Anytime Fitness vs Crunch: Differences, Pros, Cons

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Differences, Pros, Cons

Anytime Fitness and Crunch are among the top chain gyms in the US. Each gym has its pros and cons, but in my opinion, they each have more positives than negatives. This makes it difficult to choose between the two if you’re interested in purchasing a gym membership, but there are some differences that set them apart from one another.

So, is Anytime Fitness or Crunch a better gym? Crunch is better than Anytime Fitness because it’s larger, has more amenities, and offers more group classes. Depending on what plan you get, Crunch also costs less than Anytime Fitness. But Anytime Fitness has a tighter community, which is ideal for people who want to join a gym where they’ll feel like part of a team.

Many people only look at cost when deciding which gym to join, but there are many other factors to consider. Operating hours, location, amenities, and even the gym’s rules about working out can all affect how satisfied you’ll be with your decision.

In this article, I’ll review 10 of the most important components of a gym and discuss how Anytime Fitness and Crunch compare. By the end, you’ll be able to decide which gym can best help you reach your goals.

Anytime Fitness Overview

Anytime Fitness Overview

Founded in 2002 in Minnesota, Anytime Fitness has expanded to more than 4,500 locations in 50 countries. At one point, it was the fastest-growing gym franchise in the US, though that distinction has now been taken over by Planet Fitness.

In addition to its widespread presence, Anytime Fitness also appeals to a large audience due to its convenient hours. Members are allowed to train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can even access the club during holidays.

With its small facilities, supportive staff, and friendly members, Anytime Fitness is a good gym for anyone who likes to be part of a community. Most clubs hold social events and challenges throughout the year that not only keep their members motivated but allow them to connect with each other outside of the gym.

Pros

  • Can access the gym 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Can visit any location in the world as long as you’ve been a member for at least 30 days
  • Strong team-like environment
  • Access to high-quality personal trainers
  • Good for beginners and experienced gym-goers alike

Cons

  • Chalk and dropping weights are not allowed at most clubs
  • Doesn’t have a lot of amenities or group classes

Check out my full Anytime Fitness review here.

Crunch Fitness Overview 

Crunch Fitness

I like to think of Crunch as a commercial gym with a boutique feel. It has all of the cardio and strength equipment that you’d expect to find in a gym, but it also has innovative group classes and supports a variety of training styles. This enables you to get a unique training experience with each visit.

Crunch’s goal is to maintain a judgment-free zone, which makes it a good gym for anyone whether you’re working out for the first time or you’ve been training for years. It’s also a gym where you can do almost any kind of workout, including powerlifting, CrossFit, bodybuilding, HIIT, or group fitness.

There are currently 300 Crunch locations in the US, Canada, and Australia. Each club offers several different membership options that fit a variety of budgets.

Pros

  • Clean, well-maintained facilities
  • Excellent personal trainers
  • Motivating, energetic group instructors
  • Huge amount of equipment
  • Fun group classes

Cons

  • Certain amenities are only available at signature and select clubs
  • Online nutrition program that comes with your membership isn’t worth it

Click here for my full review of Crunch Fitness.

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Fitness: 10 Differences

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Differences

I had the chance to work out at several chain gyms recently, and Anytime Fitness and Crunch Fitness were some of my favorites. I liked them each for different reasons.

When comparing them side-by-side, there are several similarities, but there are also a few differences. It’s important to consider the factors that are most important to you in a gym before you make a final decision about which one to join.

1. Cost

One of the first things to consider when joining a gym is cost. It can be a limiting factor for many people, so it’s important to find a gym that fits within your budget. Aside from the monthly fees, you’ll also have to account for things like enrollment fees and annual fees.

Anytime Fitness

The majority of Anytime Fitness locations charge biweekly. Each location has different monthly fees, but it typically costs between $27 and $30 plus taxes every two weeks.

When you join, you’ll have to pay your first two weeks’ dues as well as a $99 administrative fee and a $25 fee for your key fob.

If you want to try Anytime Fitness before you buy a membership, you can get a free seven-day trial.

Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness has franchise, signature, and select clubs. The signature and select clubs are often quite similar to each other, but the franchise clubs don’t offer as many amenities. As such, the franchise clubs are more affordable while the signature and select clubs are more expensive.

The most basic plan at a franchise club starts at around $12.99/month. There are also higher-tier plans that cost around $24.99 or $29.99 per month.

Memberships at signature or select clubs can range anywhere from $39.99 to $59.99 or more per month.

