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Using the Base Gym Can Save You Thousands Each Year


Man doing deadlifts at the military base gym

In the quest for fitness and financial independence, the importance of making smart choices cannot be overstated. For military members, one such smart choice lies right on base – the base gym. With amenities rivaling those found in top-notch fitness centers, base gyms not only offers an excellent platform for maintaining military fitness but also presents a significant cost-saving alternative to pricey gym memberships in town. In this blog, we will delve into the financial and other benefits of using the gym on base, demonstrating how this choice can help you save thousands each year, while achieving and maintaining your fitness goals. Join us as we explore this untapped resource that combines fitness and frugality in one convenient location.

The Cost of Staying Fit as a Military Member

Military woman running on a treadmill

Staying fit, particularly as a military member, often comes with various expenses that can quickly add up. One of the primary costs is a gym membership, which can range from $10 to over $100 per month, depending on the amenities offered and the prestige of the gym. If you prefer specialized fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, or martial arts, these could add another $20 to $50 per session to your monthly expenditure.


Similarly, hiring a personal trainer for customized workout regimes and professional guidance can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour. Moreover, nutritional supplements, workout gear, and travel costs to and from the gym also contribute to the expenses, making the cost of maintaining fitness quite substantial.


For many military members, especially those dealing with a tight budget, the cumulative cost of staying fit can place an undue financial strain on their resources. The constant juggling act between investing in fitness and managing other financial responsibilities can create a stressful situation. The burden of ongoing gym membership fees, coupled with the additional expenses of specialized fitness classes, personal trainers, nutritional supplements, and workout gear, can escalate to a point where it becomes unsustainable. Factor in the cost of transportation to and from off-base gyms, and the financial pressure intensifies further.

However, a financially savvy alternative exists right on base – the base gym. With its state-of-the-art facilities and near-zero travel costs, it presents an effective and economical solution to achieve your fitness goals.


Enter the Base Gym


Stepping into the world of the base gym, you will find an oasis of fitness opportunities right at your doorstep, at a fraction of the cost. Offering a comprehensive suite of amenities, from cardio equipment and weightlifting stations to fitness classes and personal training options, the base gym is a one-stop-shop for all your fitness needs. More than just a physical workout space, it's a community where you can connect with fellow service members, share fitness tips, and pursue common health goals.


Kettlebells lined up at the base gym

The convenience of its location eliminates the time and fuel costs associated with commuting to an off-base gym. Moreover, the cost-saving potential is immense, with some base gyms offering services completely free of charge for military members. By choosing the base gym, you are not only investing in your fitness but also contributing to your financial independence. The base gym is more than just a gym; it's an innovative solution that redefines the concept of military fitness, combining health, camaraderie, and savings in one accessible location.


A Cost-Saving Haven for Military Members and Their Families

US dollars and coins stacked up

One of the extraordinary perks of the base gym is its affordability, often making it free for military members and their families. This major advantage can't be overstated. The Department of Defense, recognizing the importance of health and fitness for service members, has made it a priority to make these facilities as accessible as possible.


Consequently, fees are typically waived for active-duty military personnel and immediate family members. This financial relief can translate into thousands of dollars of savings every year. Not only does this policy support service members in maintaining their crucial military fitness, but it also extends this wellness opportunity to their families. By providing a supportive, cost-efficient environment for physical fitness, the base gym fosters a healthier, stronger military community. The base gym is not just a facility; it's an initiative aimed at enhancing the well-being of our dedicated service members and their loved ones.


I will say that in my 23-years of active duty time and travelling to bases all over the world, the only gym that cost money was in the Pentagon; however, it was free to O3 and below.


Exceptional Amenities at the Base Gym

Man swimming at the pool on the base gym

At the heart of any great fitness hub are its amenities and facilities, and the base gym is no exception. Not only does it offer state-of-the-art weightlifting equipment for strength training, but it also provides an extensive range of cardio machines. From treadmills and elliptical trainers to stationary bikes and rowing machines, the cardio offerings cater to various fitness levels and preferences.


