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Best Health & Fitness Clubs & Gyms

Finding the best health and fitness club near you is no easy task. Whether you’re a workout novice or an avid runner, everybody has personal criteria for what they want in a gym. “Best” means something different to everyone when picking a gym. You may want something that’s near you and affordable, but also has group classes or you may want something that has all the best amenities.

We’ll explore the many health and fitness clubs and gyms located throughout Orange County, while considering affordability, amenities and location.


Equinox Fitness Irvine
Equinox Irvine

Equinox

1980 Main Street Irvine, CA 92614
21010 Pacific Coast Hwy. Huntington Beach, CA 92648
19540 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92612 (“Newport Beach”)

All three Orange County Equinox Clubs are elite when it comes to the staff, amenities, equipment and classes. They do everything top notch but that also comes with a price that is equivalent to the luxurious features. There is a reason there are more than a few celebrity sightings and exotic cars in the valet line at Equinox gyms.

Amenities

  • Personal Training
  • Group Classes (Running, Swim, Pilates, Yoga, Rowing and more)
  • Cardio & Weight Equipment
  • Sauna/Steam Room
  • Basketball/Sport Court
  • Rooftop workout area
  • Racquetball/Squash Courts
  • Locker room, showers, towels
  • Spa
  • Pool/Jacuzzi
  • Cafe
  • Kids club
  • Valet

Not all locations have these amenities and the Newport Beach location on Jamboree is smaller with a few less amenities than the other two locations.


Gold’s Gym

10870 Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804 (Anaheim Town Square)
1973 W. Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833
2280 E Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806 (“Garden Grove”)

Gold’s Gym offers North Orange County residents a gym with a suite of amenities to help you towards your fitness goals. Additionally, Gold’s does a good job with enhancing the equipment and experience as fitness trends change while keeping membership prices reasonable.

Amenities

  • Functional Training
  • Cardio & Weight Equipment
  • Olympic Platforms
  • Boxing Bags
  • Studio Classes
  • Turf Area
  • Pro Shop
  • Personal Training
  • Pool/Hot Tubs

Amenities vary by location.


Fullerton Club

1535 Deerpark Dr, Fullerton, CA 92831

This another gym located in North Orange County with a lot of amenities that you won’t find at most gyms and they seem to have two of everything including two pools and two running tracks. The indoor running track can be a fun experience as it is a loop track on the second level that overlooks the basketball courts. This gym is more expensive than an LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness but offers more perks.

Amenities

  • 12,000 SF Fitness Floor
  • 14 Racquetball Courts
  • Basketball Court
  • Lap Pool
  • Therapy Pool
  • 3 Jacuzzis
  • 2 Steam Rooms
  • 2 Saunas
  • Locker Rooms
  • Executive Locker Rooms
  • Indoor and Outdoor Running Tracks
  • Personal Training
  • Towel Service
  • Workout Classes

Crunch Fitness Tustin
Crunch Fitness Tustin

Crunch Fitness

9822 Katella Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92804
1882 N Placentia Ave, Placentia, CA 92870
502 E 1st St, Tustin, CA 92780
18081 Magnolia St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
5894 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92649
638 Camino De Los Mares, San Clemente, CA 92673

Crunch Fitness keeps it simple and on point with cardio, weights, weight machines, high intensity training and an upbeat, fun atmosphere. They do a good job of keeping up with the fitness trends in order to constantly evolve and improve the gym fitness experience. There are no pools, basketball courts, etc., if that’s what you’re looking for, but this enables Crunch to keep the membership prices affordable.

Amenities

  • Cardio, Weights, & Machines
  • Locker Rooms with Showers
  • Online Nutrition Program
  • Power Half Hour Circuit Training
  • High Intensity Interval Training
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Crunch Live Online Workouts
  • Personal Trainers

Amenities vary by location.


EoS Fitness

1501 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705 (Bentall Center)
2420 East Chapman Ave, Unit 806-001, Fullerton, CA 92831 (opens 2023)

If you’re looking for a gym that is open 24 hours this is the place! Aside from their great hours the membership costs are very reasonable considering the amenities that are offered.

