Gym Evaluations are Underway!

In my last post, in addition to entertaining you with some of the finest blues music in recent history, I also did some crying over my encounter with the desk clerk at my gym. Once I got that out of my system (and aren’t you all sweethearts for listening?), I set off to see what other options were available within easy walking/biking distance from my house, which would be about 2 miles. I was surprised with just how many options I found:

Physiology Associates
The Jewish Community Center’s Wellness Center
24-Hour Fitness

While these all cost 2-3 times as much as my gym, they also all offer lots more, including swimming pools. I’ve toured all except 24-hour Fitness, which I’ll be visiting via a 7-Day Pass next week, and I’ve been impressed with the friendliness of the staff at each facility. They actually come out from behind their desks and mingle!

Another option I checked into, just because it was located near one of the other gyms, was Curves for Women. To be honest, I’d never considered Curves before, and I’m not sure why. I dropped in at my neighborhood Curves, and I have to tell you, I was impressed! As the name implies, it’s a workout option designed for women. It’s all based on hydraulic resistance equipment and cardio (not regular old gym equipment), and you follow musical/voice prompts to change machines. The standard workout is scheduled to last 30 minutes (but you can go longer if you wish), which includes time at an amazing stretching apparatus. Seriously, if I hadn’t given them my real name wasn’t such a moral and law-abiding citizen, I’d be backing up my Dad’s truck to their door some night.

There was a feeling of camaraderie and “belonging” at this Curves location that I haven’t experienced at any other gym I’ve worked out in. Granted, part of their job is to sell a membership to me, but it really came across more as, “Come play with us!” I like that! Staff members are available to help (and push you!), which almost felt like having a personal trainer.

The cost of a membership, which permits unlimited visits, is $100 sign-up and $34/month. For the month of March, though, they’re waiving the sign-up fee in exchange for a bag of healthy groceries to be donated to a women’s shelter! (This is apparently a program going on at all Curves, not just my local facility.) There are now Curves franchises all over the world, and you get guest privileges at all of them, plus they have some online activities and support as well.

By now you’re probably thinking I’m being paid by the Curves people, but I’m not, I promise. Simply put, I was impressed with the place and honestly do think that it just might be a good resource if you have avoided working out at a gym because you felt intimidated or self-conscious. As for me, as much as I’d love to hang out with them and be part of what looks like a fun and supportive group, I think I’m at a point where variety in my workout is important. Besides, I have you guys for fun and support. :)

I’ll make a decision next week and have an update from my gym. Until then, I’m going to have fun exploring and perhaps even widen my search to the five mile range just to see what else is out there!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

16 thoughts on “Gym Evaluations are Underway!

  1. You're smart to really think this through, Cammy. When you're comfortable at your gym, it makes all the difference in the world.

    If you do settle on the JCC, let me know before hand. I think I can wrangle a refer-a-friend discount. I like the Y on Quince tho, too. Their outdoor pool is a happening place during the summer.

  2. I love my Y. ZOOM-BAH! But itn's not as cheap or as close as I'd like. Curves sounds like it might be a great fit if you are happy with the type of workout they offer.

    So they didn't waive the rejoiner fee? Foolish.

  3. Good for you Cammy! I agree with you on curves not having quite what you need. From what I heard, once you get past the 6 month mark or so, if you are consistent with it, it is hard to go beyond in that. I was told by a person that went there that it just got too easy.

    I belong to 24 Hour Fitness & like that for the hours & all the different equipment. I am sure you plan to go at the times you would normally work out. It does get VERY busy at my gyms during certain hours & we have tons around here & they all get busy!

    Good luck!

  4. I have likened Curves to Masons, a secret society what with the closed curtains and all. This sounds almost too good to be true, like they're going to suck you in ala Scientology. Still, I'm intrigued…

  5. I do hope that your gym sees the humanity in waiving that fee!
    I've done Curves before and I liked it. You crank up your own workout by the number of reps you do on the equipment, plus the effort you put into jogging/moving/dancing on the little trampolines between the machines. The music is good!

  6. There's no harm in looking around! :) I've never been to a gym myself (can't afford it) but a friend of mine in Melbourne Australia goes to Curves and she really likes it.

  7. Very cool- I really believe it is SO important to enjoy and feel comfortable at your gym and Curves sounds like it fits both of those descriptions! Excited to hear what you decide! :)

  8. Hope you find what you are looking for…or that your other gym waives the fee.

  9. You are lucky to have so many choices! I'm only about an hour from you and I think there are three here. I workout at home but would take the same logical approach you are if I needed to join a new gym!

  10. So glad to hear you're putting Plan B into action and focusing on your fitness goals. Stay empowered! You'll get through all the red tape of finding the right place to workout and then there will be no stopping you!

  11. Wow! I'm so jealous that you have all of these great options close by! :)

    I did the Curves thing a few years ago. I liked it for the most part, but in comparison to the gym I go to now, I like that better. The biggest problem I had with the Curves I went to (this may be my experience only) was the gals that worked there each told you how to use the equipment differently. It was hard for me to figure out how it really should be used with so many different instructions!

    Best of luck to you in what you decide.

  12. i hope your gym comes to their senses and waives that fee. i belong to 24 hour fitness. the staff is hit or miss, but it might be that way at all gyms, i dunno. i like that it's open 24/7, because it can get REALLY crowded after 5 pm pm weekdays, of after mid-morning weekends. again, probably all gyms are like that.

  13. I belong to 24H fitness, and I really hate them. None of the gyms here have enough weights or equipment in their Group X classes, which are poorly scheduled, super-crowded (get there at least 15 minutes early if you want to attend)and not often air conditioned. OTOH, I paid $650 for 3 years, now $20/year. I'd still prefer the YMCA, but that is $62/month. I feel that in this case, I get what I pay for, but since I don't work, it's all I can afford.

  14. I love CURVES. However, you get out of it what you put into it. There are some elderly (older than me) women that go to mine that honesty, I don't know how they make it around the circle. It is o.k. to pass them. I have to admire these ladies because a least they are getting out of the house and doing what they can. If I'm away from Curves too long the owner gives me a call to check on me. She could just take my $34 a month and not care.

  15. Pingback: Gym Woes – 2011 Edition

Comments are closed.