Friday, May 20, 2011

24-Hour Fitness

I hadn't written about our newest gym yet, and since we've been going since November, I figured I should post about it. Especially since it caused us a lot of grief the other night...

Why have I waited this long to write about it? Well, I don't particularly love it. In fact, I kind of hate it. I visited it by myself, Jonathan visited it by himself, we visited another one of the same chain but a different location together. We weren't really taken with any of them, but it's the best one around for the price, and our gym in Mountain View closed down since we lived there (though it would be a drive to go there now anyway). We actually ended up signing up online, which was very strange to me. It's kinda cool that we don't carry cards or anything - you enter a 10-digit code and then use your fingerprint to check-in. Nobody can pretend to be you, or use your card if you lose it.

It's not too far away, but it's off the Lawrence Expressway, so it's not really walkable. When we first started going, we'd often run into two or three people we knew from Jonathan's work, but two have since moved and we just don't run into the other one. There's nothing fancy about this gym, and just one classroom. The times for the classes aren't ideal, and the variety is nothing to brag about, either.

The building is old, and you can tell when you look at the windows and stuff. There's not enough parking, but at least they realized that and you can park in certain spots in the neighboring lots (though I've been before when there are absolutely no spots, and after five minutes of circling around with five other cars doing the same thing, I just left. Probably twice a week I spend 3-5 minute looking for parking.). And, there's a sports bar in the next plaza, which causes a parking crisis when there's a big (read: Sharks playoffs) game, since overflow parks in gym spaces, even though they're not supposed to. The other night, we gave up trying to park when we realized that it just wasn't going to happen.

They also have a tendency to rearrange the weight machines frequently, making it very difficult to stay on a normal routine. The overcrowding affects the weight machines more than the cardio equipment, but is so bad that sometimes a certain piece will be in use throughout my entire workout... each time I finish with a machine and could do a specific one, it'll be in use. Short of standing around waiting for a machine (and it's not always the same one that I just can't seem to get), there's just no way to incorporate it.
A few of my preferred machines aren't carried at this gym, but the only one I truly miss is the stretch one (no idea what it's called so I put in a photo). There also aren't any racquetball courts, so Jonathan hasn't played in quite a while, though he has found a few people at work who play, and he'll go to play with them at another gym in the 24-Hour Fitness chain. 

But, the biggest problem is cleanliness. And, it is a big problem. Towels don't seem to be required (and are never enforced), so people don't wipe down their machines after use. Staff walk around and spray the floor here and there... not sure what that does for anyone. It often smells like sweat throughout the entire place, which has never been a problem at any other facility I've been to (and this marks the fifth gym we've belonged to, not counting others we've tried out and such). All in all, just not a big fan of 24-Hour, but you do what you gotta do!

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