Amenities

  • Cardio, free weights and weight machines
  • Group fitness & cycling classes
  • Turf functional area (sled, battle ropes, etc.)
  • Cinema room to workout and watch movies
  • Basketball court (short court, can’t play two courts)
  • Personal Training
  • Swimming pool/hot tub
  • Locker rooms with showers, sauna
  • His/Hers sauna
  • Kids club

Newport Beach Athletic Club

1367 Avocado Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92660

This gym is a little different but might be exactly what you prefer. There are separate gyms for the men and women and amenities vary by the men and women but so does the price (women pay less). The price is more than most gyms but that is commensurate with the additional amenities available.

Amenities

  • Basketball court
  • Racquetball court
  • Handball courts
  • Ping pong tables
  • Wallyball
  • Boxing room
  • Steam room
  • Dry/Wet Sauna rooms
  • Pool/Jacuzzi
  • Eucalyptus room
  • Rooftop track
  • Men’s lounge/Women’s private facility
  • Café
  • Spa
  • Barber shop

Club Sport Aliso Viejo

50 Enterprise, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Club Sport is a luxury fitness club that has all the equipment you could ever need for cardio and strength training. Plus, there are many group fitness classes like yoga, studio cycling, HIIT, and more. This is a club and hotel so it has some unique benefits where you can lounge and eat at the grill poolside. As a family-friendly club it also has activity-based childcare. The event calendar is choke full of fun activities for everybody including happy hours, live music, family pickleball events, sports leagues and tournaments, movie nights and many seasonal and holiday events.

Amenities

  • Fitness Classes
  • Personal Training
  • Weight Management Programs
  • Court Sports: Pickleball, racquetball, squash, and basketball
  • Pool (six-lane, 25-yard lap pool)
  • Grill & Market
  • Spa
  • Renaissance Hotel (room discounts for club members)
  • Kids Club, Camps & Activities

Life Time Fitness Laguna Niguel
Life Time Fitness Laguna Niguel

Life Time Fitness

25600 Rancho Niguel Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
111 Avenida Vista Montana, San Clemente, CA 92672
18007 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92612 (opens 2023)

Life Time Fitness is not just a gym — it’s an athletic country club with much more than just treadmills and dumbbells. It’s obviously pricier than most gyms but it provides a family-friendly experience with many amenities that are focused on fitness as well as entertainment. Lounge by the pool or attend the many social events and activities, there is something for tots, teens and adults.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Classes & Training
  • Yoga Studio
  • Pilates Studio
  • Cycle Studio
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts
  • Pickleball Courts
  • Basketball Courts
  • Racquetball Courts
  • Squash Courts
  • Rockwall
  • Separate Outdoor Lap and Leisure Pools
  • Water slide
  • Outdoor Poolside Café
  • Private, Secure Locker Rooms
  • Private Showers
  • Eucalyptus Steam Rooms
  • Whirlpool Spas
  • Cedarwood Saunas
  • Complimentary Terrycloth Towels
  • Premium Toiletries
  • Outdoor Turf Field
  • Retail Store
  • Kids Club, Camps, Classes, Activities
  • Events

Amenities vary by location.


24 Hour Fitness Anaheim Hills

24 Hour Fitness

Multiple locations throughout Orange County

The clubs offer a variety of cardio, strength, cycle, dance, mind-body and active aging classes as well as options for virtual training and classes. Personal training, basketball, weight room, cardio machines, and swimming pools and saunas are also available to members. With locations throughout Orange County members (with the right membership plan) can access a gym from wherever they are.

24 Hour Fitness is a low cost, high volume club and it may get very crowded at peak times.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Classes & Training
  • Outdoor/Indoor Lap Pool (varies by location)
  • Personal Training
  • Regulation Sized Basketball Court
  • Sauna/Steam Room/Whirlpool
  • Pro Shop

Amenities vary by location.


LA Fitness

Multiple locations throughout Orange County

LA Fitness locations offer group classes such as bootcamps, yoga, kickbox cardio, cycling and aqua fit. Personal training, basketball, racquetball, weight room, and heated pools are also available.

