Whether you’re training for a fitness test or just looking for a place to blow off some steam, there are a lot of affordable fitness options available to service members.
If you’re on active duty, you’ve got access to your base’s fitness center, which should at least feature cardio and weight training options. Larger installations may offer more, like free pools, basketball courts and running tracks.
If you’re at a smaller installation, in the reserves or National Guard or you travel a lot, you might be looking for another option.
We’ve compared popular gym and fitness chains across the United States to find the best deals for military members.
Or, if you’re indecisive, you can get a USAA Active and Fit Direct program membership, which allows you to visit many of the gyms below (and others!) any time for just $25 a month. Keep reading to learn more.
YMCA Military Discount
The YMCA offers a military-friendly atmosphere and special military discounts.
Regular prices vary by location: the same new member would pay $67 a month if they sign up in New York City, but only $39 in Knoxville. Over a year, that can add up.
Military members and their families can get a special 10% YMCA discount and fee waiver through Military OneSource.
Once you’ve applied, present your OneSource verification at your local YMCA.
If you’re on the go, the YMCA is an excellent option because it has clubs nationwide. The YMCA will even freeze your account while you’re deployed or on an extended TDY.
In addition to gym membership options, the YMCA also offers respite childcare for military children from infancy to age 12.
The YMCA has supported military families across the country through its 2,400 Armed Services YMCA locations conveniently located on or near military installations.
Gold’s Gym Military Discount
Gold’s Gym has 700 locations in 24 countries, so you can always find a place to pick up heavy things and put them back down again. Gold’s Gym offers a 20% military discount for military members and first responders on its membership fees, which range between $49 and $59 monthly, and also waives its $348 enrollment fee for new military members. Service members, retirees, veterans, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses qualify for the discount.
Also, while the military discount doesn’t kick in until you’ve finished basic training, potential recruits preparing to ship for boot camp can take advantage of the gym’s special 12-week exercise program, designed to lose weight and build muscle.
YouFit Military Discount
YouFit, a smaller, regional brand found mainly in the Southern United States, features 80 locations and affordable pricing. For example, a month-to-month membership in Florida costs between $4.99 to $39.99 a month, depending on the access level. Military members and veterans can enjoy their first three months free with valid proof of service, like a military ID, veteran ID or DD-214.
Crunch Fitness Military Discount
New York City-based Crunch Fitness has roughly 300 locations nationwide and a casual atmosphere. They also offer a serious military discount that includes a $75 enrollment fee waiver and a 50% discount on monthly memberships (making them less than $20).
All you need to get the Crunch Fitness discount is a military ID. So, Crunch Fitness is a good option for active, inactive or reserve service members and military families.
CrossFit Military Discount
Is CrossFit actually a gym? Hard to say. Is CrossFit actually enjoyable? Some people seem to like it. At $186 per month, it’s definitely expensive.
If CrossFit is your scene, you can get a 20% military discount on all Crossfit memberships except the ten-day pass.
Some franchised Crossfit locations may have a higher or lower discount policy. While the website advertises 20%, this discount varies from location to location, regardless of the umbrella corporate policy—the three locations we checked with all offered different discount amounts.
Does Planet Fitness Have a Military Discount?
Planet Fitness doesn’t offer a military discount, but it’s an extremely affordable gym with a huge national presence. Planet Fitness’ broad nationwide network of more than 2,000 locations offers a $10 month-to-month membership.
It’s cheaper than most brands, even after their discount. The month-to-month membership flexibility is also ideal for military members who move around or deploy frequently.
How Military Members Can Work Out Anywhere
USAA members can work out just about anywhere with the Active & Fit Direct program. The program is just $25 per month (though you’ll pay $75 for the first two months of your membership). With your membership, you can work out at more than 11,000 fitness centers and 5,000 exercise studios, including many gyms listed above.
The wide network of fitness centers offers a variety of options for health-minded members, including traditional gyms, yoga studios, cycling centers, fitness classes and more.
It’s equivalent to an all-access Black Card at any Planet Fitness location. It also works at the YMCA, Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and other popular gyms.
If you prefer to work out at home, you can stream from the Active & Fit Direct program’s more than 4,000 home workout videos.
Active & Fit membership is nationwide. You can visit different gyms at any time, whether you’re traveling on orders, on vacation or just mixing up your regular workout.
In addition, the plan offers expansive discounts at other health-oriented businesses, including pharmacies, vitamin shops, and exercise clothing stores.
It’s simple to use with an easy online enrollment system. You don’t have to set up a separate payment method – you can just add it to your regular monthly USAA payment. We recommend joining on the first day of the month to maximize savings on USAA’s billing cycle.
Once you’re signed up, all you have to do is show your Active&Fit Direct membership card at any participating fitness center.
How to Get Out of a Gym Membership
The military lifestyle is unpredictable, and it’s hard to tell how long you’ll be in an area.
If you’re an Active & Fit Direct member, you can cancel your membership any time without messing with a gym contract.
Almost all gyms allow for month-to-month, no-obligation contracts that limit service members’ liability. When in doubt, ask them to point out the military clause in their contract before you sign.
The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does not cover gym memberships. However, some states – including Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina – have expanded the law to allow active-duty, reserve and National Guard military members to get out of gym contracts for deployment or relocation orders.
All doing so require that members, upon their return, be allowed to restart their old contract terms and rates.
Taking care of your body is just one of many essential requirements for a fulfilling and successful military career. Luckily, there are a lot of affordable options.
Do you know of other great gym locations offering particular value to military members? Let us know in the comments below.