Best Gym in Every State

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MUSCLE IN

A gym is a sanctuary, a sweat session, and a social scene all wrapped up into a business that lives and dies by its members. Naturally the best gyms house friendly, knowledgeable staff, a solid assortment of well-maintained fitness gear and amenities such as child care and clean locker rooms that give customers their money's worth. We searched online reviews and queried fitness pros across the country to find the best smaller gyms in each state, finding privately owned, affordable gyms that can hit a high bar -- and go the extra mile.
Photo credit: BendersGymHuntsville/facebook.com

ALABAMA: BENDER'S GYM

Huntsville
Bender's clients say they pay reasonable prices for up-to-date cardio and weight equipment and bonus tanning beds at this "friendly place" with expert staff and an overall spic-and-span facility.

Photo credit: Alaskarockgym/facebook.com

ALASKA: ALASKA ROCK GYM

Anchorage
Alaska Rock has reasonable "pay as you go" fees and low-cost monthly passes, despite being in a stunning 24,000-square-foot facility that includes 20,000 square feet of climbing -- an entire floor of boulder terrain -- as well as fitness and cardio space and a peaceful yoga room, all in support of summiting.

Photo credit: elitesfaz/facebook.com

ARIZONA: ELITE FITNESS

Chandler
The 19,000-square-foot Elite is open 24 hours and emphasizes Tribe training alongside a variety of fitness classes. The owner is hands-on and offers a flexible, upfront payment plan.

Photo credit: Jordan C./yelp.com

ARKANSAS: ARKANSAS FITNESS & ATHLETICS

Little Rock
With a heavy emphasis on core, strength, and flexibility training, Arkansas Fitness & Athletics breaks from franchise gyms by including its hands-on trainers as part of three-month, six-month, or yearly memberships, though premium group or one-on-one coaching is available.

Photo credit: Courtesy of atighteru.com

CALIFORNIA: A TIGHTER U

Culver City
In the land of "gym scenes" where cliques rule, the smaller, friendlier A Tighter U gets high marks for "The Hollywood Trainer" Steve Zim's hands-on, low-key, approach, especially from women who don't want to attend large, corporate gyms. Bonus: You will likely see a celeb or two.

Photo credit: Bladium Sports & Fitness Club/yelp.com

COLORADO: BLADIUM SPORTS & FITNESS CENTER

Denver
Bladium covers fitness from CrossFit and Group-X sessions to a kids' zone, youth and adult soccer facilities, and cardio, spinning, and weight training fitness rooms. Certified personal trainers are on site, including an Ironman athlete and corrective exercise specialist.

Photo credit: TheGymCT/facebook.com

CONNECTICUT: THE GYM AT BLOOMFIELD CROSSING

Bloomfield
Gym at Bloomfield Crossing experts are good at customizing plans by fitness levels -- and the site participates in the Silver Sneakers program, which gives seniors with the right insurance free access to more than 1,100 facilities nationwide by reimbursing their costs.

Photo credit: hockessinathleticclub/facebook.com

DELAWARE: HOCKESSIN ATHLETIC CLUB

Hockessin
Look for highly rated water fitness classes taking place in the Hockessin Athletic Club's huge pool, plus a few impressive clubs and activities from tap to martial arts, as well as some less about breaking a sweat -- Dancing with Parkinson's, and courses in women's self-defense, and CPR and First Aid.

Photo credit: naplesstrength/facebook.com

FLORIDA: NAPLES STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

Naples
Naples Strength & Conditioning has lower rates than other CrossFits and gyms, and no contracts, making this a money-saving win. There are tough boot camps and master classes, but also community activities, nutrition counseling, and health and wellness education.

Photo credit: Blueprint Fitness/yelp.com

GEORGIA: BLUEPRINT FITNESS

Atlanta
Blueprint Fitness boasts a science-based nutrition program, group and team training sessions, and four different kettlebell instruction workouts to reshape a body.

Photo credit: HI Life Athletics/yelp.com

HAWAII: HILIFE ATHLETICS OUTDOOR GYM

Honolulu
Flexible pay packages at HiLife can include unlimited classes for less than a dollar a day, but the real selling point is location: Everything is done outdoors in Oahu's fresh air.

