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Old 01-13-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 37

Default Joining a Gym

I have recently moved from Australia to the US and after many failed attempts at losing weight I am ready to try again.

I am 20 and have no idea what I weigh around 90-100 kg, although, I am over 6 foot tall so I don't feel as though my weight is too bad I just know I am not healthy and I don't like the way I look.

Being new to the US I don't know what is offered in a gym here and I wanted to get an idea from here before I started calling random gyms and asking questions.

What exactly do they offer and how much do they generally charge? I would LOVE a personal trainer but I just know if they are even close to the prices at home I just cannot afford them. I was told that joining any gym here will give you access to a personal trainer although when majority of trainers are over $100 per hour at home I find it hard to believe they would be offering this service for free.

Is there any advice? Is anybody from the Buffalo area that can suggest a gym that is not too pricey?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The Great Northwest
Posts: 728

S/C/G: 264/239/199

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I have seen gym's offer a free one time session where a trainer shows you how to use the equipment and set up a work out plan, but after that you would have to pay for a personal trainer in addition to your membership fees.
A lot of gyms offer a free trial, which is a great way to see what they have.
Things I would look for:
What different classes do they offer and what days/times are they offered?
How many cardio machines do they have (especially the ones I like)?
Does the place look clean and inviting (including locker rooms/showers)?
What days/hours are they open?
Do they have a pool, sauna?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Location: Maryland
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I would definitely try to see if you can get a free trial to a gym. It would depend on what gyms are near you or where you'd be willing to go for a gym.

Mostly, gym memberships cost from $30 to over $100 per month. No gym I know of has free personal training but some will have personal trainers on staff that you can choose from. Some will give you a few free training sessions. Some gyms give you discounts for buying a package of personal training sessions but even with those packages, I think the cheapest price I've seen is around $40/hour.

Another option could be something like crossfit gyms. They tend to focus on the more functional training.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
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Height: just under 5'4"


I think there is a pretty wide variety of services that gyms here in the US offer. I think you'll find everything from gyms that are very basic--just a place to work out and equipment to work out on to very luxurious, with lots of classes, personal training, spa, towel service, cafe, etc. And everything in between. In my experience, you get what you are willing to pay for--membership in a gym that is very basic will be the least expensive, membership in a gym that has lots of extras will be the most expensive.

The minimum features that I would require in a gym are:
- good location
- convenient hours
- enough cardio equipment that I don't have to wait for a machine, even during peak hours
- a variety of cardio equipment, even if I don't think I'll use it all (you just never know)
- a good selection of weight machines
- a good selection of free weights, especially at the lower end of the scale (5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, 15 lb)
- a good selection of toys: Bosus, resistance bands, steps, exercise balls
- Smith machine (at least I think this is what it is called), I use it for lunges and squats when I don't have my trainer there to correct my form

Other things you might find in a gym, depending on what you are willing to pay for:
- personal training
- group exercise programs/classes
- group personal training (smaller than a class, but not quite one-on-one, usually quite a bit cheaper than one-on-one personal training)
- pool
- spinning machines and classes
- martial arts classes
- sauna (steam and/or dry)
- whirlpool
- spa and/or massage therapists
- towel service
- cafe
- indoor track
- fitness testing, RMR testing, etc.
- nutritionists
- childcare

In terms of personal training, I think prices vary widely by gym, by region of the country, and by the level of certification of the trainer. I pay about $75 an hour, but I know my gym as trainers that have fewer certifications, or that aren't certified at all, that charge less per hour. Here at 3FC, I've heard of people paying as little as $30 an hour to as much as $100 an hour. I have seen gyms that include personal training in the cost of membership, but they are pretty pricey, much more than $100 a month. There is a Crossfit gym in my area that does that and I think they charge around $1,000 a month. Another alternative that might be available is small group training, which is usually a personal training working with a group of 2 to 6 people. My gym offers it and is quite a bit cheaper than what they charge for one-on-one training.
- Barbara

My Before and After Pics

"Decide what you want; decide what you're willing to exchange for it; establish your priorities, and go to work." --H.L. Hunt

"Life has hills. Set the treadmill at an incline."
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