Enrollment fees vary based on what type of plan you get, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $75. With all memberships, you’ll also have to pay a $42.99 annual fee.

Before buying a membership, you can get a free one-day trial pass on Crunch’s website.

The Winner

If you’re looking at a signature or select Crunch Fitness club, you’ll likely find that the monthly costs are similar to those at Anytime Fitness. However, Crunch also has more affordable membership options, so it’ll be a better choice for anyone looking to save money.

2. Contract Length

Gyms typically offer month-to-month or annual contracts, but some gyms offer both. A month-to-month contract is more flexible because there’s no end date. But if you know you’ll remain a member of your gym for a long time, an annual contract may be worth it to you.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness has both annual and month-to-month contracts. However, the type of contract offered at each location will vary.

If you find a club that offers annual contracts, they’ll usually be for one or two years.

Crunch Fitness

Each Crunch club has different types of contracts, and the length is often determined by which plan you purchase. Some locations have month-to-month contracts for the base plans only, and the higher-level plans require annual commitments. At other clubs, all membership plans are month-to-month.

The Winner

Both gyms offer annual and month-to-month contracts — it just depends on which location you join and which membership you purchase. So, it’s a tie.

3. Equipment

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Equipment

The type of workouts you prefer doing will determine what kind of equipment you should look for in a gym. It’s near impossible to find a gym without treadmills or dumbbells, which may or may not be sufficient enough for you.

But if you’re a powerlifter, CrossFitter, or you just like switching up your workouts every now and then, you should make sure the gym has a variety of equipment that will suit your needs.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness locations are small so they can only fit so much equipment. However, you’ll find treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowers at almost every location. Some clubs also have Rogue Echo bikes.

In the weights area, Anytime Fitness has strength machines for upper and lower body, dumbbells, EZ curl bars, and preset straight barbells. Most locations have squat racks and bench press stations as well as flat and incline benches near the dumbbell racks, but you may not be able to find deadlift platforms.

There are also functional training areas at Anytime Fitness with TRX bands, battle ropes, slam balls, medicine balls, plyo boxes, kettlebells, and tires.

Crunch Fitness

At Crunch, you’ll find dozens of treadmills, step climbers, stationary bikes, Concept 2 rowers, and ellipticals. It also has StairmasterHIIT machines, which are treadmills that have farmer’s carry arms attached to them.

In the weight room, Crunch has resistance machines, dumbbells, EZ curl bars, and straight bars. Most locations have several squat racks and deadlift platforms, and there are plenty of barbells and bumper plates to go around.

Crunch also has a functional training area with agility ladders, Bosu balls, medicine balls, punching bags, battle ropes, hex dumbbells, TRX bands, and kettlebells.

The Winner

Crunch Fitness surpasses Anytime Fitness when it comes to equipment. Because it’s a larger gym, it naturally has room for more equipment. But because Crunch also has things like deadlift platforms, it’s suitable for a larger variety of training styles.

4. Atmosphere

A gym should be a place where you feel inspired to work out. If the one you’re considering has a dark, depressing atmosphere, you won’t feel motivated to go. And even if you do go, you’ll find it hard to get in the right mindset to train once you get there.

You should also never feel like the staff or members are judging you. The gym should be a place where you feel welcome and supported regardless of your training history or goals.

Furthermore, everyone should be respectful of each other, and you should be able to find people who have similar goals as you so you can look to them for motivation.

Anytime Fitness

If you’re the type of person who thrives when you work out with other people, you’ll enjoy Anytime Fitness.

The staff and personal trainers are incredibly supportive. The members are also friendly and courteous. It’s likely you’ll become friends with some of them, especially if the same members work out at the same time as you every day or you participate in team training sessions together.

Anytime Fitness also provides plenty of opportunities for you to interact with the other members outside of the gym.

Crunch Fitness

Because Crunch caters to a variety of training methods, you’ll fit in whether you enjoy cardio, strength training, or group classes. Crunch also has engaging, supportive staff members, and their energy is contagious.

From what I’ve seen, there are some really strong individuals who belong to Crunch. If you like to lift weights, being around those types of people will push you to continue making progress.

As with any gym, you’ll find some people who only care about walking on the treadmill or casually pedaling on the bike. But most people who go to Crunch are there to train hard and push themselves.

The Winner

It’s a toss-up because each gym has a great atmosphere, just in different ways. Anytime Fitness is more community-oriented while Crunch Fitness is uplifting and energizing.