Photo credit: Mark A./yelp.com

IDAHO: JACK CITY FITNESS

Boise
Family-owned, 24-hour Jack City has sophisticated nutrition counseling, body analysis, and results tracking -- and, in addition to traditional personal training, group training, team training, and an innovative online training program.

Photo credit: agelessfitness/facebook.com

ILLINOIS: AGELESS

Gillespie
If you ask the owner, Ageless isn't a gym, but a place of renewal and happiness, with a low-stress, playful approach where members earn "badges" for swag and bragging rights. It's open 24 hours a day and is in the Silver Sneakers fitness reimbursement program for seniors with insurance.

Photo credit: National Institute For Fitness & Sport/yelp.com

INDIANA: NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR FITNESS & SPORTS

Indianapolis
NIFS is a 65,000-square-foot nonprofit gym owned by Indiana University, with sophisticated health assessments and everything from an indoor running track to a nutrition and wellness center, indoor pool, dry sauna, and steam room.

Photo credit: Courtesy of cyclones.com

IOWA: LIED RECREATION ATHLETIC CENTER

Ames
A highly rated gym on two levels at Iowa State University, Lied packs in a huge pool, two full tracks, basketball courts, a climbing wall, and other equipment (and, for anyone in the extended university community, intramural sports ranging from flag football to poker, broomball, and curling).

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KANSAS: ZONE 6 FITNESS

North Kansas City
Staff make a point of greeting everyone by name when they come through the doors at Zone 6. Classes include nutritional counseling and corrective exercise, and there's a "Fitnasium" for use by kids while parents work out.

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KENTUCKY: EVERYDAY ATHLETES

Louisville
Exercise at Everyday Athletes is customized to fitness levels, but trainers are prepared to go hardcore with CrossFit, Olympic-style lifting, strongman training, and powerlifting.

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LOUISIANA: FUEL CENTER OF FITNESS

Metairie
Classes and top-notch equipment rule in Fuel Center, and so do brands and buzzwords. Stay up to date with Boot Camp Challenge, Total Body Eclipse, X-Cycle, S.P.A.C.E. Program, and Nitro Kick Boxing if doing circuit work is boring. Add to that, a full gym with Power Circuit X-press, Piloga, Bokwa, and Zumba too.

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MAINE: MAINE WARRIOR GYM

Westbrook
Maine Warrior is for the whole family, but a specific kind of family that wants parkour training grounds, adult and youth ninja programs -- and outright "American Ninja Warrior" TV show training from a two-time finalist in addition to cardio machines and classes. Coming soon: A virtual-reality obstacle course workout.

Photo credit: FitgymTowson/facebook.com

MARYLAND: FIT! GYM

Towson
Go high-tech (but not high-priced) at Fit!, where there's infrared heat therapy; a "cardio theater," where movies and TV take the pain out of a workout; a Fit! Beach for training on sand; a women-only section; and a free MYE AppAudio system for smartphones.

Photo credit: EverybodyFights/yelp.com

MASSACHUSETTS: EVERYBODYFIGHTS | BOXING GYM

Boston
The luxurious EverybodyFights co-founded in 2014 by George Foreman III has kickboxing and fighting classes for beginners and more advanced fighters, as well as innovative classes such as BoxFIIT, a heart-pumping mix of boxing, yoga, running, Pilates, and CrossFit.

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MICHIGAN: MICHIGAN KETTLEBELLS

Troy
Customers have raved about weight loss results at family-owned Michigan KettleBells, with its focuses on women's fitness and classes. Co-owner Dawn Sylvester has specialist sports nutrition certification as well as being a certified fitness trainer.

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MINNESOTA: LOS CAMPEONES GYM

Minneapolis
Customers say Los Campeones is unlike huge commercial gyms -- except in its ability to provide tons of upgraded equipment at reasonable prices. Look for everything from the expected cardio treadmills to tires and even cement balls.

Photo credit: RebelBodyFitness/facebook.com

MISSISSIPPI: REBEL BODY FITNESS 24-7

Oxford
Small, clean, and personable, Rebel Body is open 24 hours for traditional workouts but also offers lots of community outdoors fitness events for members.

Photo credit: Eva W./yelp.com

MISSOURI: THEGYMKC

Kansas City
TheGYMkc has a strong sense of humor online and a self-deprecating vibe that puts its devoted members at ease. Membership includes 24-hour access to all the usual: cardio machines, free weights, weight equipment, classes, and locker room amenities.

