Life Time Fitness is not just a gym — it’s an athletic resort with much more than just treadmills and dumbbells. I recently visited Life Time Fitness with one of my friends to see if a membership is worth it.
So is a Life Time gym membership worth it? A Life Time Fitness membership is worth it if you can afford it. It’s expensive, but you’ll have access to high-quality equipment and various strength and cardio workouts. It’s also a good place for families because it has a ton of activities for kids.
In this article, I’ll talk about why Life Time Fitness gyms are superior to other chain gyms.
I’ll also discuss:
- The pros and cons of a gym membership at Life Time Fitness
- An overview of the Life Time Fitness membership plans
- How much is a Life Time membership?
- The equipment and amenities available at Life Time Fitness
- Life Time Fitness’s rules and policies
- Are the Life Time Fitness personal trainers are worth it?
- Tips for new Life Time Fitness members
- Complaints about Life Time Fitness
- A list of Life Time Fitness alternatives
My Experience Working Out At Life Time Fitness
The Life Time Fitness in Montvale, NJ, is beautiful, which is a good thing considering it’s a high-end, luxury gym. I felt like I was walking into a resort that just happens to have gym equipment rather than a gym where people work out a lot.
People do actually work out here, though. I’ve heard complaints about members who just walk or pedal slowly on the bike while reading or texting, but you’ll find that at most chain gyms. From what I’ve seen, the members at Life Time Fitness are serious about their workouts.
The staff was polite and helpful during the check-in process. They ensured I understood how to use the equipment before I started working out, and I never felt pressured to sign up for a gym membership. I didn’t have any issues with them while I was there, but I have heard that some employees don’t enforce the rules while others are too strict.
There was a good mix of males and females on the gym floor, with most people in their 30s and 40s. There were also a lot of kids running around the entire facility since it’s a family-friendly place, but they weren’t on the gym floor.
The gym is massive, with 102,000 square feet of cardio machines, cable and plate-loaded machines, free weights, squat racks, lifting platforms, and many amenities. There are also plenty of benches, preloaded barbells, medicine balls, plyo boxes — and that still doesn’t cover everything it offers.
The gym floor has one of the most logical layouts I’ve seen at a chain gym. The cardio and strength machines have their own sections, and all of the strength machines are organized by body part. For example, there’s one row of machines for arms, another row for chest, and so on.
If I didn’t have a home gym, I would join Life Time Fitness despite how expensive its monthly memberships are. It’s the kind of place where I know I’d be excited to work out, and I’d definitely use it enough to justify the cost.
Keep in mind that this is based on my experience at the Montvale, NJ location. Other locations may have different amenities and equipment as well as a different clientele. If you have any questions about a Life Time Fitness by you, I recommend calling or requesting a guest pass to check it out for yourself.
Life Time Gym Membership: Pros & Cons
Every gym can’t be 100% perfect, including one as nice as this one. Below are the pros and cons of Life Time Fitness.
- You will never get bored. There really is something for everyone at Life Time Fitness, regardless of your age, training history, and experience level. There’s even a salon where you can get a haircut or get your nails done. I think I could spend all day there and never run out of things to do!
- Life Time Fitness has high-quality equipment and unique amenities. In addition to your standard machines and free weights, some Life Time Fitness locations have rock climbing walls, tennis courts, and outdoor pools.
- The facilities are clean and the equipment is well-maintained. The locker rooms, bathrooms, and gym floor were all clean when I visited. People were also good at putting their weights away, and I didn’t notice any machines that were out of order.
- Life Time Fitness is upfront about all of its fees. Even though Life Time Fitness prices are high, there aren’t a lot of hidden fees. You don’t have to worry about unexpected costs when you’re already paying top dollar for a monthly membership.
- Monthly memberships are expensive. Since it’s more like a resort than a gym, a Life Time Fitness membership will cost significantly more than other chain gyms. The expensive monthly memberships put it out of reach for many people.
- Depending on the location, the staff can be rude. I’ve heard of some Life Time Fitness employees having bad attitudes towards customers — not so much on the gym floor, but in other areas such as the salons and outdoor swimming pools.
