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LUCKYNUMBER23 SparkPoints: (12,425)
Fitness Minutes: (15,322)
Posts: 449
10/31/12 3:13 P

I agree to get the free trial period. Do you know anybody that are members to the gym? I have a Club Fitness membership. I've never had any issues. I live in Illinois and work in Missouri. I love it because it has locations close to work and home.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (221,167)
Fitness Minutes: (113,739)
Posts: 14,401
10/31/12 12:31 P

my experience with Gold's was years ago, so it may be out of date. They are a franchise, so it's up to the franchise owner to set the rates. XH was a manager of a Gold's. I also had a friend who worked at Gold's. Depending on the salesperson, you may have a tough time getting a straight answer on the rates. The membership/initiation fee can usually be waived (they often sell that as a 'today only' offer).

since you don't really care about trainers or classes, when you are finished with your current 2 week trial, see if you can get a trial membership from Gold's. Go at the time of day you would normally workout. If the machines are in good order and the place is clean, you just need to compare rates. It's also a good idea to get some background on the owner. Gyms are notorious for going out of business, leaving the members with nothing.

I'm happy at the YMCA. And I'm pretty sure they aren't going anywhere!

SMANISMELL SparkPoints: (76,799)
Fitness Minutes: (39,952)
Posts: 725
10/31/12 10:47 A

I live in a small town. We had one gym and it closed down. Fortunately another fitness center opened up - Project Fitness. They do cross fit training. Not sure how much they charge because I cannot afford a gym. We do have a Y and I did go to Curves for a few months.

SOON2B150 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (5,582)
Posts: 50
10/31/12 8:54 A

Thanks for the heads up on Anytime. I've been using a free 14 day trial. It seems very low key. I haven't had any personnel approach me but it is a no frills gym.

Does anyone know what Golds Gym charges? They don't list their fees on the website.

BERRY4 SparkPoints: (243,864)
Fitness Minutes: (106,608)
Posts: 12,133
10/31/12 1:30 A

Anytime Fitness -- I've had experience w/ 2 of them. One went bankrupt because the owner didn't know how to run a business.
The 2nd one had a manager/owner who took "detail" over the top! He had cameras all around the place, and if someone didn't put weights back after using them, he'd watch the cameras, figure out who, and call and put them on "warning".
Also, I would have to pay extra to take any classes. -- It was a small gym and didn't suit my needs / purposes & cost too much when all was said and done.

SHAKEUPTAMPA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 925
10/30/12 10:46 P

I'm not familiar with either of those but have been a member of Lifestyles, LA fitness and another family owned one in NJ. in August I joined Youfit (biggest mistake EVER)

$1 down, $19.95 + tax a month, $99 to cancel or transfer membership to someone you know.
Horrid customer service, changing policies, and annual fee information multiple times. (there were other things that happened like the manager saying something that clearly was meant to make me feel I was making a bad choice leaving). The annual fee is $30. I cancelled yesterday paid the $99 and documented clearly if the fee comes out on Nov 1st I will come back because legally my contract stated 90 days after club opening (which was in Sept)

READ YOUR CONTRACT!!! I will say this because of all the verbage, who you have to write or see to cancel, I didn't get to read a contract it was presale, the contract said so much information they didn't care to mention even when I asked they gave short pretty answers.

Sooo I checked out a few gyms and I am willing to drive an additional 8 miles a day round trip to Planet Fitness because 1) nothing down 2) same monthly price 3) They BOUGHT OUT my contract so that $99 I paid, I now have no payment until April with PF..also they clearly state in contract their annual fee, what date you have to cancel by to not be charged the next month, and what the terms are.
They have hydro massage beds, massage chairs, tanning, strength courses, personal strength courses, and a better selection of equipment. Also hours are 24/7

When I read the contract and spoke to the manager she said I was only the 3rd person she ever saw READ the whole contract. So most of the complaints are people with no validity in their claims (With youfit I never signed ANYTHING so to see what they emailed me as a contract was ludicrous!)

Make sure you know what each club offers, how long it is for, if there is a termination fee, and how you have to terminate. The only thing I ever heard about Anytime Fitness was that it was a key code door at night and no one works could be creepy lol.