Photo credit: Montana Athletic Club/yelp.com

MONTANA: MONTANA ATHLETIC CLUB-BIGFORK

Bigfork
Basketball, racquetball, and squash courts, jacuzzi, dry sauna, and steam room, child care, and a huge pool are pluses at this Montana Athletic Club, a facility that has both world-class equipment and scholarship memberships with financial aid for qualified individuals and families.

Photo credit: FitFarmOmaha/facebook.com

NEBRASKA: FIT FARM

Omaha
Loads of high marks for Fit Farm, a 10,000-square-foot gym with amenities such as a dedicated personal training room with low-impact flooring and a strength-focused area for powerlifting, but also programs such as aerial yoga.

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NEVADA: FLEX APPEAL

Reno
The 24-hour Flex Appeal has everything you'd want in a gym -- and also on-staff chiropractors and massage therapists.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE: ELEVATE HEALTH STUDIO

Bedford
In addition to top-of-the-line gear, the 6,000-square-foot Elevate has classes including gravity training, BodySolid training, and Kinesis fitness, combining cardio, strength, and flexibility training for all fitness levels. A la carte pricing helps customers select what they need.

Photo credit: thegymontvale/facebook.com

NEW JERSEY: THE GYM

Montvale
The family-friendly facility called The Gym can also sound a lot like a spa, with customized facials, massages, and reflexology, fresh, plush towels, salon-style hair dryers, and a sauna and restorative steam bath alongside yoga, Pilates, Group-X, and a Kinesis station. There's a juice bar with complimentary Wi-Fi, of course, and child care.

Photo credit: blackboxfitness/facebook.com

NEW MEXICO: BLACK BOX FITNESS

Albuquerque
Black Box is a CrossFit affiliate and the home of High Desert Weightlifting and specializes in elite-level coaching in athletic performance, weightlifting, strength, and nutrition. It welcomes all levels, though, and newcomers are given four hours of one-on-one personal training to CrossFit techniques and tools.

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NEW YORK: DRIVE 495 CLUB

New York
No big bargains, but plenty of high marks at Drive 495, whose owner, Don Saladino, is a personal trainer for athletes and celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds, and Blake Lively. It's got golf simulators and golf lessons, cryotherapy, laundry service, acupuncture, filtered water, and high-end shaving supplies. Bring your wallet. Leave lighter.

Photo credit: CapitalStrength/facebook.com

NORTH CAROLINA: CAPITAL STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

Raleigh
If you haven't considered the barbell as a key fitness tool, let Capital school you. Barbells are used as a core training tool at one of the state's rare independent gyms, where there's eight individual racking areas to load for maximum versatility.

Photo credit: vergefit/facebook.com

NORTH DAKOTA: VERGE FITNESS

Bismarck
Verge believes its Code Blue fitness apparatus gets bodies in fighting shape even better than parkour -- but along with all the gear and ReGymen and other classes, there's also time to chill out with a smoothie in a fireplace lounge.

Photo credit: Arena District Athletic Club/yelp.com

OHIO: ARENA DISTRICT ATHLETIC CLUB

Columbus
In addition to top-of-the-line equipment and the amenities (laundry service is available), Arena District Athletic Club has free nutrition consultation, unlimited group fitness and spin classes and special wellness and fitness events.

Photo credit: Clint B./yelp.com

OKLAHOMA: HUB GYM

Broken Arrow
The 24-hour Hub actually proclaims itself the "anti big-box gym," not just because it's got a killer location in the town's thriving arts and entertainment district, but for its personal touch, including custom fitness plans for all and trainers who take time to explain every machine to newbies.

Photo credit: Courtesy of vaulthealthandfitness.com

OREGON: VAULT HEALTH AND FITNESS

Enterprise
Vault Health and Fitness gets plenty of details right, from the 24/7 keyless access to the private showers, a solid collection of gear, and performance nutrition consulting and weight loss consulting at affordable rates.

Photo credit: rascalsfitness/facebook.com

PENNSYLVANIA: RASCALS

Collegeville
If Rascals weren't already drawing members with good gear, free InBody testing, and its philosophy ("our gyms have been created for normal people who don't want a hardcore fitness regime, but who do want to get the most out of life by keeping active"), it also offers membership in Silver Sneakers and ClassPass, which allows access to classes and programs to fitness lovers visiting from across the United States, U.K., and Canada.