Life Time Membership Prices, Plans, and Discounts
Life Time Membership Levels
Below, I’ve provided the membership plans and what you get with each one at the Montvale, NJ location. While the plans at your local club may vary, they should be fairly similar. You can check out the Life Time Fitness locations page to learn more about the plans at your local facility.
|Digital||Signature||26 & Under||65 Plus|
Everything in the Digital plan, plus:
Everything in the Digital plan, plus:
Everything in the Digital plan, plus:
How Much Is a Life Time Fitness Membership?
Now you know everything you get with a Life Time Fitness membership. But how much is Life Time Fitness?
It’s difficult to provide a straightforward answer to that question since prices vary by location. But to give you an idea of the Life Time Fitness membership cost as of 2022, below are the prices for monthly memberships at the Montvale, NJ, location.
I live in an area with a high cost of living, and this club is in an affluent part of NJ. While you can expect high membership costs at every location, it’s possible that the Life Time Fitness prices aren’t as steep where you live.
|Digital||Signature||26 & Under||65 Plus|
Does Life Time Fitness Have an Initiation Fee?
The initiation fee at Life Time Fitness (which it calls a joining fee) starts at $49 but can cost as much as $170. However, Life Time Fitness has promotions throughout the year where you can join without paying an initiation fee.
Looking for a gym that offers free passes or trials? Check out our detailed guide: 14 Gyms With Free Passes & Trials.
Does Life Time Fitness Have a Family Membership Plan?
There is no specific Life Time Fitness family membership plan, but you can add one other adult who lives in the same household and dependents between 14 and 25 to your plan.
If you add a second adult to your Life Time Fitness plan, they receive a discount of up to 50% off the regular membership price. You can add children to your account for $50 or less per month, depending on the location.
Does Life Time Fitness Offer a Discounted Monthly Membership?
In addition to the membership plans above, Life Time Fitness also offers special memberships for students, corporate partners, military personnel, and Medicare participants.
Some Life Time Fitness locations offer a discounted monthly membership for students during the summer months. Students can also attend the club during fall, winter, and spring breaks and get year-long access to all digital content. This plan is only for students at least 18 years old and actively enrolled in high school or college.
For a list of good gyms for students, check out our article Best Gyms With Student Discounts.
Life Time Fitness offered military discounts at one point. However, as of this writing, it no longer offers discounts for active or retired military members.
That said, depending on your location, you may be able to get the initiation fee waived or reduced by up to 50%.
Life Time Fitness has a corporate wellness program. If your employer participates in this program, you can get a reduced rate on your Life Time Fitness membership and up to a $100 credit to use at the cafe, spa, or on personal training sessions.
Many Life Time Fitness locations partner with Medicare programs to offer reduced rates on monthly memberships. You can check with your insurance provider and obtain a Fitness ID or confirmation code to determine eligibility.
How To Join Life Time Fitness
You can join Life Time Fitness in person. You’ll just have to sign a membership agreement and take a photo for your ID card.
You can also join Life Time Fitness online by searching for a location close to you on the locations page and selecting the one you want to join. You’ll then be prompted to receive suggestions on the best membership plan for you.
Before you submit your first payment, you’ll also have to create an online account. The login credentials you create will be the same ones you can use to log in to the Life Time Fitness mobile app.
If you join online, you’ll also sign the membership agreement and get your photo taken for your ID card during your first visit to the club.
Life Time Fitness Gym Equipment
At Life Time Fitness, you’ll find cardio and resistance machines from most popular commercial equipment suppliers, such as Precor, Octane Fitness, Hammer Strength, and TechnoGym.
There are rows and rows of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and step machines. You probably won’t have to wait for one to become available even if you go at a busy time. There are also several Woodway treadmills, similar to Assault Air Runners or TrueForm runners, that you may have seen if you’ve ever done CrossFit.
At some locations, the squat racks have their own dip stations and landmine attachments. There are also bumper plates at each squat rack, which is great because you don’t have to share them with anyone else. The squat racks also have spotter arm attachments so you won’t have to worry about asking someone to spot you.
The dumbbells, preloaded barbells, and EZ curl bars are all Life Time Fitness-branded. The bumper plates are Alpha-branded, which is Life Time Fitness’s CrossFit-style classes. They range in weight from 10lbs to 45lbs.
Does Life Time Fitness Have Squat Racks?
The Life Time Fitness location I visited had six squat racks. I was able to get one when I went in the afternoon, but you may have to wait for one if you go in the evening.
Does Life Time Fitness Have Deadlift Platforms?
