Joining a gym can be a wise way to keep your weight down while also having somewhere to go to escape the house when the weather would otherwise keep you stuck inside. Gyms such as Charter Fitness are offering increasingly affordable and competitive deals to work out regularly in their friendly, expansive gym environments. Read on for our evaluations of a few gyms that could help you stay fit this upcoming winter season.

Comparison Table

Name

Price

Convenience

Facilities

Support

Charter Fitness

Cross Town Fitness

The Foundry

SoulCycle

What Is Charter Fitness?

People in the Gym

Charter Fitness is dedicated to providing its clients with convenient locations, helping them overcome the challenge of getting to a gym in the first place. Once make your way into one of Charter Fitness's many locations, you can expect to receive top-notch service in clean and functional facilities. The brand offers a "no long-term contract" gym membership allowing the member to select from two options and pay by the month. The locations maintained by Charter Fitness all offer comfortable workout environments with state-of-the-art equipment, CFX training, personal training, and a high level of convenience.

 

Charter Fitness Location & Services

Man and Woman Using Rope

There are over 30 Charter Fitness locations available where your membership can be used, provided you have the all-access pass discussed below. You are given a choice between using a single club that is convenient for you or purchasing a membership that allows you to go to any of the many clubs operated by Charter Fitness. The locations of Charter Fitness are in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and the company's website provides a convenient gym finder so you can locate a Charter Fitness near you.

The services offered by Charter Fitness are extensive, including a wide range of personal and group training options. Whether you prefer to work one-on-one with a personal trainer or in a group through their TEAM training programs, Charter Fitness has an option to suit your training preferences.


Pricing

charter fitness: people in the gym

The pricing of Charter Fitness is highly competitive and essentially a match for the national promotions offered by the competing chain Planet Fitness. For just $10, we found you can get a basic membership to Charter Fitness, which allows the use of one Charter Fitness gym, most likely one located near your home, school, or workplace. This is one of the best gym membership deals available on the market. 

For double the price at about $20, you can upgrade to an all-access membership. The all-access membership includes free guest privileges; free personal training and TEAM training sessions; access to over 30 Charter Fitness locations; and weekly virtual workouts.

 

​How It Compares

Woman in the gym with trainer

We picked a few similar gyms operating in the same region to see how Charter Fitness compares in terms of their convenience, facilities, and other features. As we'll see, there are quite a few gyms available on the market from which to choose, with price, atmosphere, and club format all being factors we should take into consideration when deciding which to join.

  • ​Cross Town Fitness
  • ​The Foundry
  • ​SoulCycle

Charter Fitness

Charter Fitness logo

​Charter Fitness has many convenient locations with a variety of equipment options to use, coupled with personal and group fitness training options.


Price

At the starting option of just $10, a basic membership at Charter Fitness could hardly be more affordable unless it was free. For $20, a guest can be brought each week at no charge, and you also gain the freedom to visit and use any of the many locations.

Convenience

​If you live in the Chicago area, Charter Fitness may rate 5 stars for convenience given its many locations. However, outside the region, there are just a few clubs in two other states from which to choose.

Facilities

​The facilities are often in industrial locations with high ceilings, and the selection of weight-lifting equipment is somewhat limited.

Features

​In a world where gyms have everything from saunas to hot stone massages, Charter Fitness is less expansive in terms of services, with minimal personal and group training options and no fitness classes.


Support

​Charter Fitness is committed to its customers and provides welcoming and positive service experiences for its consumers.

PROS 

  • ​Incredibly low, $10-per-month basic option
  • ​Many locations within their areas of operation
  • ​Free training session with membership

CONS 

  • ​Somewhat smaller facilities than some gyms
  • ​Locations only in three states

Cross Town Fitness

Cross Town Fitness

​Cross Town Fitness is a cross-training facility that is quite distinct from a traditional gym. CrossFit is a form of workout that includes a variety of techniques and equipment ranging from bodybuilding to powerlifting to explosive cardio exercises inspired by competitive athletes' regimens. This gym focuses primarily on personal training and group fitness training.


Price

​The personal training aspect of Cross Town Fitness increases the price exponentially. Rather than simply showing up as you please and using the facility, instead the only options available here are fitness training in groups or one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer. Four personal training sessions are just under $100, while the listed price for 14 days of unlimited classes is $60. A single day pass is usually $30, although we have seen 2-for-1 promotions run on these day passes.

Convenience

​If you are a resident of Chicago, Cross Town Fitness may rate 5 stars for convenience with its three locations spread conveniently throughout the city, However, outside of Chicagoland, you will not be able to find a Cross Town Fitness facility.

Facilities

​The facilities of Cross Town Fitness are right on the cutting edge in terms of CrossFit, but CrossFit is not for everyone. From a broader perspective, they are somewhat limited. These centers lack amenities that are important to some consumers, such as tanning beds, juice bars, and lounges.

Features

​The features of this gym are advanced, given the innovative CrossFit training system employed and the effectiveness of that program. However, the limited nature of the offerings at Cross Town limited this particular score for us.

