3 Full-Service Gyms in Philly That Are Actually Worth Joining

We may be addicted to boutique fitness these days, but Philly's big box gyms are making it cool to have a membership again.

philadelphia gyms full service

The lobby at Life Time Athletic in Ardmore | Photograph by Nelson Hill

Just when it looked like trendy boutique studios had sent traditional gyms packing, Philly’s large-scale fitness centers are pushing back with smart perks.

Here, three mega-gyms that are making it cool to have a membership card again:

1. The Steal Gym: Edge Fitness

We may have let out a little cheer when we learned that Connecticut-based Edge Fitness was opening three additional Philly-area locations earlier this year, to join the ones that already operate in Jersey. Why? The memberships start at $10 a month — and the gyms are actually nice. For less than the price of a Center City cocktail, you get features normally reserved for pricier spots: turf areas, a cardio movie-theater room, a smoothie bar, and marble-lined locker rooms. And for $20, group classes are included, too.

Cost: From $10 per month.
Locations: Northeast, Media, Cherry Hill, Delran, Deptford, and Sewell.

2. The Local Gym: City Fitness

With a new location opening any minute at the East Market development, this homegrown brand knows a thing or two about being in the right place at the right time. Not only does CF have six hubs in Philly’s hottest neighborhoods; the gyms are designed to reflect their environments. (The Fishtown club is industrial-looking; Logan Square is sleek and minimal.) Plus, there are big-time bonuses like HydroMassage chairs, killer group classes, and steam and sauna rooms.

Cost: From $50 per month.
Locations: Market East, Fishtown, Grad Hospital, Logan Square, Northern Liberties, and South Philly.

3. The Luxe Gym: Life Time Athletic

The way most of us work out these days requires quite a bit of commuting from studio to studio, but Life Time aims to simplify. The upscale, fast-growing chain has pretty much everything you could want under one roof: classes for the kids, a healthy cafe, a spa and salon, and every group workout imaginable (think barre, HIIT and heated yoga). It’s a one-stop spot you may never want to leave — and considering that the new Ardmore location includes a co-working space, you may never have to.

Cost: $179 per month.
Locations: Ardmore, Fort Washington, King of Prussia, and Mount Laurel.

Published as “The Big Box Boom” in the September 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.