Americans Hit the Gym Again

By: James Flippin · March 02, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bulking Season

Considering there’s plenty of sweating and shared equipment, gyms can be a potential hotbed for germs. As such, during the pandemic, many Americans sought other alternatives for staying in shape.

But, now that gyms are reopened, people are returning in greater numbers than before. In 2021, the total number of gym memberships increased 3.6% from pre-pandemic levels.

Skipping Leg Day

Not only are more people hitting the gym, but they’re also all scurrying to the same section: free weights.

There has recently been a notable increase in the number of people interested in lifting weights as opposed to running, cycling, or other forms of exercise. This is supported by data from fitness class aggregator ClassPass. In 2022, the company saw a 94% increase in strength training classes, year-over-year.

The trend is so dramatic that many gym clubs are now reorganizing their layouts to accommodate increased demand for free weights.

Lifting on a Budget

Joining a gym can be a great decision for your health, but it can also be a costly one for your budget.

Gym membership rates vary widely. While the most inexpensive options start at $10 per month, membership costs can reach up to $100 per month or more. It’s important to balance finding the facility that’s right for your body with the price that’s right for your wallet.

One way to save is to leverage free trials at gyms in your area. Many gyms will let you get at least one workout in for free. Some even offer free guest passes for up to 5 days. This allows you to try different gyms and find the perfect fit before committing.

If you’re more interested in the workout than the amenities, consider investing in home equipment. You can get in a solid workout using a few basic items such as a mat, resistance band, and dumbbells. While these may entail a steeper up-front cost, it could end up saving you in the long run.

Need more ideas? Check out our 8 tips for exercising on a budget!

Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!

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