Friday, December 30, 2011

Kayla in the 'Burbs: Part one- Gym shopping

How to Gym Shop

I am currently home, in the burbs, for my month long winter break. It's funny, after an exhausting semester at college, I didn't want to come home and sleep until noon every day.
No, I decided to join a gym. well actually another gym.
While it sounds like I have gym ADD, since this is my 4th gym in a year, I learn a little bit more about what I want from a gym, and how it fits into my schedule.

I joined David Barton Gym in Manhattan by accident. My friend and I went in for a tour and were very easily distracted by the pretty lights and club-like feeling. We joined on the spot in May 2010 and froze our memberships until we came back to the city for school in September.
Sadly my friend got mono and never went to the gym, but I tried out everything at this strange strange gym that felt more like a gay club than a place to work out.
I got really into pilates during fall semester. My schedule that semester at college allowed for me to take pilates 3 mornings a week, and I was obsessed. I mixed it in with a bit of cardio here and there.
Spring semester I was back to being a super stressed out drama major and needed my work out to be pounding and stress relieving. I liked to feel badass with all the macho men taking weight training classes like "six pack attack". I also remembered how much I loved dancing for fun in a cardio dance class. I grew to dislike the one dance class offered there though because it felt competitive and show-offy. I get enough of that at theater school. I also have always hated doing hip-hop dances.

During the summer I was home in Westchester and decided to join New York Sports Club. It was conveniently located near the day camp I worked at and near where I got my afternoon starbucks refueling. It was perfect post-camp to take total body conditioning classes at night. This was also where I forced myself to like running and "trained" for my 5k at the end of summer. I went from hating running the mile in high school, to jogging 3.1 miles in yankee stadium at the end of summer.

Back in Manhattan, I was getting sick and tired of the gimmick and attitude at David Barton. While the facility is gorgeous, clean and uncrowded, I disliked the mentality of the clients and workers there. I felt like people treated me like shit and looked down on me, even though I am young and physically fit. Its a pretentious gym. They changed the schedule around so I couldn't take classes with my favorite trainer, and that was the last straw for me.

So I joined Crunch Gym, which has been a great fit for me. As a female obsessed with fitness classes, this is the place to go. there's every kind of class from yoga, spinning, weight training and dancing, offered at all times of the day. The trainers are more down to earth and  "real people", unlike the body builder men at David Barton. I have loved trying out every single class, and taking classes at multiple locations in the city. I do not regret joining this gym. While its more crowded and less glamorous than my previous membership at David Barton, there are significantly more classes being offered that are appealing to me and the clientele and workers are lovely. As a 21 year old female, this is a good work out environment for me, and I look forward to going to various crunch locations and know I will always leave content with the classes I took.

and now, I am home for the holidays, and want to keep up my fitness level.
I shopped around gyms in Northern Westchester, already missing being in manhattan and having 2 crunch gyms 2 blocks away from my apartment.
I decided on Club Fit, while the farther away and more expensive than my previous time at NYSC, it fits what I need for this break. NYSC was great for after camp, offering night classes and convenience to cram into my busy summer schedule of work and hanging out with friends after work.
This break however I was interesting in classes and when I could take them. Instead of working at camp all day and hitting the gym at night, I wanted to work out in the late morning, early afternoon and have the rest of the day to see friends and do whatever I needed to do.
After all my other gym experiences (and also my experience working out at the gym facilities NYU offers me) I have learned that I love work out classes. I recently learned that I love zumba, and I now know that it is a good idea to balance cardio with strength training and mix in some yoga (even though I hate yoga).
while comparing schedules at all the nearby gyms I realized Club Fit was the obvious choice for right now. They offer lots of zumba classes with different teachers, even aqua zumba, and other unique classes for strength training, yoga and spinning during the hours I am looking to work out. and this gym came with the added bonus that my best friend is already a member and looking to work out at the same times I am.

I am very happy with my decision to join Club Fit while I'm home. It has been so much fun to work out with my friends in the morning, and have the whole day to hang out after. and i get to take zumba every day.

So here are my tips when gym shopping
- How far are you willing to drive, walk, travel, take the subway? If it is inconvenient to get to, will you go?
- Does the more expensive gym offer more of what you want?
- All gyms have weights and cardio machines, but are you looking for something special not offered every where? Zumba? a pool? a certain class?
- What time of day will you be working out-- do they offer classes at that time?
- Do you know people who go there and will motivate you to go?
- is there clientele similar to you with similar fitness goals? will you feel intimidated?
- are there new things to try out, like pilates or dancing, that you would never try elsewhere

Joining a gym is expensive and feels impulsive, but if you join knowing you will go and excited for the things your new membership have to offer, its well worth it.
going to the gym should be an exciting break from the rest of life, a place where stress and responsibility take a vacation. with the right gym, and right approach, it feels like that.


Post a Comment