Additionally, LA Fitness members have access to all Esporta locations.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Functional Training
  • Indoor Cycling
  • Indoor Pool
  • Kids Klub
  • Personal Training
  • Racquetball
  • Basketball
  • Sauna/Whirlpool spa

Amenities vary by location.


Esporta

3901 W. Metropolitan Dr., Orange, CA  92868
10115 Talbert Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA  92708

1621 W. Imperial Hwy., La Habra, CA  90631

Esporta is an LA Fitness brand and was launched in 2020 to compete with affordable gyms with high customer volume, such as 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness. Esporta features strength and cardio equipment, unlimited group fitness classes, basketball courts, pools, and racquetball courts.

Esporta members cannot access LA Fitness locations.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Basketball
  • Racquetball
  • Competitive Recreational Leagues (Basketball/Racquetball)
  • Personal Training
  • Kids Club
  • Outdoor/Indoor Pool (depends on location)
  • Towels
  • Sauna/Steam Room

Amenities vary by location.


Planet Fitness

Multiple locations throughout Orange County.

Many people are attracted to Planet Fitness because of its affordable memberships and seemingly judgment-free atmosphere. You’ll find many treadmills, stair-steppers, ellipticals, and stationary bikes here, along with a basic machine strength training circuit. But you won’t get full power racks, barbells, or Olympic weights at Planet Fitness. There will often be a dumbbell rack up to around 40 pounds or so. Pools, spas, and childcare are other amenities you won’t find at Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness is a low cost, high volume club and it may get very crowded at peak times.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Bring a Guest Anytime
  • Use of Tanning
  • Use of HydroMassage
  • Use of Massage Chairs
  • 20% off at Reebok.com
  • Open 24 Hours (at most locations)

Amenities vary by location and membership level.


Merage Jewish Community Center

1 Federation Way, Irvine, CA 92603

Merage Jewish Community Center (The “J”) is a 220,000 square foot facility that features a state-of-the-art health and fitness complex, licensed preschool and toddler care, teen lounge, gymnasium, Jr. Olympic swimming pool, and Kosher café. Anyone can join “The J” and membership includes the use of the gym, fitness, and aquatic centers, plus reduced fees for classes and programs.

Amenities

  • Cardio and Weight Machines & Free Weights
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Aquatics Center
  • Pick Up Sports
  • Youth Sports Leagues/Clinics
  • Pickleball
  • Basketball, Soccer, Football
  • Kids Clubs, Camps, Clinics

Tips to Follow Before Starting a New Gym Membership

  • Location, Location, Location: It’s hard to keep a commitment the further away you are from the gym. Selecting a club near your home or office should be one of the most important factors in deciding. Selecting a gym (and membership with multi-gym access) that has many locations helps for being able to get there from wherever you are.
  • Read the Fine Print: Check for hidden fees, know the cancellation terms, maintenance enhancement fees, automatic renewal increases, make sure you got everything promised in writing.
  • Try the Guest Pass First: Almost every gym gives you a guest pass 30 days or something similar. Try out several gyms if you’re unsure. You’ll even save money in the short term too.
  • Survey the Gym: Does the equipment work, are the classes up to date with the latest trends, what’s the vibe, does it have everything you use/need, how difficult is it to schedule classes and get into.
  • Read (and don’t read) the Reviews: Take the reviews with a grain of salt. Most people only leave reviews to complain or may be fake or incentivized by the business to leave a review. Look for consistent feedback, not one off complaints or compliments.
  • Talk to the Members: Better yet, talk to the members while using the guest pass. They’re a wealth of knowledge and you’ll figure out if you like working out with the people you’ll see all the time.
  • Make Sure It’s Your Type of Scene: Many people may think a gym is great but it may not be your type of gym.
  • Look for Deals: Join in January or slow months, join with a friend or family or just haggle. If you shop around you’ll have a better idea on value.
  • Balance Membership Cost with Gym Criteria: If you hate crowds, the lower priced gyms will probably have the biggest crowds. The highest priced gyms will probably have the best amenities, fewer crowds. You may want a swimming pool, basketball or pickleball court, or showers to go from work. Settling on price in lieu of the amenities you need, may leave you sitting at home paying for a membership you don’t use.

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Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, and creator of delicious recipes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all that Orange County has to offer, traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.