If working out in a family-like environment is important to you, I’d go with Anytime Fitness. If you’re not interested in making friends at the gym but you still get motivation from being surrounded by other fit individuals, I’d choose Crunch.

5. Gym Policies

Proper gym etiquette can be tricky to navigate since each gym has its own rules and regulations. Whether you’re completely new to working out or you’re transitioning from another gym, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t allowed at your new gym.

If you can, you should also take the gym contract home with you before you sign it. You’ll be able to read through it in a comfortable environment, and you’ll be less likely to make a hasty decision. 

Anytime Fitness

At Anytime Fitness, you can wear any workout apparel that’s clean, isn’t too baggy or revealing, and doesn’t have a lot of grommets or decorations that can get caught in the machines. Some locations will let you work out barefoot.

Whether or not you can use chalk and drop weights depends on the location. At most locations, slamming the bar after each deadlift rep or dropping weights from overhead isn’t allowed. Each location will also have its own rules about chalk, but most don’t allow it.

You can bring guests during staffed hours. Most locations will also allow you to transfer your membership to someone else if you’re a member in good standing and the other individual hasn’t been a member for the past 6-12 months.

Anytime Fitness will let you freeze your membership if you’re unable to work out due to a medical issue. If you want to cancel, you’ll have to do so in person or send a letter via certified mail. You’ll also have to give them 30 days’ notice.

Members with month-to-month memberships can cancel at any time. Members with annual contracts who cancel early have to pay a $150 cancellation fee. Some locations may also ask you to pay the outstanding balance of however much time is left on your contract.

Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness allows you to lift barefoot and drop weights if you need to bail a lift. Chalk is allowed at some locations, but not others. The dress code is also pretty lenient — any appropriate workout clothing is acceptable.

You can bring guests with you as long as they are at least 18 years old. Crunch doesn’t let you transfer your membership to another person, but if you move or prefer working out at another club, you can transfer it to another location.

Cancellation policies vary based on what kind of membership you have. If you have a month-to-month plan, you can cancel at any time. If you have an annual contract and want to cancel early, you’ll have to pay administrative fees. In some cases, you may also have to pay a portion of the balance for the months you didn’t use your membership.

To cancel, you have to submit a written letter in person or send it via certified mail, and you have to provide 30 days’ notice.

At Crunch, you can also temporarily freeze your membership if you have a medical issue that prevents you from working out.

The Winner

The policies surrounding cancellations, guests, chalk, and dropping weights all vary by location at Anytime Fitness and Crunch. But the rules tend to be pretty similar at both gyms, so there’s no clear winner in this category.

6. Group Classes

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Group Classes

Almost all gyms have group classes of some sort, but the exact class offerings vary. Schedules vary as well, with some gyms having classes all day long and others only offering them a few times a day.

If you’re interested in taking group classes, you’ll need to check with the gym you intend to join to make sure the ones you like are offered at times that fit your schedule.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness doesn’t have a lot of traditional group classes such as Pilates, boot camp, Zumba, or spin. However, it does have small group training classes, which are also called team training.

There are three types of team training classes: one for beginners, one for people who want to focus on strength, and one for people who want to improve their endurance.

Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness has yoga, Pilates, Zumba, spinning, HIIT, kickboxing, and barre classes that run all day long. You can also take boot camp classes and strength-building classes.

For anyone who likes doing CrossFit or any other kind of HIIT workouts, Crunch offers signature classes called HIITZone. These classes are 45 minutes long and focus on either strength or endurance. You can also take classes that offer a hybrid of the two.

The Winner

Crunch Fitness has a larger selection of group classes, making it the better option for anyone who’s interested in group fitness.

7. Amenities

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Amenities

Some gyms have everything you could think of under one roof, while others are more barebones and have just a few basic amenities.

If you know you’ll want to take advantage of certain amenities at the gym, you should make a list of the ones that are most important to you and which ones you’re willing to sacrifice. Amenities vary from gym to gym as well as from location to location, so having a list of your must-haves will make it easier for you to make a decision.

Anytime Fitness

The amenities at Anytime Fitness vary by location, but you likely won’t find a lot. Many clubs only have locker rooms. Some locations have tanning booths, massage chairs, smoothie bars, and red light therapy, but those are few and far between.

Anytime Fitness doesn’t have pools, basketball courts, childcare, or saunas.