But the base gym goes beyond just providing the hardware. It also offers a variety of fitness classes, taught by professional instructors who understand the unique fitness demands of military service. Whether you're looking to engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), relax with some yoga, or take up a challenging CrossFit session, the base gym has got you covered.

Rock wall at a climbing gym

I found myself on Fort Bliss for two weeks, staying in the barracks without a car, and in the middle of nowhere! The only saving grace were the gym amenities right by the barracks. Not only did they have a full, state-of-the-art gym, they also had a rock climbing gym, and two indoor pools that were all within walkable distance to the barracks. And best of all, it was all FREE!


The base gym's amenities demonstrate a strong commitment to supporting military fitness, providing service members with the tools they need to maintain their physical readiness. With its comprehensive offerings and top-notch facilities, the base gym stands as a testament to the military's dedication to promoting health, wellness, and fiscal responsibility among its ranks.


The Cost Savings of Using the Base Gym

Pink piggy bank on a calculator

Let's break down the potential cost savings when you choose the base gym over a membership in town. For the sake of comparison, consider the average monthly gym membership in the United States costs around $58, not including the additional fees, such as initiation, annual fees, and the cost of special classes, which can add another $100 or more per year. Adding in the costs of travel, including gasoline or public transportation fees, which may total another $50 per month, the yearly cost of an off-base gym approximates to around $840.


On the other hand, the base gym, with a membership typically free for military personnel, already saves you the $700 annually from membership fees. Add in the saved travel costs and you're looking at an additional $600 in savings. But the savings don't stop there. With fitness classes included and no need for extra costs like initiation and annual fees, the base gym offers more value for no cost.


In total, you stand to save as much as $1500 per year by choosing the base gym. This significant saving goes a long way in reducing financial stress, allowing you and your family to invest in other important areas of your lives. The base gym isn't just an economical choice; it's a choice that supports overall financial independence.


The Impact of Small Monthly Fees on Your Finances

Plant growing out of coins

Often, the seemingly innocuous monthly fees for a gym membership are shrugged off as trivial in the larger scheme of things. However, when we take a step back to analyze the cumulative impact of these costs, the picture that emerges is quite different. A gym membership fee that might appear minimal on a monthly basis can add up to a significant sum over the course of a year. For example, a seemingly affordable $60 monthly fee turns into a hefty $720 annual expense. Multiply that by several years, and you're looking at thousands of dollars spent on a gym membership alone.


Other Benefits of Using the Base Gym:



Friends working out at the military base gym

In addition to the considerable financial savings, the base gym is a potent catalyst for fostering a robust community and camaraderie among military members. The gym serves as a common ground where members from different ranks and units can meet, interact, and build relationships outside the formal confines of their respective roles.


This sense of community is often amplified during group fitness classes and team sports, where cooperation, mutual support, and shared goals breed a sense of togetherness and unity. The base gym becomes more than just a place to work out; it transforms into a social hub where lifelong friendships are formed, stories are shared, and a shared sense of purpose is cemented.


Moreover, the base gym also extends its reach to the families of service members, thus creating a wider community of support. Military spouses and children can partake in activities, fostering a sense of belonging and a network of support that transcends the gym walls.


In essence, the base gym is not just an economical choice, but also a powerful tool in cultivating a strong, interconnected military community. It offers a unique blend of financial independence, physical fitness, and social interaction that is hard to find elsewhere. Through its services, the base gym reaffirms its commitment to promoting the holistic well-being of our devoted military personnel and their families.


Get Buff on a Budget!


In summary, the base gym proves to be an unbeatable choice for military personnel, offering a confluence of financial, physical, and social benefits. The substantial cost savings, which could amount to as much as $1500 annually, underscore its economic advantages. Free of typical gym membership expenses, the base gym supports your journey towards financial independence. It promotes physical readiness with its state-of-the-art facilities, diverse training options, and professional instructors who understand the unique needs of military fitness. The base gym fosters a vibrant community, providing a platform for building camaraderie, strengthening bonds, and extending support networks to include military families. Ultimately, the base gym is more than just a workout space—it's a testament to the military's commitment to the holistic well-being of its service members and their families, offering exceptional facilities at no cost, while fostering a sense of unity and financial independence.

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