Life Time Fitness has deadlift platforms that are attached to each squat rack.
Life Time Fitness Benefits, Features, and Amenities
Even though the monthly cost of Life Time Fitness is steep, you get access to many amenities. The below table shows some of the perks you get with a Life Time Fitness membership.
|Amenity||Available at Life Time Fitness?|
|Cardio cinema room||No|
|Group fitness classes||Yes (some classes only available with a Signature membership)|
|Massage chairs||No, but you can get massages at the on-site spa for a separate fee|
|Pool||Yes (including outdoor pools at some locations)|
|Red light therapy||No|
|Smoothie bars||No, but most locations have on-site cafes|
|Tennis court||At some locations|
|Women’s only area||No|
If the Life Time Fitness membership cost is out of your budget, check out our guides below for other gyms that offer many of the same amenities:
- Best Gyms With Pools, Saunas, & Hot Tubs
- Best Gyms With Showers (Cleanliness & What’s Included)
- Best Gyms With Basketball Courts
- Best Gyms With Childcare (What To Expect, Rules, Cost)
- Best Gyms With Classes
Life Time Fitness Hours
While each Life Time Fitness location will have its own hours of operation, I provided the hours for the Montvale, NJ, location below to give you an idea of the gym’s schedule:
|Day of the Week||Hours|
|Monday||4 AM - 12 AM|
|Tuesday||4 AM - 12 AM|
|Wednesday||4 AM - 12 AM|
|Thursday||4 AM - 12 AM|
|Friday||4 AM - 12 AM|
|Saturday||5 AM - 10 PM|
|Sunday||5 AM - 10 PM|
To get the schedule for a Life Time Fitness near you, visit the Life Time Fitness locations page to search for the one closest to you.
Who Does Life Time Fitness Cater To?
I mentioned earlier that there’s something for everyone at Life Time Fitness, and it’s true. It caters to people of any age or fitness level, and you’ll have access to plenty of equipment to help you reach your goals.
Life Time Fitness is an excellent gym for families. It has many amenities and activities for kids, including extended childcare hours and kids’ camps.
If you have CrossFit experience, you’ll enjoy Life Time Fitness. Most locations offer classes called Alpha, which include movements you’d do in a CrossFit box, like box jumps, kettlebell swings, the Olympic lifts, rowing, and sprints on the Assault bike. And if you’re a competitive CrossFitter, you’ll also be able to use the pool to practice swimming.
For those who like group fitness, Life Time Fitness has a variety of classes, such as Pilates, Zumba, spinning, and yoga.
Powerlifters, bodybuilders, and other strength athletes will enjoy Life Time Fitness, too. It has a great selection of barbells, plates, dumbbells, and machines. There are also several squat racks, lifting platforms, and incline and flat benches.
Life Time Fitness can be intimidating for beginners because of its large size, but anyone new to fitness will feel comfortable there. The personal trainers are available to help if you need assistance with the equipment or need a workout plan. There are also beginner-friendly GTX (group training experience) classes focusing on the fundamentals.
Life Time Fitness offers one-on-one training and challenges for anyone looking to lose weight. In addition to personal trainers, Life Time Fitness has registered dietitians who can set you up with a meal plan.
If you are a beginner looking for a gym, you can check out the Best Gyms for Beginners: My Top Picks + 7 Things to Consider.
Specific Information For Women
Life Time Fitness doesn’t have a women’s-only workout area, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable on the main gym floor as a female. The clientele seemed more mature than the folks at other chain gyms I’ve been to, and the other members were mostly focused on themselves.
Because of the high costs of the monthly memberships and the fact that it’s a family-friendly place, Life Time Fitness doesn’t attract the kind of men who only go to the gym to flirt with women. You probably won’t find as many creeps there as you would at other commercial gyms.
Want a gym that allows kids & teens? Check out our guide: Gyms That Allow Kids & Teens (Polices & Prices Explained)
Life Time Fitness Policies
Policy on Dropping Weights, Grunting, & Chalk
At the Life Time Fitness in Montvale, NJ, no chalk of any kind is allowed. However, dropping weights is allowed since it has lifting platforms and bumper plates.
I was also told that grunting is allowed if you’re not obnoxious about it. So I’d recommend keeping it to a minimum and not grunting on every single rep if you can help it.