Crunch Fitness

Your membership plan at Crunch will determine which amenities you have access to. At most locations, the base plan only gives you access to the exercise equipment, showers, and locker rooms. Other plans give you access to tanning booths, red light therapy booths, massage chairs, and tanning.

If you join a signature or select club, you can get access to swimming pools and saunas. Some of the higher-end clubs also provide towel services.

The Winner

You’ll find more amenities at Crunch. Just keep in mind that you’ll need more than a base membership to get access to them, and not all amenities are available at all locations.

8. Personal Training

Anytime Fitness vs Crunch Personal Training

Working with a personal trainer can help you break out of a training rut or provide accountability if you’re not a self-disciplined person. Most personal trainers aren’t cheap, though, and not all trainers have the business or social skills to be successful.

If you’re interested in working with a personal trainer, you should make sure you can fit it into your budget. You should also ask about your trainer’s credentials to make sure he or she can help you reach your goals.

Anytime Fitness

In addition to being certified through NASM, ACE, or another similar institution, many Anytime Fitness trainers are required to have college degrees in exercise science or kinesiology.

The cost of a personal training session at Anytime Fitness varies based on how many sessions you want and how long they are. A 30-minute session can start at $25, while a 60-minute session can cost as much as $75. You can save some money if you buy packages of 5, 10, or 20 sessions.

You have the option to sign up for a free personal training consultation when you first sign up.

Crunch Fitness

Even though Crunch Fitness accepts trainers with almost any personal training certification, it prefers NASM, which many believe is the best certification in the US. Furthermore, Crunch tends to only hire trainers who have degrees in exercise science, kinesiology, or other related area.

Crunch Fitness’s personal training sessions are expensive. They start at $100/hour at some locations. If you buy sessions in bulk, you can save money, but you have to commit to at least six months’ worth of sessions.

If you’re undecided about signing up for personal training, you can take advantage of a free consultation when you join Crunch to see if it’s right for you.

The Winner

The personal trainers at Anytime Fitness and Crunch are both highly qualified, but they’re less expensive at Anytime Fitness. I’d recommend Anytime Fitness over Crunch if you want to work with a personal trainer but still want to save some money.

9. Locations

When you join a large chain gym, you often get access to any location. This is beneficial for people who live and work in different cities or those who travel a lot.

Before you officially join a gym, though, you should ask about its policies regarding drop-ins at other locations. At some gyms, you can only attend other locations with certain memberships. Some gyms also have exclusive clubs that don’t allow visits from members of other locations. 

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness has over 4,500 locations. There are clubs in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Members who have been at Anytime Fitness for at least 30 days can visit any location in the world.

Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness has 300 locations in the US, Canada, and Australia. If you have a basic membership, you can only attend your home club. With any other membership, you can visit nearly every other location. However, some of the signature and select clubs are excluded.

The Winner

Anytime Fitness will be more convenient for most people due to the number of locations it has and because it’s available in so many different countries.

10. Hours of Operation

Hours of Operation Anytime Fitness vs Crunch

More and more gyms are starting to offer 24-hour access to their members, but many don’t stay open past 10 or 11 PM. Gyms that aren’t open 24 hours a day also tend to have limited schedules during the weekends and on holidays. When choosing between two gyms, you’ll need to make sure the one you prefer is available at the times you’ll be able to go.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The staff isn’t onsite all the time, but members are free to come and go as they please.

Crunch Fitness

Each location has its own hours of operation. Most are open from 5 AM until 10 or 11 PM on weekdays and from 7 AM to 7 PM on the weekends. The majority of Crunch locations will also be closed or have limited hours on holidays.

The Winner

If you have an odd schedule and can only make it to the gym in the middle of the night, Anytime Fitness is a better option for you.

Who Is Anytime Fitness Gym For?

Anytime Fitness is an ideal gym for you if:

  • You need a gym where you can work out 24/7
  • You’re looking for a small gym with a tight-knit community
  • You like working out in small teams
  • You travel a lot and want to be able to visit the gym when you’re in another country
  • Amenities aren’t important to you

Who Is Crunch Fitness For?

Crunch Fitness is a good gym for you if:

  • You’re a powerlifter or bodybuilder
  • You like CrossFit or other high-intensity exercises
  • You like amenities such as pools and basketball courts (keep in mind these are only available at signature or select clubs)
  • You like group classes
  • You need someone to watch your kids while you work out

Other Gym Comparisons With Anytime Fitness and Crunch Fitness


About The Author

Amanda Dvorak

Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.