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Talk me out of or into joining a gym
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Author:  linanil [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Talk me out of or into joining a gym

My life plans are changing such that I think I am going to budget back in a gym membership.

I belonged to a gym many years ago and I can rejoin for $90/year (Ballys) but the local gym sucks and I don't think they could pay me to go.

There is a gym a couple miles from my house that has Yoga, spinning, Zumba, Kickboxing and some other classes. They also have a pool.

What I don't like about gyms:
Crowds (but I can work around that)
Weight training machines (give me free weights or give me death)

What I do like about gyms:
motivation
classes that add variety
personal trainers (for motivation, variety)

I toured this same gym a couple years ago and was dissatisfied with the free weight section but I read that the gym has remodeled with an expanded free weight section. I also would be going for the fact that I need to get back into a routine.

If I utilize a personal trainer, I'll need to talk to them first to make sure they understand what I want and see if they can help.

So am I crazy? I won't be joining for a few weeks either way as I have a nasty cold right now and will be preparing for a short trip. After that though, it is on.

Author:  lavawitch [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Do you have equipment at home? How about a trainer that comes to your house once a week?

I'll be looking for a gym in the fall.

Author:  Allison, not Alison [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I go to Fitness First. They have locations in NoVA, Maryland, and one in DC. It's $29 a month and includes classes (zumba, yoga, pilates, etc), but they don't have pools. I like it. It smells kinda funny sometimes, but it is a gym.

Author:  LazySmurf [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Most gyms have a free pass, do that and see if you like it and could see yourself going there. The most important thing for me is that it isn't out of the way or I will never go.

Author:  linanil [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I do have home equipment but I think I did better exercising when I got out of the house.

The gym i'm considering is Healthtrax. I'd consider WSC but other than their reputation, they have way fewer classes than Healthtrax.

Author:  Tofulish [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I am in the same boat, except I also need to figure out childcare.

I think it really depends on how you function and what you like.

I think you did Crossfit, right? Did you like the group aspect? Did you like having a place to go to exercise? I think you've also done home programs (P90X) - what part doesn't work for you? Can you get the work out you need to feel happy at home?

I can't really get a work out in at home with my kid, because she is underfoot all the time. I know other moms manage, but I am not losing weight just walking 2 or so miles a day with the dog and the kid, and my abdominal tone is terrible. I love free weights and machines, and I've used them for a decade successfully, so a gym is a good bet for me. Once I get there, I hit my stride and I can get a solid workout in. I just need to make sure that there is a daycare that works for Leela.

Author:  linanil [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I did do Crossfit and I was going 5 days/week. Until I got injured. I think Crossfit works very well in general unless you get injured or are way outside the norm. When my shoulder was injured, I was still pushed to do the most I can which I think was the wrong attitude. I loved it though. One thing that has always turned me off by personal trainers is generally, I don't think they push people enough but there has to be a happy medium of pushing people too much vs too little.

When I workout at home, I don't feel like I can push myself enough. It is easy to work out at home though, all I do is throw on a sports bra and I'm good to go (maybe shoes).

Healthtrax has a $19.95/2 weeks intro going which I hope is still available after I get back from my camping trip. Other than that, I think they have a few days free prior to joining.

Author:  Fee [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I just joined my first gym in years! So I'm pretty pro-gym at the moment. You should totally join. What's the worst case? You join and never end up going and then have to cancel and lose a few bucks? And how likely is that? Not very. Do it!

Author:  Tofulish [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

That sounds like a no-lose (money wise!) solution! I'd definitely do a low cost trial and see if it is something that is sustainable for you.

I will say too, that when I was working out with a trainer, I got the most amazing results. Way better than just at the gym alone, because he tweaked my form and would really push me. I remember one time that I looked at my body and was like holy shiitake, I look amazing - because he figured out exactly how to get my lateral abs so cut. If I could afford it, I'd definitely do that. My guy was someone I was dating, and he had an incredible body, but more importantly, he had a very lowkey attitude and was a good fit for me (obviously). He wasn't braggy, but really knew his stuff. So make sure the trainer you're getting is someone you "click" with.

Author:  chiveggie [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I just joined a gym last week so I know what you are going through. I realize I seldom have the motivation to work out on my own so for me it was worth it to join again. I also have learned that when I pay monthly I'm more motivated to go because when I see it on my credit card bill each month it's an added reminder to use it.

- I definitely recommend getting a free trial pass. Make sure to check out the classes then too. Gyms always seem to be hit or miss with qualified instructors
- if you think about a trainer, I'd check to see qualifications as well. Some have a lot more knowledge than others.
- oh and just tell them that you want that deal, don't ask if it's still available. They might tell you no if you ask, but I've noticed that if you act like you know about a deal either from their website or what somebody else got/offered they'll give it to you to instead of turning away your business entirely
- negotiate, call around to get quotes from a few places. My husband is better at this than I am. he managed to get $50 off our initiation fee and a few bucks off the monthly rate as well
-make sure to get the info about what happens if you have to sign a contract and end up quitting down the road or put the membership on hold etc.

good luck

Author:  vijita [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Every time I've ever joined a gym I have wasted money when my enthusiasm wears off very, very quickly. Don't be like me and you're gold.

Author:  chop_socky [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Tofulish wrote:
I am in the same boat, except I also need to figure out childcare.

I think it really depends on how you function and what you like.

I think you did Crossfit, right? Did you like the group aspect? Did you like having a place to go to exercise? I think you've also done home programs (P90X) - what part doesn't work for you? Can you get the work out you need to feel happy at home?