Cancellation Policy & Contract Length
All Life Time Fitness membership plans are month-to-month, so you can cancel anytime. Unlike most chain gyms, there are no cancellation fees.
Regardless of your membership plan, you’ll need to give 30 days notice to cancel your Life Time Fitness membership. You can visit the club to cancel or send certified snail mail with the date and reason for your cancellation request.
According to Life Time Fitness’s website, you can also call the corporate office to cancel. But I’ve heard some members calling and being told they must send a certified letter or visit the club in person, so I’d stick with those options if you want to cancel.
When you cancel, you should ask for written confirmation that the request went through in case you need proof later on. I also recommend checking your bank account regularly to ensure it doesn’t keep withdrawing funds.
If you want to freeze your membership, you’ll also have to give 30 days’ notice. But you can put an immediate freeze on your account if you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working out. You may have to pay a $10/month fee during the hold period.
Guest Policy: Can You Bring A Friend or Wife/Husband?
Life Time Fitness members are allowed to bring guests. However, the number of guest passes you get and how often you can bring one depends on the location and your membership plan.
Guests can use the gym equipment but are usually not allowed to use the outdoor swimming pools or sports courts or take group classes.
Pet Policy: Can You Bring Your Dog To Workout?
Dogs are not allowed at Life Time Fitness unless they are certified service animals.
Are Life Time Fitness Memberships Transferable?
Life Time Fitness memberships are not transferrable to another person. You can change your home club location by speaking to a staff member in person.
Does a Life Time Fitness Membership Work Anywhere?
Depending on your membership plan, you may only be able to use your membership at other local Life Time Fitness gyms. Some clubs are more exclusive and don’t accept members from other areas.
For example, with a Signature membership at the Montvale, NJ, location, I could go to most other Life Time Fitness locations in NJ and PA. However, I wouldn’t be able to attend certain clubs in New York City or states on the other side of the country.
Each club has its own rules about which locations you can visit. If you travel a lot, I recommend speaking to a staff member when you sign up to check if your membership will allow you to visit other locations.
Is There a Dress Code?
Life Time Fitness doesn’t have a strict dress code, but you should still follow basic etiquette. I didn’t see any women wearing booty shorts at the location I visited, but a few wore crop tops. The men were all wearing shirts unless they were swimming.
While there, I asked about lifting without shoes and was told I could do so as long as I kept socks on.
Can My Child Work Out at Life Time Fitness?
Children at least 11 years old can work out at Life Time Fitness if a parent or legal guardian supervises them. Eleven-year-olds can only use machines, while older children and teenagers can also use free weights.
Is Life Time Fitness Personal Training Worth It?
Considering that Life Time Fitness is a luxury gym, I would expect its trainers to have more qualifications than the trainers at other gyms. But the requirements for becoming a trainer at Life Time Fitness are about the same as any other gym.
Life Time Fitness personal trainers must have certifications from organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Degrees in fields such as Kinesiology are preferred but not required.
Personal training sessions are not included in the Life Time Fitness monthly cost. They start at $55/hour and can go up to $110/hour. When you join, you get a complimentary one-hour session.
If you’ve never worked out before, working with a personal trainer for at least a few months is worth it. They’ll help you get more comfortable using gym equipment and teach you proper form. Personal trainers can also help if you have specific weight loss or training goals.
For most other people, the personal trainers at Life Time Fitness aren’t worth it. They can be more expensive than trainers at other gyms but don’t necessarily have any additional training or credentials to justify the higher costs. I’d save the money if you have years of training experience, especially since the Life Time Fitness membership fee is already very expensive.
Want our list of gyms with a personal trainer? Check out our guide: 9 Best Gyms With Trainers (And, How Not To Get Ripped Off)
Tips For New Life Time Fitness Members
1. Pay Attention to the Nutrition Facts When Ordering From the LifeCafe®
One of the perks of a Life Time Fitness membership is the extensive on-site cafe. Most of the menu options are made from fresh, whole ingredients, but they can still be calorie-dense. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the food, but if you’re trying to lose weight or you like to track your macros, be mindful of the meals you choose.
2. Take Advantage of As Many Classes and Amenities As Possible
There’s no shortage of classes and amenities at Life Time Fitness. Even if you have specific goals, I recommend trying something new whenever possible to justify the high Life Time membership cost.
