I was sure I didn’t want a join a gym, especially after researching the problems people ran into trying to cancel their gym memberships. My husband and I have been able to make due with our home equipment, exercise DVDs, and use of the outdoors for our fitness needs over the past 3 years, but a few things have changed since then.
Why We Need To Join A Gym
My husband loves weight lifting. While this may seem like a wonderful thing on the surface, it has put us in line to be gym rats! Due to the limitations we have at home, he is not able to work at his full potential.
First, we just don’t have the amount of weights he needs to max out on his deadlifts or squats. Someone was kind enough to give him some additional weights the other day, but that just helped magnify the ineffectiveness of our home set up. He is not able to use all the additional weights without an Olympic bar, which we don’t have. He can explain better than I can about the problems with that. <—-[Khaleef here: I will put up a post this week (with a video) explaining all of the limitations]
Also, for him to max out on these exercises in particular, our second floor condo is just unsuitable. For the squats, he needs a squat rack so he can quickly get the bar off his shoulders. Have you seen the size of those monstrosities!?! We definitely don’t have room for that. [Khaleef back: They aren’t THAT big and I found a perfect space in front of our fireplace ;-)]
For the deadlifts, he would need the ability to release the weights quickly (yes, allow them to SLAM on the ground). Although our neighbor has been pleasant so far, I doubt that would continue if she had to hear over 300lbs of weights being slammed into her ceiling at 5 AM!
Before you go into “do more reps with lighter weights”, that scenario doesn’t fit into his goals. He’s not lifting just for weight loss, but once again, he can explain that better than I can.
The REAL Reason We Need To Join A Gym
The selfish part, for me, is that I really don’t like my living room being turned into a gym. While it’s been tolerable (barely) so far, the thought of bigger weights and larger bars and racks and STUFF is just too overwhelming!!! I can see my living room being transformed into this man-dungeon, and since Khaleef has that remarkable ability of making anything “make sense”, my couch, end tables, TV and lamps will all be evicted before I can figure out I’ve been bamboozled.
So yes, my husband needs to join a gym! But what about me, do I really need to join one too?
The short answer is “no”, it’s not a necessity for me. It is a luxury, but one that under our present circumstances, we are willing to indulge. I’ve recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but I’ve been experiencing the symptoms for a while before. Working out is very difficult. Let’s be honest, sometimes walking around the house is difficult! Anyways, activity is important for overall health as well as combating some of my pain.
My doctor recommended certain low intensity activities for me to start with, and some of the amenities available at a gym make these possible. Before you ask, yes, light walking is one of the activities. The problem is, the heat and/or humidity don’t agree well with my migraines, so being outside for too long isn’t often feasible.
Which Gym To Join?
There are 3 gyms in our immediate area that we considered joining. We decided to do a whirlwind tour of all 3 so we can make a decision on which one would best suit our needs. Here’s a quick look at what we found!
|Gym 1||Gym 2||Gym 3|
|Distance From Home||.8 miles (3 minutes)||1.0 miles (4 minutes)||3.7 miles (10 minutes)|
|Overall Appearance (Scale 1-10)||8. Very clean, and well organized. Lots of privacy between sections and ample rooms for various activities.||6. Clean, but shoddy & gloomy looking. Nice locker rooms, but equipment close together.||10. Very clean, and well organized. Very spacious between equipment. Nice locker rooms.|
|Presentation of Staff||Young girl, not enthusiastic, but helpful. Gave us a tour & pricing specials.||OVERLY friendly, hard sales pitch. Major turn off.||Friendly rep, obviously sales motivated, but not pushy. Knowledgeable.|
|Contract Term||15 month||N/A||N/A|
|Termination Fee||Varies based on reason. $50 or 10% of total contract balance||N/A||N/A|
|Termination Notice (Time Needed)||60 days||30 days||10 days|
|Ample Free Weight Section?||Very limited. 1 squat rack. Very tight between stations.||Very limited. 2 squat racks. Very tight between stations.||Large section. 2 power racks, 2 squat racks. Lots of room.|
|Stand Out Amenities||Dedicated movie room with cardio equipment. Chiropractor on site. Can use other locations.||Small women’s section for working out in privacy.||POOL!!!! Sauna & Jacuzzi. Basketball & racquetball courts.|
All of the gyms had there pluses and minuses. I won’t keep you in suspense for too long. We crossed off Gym #2 right off the bat! The only temptation was that the price was the best. It does increase by $5/year, but you can “opt out” off that by simply going to their website when that time comes around.
The main problem was the size of the free weight section. It was limited, tight, and Khaleef was already picturing his muscles getting cold from having to wait for the squat rack to be available! Also, it just looked really shabby. It also was the only place that was giving us a hard sell like we were in a time share presentation! We were pretty sure that if I wasn’t there, the girl that showed us around would have been more flirtatious with the husband to get the sale.
The funniest part was that in the beginning, she pulled out a card that was “$100 off (the enrollment fee), good for today only!” and when she realized we weren’t going to commit at that moment it became, “this offer is only good until tomorrow!” Give me a break!
We really liked Gym #1 because of the distance from the house and it was nicer than expected. It had a lot of nice little amenities, a decent price, and there was no pressure to join. The free weight section was underwhelming, but Khaleef was willing to deal with what they had. We were going to choose Gym #1 UNTIL we saw Gym #3.
Yes, it IS the most expensive, but they have a POOL! A POOL! Okay, that’s just my thing, but the smell of the chlorine as I walked in made me want to do backflips, belly flops, whatever! It is the activity my rheumatologist wants me to start with, but I didn’t know there was a pool close by and so thought it was out of the question.
Enough about me, Khaleef was very happy with the free weight section. They had 2 or more of the equipment he needs and a lot of space between them. He didn’t need to look any further. The guy who showed us around was pretty cool, and although you could tell the account mattered to him, he didn’t pressure us at all.
We joined Gym #3 recently and had our first workout. I didn’t utilize the pool yet, but it’s coming. We’re very happy with our choice, especially knowing that it will be easy to leave the gym should we choose to do so. The upfront payment included first and last month’s costs and only Khaleef paid the enrollment fee since I joined under him as a family member.
A few days after checking out these gyms I found another gym close by that’s for serious body builders. They even sponsor and train for local competitions! If Khaleef gets interested in pursuing power lifting, then that’s where he’s headed once he’s ready!
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