Support

​One of the key features of this gym is the personal trainers and support staff. The personal trainers are not only highly qualified, but highly supportive of their clients, often motivating them to reach their goals and go beyond.

PROS 

  • ​Innovative program
  • ​Great for building strength and improving cardio health

CONS 

  • ​Only group and personal training options
  • ​Cross-fit is not for everyone

The Foundry

The Foundry

​The Foundry is another gym much like Cross Town Fitness, in that it is focused upon providing personal training and group classes within the CrossFit sphere. The Foundry is marketed towards clients who want to engage in a variety of activities. This approach is right in line with the companies vision that, "We are meant to explore, run, jump, lift and play so that we may experience life to the fullest and inspire others to do the same." The Foundry offers open gym hours, which adds to the value proposition of the company and enhances what you can get out of your membership.


Price

​The Foundry offers a 30-minute introduction to the facility and the program, after which the potential client is given the requisite information on the pricing of the training services offered at the location. No pricing information is listed online, which very often means that the cost runs higher than one might expect for such services.


Convenience

​With a single location in Chicago, the Foundry is lacking in accessibility for many. While there are quite a few classes, the hours are markedly limited in comparison to the many 24/7 gyms on the market.


Facilities

​The facility in which the Foundry is located is outfitted perfectly for CrossFit training, and it goes further with stylish interior design and decoration. With ropes, bars, weights, and everything in-between, the Foundry has a variety of "toys" so that you can go play in their group classes or with the personal trainers. You can participate in a range of complex and comprehensive programs meant to build strength and endurance.


Features

​The options include open gym, personal training, and group training, although programs can be custom-tailored to suit your needs and fitness goals.


Support

​Above all else, what differentiates the Foundry is its staff. The coaches and personal trainers are highly qualified and certified in a variety of disciplines to provide the clients with the best and most qualified advice in their development.

PROS 

  • ​Beautiful facility
  • ​Highly qualified trainers
  • ​Open gym hours

CONS 

  • ​Limited options in terms of classes
  • ​Only a single location
  • ​CrossFit is not for everyone

SoulCycle

SoulCycle

​According to SoulCycle itself: "SoulCycle is more than a workout, it's a sanctuary." The purpose of SoulCycle is to enable the client to enter the facility feeling one way but leave feeling differently and refreshed. It has an ideology similar to a yoga studio, transplanted into a cycling environment. SoulCycle offers a 45-minute indoor cycling class that includes high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography. The unique combination of heavy and fast-paced exercise with music, choreography, and live coaching makes SoulCycle a unique option for your training needs.


Price

​The cost of a single class at SoulCycle is generally around $34, in addition to $3 for shoe rental if needed. Longer memberships may be purchased, however, and bulk discounts are also available. At the time we conducted this review, SoulCycle offered a 3-class pass for $60.

Convenience

​There are quite a few SoulCycle studios scattered around. While they offer quite a few classes, the operating hours may be too limited for some people.

Facilities

​SoulCycle is not a gym, but a cycling facility. In terms of cycling alone, SoulCycle has superior design. Although some such classes are performed in back rooms of gyms with odd lighting and a heavy microphone system, SoulCycle embraces the spirit of a yoga studio with advanced cycling equipment and highly positive and motivational coaches leading the classes.

Features

​Again, recognize that we are not measuring SoulCycle by gym standards, as it is a cycling facility above all and entirely distinct. The equipment is provided for you, or you can bring in our own shoes to clip onto their bikes. The design of the facilities is entirely unique and positive, with an atmosphere quite like that of a yoga studio.

Support

​Specialization, commitment, and the drive of the instructors all help set SoulCycle apart from cycling classes offered at many other gyms.

PROS 

  • ​Supportive trainers and staff
  • ​Yoga-like, spiritual experience
  • ​Wonderfully designed facilities

CONS 

  • ​Varied training might not be for everyone
  • ​Extremely high intensity


Conclusion

charter fitness Man in the Gym

Deciding which gym to join can be difficult, and it is important to choose wisely to support your actually going. When we choose a gym that doesn't fit well with our goals and limits, it can actually deter us from getting there at all. Thus, before joining it is wise to actually visit the gym and take advantage of a free day pass if they offer it, or purchase a day pass before committing to anything. Signing a long-term contract at a facility that you have not yet had a chance to experience fully can lead to an ongoing monthly fee for something that isn't useful at all, so take the time to choose the right fit.

Final Verdict:

Charter Fitness

​At Charter Fitness, the variety of exercise equipment is relatively broad, although the free weights are lacking. The class selection is also limited, but there are personal training and group fitness options available for those who are interested. At a base rate of $10 monthly with no long-term commitment, or $20 for a membership that grants access to over 30 clubs with a free guest pass, this gym earns a 4-star rating under our criteria

For ongoing updates and articles on gym rates and choices, along with information on membership cancellation processes after an unfortunate choice, check back with us online soon.