Life Time Fitness isn’t the place for people who just want to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, so get familiar with the club and try as many different workouts as possible.
3. Use Your Best Judgment When Drinking Alcohol at Life Time
Yes, Life Time Fitness is a gym and a place where adults go to relax. As such, alcohol is sold in the cafe or by the outdoor swimming pools at some locations.
If you do indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two, don’t try to use any gym equipment after drinking. You can get kicked out of the gym and may have your Life Time Fitness membership privileges revoked.
Life Time Fitness Complaints
Not everyone has a good experience at Life Time Fitness despite how amazing it is.
One of the most common complaints about Life Time Fitness is how difficult it is to cancel a membership. Like almost every other chain gym, Life Time doesn’t accept cancellation requests over the phone or via email. Members also complain that they continue to be charged even after submitting a cancellation request and receiving confirmation that it was processed.
Because Life Time Fitness is a family-friendly place, there are a lot of kids at the facility. At some locations, members have complained that the staff doesn’t keep children contained and allows them to run around the gym floor and saunas.
I’ve also heard complaints that Life Time Fitness will frequently close some of its amenities without informing members ahead of time.
Is Life Time Fitness Worth It?
If you’re looking for a gym that’s also a home away from home and you have the budget for it, a Life Time Fitness gym membership is worth it. It’s a place where you and your entire family can work out, relax, and have fun.
If luxury gyms aren’t your thing or you don’t go to the gym enough to justify the Life Time Fitness prices, consider a less expensive gym such as Gold’s Gym, which has a lot of equipment but has lower monthly recurring memberships.
Alternatives to Life Time Fitness
As beautiful as Life Time Fitness is, it’s not the right gym for everyone. Below is a list of other gyms to consider if the Life Time Fitness cost is out of your budget or you don’t have one near you.
Equinox is another high-end, luxury gym. An Equinox membership will cost as much as (and sometimes even more than) a Life Time Fitness membership.
Equinox isn’t quite as expansive as Life Time, but it has spa services, top-notch equipment, highly-rated group classes, and member perks such as discounts at Equinox hotels.
Check out our complete review of Equinox.
The YMCA is another family-friendly organization that offers many of the same amenities as Life Time Fitness at a more reasonable price point. It doesn’t have as many squat racks as Life Time, but you can find plenty of benches, free weights, and machines there.
If you want to join the YMCA with a spouse and/or children, you can also get a family membership.
Check out our complete review of YMCA.
3. Gold’s Gym
If you want a gym with high-quality equipment but don’t need all of the amenities or family activities that Life Time Fitness has, I recommend Gold’s Gym. In addition to gym equipment, it has saunas, massage chairs, a smoothie bar, and childcare services for more than half the price of a Life Time membership.
Check out our complete review of Gold’s Gym.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Easy to Cancel a Life Time Fitness Membership?
It isn’t easy to cancel a Life Time Fitness membership. You must cancel in person or send a certified letter to your primary location. Life Time Fitness is also known to charge members even after canceling their memberships. You’ll have to watch your credit card to ensure you don’t keep getting charged.
What Are the Life Time Membership Fees?
Life Time Fitness membership fees vary by location. Most monthly memberships cost at least $100, but Life Time Fitness prices can easily go up to $300 or more if you add a spouse or children to your plan.
Can You Negotiate the Price at Life Time Fitness?
You can try to negotiate the cost of a Life Time membership, but you may not be successful. The brand doesn’t offer lower prices on its monthly recurring memberships. However, you can try to negotiate the initiation fee, so you don’t have to pay it.
How Much Does Life Time Cost a Month?
Life Time Fitness prices vary by location. However, you can expect to pay at least $100/month for the Signature plan. A Life Time Fitness membership can cost upwards of $300/month if you add another adult or any children to your plan.
Are Classes Included at Life Time Fitness?
Most group classes are included with a Life Time membership. Signature classes like Alpha, Ultra Fit, and GTX (group training experience) are only included with Signature memberships.
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Life Time Fitness Gym Comparisons
- Life Time Fitness vs YMCA
- Life Time Fitness vs Equinox
- LA Fitness vs Life Time Fitness
- Gold’s Gym vs Life Time Fitness
- Life Time Fitness vs Planet Fitness
- Life Time Fitness vs 24 Hour Fitness
About The Author
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.