Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bye Bye Gym Membership... It's Been GREAT!

I have just returned home from an awesome workout at the gym... I ran a couple of miles on a treadmill, and then cycled a couple of miles and then ran another mile before cooling down, having a snack and then heading in to a wonderful Yoga Flow class.  I do love this yoga instructor.  She seems to sense the moods and needs of the group and chooses her poses and flows accordingly.  Love it. Love it.  LOVE it.

And then I walked home in a snotty wet Spring storm.. yes, it IS the first day of Spring... ate my lunch and am now taking a bit of time to reflect on my gym membership this past month before I enjoy my hot shower.

I won the membership in a Facebook contest.  And although I was pleased about it, I was more pleased that it came with a gift card to a local Canadian sport retailer.  I really didn't think I would even use the gym membership because I have always thought I didn't care for gyms, fitness centres, and the like.  And yes, I have tried a few in the past.

But, when The Captain settles in to watch The Scotties and The Brier (that's curling and it is a big deal for Canadians, especially those who are or have been champions at the sport themselves) on tv for a few hours each day off and on from mid Februrary through mid March, I get antsy and definitely need to entertain myself. I like a bit of it, but not for hours at a time.

I realized that activating this free gym membership and taking advantage of it, would not only entertain me, but do me some good! And so I checked their web site and found out they had lots of group exercise classes that I would like to try,  along with several different kinds of cardio machines, spin bikes, weights of course, and a group of machines that make up a circuit for strength training.  There are personal trainers available, tanning beds, blood pressure monitors, and all kinds of other amenities, too numerous to list.  It is a well rounded, and seemingly well-run facility.

So I have attended several different group exercise classes.... All Terrain Spin, Body Pump, Body Flow, and Yoga Flow. I have run and walked on the treadmills and ellipticals and ridden the recumbant bikes. I tried the strength circuit machines, and made good use of the stretching area. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I spent there over the last 30 days. And I really loved being exposed to all the new activities.  But I elected not to extend the temporary membership... and do have some mixed feelings about it as I mull it over.

The Cons...
  • I thought it was pricey compared to other facilities.
  • the classes are either very early morning, at noon, or at dinner time. I would prefer 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and found that going to a class at noon just broke up my day. It really took from 11 to 1:30 or longer. Then I still had to shower and have lunch after I got home. Very time consuming and I never felt like I could fit in any other exercise on a gym day.
  • the floor in the group exercise area is always kinda dirty.... petty maybe but it bugged me.
  • there is one member who is very annoying and 'in your face' and he attended all the yoga classes I did. I learned to make a point of keeping my back to him at all times.
  • the whole month I was there, 2 out of the 3 commodes in the ladies locker room were out of order... call a plumber, someone.

The Pros...
  • great variety of classes.  I loved All Terrain Spin, Body Pump, Body Flow and Flow Yoga.  I would also like to have tried RPM Spin, Body Step, Body Attack and Zumba but the timing of those didn't work for me.
  • the equipment is state of the art; there is lots of it; there is a great variety of cardio machines.
  • there is lots of room for everyone.
  • it wasn't ever very busy... however I did avoid that work-home transition time and apparently it is busier then.
  • the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
  • loved the towel service.
  • it has 2 local locations, one of which is woman-only but I never went to it as the main location is just a short walk from home.
and to add to the Pros... and what I can take away...
  • I have discovered a whole new appreciation of yoga.  Since I have taken some classes with a live instructor I know now, for sure, that this is something I want to pursue and spend more time doing.
  • I also discovered a love for Body Pump and for listening to energetic music when I work out. This was a real surprise to me and I just never 'got' the music thing before. I do now and loved it.  I am on the hunt for some Jari Loved DVDs as I think her RIPPED series is about as close to Body Pump as I am going to get at home. 
and it is not a Pro or a Con, but a simple observation...
  • I reconfirmed my dislike for running for any length of time on a treadmill... I do know they have their place, but I am just not a fan.  Even with a tv screen and earbuds for entertainment, I get so bored and so HOT running on a treadmill... give me the great outdoors, wind and rain and snow included, ANY day!

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to try out all of these facilities and classes over the past 30 days.  I know that my arms and legs and abs are happier too!

And now I can look forward to getting back to some other workouts, and figure out how I am going to fit yoga and Body Pump in as well.... I really think I am going to need a schedule!

What is your favorite exercise... other than running of course.


  1. Glad you had a good experience:) Dirty floors would totally bug me too, especially since you are so close while doing yoga!

  2. I've struggled with that lately! I have a gym membership and have had it for years, but ever since I started CrossFit, I don't go. I either go to my CrossFit gym or run or cycle or do some other outdoor sport. However, I've been meaning to get back into yoga and I keep thinking that keeping the membership will encourage me to go...and if i cancel it, I'll never be able to get to yoga :) Agh, decisions!

  3. I hear you about getting super hot on the treadmill. It's awful.

    Interesting experience, glad you found a love of yoga and will keep that up.

  4. I am personally not a big gym fan, for many of the reasons you mentioned. However, do swim, do take the occasional yoga or spin class, and my husband plays basketball. All of which means we'll never leave. Tough choices for you!

  5. I could never give up my gym! I am a gym rat! I wish I could get PAID to go to the gym because I would be a BILLION AIRE! LOL!

  6. Sounds like you've given the gym a thorough trial and the pros/cons are valid ones. Since it's a pricier gym, I'd expect the floors to be clean and toilets to be working. Since our weather has been so cruddy, I've been going to the gym more lately. It's good to expand the horizons and try new classes!

  7. Love this! I too, often miss the gym atmosphere. I worked out, taught body pump/step and LOVED IT! When I went into education and left the gym, I taught kickboxing to the teachers after school. Since I now stay at home with our boys, I haven't had a membership since 2006! Crazy to me! The cost just doesn't make sense to me when I hate treadmills (just like you!) and can find things go do at home. I'm curious about the Ripped series that you think close to body pump? How cool, I'd love that too! Body Pump was always my fav and is accredited to a lot of my weight loss in '01! Love the strength to music blaring! Pumps me up!
    Good luck to you finding what works at home again :-)
    Great post!

  8. I am like Gigi!! BUT the cons on the non cleanliness & other stuff a gym should keep up is not a good sign. I would actually tell the manager now that you are not there & that part of the reason you did not extend was due to those issues. A gym should keep that stuff up - toilets & cleanliness!!!

    I am sure you will have lots more fun stuff to tell us though. :)

  9. I am going to let my gym membership go because I dont go enough anymore but I do love the classes and the ability to go when the girls were asleep!


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