I get this question asked multiple times every month because it’s a concern of many people who sometimes feel that gym membership cost is too expensive. I want to take an in-depth look at how much gym memberships cost on average so that people can understand whether or not they’re getting a good deal. I have been a member of many MMA/BJJ/Muay Thai gyms in my lifetime, the cost of these gyms was anywhere from $70 a month to upwards of $200 a month.
I want you to know that everyone has questioned their gym membership rates at one point. Simply put, no one wants to be ripped off. I have been in your shoes tons of times, and I completely understand how overwhelming that gym contract can be. Whether you’re looking to join your first gym, or if you’re simply looking to make a change, always consider all of these factors before joining an MMA gym.
Who Are The Instructors?
This is probably the first thing I look at when looking to join a new MMA or BJJ gym. I want to know that I’m being taught by the very best instructors that my location has to offer. My first Muay Thai/BJJ gym had amazing instructors, and even though the gym was super small, I still paid the high membership rates because I wanted the very best coaches.
It really comes down to if you value space and comfortability over high quality instruction. I personally value instructor ability above the rest, however I do think if you’re paying high-end money you should get high-quality gym amenities AND high-quality instructors. If you’re MMA/BJJ gym is a Gracie affiliate, be prepared to pay a little extra membership fee (however the instruction is usually top of the line).
I think the time to join MMA has never been better, there are now so many high level instructors around the world. The same can be said for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are so many more black belt level instructors these days (as compared to just 20 years ago). Back in the day, if you wanted to find high level BJJ instructors you would either have to live in Brazil or California, now you can find high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu almost anywhere!
Our Top 10 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gym list includes gyms from all parts of the world!
How Many Classes Are Offered Daily?
This is also an important factor for me when joining a new MMA gym. I want to know that I can train nearly everyday and that their training schedule fits around my work schedule. I usually look for gyms that offer both morning and evening classes so that I can always get a workout in depending on my daily schedule. Typically gyms will offer a few classes a day and possibly one or two on Saturdays.
Weekends are usually when MMA gyms offer an “open mat” which means you can come and train with anyone else who shows up. This is a good time for practicing things you learned over the week. I use open mats to practice new moves and also to just get a good workout in without having an instructor watching over me. I always recommend asking for the gyms schedule before signing any contract, also ask them if the schedule is likely to change over time.
If the MMA/BJJ gym you’re looking at is serious about training then chances are they’ll offer classes at least 5-6 days a week. I don’t recommend joining a gym that only offers a few classes a week because you won’t see consistent growth through inconsistent training. If you only train once or twice a week it can be a reason why your Jiu Jitsu isn’t getting any better.
Where Is The Gym Located?
Location.. Location.. Location.. This is a very important factor when figuring out how much a gym membership should cost. For example, a gym in California will be much more expensive than a gym in Kansas. It’s just like real estate, gym owner’s need to pay rent as well. Owning a gym isn’t cheap, which is why some rates will be higher than others. On our Best MMA Gyms in the World list, many of the best gyms are in prime locations.
I once trained at a gym outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the membership rates were as low as $50 a month depending on if you were a student at the local college. In comparison, I’ve also trained at a gym in Tampa, Florida, which was well over $200 a month for access to every class. Both were worth the money in my opinion, I was more than happy to pay the $200 membership rate because the instruction was amazing and the gym was right by my apartment.
How Many Disciplines Do They Offer?
This may be the most important factor to many of you, the amount of disciplines offered is important for aspiring MMA fighters. Obviously to be a proficient MMA fighter you want to learn both stand-up technique and a solid ground game. Joining a gym that offers both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction is important for being a well-rounded fighter. Having good Boxing and Wrestling is also important so it’s always best to join an MMA gym if this is your ultimate aspiration.
Back in the day, fighters would have to travel from gym to gym to get certain instruction. We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to train at MMA gyms that offer multiple disciplines. A gym that offers Muay Thai, BJJ, Boxing, and Wrestling or Judo is going to cost much more than just a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym (on average). Of course there are always exceptions, some BJJ gyms in California that have world-class instruction can be well over $200 in cost.