Photo credit: Courtesy of bridgetofitness.com

RHODE ISLAND: BRIDGE TO FITNESS

Middletown
On top of the variety of equipment, classes, and expected amenities, family-owned Bridge To Fitness has two notable additions: a staff chiropractor and a physical therapist, who's available for people getting back into shape after injuries.

Photo credit: Clayton C./yelp.com

SOUTH CAROLINA: CHUCKTOWN FITNESS

Charleston
The magic of Chucktown is captured in its unassuming name. It's a locally owned, 24-hour hotspot where everybody knows your name, and there's a bit of everything a workout needs -- including a belief that providing child care is a top priority.

Photo credit: Fitness/facebook.com

SOUTH DAKOTA: FITNESS 365

Yankton
Locally owned and operated Fitness 365 adds tanning, a supplements bar, and massage therapy to the mix, as well as a spin on efficient workouts called PACE, a 30-minute fat-burning, muscle-toning, circuit-training workout room.

Photo credit: ExclusiveFitnessTN/facebook.com

TENNESSEE: EXCLUSIVE FITNESS

Knoxville
Exclusive gets a lot of its juice from its hands-on owner, certified personal trainer and bodybuilder Wade Wilburn, who runs a staff good at helping people with weight loss, bulking up, sport conditioning, or regaining strength, balance, and coordination after an illness.

Photo credit: TrophyFitness/youtube.com

TEXAS: TROPHY FITNESS CLUB

Dallas
Not everything in Texas is big. Owner Kelley Gray, who now consults and manages several Texas gyms, found a niche at Trophy between cheap, impersonal chain gyms and pricey fitness centers for the elite. Trophy's three locations emphasize the personal touch (but every cardio machine still has attached flat-panel LCD screens).

Photo credit: Dash Fitness/yelp.com

UTAH: DASH FITNESS STUDIOS

Salt Lake City
Dash is the home of a high-intensity, low-impact workout patented and trademarked in Utah by studio owner Lacey Bruschke. Called Obsidian, it combines cardio, resistance, core, balance, flexibility, active recovery, and weight training into 60 minutes of calorie-burning and muscle building.

Photo credit: vermontsportandfitness/facebook.com

VERMONT: VERMONT SPORT & FITNESS

Rutland
Vermont Sport & Fitness is big -- with 10 health and fitness professionals on staff in a 39,000-square-foot club with a training-size basketball court, Olympic weightlifting area, and outdoor pool. For $59 a month, it's a luxe experience at a YMCA cost.

Photo credit: WareingsGym/facebook.com

VIRGINIA: WAREING'S GYM

Virginia Beach
The Wareing family has whipped locals and luminaries into shape since 1960, and Wareing's looks it -- it's old school, not shiny, but it has the latest barre and spin classes and gets respect for a five-decade mission of getting everyone living healthier.

Photo credit: Nicholas T./yelp.com

WASHINGTON: SEATTLE FITNESS

Seattle
Seattle Fitness is one of the city's oldest health clubs -- it opened in 1984 -- and has spent the time figuring out how to keep such a small club from feeling crowded and how to see to winning details (don't be surprised to find showers stocked with body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, and a blow dryer) when a day pass is little more than $10.

Photo credit: wvfitness/facebook.com

WEST VIRGINIA: WV FITNESS

Clarksburg
The never-closed WV charges little and offers a lot: Along with a full gym experience comes 40 yards of turf, a pool and hot tub, child care, and, on Fridays, free use of the golf simulator and batting cage.

Photo credit: pinehurstfitness/facebook.com

WISCONSIN: PINEHURST FITNESS

Eau Claire
Pinehurst is more like a devoted community, made up of all ages and fitness levels with different goals. It offers personal training​ and intensive nutritional support​, and everyone gets a no-strings, free two-week trial​.

Photo credit: LaramieFitness/facebook.com

WYOMING: LARAMIE FITNESS

Laramie
Laramie doesn't just get tough by stocking heavy-duty equipment, but with cross-training and mixed martial arts training. Public hours are limited; members get access from 4 a.m. to midnight 360 days a year.

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