The Gym Nearly 1 In 4 People Would Never Consider Joining

A person's preferred gym is sort of like their preferred brand of car. It's chosen based on things like amenities, price, customization options, and whether its general function fits that person's lifestyle. Someone looking for a farm truck isn't going to buy a subcompact, after all. And someone living in a large city with tight parking spots isn't going to go for a super extended cab.

Gyms are the same way. Someone who loves to swim isn't going to go for a gym focused on weight training ,while a bodybuilder doesn't want a gym with more Barre classes than barbells. Given the price of most gyms, a person is only going to pick the one that best fits their needs.

Of course the gym a person avoids says almost as much about them as the one they prefer. Health Digest polled over 500 of our American readers and asked them which gym they would least want to join. Several common chains were on the list, like Planet Fitness, Curves, and LA Fitness. Our readers could also choose to write in their own answer using the "Other" option, which almost 13 percent of them did. The most common answer among that 13 percent was "none", making it pretty clear that they prefer to exercise at home

But of the gyms listed, the one with the most votes turned out to be a classic gym with one of the most recognizable brands in the industry. One our readers don't seem impressed by.

The gold standard

If you were aware of fitness at all in the '90s, then you knew about Gold's Gym. Their black and yellow logo was iconic, and it could be found on everything from workout tapes to home exercise equipment, and water bottles to sweatshirts that you could get from your local big box store, no gym membership required.

Unfortunately for Gold's Gym, that popularity seems to have waned over the years. For some people it might be the intense focus on strength training, a fitness niche that intimidates some and falls well outside the goals of others. But a larger issue is most likely their billing system.

The Trusty Spotter weighed out the pros and cons of Gold's Gym using information you generally have to sit down for a consultation to get. He found that Gold's Gym has a somewhat confusing tiered system that includes levels like Bronze, Silver, Gold, VIP, Basic, Vintage, Access, Enhanced, Studio, and Bootcamp. What exactly is included in each tier depends on the specific location, because each Gold's Gym is a franchise and each location's owner has a lot of freedom to set prices and choose which amenities to include.

According to the blog for Gold's Gym, they are trying to branch out from the idea that they're all about the weight room. But with a confusing membership tier, variable billing, and no guarantee on what their locations have to offer, it's easy to see why so many Health Digest readers are steering clear.