Founded in 1844 in London, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is the oldest operating wellness facility of its kind in existence. The original purpose of the organization (and its female counterpart, YWCA) was to provide low-cost housing in a safe Christian environment for rural young men and women journeying to the cities for work during the industrialization era. The YMCA combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry. Philanthropists saw YMCA as a place for wholesome recreation that would help to deter youth groups from the temptations of alcohol, gambling, and prostitution. Today, YMCA programs throughout the world still hold strong to the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. These values continue to be taught in its facilities today to help teach children right from wrong. YMCA has since developed a culture of fitness and wellness at its locations communities with paid gym membership programs and fitness classes that promote healthy living. The association conducts many different types of outreach and social programs to raise awareness of its services, and currently serves over 10,000 neighborhoods across the United States.
The YMCA lists its membership prices upfront, which include a recurring monthly membership ranging from $47 to $55. For $90.00 a month, a family can join. This membership can be paid monthly, or annually in one lump sum. YMCAs across the globe also promote healthy lifestyles through fitness and nutrition by allowing their communities to access their exercise equipment and take group fitness classes for a very affordable rate. If you can't afford the monthly fee, you can "pay-as-you-go" for $10 for a full day pass. For $10, you can take any class for free or use any of the facilities' amenities, from the pool to the basketball court to the weight room.
There are also special perks for seniors, who can get a free membership under the Silver Sneakers program offered through certain insurance plans. As a community center, YMCA also offers financial assistance for those in need. Applicants should bear in mind, however, that they would have to go through a full paperwork process, and provide information W-2s. Also, YMCA may disqualify anyone receiving public assistance-the demographic that needs this help the most.
While many gyms we found had hidden fees, the YMCA does not. Pricing is pretty straightforward but a few members ran into additional fees with family memberships. Most gyms we reviewed have at least one or two "hidden fees" customers encounter after joining; but the YMCA does not seem to follow suit.
The level of cleanliness at the YMCA depends on the specific location; however, most tend to be clean and well kept despite the caliber of neighborhood. Members are responsible for cleaning any equipment they use, and YMCA provides disposable paper towels to wipe the equipment down. Staff maintenance overall appears to be consistent at keeping the facility clean.
The YMCA offers an average of over 700 classes each week. This is the most out of almost any gym or fitness center we reviewed. Classes cover the broadest base of activities in the industry and are tailored for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so members can choose which level is best for them. Most national gyms do not offer levels, just one class for everyone. This can be problematic for a novice to take an advanced class and risk injury. The YMCA's classes include low-impact group exercise and chair classes, stretching and strength training, indoor cycling, boxing, boot camp, water exercise, tai chi, Couch to 5K Beginner Running, yoga, and X-PLODE Group Training.
The YMCA also provides massage, pool, locker rooms (you have to bring your own key or pay for one), mind and body rooms, an indoor track (in suburban locations), and a full-length basketball court and skating rink.
All YMCA locations offer one-on-one personal and group sessions with personal trainers. Members can purchase sessions in 1-, 5-, and 10-hour packages. YMCA's personal training sessions focus on goal setting, cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength and endurance training, and overall body restructuring. Sport-specific training is also available. It should also be noted that the YMCA does offer programs for health and wellness, some of which incorporate some nutritional training. For example, they have a Chronic Disease Programs which offer nutritional consultations.
The YMCA has one membership type: month-to-month. The enrollment fee is $100, which is expensive, though, occasionally the Y will advertise specials where this fee is dropped. Some of the other major gyms we reviewed had similarly expensive enrollment fees.
The quantity and quality of the equipment at the Y varies from gym to gym. Facilities in inner cities are lacking updated equipment while locations in the suburbs have all the best machines. Quantity also varies according to facility location. Some YMCAs have less equipment than others.
As with any fitness facility, the complaints and issues will vary from gym to gym. The majority of reviews for YMCAs across the United States are positive, but there are quite a few complaints about a lot of children in the fitness area. Many fitness clubs have rules against bringing children into the fitness area of a gym. Because YMCA offers family passes and are very family-oriented, the majority of the complaints are about the number of children present at the gym throughout the day. In addition, the YMCA's many amenities are not consistent across all locations.
Prices for training programs at the YMCA depend on the branch you are a member of and are not advertised; rather, they require in-person consultations with YMCA personnel. This is less favorable than some gyms that offer their pricing packaging upfront. YMCA's personal training programs do not seem to be as holistic as other gyms' in terms of nutrition and exercise training. We also found the YMCA doesn't offer nutritional plans for one-on-one training.
They care more about money and have a very poor selection of classes at the Southwest Y
The YMCA has been a great place to get fit with others, get involved in sports, and help others start their journey into fitness. I love the YMCA for working out.
The YMCA in Miami is a great organization. A little expensive ($60), but they offer the community experience and great fitness classes.
The YMCA offers a variety of fitness facilities (pools, ice rinks, weight room, etc) which is a plus, but the facilities are never clean and the price for a guest or nonmember is extremely high and absolutely not worth it.
There is always very nice employees here who love to help and talk to you. The classes that they offer here are very entertaining and with the best workout instructors. The gym is always clean and there is plenty of equipment so even if it is busy you typically do not have to wait for a machine, or you do not have to wait long. The prices for a membership here are not bad, and you definitely get your money's worth.
High prices but have great machines and customer service. Have several locations near my home and great amenities.
The YMCA is great for all ages and they are so accepting of all body types and fitness goals.
The pool is very big at my local YMCA. I love doing laps around it for my exercises.
I used to go here as a kid but now I come here to work out. It’s a very welcoming place and I love all the people that work here.
