A Comparison of Gym Options

We just got voted the third best gym in Ann Arbor from newsbreak!

We ranked right behind Orange Theory Fitness and the Washtenaw Rec Center, 2 very different gyms from who we are and what we offer.

Of the top 3 gyms on the list we are the only “micro coaching gym” option.

What does that mean?

It means that our goal is to not service 500-1000+ members in a month like #1 and #2 on the list.

Our goal is to change the lives of 150-200 members at a time and to impact the health of the Ann Arbor community.

To go a mile deep instead of a mile wide.

We want our members to show up consistently.

We want our members to be coached each time they show up.

And we want our members to see real, sustainable results.

All of this on top of having a pretty great time in our kick ass community of down to earth individuals who are looking to support each other on their journey and to get a little better than yesterday.

If you’re looking to get into a fitness routine, here’s a comparison of the different facilities out there:

Big gyms (“globo gyms”)

Big globo gym offer a ton of equipment at cheap rates.

They rely on volume (3,000-10,000 members) and the fact that only a fraction of those people will show up on any given day.

Prices range, but are generally pretty cheap ($20-$40 for basic globo gyms and upwards of $150/mon fora fancier Lifetime Fitness or even higher for places like Equinox).

I think of these places like libraries. Lots of resources available, but very little instruction, accountability and community.

People often join, but then feel lost, overwhelmed, and give up because there’s no path or accountability.

The folks who do well at globo gyms are what I call “autonomous” – they can come up with a plan for themselves and stick to it. All they need is access to equipment.

If we correlated this to a school analogy it would be self guided study.

Franchises like Orange Theory, F45, Soul Cycle, Burn Boot Camp, etc. are the next step.

They typically have classes and rely on memberships ranging from 400-800 members.

Because they’re often in retail locations, they’re trying to maximize operational capacity by packing 25-35 people into each class and rotate them through stations.

Rates will range, but are ballpark $150-$200/month depending on how often you want to go and what kind of geographic location you’re in.

There is also very little barrier to entry – you can go there, sign up, and start classes right away.

There is some coaching on form, but movements are also kept simple enough to account for the volume of people in each class. I think one of the potential cons is that people looking for more complexity and progress might be wondering “what’s next?” once they’ve reached a certain level of fitness.

In terms of the school analogy, I think of these places like college lecture halls.

There’s more structure than a globo gym both in terms of “curriculum” and schedule, but still larger than is ideal for coaching attention and safety.

I generally find they’re good for the “cardio junkies” who love to just move and sweat for an hour with less of a community feel.

Then you have functional fitness, CrossFit and micro gyms like ours, Fit2Live in Ann Arbor.

Gyms like ours provide the highest level of accountability of the available options through 1:1 personal training, 1-on-1 nutrition and wellness coaching and in our coach led group fitness classes.

We pull reports each week of members who are not showing up to class and we contact them to see what’s going on. We do quarterly coaches check-ins where we check up on what’s going well, what you’re frustrated with and ensure that your body composition is trending towards a healthier, more functional direction.

We take community and personal relationships to heart by offering a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment.

We know everyone’s name and can usually tell you your dogs name, kids names and when your birthday is. We send you sweet nothings in the mail for special occasions and the tough times.

We have regular community socials and in house events.

We celebrate consistency, milestones and personal records with custom t-shirts for classes attended, raffles for coming 20 times in a month, and PR bells and shoutouts for doing something you’ve never done before.


Movements vary from gymnastics to olympic lifting to running/rowing/biking, etc. This actually creates quite a steep learning curve at first which is why many gyms like ours require at least a few 1:1 foundations sessions when you join.

This can create a barrier to entry at first, but pays off in the long run because there’s always something new to master and you have a solid foundation with your fitness to excel forward. Our goal is to lay the best foundation for more fitness results in the long term and to ensure that you are confident with your starting point in class to ensure you have a great journey at Fit2Live.

Prices at places like ours have the greatest range: $140 for a couple of group classes per week up to $1,000+/month for personal training and nutrition coaching. The prices range from less accountability and coaching to maximal accountability and coaching.

We believe in symmetry and a well rounded fitness approach. We do cardio, but we don’t JUST do cardio. We practice and develop all aspects of fitness, of what we need to be the most functional human in our everyday lives, this includes cardio, strength, mobility, flexibility, endurance, agility, coordination, balance and mental fortitude.

We apply scaling to every member, every workout and every movement to ensure that each participant is getting the most effective and safe workout each and every time they come in to Fit2Live. Scaling is the magic that allows for sustainable progress and how we can have a 16 year old in the same class as an 85 year old.

We also know that fitness isn’t just achieved in the gym, but oftentimes outside of the gym with our nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits, this is why we have a nutrition and wellness coaching program, to keep our members on track the other 90% of the time they aren’t in the gym.

Ultimately, what you’re paying for is attention, accountability and results.

So I equate our group classes to a small college class and our personal training and nutrition and wellness coaching to having a private tutor.

The more attention and customization you want, the more you’ll pay but coincidentally, the more you’ll get.

You really do get what you pay for in most cases.

Lastly, to round out our fitness/school analogies, if you’re working out at home, you’re basically doing home schooling.

But we’ll lump those folks in with the autonomous athletes that are at globo gyms since they are self-motivated.

Ready for more coaching, community and results?

Book a free intro with us RIGHT HERE!



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