Difference between a Gym, Fitness Center and Health Club

If you had to categorize the facility you work out in as a gym, fitness center or a health club, what would you say? Or would you say that these three are one and the same thing?

There are plenty workout and wellness facilities in San Diego. While some of the clearly identify as gyms, fitness centers or health clubs, others are not so clear. Should we even be looking for a difference between the three?

While the terms can be (and often are) used interchangeably, there are some differences. Read through to find out what they are.

Gym – a place for workout

A modern day gymnasium (as gym used to be called way back in Ancient Greece) is a place for indoor physical workout where various equipment and machines are typically used. For some people, a typical gym is a place where you focus on weight lifting and similar activities. While it is true that gyms used to be reserved for weight training and were rarely frequented by women, that’s not the case nowadays. Both men and women work out at the gym, and there is a great variety of machines, including cardiovascular machines.

Broadly speaking, gyms don’t offer as many group classes as a fitness center does. While there are personal trainers and 1-1 training sessions, group classes are not as common. Mind you, this applies to facilities that identify only as gyms, and not as gyms and fitness centers or health clubs.

Fitness center – full-body fitness

A fitness center is a place where both recreational and professional athletes can work out. A fitness center may specialize in a certain sporting/fitness discipline but most modern fitness centers provide a variety of workouts.

As opposed to a ‘’typical’’ gym, a fitness center may provide both indoor and outdoor health and fitness activities. A fitness center is usually larger than an average gym, especially if it includes amenities such as outdoor pool, golf course, running tracks.

A fitness center normally offers a range of group classes and individual workout programs. Whole-body health and fitness is also promoted by various amenities such as physical therapy, saunas, steam rooms, warm-up and cool rooms, healthy juice and snack bars.

All in all, we could say that a fitness center is more than a gym. It provides the same machines and equipment for training and workout, but offers a wider variety of group classes and amenities.

Health club – body and mind wellness

As a concept, a health club is more similar to a fitness center than a gym. The focus is on the whole-body wellness rather than just physical fitness. In fact, every high-end gym and fitness center can be classified as a health center, due to the variety of amenities.

Health clubs comprise all the characteristics of both gyms and fitness centers – there are individual and group classes, various amenities such as swimming pools, designated spaces for group sports such as basketball and volleyball, healthy food bars, etc.

Fit Athletic: Not a gym – A lifestyle

Fit Athletic combines the best of all three categories. Our philosophy is simple and straightforward: promote whole-body and mind wellness by providing a country club-like atmosphere and an all-encompassing member experience.

Fit provides diverse group classes, personal training and fantastic amenities and perks like Fit Bar, Fit Perks, Fit 3D Scan. We organize many social events for our members to unwind and have fun together!

Come join us in Downtown San Diego, Solana Beach, or Carmel Mountain Ranch!