluation and program completion with the instructor. Scheduled for Monday, 12 pm. I arrived at 11:20 and was introduced to the instructor, who said he needed to have lunch, which was totally ok for me since I wanted to do 30 minutes cardio. After returning to his desk, I found this instructor Conrad still eating his meals, halfway actually. I politely said that it is 12 pm already. He replied he could not have his lunch due to some customers' calls and that I should wait.

    I said I had an appointment booked after this introductory session. But probably Conrad was too hungry to stop eating lunch.

    Are you interested in people only before you sell membership? Selling is one thing, but keeping customers is more important.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • You don't "NEED" my darn email address!

    • By Marvin G.,
    • Florida,
    • Jan 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was going to renew my membership to the local club. The guy at the counter started from the BEGINNING of the GD application, after I already told him the ONLY information that had changed was my insurance company...what's your zip code, email address...etc. I do NOT give out my email address anymore because of the CONSTANT email scams! He said he couldn't complete the membership without it. I turned around and walked away! Good bye LA Fitness!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Don’t accommodate relocation

    • By Linda F.,
    • East Gwillimbury, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jan 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Disappointed that LA Fitness was unwilling to accommodate the change of a single location for me. Not only were they unwilling, but they sent me on a song and dance before getting to the conclusion of unwilling to help. I was passed along to no less than four people before I finally got the answer that if i wanted to change gym locations I would have to purchase a multi-club membership and pay double. All I wanted to do was change my single location to another single location due to relocation.

    Loved the gym, disappointed with the absolute lack of support and disregard for life changes. Have been forced to change gyms and go to a Good Life Fitness.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • So what

    • By Ricky S.,
    • Clearwater, FL,
    • Jan 2, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Belonged to LA Fitness, canceled membership, gave 8 weeks notice, LA still took money out of my account for months. There was a class-action lawsuit, LA loses. 10 years later thought about coming back, was treated like "so what," gave the highest price monthly. Also since I was a prior member should have been given the lower rate, but so what, too bad.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Overall value vs cost.

    • By Bill H.,
    • Cape Coral, FL,
    • Sep 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My first impression of LA Fitness was so-so.

    But the big "+" was the short drive from my house.

    I joined with myself and my two girls. At first was the tour. It went well but was met by a salesperson that didn’t show much enthusiasm and sounded very routine.

    The initial cost ended up being around $350.00. That included the first month's dues and a registration fee. I don’t have the original breakdown but sounded high.

    I feel that their goal is to constantly pound you for more money. A trainer wanted to coach me for an additional $160.00 a month.

    There is also a yearly fee they charge that was collected after my first month there!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • I hate this place

    • By Jorge L.,
    • Trumbull, CT,
    • Aug 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Well, I stopped by just to find out about membership and I was brainwashed by two guys and almost forced to sign up. Well, I did, and one of the suckers was suggesting for me to get a membership for me and two guests for an extra 20 bucks and really I didn't pay attention, but a couple of days later I realized I don’t need the two guest memberships so I went back to LA Fitness to just cancel the two guest memberships and the crook manager Elisa told me I can’t do that. So the advertising says no contract but the smart manager is telling me I can’t cancel. These people are crooks and don’t care for people, they only care for money. Everybody, don’t sign up for this gym, there are too many other places better than this crap.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • 5 year member

    • By Laurie S.,
    • Georgia,
    • Apr 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've been a member of LA Fitness for 5 years. We got a great deal when our former gym closed and LA bought up their contracts keeping the original terms. They have great amenities. This is the only gym I've belonged to that have a lap pool, courts, and dedicated rooms for group classes. BUT, I'm pretty angry with them right now over their personal training policies. I've been paying for and using sessions for over 2 years. Then my trainer left and a very close family member was diagnosed with cancer. So I decided to stop the sessions for a while until I knew what the family's new normal was going to be. Apparently, when you cancel training sessions, you don't get to keep any remaining sessions you have already paid for. So basically, they get to steal 2 months worth of training, i.e. $320.00, from me. I won't be making that mistake with this gym again. The monthly fee is too good to quit the gym, but I'll hire a non-employee PT when I start back up.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Thieves

    • By Wilson B.,
    • Florida,
    • Apr 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I give one star but would like to give a negative one. If you are thinking of joining this gym, please find another gym.

    They charge for things that never tell you in front. I open an account for my son and three months later a charge for an annual membership, which they never say to begin with.

    Second, his account was frozen for a while, and we were paying $10, however, when he went to the gym the account was unfrozen and they charge the $10, and $20 more when he returned to the gym. So crazy, these guys are a ripoff.

    Give yourself a favor and go to another place! Avoid surprises.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • LA Fitness personal training scams the client and the trainer!

    • By John d.,
    • Georgia,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    DO NOT sign up for personal training from LA Fitness!

    LA Fitness facilities are OK, but their personal training is a major ripoff. They charge major bucks for training and then pay the trainers next to nothing. As a result, trainers leave with high regularity. In 6 months we had 4 different trainers with large gaps in between while LA Fitness searched for replacements. We ended up receiving only half of the promised training and LA Fitness refused to issue any refund.

    LA Fitness personal training scams the client and the trainer!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • BBB complaint filed

    • By Maryann W.,
    • Connecticut,
    • Feb 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Do not trust LA Fitness with your bank information! I canceled the membership back in September, charges to my account supposed to end in December. Charges are still being made to my account in January. I asked management at LA Fitness Hamden why? Was told I had to go to my bank to stop charges.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • The sales manager lied to me.

    • By Yasaman S.,
    • California,
    • Jan 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Be so careful. Do not go to this gym if you do not really have to. I got there and the manager told me there is no termination fee and I can cancel it at any time. He offered me $29.99 for all club and $0 initiation fee. It was not true, they charged me $60 extra at the first month and called it "the last month" and $30 after three months and called it "the fee after three months," so it is a $90 initiation fee. To my greatest surprise, I had to pay a $149 termination fee.

    The verbal was totally something different than the contract. And the funny thing is that he did not let me see the contract at the time of signing. They ask you to initial the electronic pad multiple times. I did not know that it is like a car dealership, if I knew, I would never even get into that fitness center. They lie, put something else in the contract, and give you five days to review the contract and come back with a complaint.

    Please look at the contract after leaving the club. It is totally different from what was verbally explained. Do count on what is said by the sales manager read the whole thing. It is a systematic fraud and everyone in the company knows about it and it is so acceptable among them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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