How Long Is Your Typical MMA/BJJ Gym Contract?
This doesn’t apply to every gym out there, and I would try avoiding a lengthy contract if possible. However, many gyms do offer discount rates if you sign up for an extended (6-12 months) amount of time. They also usually offer discounted rates if you pay your entire membership in full right away. I would be cautious about doing this as injury can be possible when training at an MMA gym and you don’t want to be locked into a lengthy membership if you can’t train.
Every gym is different, it’s important to remember that when having a conversation with the gym owner regarding their rates. It’s important to “shop around” when searching for an MMA gym to try and get the very best rates available. However, it’s much more important to pick a gym that you believe you will be successful at, don’t choose a gym you don’t want to join just because you’ll save a little more money.
You’ll regret decisions based off of saving money in the long run whenever buying gym memberships, training gear or equipment. It’s always better to spend that little extra for higher quality training and products. If you can’t currently afford a gym membership, don’t be afraid to take a month or two off to save up some money through hard work. That month or two of training lost will be well worth it in the end when you’re not locked into a contract with a gym you didn’t want to join in the first place.
Do MMA/BJJ Gyms Offer Discounts?
I want to answer this question without being disrespectful to gym owners. It seems every time I was joining a new MMA/BJJ gym they were always offering some sort of discounted rate to join, especially when they were a new gym. When a gym is first opening it’s always a good idea to join (after you verify the quality of instructors). New MMA gyms are always offering a discounted rate for first-time members. Usually you can get these discounted membership rates locked in for a certain period of time (typically 3-12 months).
Don’t be afraid to ask the gym owner if their is any deals going on, as long as you ask in a respectful manner they shouldn’t be offended by it. Everyone wants a good deal, MMA gyms are no different than your typical “LA Fitness” where every single person has a different membership rate. At my previous MMA gym, every single person there was on a different type of membership rate that made everything so confusing. I recommend trying to get the best deal possible without sounding too cheap, remember that gym owners take a lot of pride in what they do, usually they aren’t in it for the money.
How Much Should My MMA/BJJ Gym Cost?
We’re going to compare three separate MMA gyms based off of the factors we mentioned above. These factors include location, instructor level, disciplines offered, amount of classes offered, and any other relevant factors. These gym membership rates were randomly submitted by people who train around the United States. I believe these are your typically expectations when looking at location and other relevant factors.
Gym Cost: $120 a month
Location: Syracuse, New York
Instructor Level: Main instructor is purple but there is a black who teaches also.
Disciplines Offered: BJJ/MMA/Boxing/Muay Thai/Conditioning
Amount of Classes Offered: Unlimited classes, 6 days a week.
Other Relevant Factors: The $120 membership rate was the discount offer when the gym first opened. The gym is probably $150 or $160 now. This includes the opportunity to take train at two other gyms that are owned by the same guy. They are all within about 30-40 mile radius.
Gym Cost: $195 a month
Location: San Diego, California
Instructor Level: Black belt
Disciplines Offered: BJJ, some cardio kickboxing as well.
Amount of Classes Offered: Unlimited.. up to 5 classes a day if you’re really hardcore.
Other Relevant Factors: It’s expensive but I love it because of the world class instruction and training partners.
Gym Cost: $75 a month
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Instructor Level: Black Belt
Disciplines Offered: BJJ mostly, some wrestling classes on weekends.
Amount of Classes Offered: Unlimited 4 days a week, pay $10 extra for weekends.
Other Relevant Factors: The gym is small and not too many training partners but it’s good instruction and close to my house.
So What Is The Average Cost?
The average cost of MMA/BJJ gyms are anywhere from $50 a month to upwards of $200 or more. This is all dependent on the factors we talked about earlier, if your MMA/BJJ gym checks all of the boxes then expect to pay at least $100 or more. If the gym you’re looking to join only offers a few classes a week, then you shouldn’t be paying more than $100 (unless the instruction is world class). The same can be said for location, if you live in a populated area of California, expect to pay much more than someone who lives in Syracuse, New York.