I can't really get a work out in at home with my kid, because she is underfoot all the time. I know other moms manage, but I am not losing weight just walking 2 or so miles a day with the dog and the kid, and my abdominal tone is terrible. I love free weights and machines, and I've used them for a decade successfully, so a gym is a good bet for me. Once I get there, I hit my stride and I can get a solid workout in. I just need to make sure that there is a daycare that works for Leela.


I think many YMCAs have child care, and from what I can tell it is super affordable!

Author:  Erinnerung [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I would totally join a gym for $29 per month or whatever. Gyms here are about that much per week. It's ridiculous. I really like gyms and wish I still had a membership to one, but I can't justify the price so the free work gym (or 'spare room with treadmills in it') does the job just fine.

Author:  Tofulish [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

chop_socky wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
I can't really get a work out in at home with my kid, because she is underfoot all the time. I know other moms manage, but I am not losing weight just walking 2 or so miles a day with the dog and the kid, and my abdominal tone is terrible. I love free weights and machines, and I've used them for a decade successfully, so a gym is a good bet for me. Once I get there, I hit my stride and I can get a solid workout in. I just need to make sure that there is a daycare that works for Leela.


I think many YMCAs have child care, and from what I can tell it is super affordable!


Thanks! It is! I just don't know if she is really ready to be left. My friends with littles say theirs love it.... But yeah, its only $3.50 for 90 mins so enough to work-out and shower. I need to just bite the bullet and do the free trial...

Author:  Allison, not Alison [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Oh yeah, Fitness First also has childcare.

Author:  linanil [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Healthtrax as well, I don't know if they are in New Jersey. The one I am thinking of joining even has kids fitness classes.

It isn't exactly cheap, it'll be around $70-$80/month. I don't know the exact pricing right now but that is what it used to be.

Author:  Chicki [ Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I am kind of pro-gym myself, and here are my reasons (see if they are your reasons too!)

Classes. Love them. They are fun, they add variety, and for me if I have a class I plan on attending, it is easier for me to go, and to stick with. It's a dicipline thing for me. Also, it is kind of embarassing to walk out in the middle of class, so you just continue your workout! Otherwise, I get on the tredmill and get off after like 20 minutes.

Weights. I too love free weights, or a certain kind of machine that uses your own body weight. Getting all these at home would break the bank for me. I also rather like the eliptical machine, which again, you can't afford to get at home

Motivation. If I am paying for it, I will use it. I am such cheapskate, it's as simple as that. I am the member that the gym hates, I actually GO to the gym 4+ days a week (when I am not running/hiking)

Cost. Really, surprisingly NOT expensive. You can find deals out there. $30 a month is not bad, if it is a good gym. I wouldn't pay more than that. Personally, I go to a big chain here on the west coast, 24 hour fitness, and I pay $13.33 per month. I bought a 2 year membership at costco, and that is what it breaks down to monthly. I am pretty sure that I saw one for Bally's there too. Just make sure you read the fine print, there are limitations. Also check stuff like Living Social and Groupon for deals. I know there are a lot of smaller local gyms around here that have great deals.

I would get a week free trial, make sure you go on days that you would regularly go if you got the membership so you can see how crowded it is, if classes are offered at those times (and if they are full!) stuff like that.

Author:  kilgore trout [ Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Definitely go for a free trial at a few places if you can, and feel out what times of day the gym is less crowded. But if you've had good experiences with working out outside of the home before, I would say a gym membership is a great idea.

Author:  baps [ Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I miss my gym membership, I am thinking about looking for a new gym to join. My last one was great but it was just too expensive.

Author:  linanil [ Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

So I went today and signed up!

They had remodeled the gym since I had toured it a couple years ago. They have a large (non sad) free weight room as well as a variety of 'functional fitness' equipment in a different section. They have a pool, sauna, hot tub and a therapy pool. Tons of cardio machines. They also have a 20 minute machine circuit. I'm mostly anti-machine but the way they explained it and the fact that you sign in for a slot and work with a personal trainer (for free), made it sound not bad. They have a spin room and a class room. Also, every membership has a 6 week (once per week) personal training session included in the initial signup. Although the guy I signed up with is also a personal trainer, I told him what I was looking for in a personal trainer and he signed me up with someone he thought was a good fit.

I also happen to get a 30 day guarantee so although I signed up, if I change my mind within 30 days, I can get my money back. Also, they gave me 2 months free because I signed up for the year. The economy must be hitting them though because their price dropped since last I went there. The standard monthly fee was $70 but with the 2 months free and rest of August free, it is a bit less than that. Anyway, I'm excited and plan to start tomorrow morning and I start my free personal training session on Monday.

And the last bit of goodness is my work will partially reimburse me for the fee (up to $250/year).

Author:  baps [ Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I think I'm going to rejoin the gym this week. I need to do something.

Author:  Tenacious LD [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

Looking into this right now. Except for two gyms in my area, they all
have a year contract. I think that blows. I may try to negotiate 6 months at
one that I'm kind of interested in.

Author:  FellowshipVeg [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Talk me out of or into joining a gym

I never made good with gym memberships in the past. But I found one right next door to my office and have been going very regularly for a year now. I had a personal trainer for about 8 months, I loved that. Even though after a while it was just someone to shoot the shiitake with while I worked out, so I canceled that part. I've been really into taking classes like zumba and dance. If my workouts aren't varied I get bored.

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