In this post, we’ll dive into the top 5 differences between a private gym vs commercial gym. If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably wondering if there are any significant differences between the two. The answer is simple: yes.
Because your fitness journey is one that will always be evolving, it’s important to consider where you should be working out so you can get the ultimate results that match your current goals.
We evaluated the differences in:
We took a deep dive into the reasons why you may prefer one gym over the other so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your fitness needs.
What is a Private Gym vs A COMMERCIAL GYM?
Before we jump into the differences, let’s quickly breeze over what exactly these two types of gyms are.
Commercial gyms are typically large franchise gym spaces that can host a lot of people at once, like LA Fitness or GoodLife. These gyms operate on a membership basis.
A private gym offers a more intimate experience. Typically owned by a personal trainer who will customize the workout space with their client’s needs in mind.
Top 5 Differences between a Private Gym vs Commercial Gym:
Private gyms, or private training studios, usually cap the number of members they can host at once. This allows them to give you the time, attention and support you need to reach your personal fitness goals. These gyms might come at a higher cost than a commercial gym. This is mainly because some offer personal training built into their cost. Or they have a limit on the number of people that can attend at once in their intimate training environment.
Commercial gyms operate through a membership-only basis. These gyms typically have no capacity limits, so if you want to join there will be a spot for you. These gyms offer varying rates in cost that are based on how often you will be using the space. They also offer personal training that will come at an additional cost of the membership. However, commercial gyms are usually more affordable than private gyms since they can accommodate a large number of members at once.
At a private gym, the types of equipment available is usually less than at a commercial gym. With that being said, you’ll never be waiting for equipment. That’s because your spot is reserved for you ahead of time. So, during your training session, if you need to use a specific piece of equipment, it will always be there to use for you and you only. This means you can get the most out of your time and have the most productive workout possible.
At a commercial gym, you’ll have an array of equipment to use. However, during peak times it’s likely that you’ll have to wait for equipment to be available because they host a number of members at once in a free-for-all environment. This means that your workout may be interrupted while you wait for someone else to finish using the equipment you need. Moreover, you may have to alter your routine so that you can maximize on the time you have set aside for your workout.
Some private gyms offer a 24/7 facility but most operate during specified hours. At a private gym or training studio, there will be smaller numbers of people who most likely have similar goals to you. This means that you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re with other people who are on a similar journey to yourself and for beginners especially this can increase your comfort levels and decrease any feelings of intimidation. Private training studios put an emphasis on community and supportive cultures where everyone is welcomed and accepted for who they are, and where they’re at. With this mindset, you can feel free to focus on your workouts without the paranoia of others watching you.
Many commercial gyms are open 24/7 to accommodate for the amount of members they host. This means you can get your workout in any time of the day that suits you, which is especially helpful for shift workers. However, it’s often noted that the best time of the day to workout is first-thing in the morning so keep in mind that if that is a peak hour for the commercial gym you choose, you may be waiting around for the equipment you need to complete your workout.
If you’re a beginner, a commercial gym can feel intimidating because of the amount of equipment they have available with no guidance on how to use it. Moreover, they are busy environments that often make beginners feel uncomfortable in exploring the different types of equipment available. If this is you, take a moment to evaluate what your comfort levels are before committing to a commercial gym membership.
Private gyms are usually focused on providing its clients with the most intimate experience possible, which usually means great attention to detail with the goals of their clients, but does offer less amenities than a gym. At our private gym for example, we don’t have an on-site pool or childcare options, however we do offer a workspace with free WIFI for all our clients, wellness accessories like massage tables and a delicious smoothie bar.
Commercial gyms tend to give users more amenities than private studios, like pools, basketball courts, sauna rooms and designated spaces for group classes. They might also provide childcare. This means those gym goers with children have more flexibility on when they can work out and therefore might be a great option for parents.
At a private gym, you are in an environment full of personal trainers who help clients reach their goals in a 1-1 setting. This environment is a dedicated facility that health and fitness professionals rent for private and personal access to. This means that if you choose to enroll in a private training studio, you will match with a trainer who will work with you to customize a workout program that will push you to reach your goals. So, if you’re in the market for something that not only takes the guesswork out of getting fit, but also provides you with a certified professional that will be there for you every step of the way, a private training studio is the place for you.
A commercial gym membership gives you access to dozens of different equipment options and maybe even group classes. However, the membership does not buy you accountability. Without accountability, it’s more likely you’ll find an excuse as to why you can’t go, especially for beginners. Accountability is what gets results. Without it, you’ll always continue to live in your comfort zone and only do the things you want to do, rather than the things you need to do to reach your fitness goals. Commercial gyms do offer personal training services, but this will likely come at an additional cost of your membership fees.
So, now that we’ve been through what the core differences are between a private gym vs commercial gym. It’s time for you to make your decision.
Remember, it all depends on where you are in your fitness journey and how the space can meet your goals.
For a beginner, your best option to avoid feeling overwhelmed or insecure is a private training studio. However, if you’re an experienced fitness enthusiast the gym world is your oyster! It would only boil down to which gym matches your current lifestyle.
At Placemade, we have created an environment that meets the needs of both beginners and advanced gym goers. We take pride in the fact that we offer a 24/7 facility that can accommodate all fitness levels. If you have an interest in our personal training studio in downtown Toronto, book your free 30 minute tour today.
As always, good luck with your search and keep pushing towards your goals, you got this!