Alright. Showers aren’t the best. The equipment is good though. Great staff. Overall good but not great.
Just started with YMCA, staff is very nice and the equipment is perfect for getting in shape.
Having been a member of the YMCA, I can say the facilities are family friendly. The quality of the equipment is great. And the staff is always there to help.
I recently started working out and getting started was so easy with the Y. I love the membership and it is definately worth the money
The YMCA fitness center has to be one of the best fitness center options out there. The price of the experience isn’t bad at all and the quality of the machinery and implements are outstanding.
I love the YMCA!! Super great fitness classes offered, including water aerobics, Zumba, and cycling! I love it. The community and staff are also friendly, and they even have child care-with so many toys!
The YMCA is perfect for all of your fitness and fun needs. It’s a great place to get a workout and make some friends. Everyone if family here at the Y and that’s truly what it feels like.
Growing up, I would look forward to my family and I’s trips to the Y. Being able to run laugh and play is something I can always look back on and appreciate. Even today I still use there gym and I truly appreciate how kind their workers are
One of the best family complex to achieve health with your family and friends, I loved
I use to attend the ymca summer camps, it was fun at first but I realized how terrible the management was. There was one counselor who would pelt loud kids with tennis balls and there was little to do.
The YMCA was awesome as I was looking into water aerobics classes for fun. They had good time schedules for all the activities.
Preferred for our family to enjoy a variety of activities and not have to look for day care. We could do family games and sports without equipment and still do individual workouts with equipment. Was busy and crowded during breaks and could get disorganized and not clean but to be expected with the crowd and the busy area and location.
I appreciate the services that the Y provides for the local community. I both received some of the Y's services as a part of the swim program and also worked for the Y for a bit. They are doing much good for the community by promoting wellness and even offering financial accommodations for those struggling financially.
YMCA is a great company! This is the place to enjoy great summer days, clubs, classes, and gyms. What I really enjoy about the YMCA is the fact that they have so many classes for anyone and everyone. Which makes it perfect for people to enjoy this gym.
The YMCA is old and needs lots of updates. I don’t feel like I can get a good workout in.
I love the YMCA. Everything that they stand for I love. I have a membership and I go once a week at least. They have a variety of machines and the staff is amazing. The facilities are perfect.
I love the YMCA. We were members in Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois. Everywhere we lived I loved it and the childcare, kids sports programs, and environment. When I was in school I would go here and study for an hour or two while my kids played in the kids care. I also love how they have a graduated pay rate based on income. Such a great asset to any community.
YMCA has a great gym, and a very nice pool for the summer time.
I absolutely love going to the Y!! So many different group exercise classes, swimming lessons, rock climbing, and the latest gym equipment are just a few of the reasons to join. The facilities are neat and clean and the staff warm and friendly. My absolute favorite class is Yoga......namaste!!
The quality and value can't be beat and the values of the organization are represented very well.
I have been a member at several YMCAs throughout my life. Each location varies in the amenities and cost, but invariably I have had a good experience. The price is always reasonable and I like the fact that they will adjust the price for those who have difficulty paying. I also like their focus on building their surrounding communities.
Pool hours are inconsistent. Change all the time. Makes me so annoyed. always have to call first to be sure the pool is open.
Such a great program! Facilities are always clean, employees are great, and i can trust the child care. More than just a gym
I love my membership at the YMCA! The facility is clean and inviting. There are so many classes and fitness to choose from and not importantly the whole family can participate!!
The YMCA is ok, but if you are serious at all about working out, there are better options. They just don't have the same equipment like other gyms.
I grew up going to the YMCA summer camps and after school classes and enjoyed every minute I spent there. The gym was always very clean with friendly personal trainers.
Although YMCA offers great prices in comparison to other gyms, they don’t offer as many machines.
We used the Y for youth volleyball. The quality of coaches and the facilities were excellent. We did not use the fitness equipment or have a fitness membership but could not help but notice that the areas were very clean and spacious and the equipment was plentiful and well maintained. They have all kinds of programs available to children, families, adults and seniors. The restrooms, showers and locker areas were very nice.
Good value for your money. Had several classes. Good child care during your workouts.
The YMCA gym was always very busy when I went and they also offered different classes which is cool
YMCA been around for years . Helps with after school care and so on great staff and friends
The YCMA Is old and dirty. There are much better options for working out for the same price or cheaper.
I took our kids to our local Y (Patchogue, NY) for swim lessons and basketball. Most of the employees were very nice and the pool was clean, but the family locker room was disgusting. Another CON is the revolving membership that doesn't stop -- EVER -- until you stop it IN WRITING, within a very small window of opportunity, which is how they get you. I tried calling the corporate office to cancel my membership, but they disconnected me about 10 times. Never again.
The y is an amazing place for kids and teens and even adults to go to work out and have a great time
Our YMCA offers lots of exercise equipment. And..... a large pool for swimming or water aerobics. Now I must say this...the pool could stand to be cleaned daily . There's always hair floating in water and a dingy color.
I was member for several years. Loved the water aerobics and took all off my grandchildren there for swim lessons.
A great gym! And great classes for adults and children! Never seem to fail me and is amazing!
Has very nice pool and very nice yoga and dance studios and very useful and nice workers
I attended multiple YMCA’s such as the one in Spring Valley, California and enjoyed having a membership there. They have many things such as a gym, basketball courts, and even an indoor heated pool. This place is highly recommended and offer so many benefits for adults, teens, and children.
Offers a variety of workout classes that everyone from kids to grandparents can participate in.
Pretty good community club with more variety and family friendly environment. Affordable, for the most part. Fairly clean. Wish they'd use fragrance free soaps and cleaning products, though - It IS a "health club", after all.