Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting our Exercise on!

For our friends who've asked about the 'health nuts' out here, I figured I'd do a feature on gymming.

We checked out four fitness centers before figuring out where we wanted to go. Fitness is big out here, and prices are competitive. There were pros and cons to our different choices, but in the end, The Club of Mountain View won our membership. They have three racquetball courts, which Jonathan is happy about. They have my preferred stair machine, which I've missed since I left the Leach at FSU. The magazine selection isn't the greatest, but they haven't really been busy since we've been going there, and that's a plus that the past few gyms can't boast about. While they have a somewhat-extensive class schedule (and classes are free, which is nice), the times aren't all that great, so I haven't tried any out yet. Zumba sure has my eye, though! They're also only a half-mile down the road we live on, so it's a short walk away.

Who were the other contenders?
Well, the free choice would be to use the complex's fitness center. And while it's not too bad, it lacks most of the machines that I would use, and only has one elliptical, so it would be easy for a line to form quickly. They also have no racquetball (although there are tennis and basketball courts), so that was a major downer. They were also lacking most of the weight machines I like.

24 Hour Fitness was the other place we checked out. We saw both a Sport and a SuperSport (their classification system). The Sport was older, designed like a maze, and offered only a few amenities (but it did have a pool). Across the plaza was the SuperSport, which was my favorite, since there were rows and rows of cardio machines (half of which had their own television screens with headphone plug-ins), two nice studio areas for classes/personal training/individual routines, and a unique machine setup. Imagine a three rows of perfectly aligned machines, stretching the length of the room. Each column matches up with respect to the muscle group being targeted. Row 1 has the basic machines, row 2 features more advanced machines, and the row 3 machines are designed for the most targeted workout possible, not allowing any non-targeted muscles to help indirectly. Sounds so great, what were the drawbacks? Well, no racquetball courts, and it's four miles away. Not a large distance, but there's no easy public transit to there, and we only have one car.

So, the Club will likely have our business for the duration of our stay in Mountain View. The one thing that was very different as we toured the gyms out here that I wish they did in Florida: EVERY SINGLE PLACE offers month-to-month, and thought it was strange that I even asked. In Florida, all of the gyms want you to sign a long-term contract, and it's hard to find one that will allow a month-to-month without a large start-up and unreasonable rates.

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