I could have paid $7 more a month + $25 down for 36 month term with no cancel option to have a pool and classes but the place smelled so bad and the equipment was ancient I was not willing to try to like it when I have other options for a pool or can do DVDs at home lol

In the end it will all come out to what you think you can afford and what you want in a gym.

10/30/12 5:25 P

I was a gm for a Anytime Fitness. The franchise states they have to charge at least $28 a month for a membership fee. However, ALL other fees including the sign up fee's and key fee are up to the club owner so try to negotiate them down. Also the franchise doesn't dictate a price increase for a shorter contract term this again is up to the owner. Hope this helps if you decide to join.

SOON2B150 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (5,582)
Posts: 50
10/20/12 7:04 P

It's hard for me to work classes in with the hours I work.

After checking YELP and other review sites, I'm not too impressed with Club Fitness. I printed off a two week pass to Anytime Fitness and will start there.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
10/20/12 6:53 P

The classes offered at our small, private, local gym are part of what keep me going back there 4-5 days a week. Also, ours has a pool, and I love swimming. Is there a pool at any of the ones you are considering, and if so, would you use it?

I urge you to consider classes at the gyms, particularly if they come with the gym fee (mine does) and you do not have to pay any extra for them. It would take a me while to list the benefits I have gotten from classes; friendships, new sports, skills, increased flexibility, increased strength, group support, and that is only the beginning. I have tried every class at our gym and don't have time to do all of them every week! I like and enjoy them all!

When traveling, I inquire at unfamiliar gyms about a trial day and/or a drop in rate. Would this work at the three which you are considering?

NSMANN Posts: 976
10/20/12 6:39 P

If I were picking a gym, I'd go for variety of classes. Classes are a good option to keep things interesting and try something different.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
10/20/12 4:02 P

I agree with getting a guest pass and assessing them each from there. Check for
- Cleanliness - both general and if the machines get wiped down after use (and if they don't do the trainers do anything about it)
- Helpfulness - Ask a trainer a quick question. My fave is, can you check my plank. It takes less than a minute of their time, and it helps you.
- Friendliness - Do the staff look miserable and surly? Or are the smiling and approachable?
- Equipment - Is is clean, well maintained and working? Or does every second machine have an out of order notice on it?

Those, and classes, are the things that are important to me.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (189,886)
Fitness Minutes: (281,713)
Posts: 26,470
10/20/12 2:58 P

If you're looking for some really honest opinions, try YELP. Whenever I want to try a new restaurant, gym or other business, I read the reviews on YELP first. In general, I've found the reviews people leave to be useful. So, look up those gyms and see what your local YELP reviewers have to say.

As JADOMB, correctly noted, most complaints against chain gyms do be with regards to their cancellation policies. However, many people who leave reviews may tell you who the best trainers are, which are the best classes, whether or not the gym is clean or not. That's another sticking point with chain gyms. How clean is it. How long does it take to get equipment repaired when it's broken. How busy does it get at peak ?

These are some things you might want to know before deciding. Also, you could check to see if these gyms have a free day pass. Many do if you come in and take a tour. That's another good way to try a gym before putting down any money.

SPUTNIK512 Posts: 1,730
10/20/12 2:57 P

I second the suggestion to ask about a free trial. Most gyms offer that and that way you can try them each out and make a more informed decision as to which would be best for you.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
Posts: 1,708
10/20/12 2:50 P

That is a difficult one and really up to ones true wants and needs. There are also costs that factor in. I think the best thing for you to do since you have that many within your area is to go there at the times you plan or can work out at. This will help you see if they can support your needs at your time. Then I would find out the membership and additional costs. It may be cheap monthly, but the most expensive for trainers, etc. So balance it out and figure out your needs. Most clubs have 1 week to 1 month free memberships.

I actually do have a membership but haven't used it for years, I prefer the privacy of doing it at home. You may want to think that through too.

SOON2B150 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (5,582)
Posts: 50
10/20/12 1:20 P

I'm considering joinging a gym and these three gyms are within two miles of my house: Club Fitness, Gold's Gym, and Anytime Fitness. Club Fitness appears to be the cheapest, Gold's Gym and Anytime Fitness don't list their prices on the website.

Does anyone have opinions as to any of these clubs? I did go on the Better Business Bureau and most of the complaints were when people cancelled their memberships and the gyms kept deducting the monthly fees from their accounts.

I just want the basic equipment. I won't hire a personal trainer or take classes.

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