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Joining a gym

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Old 10-16-2006, 11:23 AM   #1
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Default Joining a gym

Hi.

I'm thinking of joining a gym (with a friend I hope). The cheapest gym near me is Planet Fitness. Do any of you go there, would you recommend it?

I was hoping to join today but my friend can't go till Thursday. I'm thinking about joining anyway and hoping she joins me later in the week.

Any tips or suggestions for someone who's never belonged to a gym before? I'm so afraid I won't stick with it but if I don't try.....

Thanks.

Mo
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:47 PM   #2
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Good for you! A couple of thoughts. I prefer gyms with a month-to-month agreement rather than a longer contract. I've seen too many gyms go belly up, leaving their members with no gym and no way to get their money back. Plus if you have an injury or something else happens, you won't be out a lot of money. Make sure the facilities have what you're looking for, and that you can get a good orientation to the weight machines (if you're going to do weights, which I certainly encourage everyone to do). Of course, cleanliness, a nice staff, all that is important, too, at least it was to me.

Good luck--and let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:44 PM   #3
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Many gyms will give a free month or at the very least 2 weeks for a trial period... Go with how you feel in the gym, experiement on going at different times of the day to get the feel of the place. Try to get an orientation with a personal trainer most bigger gyms will offer that too... Good luck!!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:55 PM   #4
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I checked out a Planet Fitness recently. We didn't join, but because it had what we had at the "Y" already, and we were ready for more. The price WAS very good. I think they had an offer where a year was around $99???? Maybe I'm misremembering, because that seems really cheap! So normally I'd do month to month (which is what we do at our gym), but $99 is quite cheap.

It seemed like a good "first timer" gym. Had the basics and was open a LOT!

I second being sure you can get an orientation to the equipment and also recommend getting to it with weights
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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Check the gym out at the time of day you expect to be working out. What looks like a lot of equipment in an empty gym might not look like so much at peak workout times like after work. Also if you're interested in classes, check to see that what they're offering fits with your schedule.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:02 AM   #6
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I joined a Planet Fitness in May. My main reason for joining that gym over other gyms was the cost. There was a $49 initiation fee and after that I pay $10/month. Once a year, in October, there's a yearly fee of $10 so that month I pay $20/month. So for 11 months it's $10 and 1 month $20. I'm trying to pay off some debt right now so it was the perfect dollar amount for me! I like the gym a lot but it's not for everyone. It's a no frills gym. There is just cardio equipment and weight equipment. No classes. No pool (in fact they filled in the pool that was there when it was a different gym). No daycare. I was skeptical at 1st because I've always enjoyed classes but I don't really miss them now. Because of the lack of classes I've moved more into weight training and do a mix of all the cardio available. Before it was a Planet Fitness, the building was occupied by another gym so they kept the other gym's equipment and then a few months after the grand opening, ordered a lot more equipment. I try to go in the morning so I really never have a problem getting a machine but I've gone after work at around 5:30pm and an elliptical can be hard to find. I think different PF's offer different things but mine does have personal trainers. It also has hour long classes each week that 4-5 people can sign up for to get oriented with different machines or weight training equipment. I've had previous experience with both so I haven't signed up for a class yet but I may becasue I'm sure there's weight equipment I've never thought to use. Anyway, I really like it, but if you're a class person then it wouldn't be the place for you. I have a ton of exercise videos at home so I usally do them once a week if I want a class type of experience or if I don't feel like going to the gym one day.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:02 AM   #7
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I joined a Planet Fitness in May. My main reason for joining that gym over other gyms was the cost. There was a $49 initiation fee and after that I pay $10/month. Once a year, in October, there's a yearly fee of $10 so that month I pay $20/month. So for 11 months it's $10 and 1 month $20. I'm trying to pay off some debt right now so it was the perfect dollar amount for me! I like the gym a lot but it's not for everyone. It's a no frills gym. There is just cardio equipment and weight equipment. No classes. No pool (in fact they filled in the pool that was there when it was a different gym). No daycare. I was skeptical at 1st because I've always enjoyed classes but I don't really miss them now. Because of the lack of classes I've moved more into weight training and do a mix of all the cardio available. Before it was a Planet Fitness, the building was occupied by another gym so they kept the other gym's equipment and then a few months after the grand opening, ordered a lot more equipment. I try to go in the morning so I really never have a problem getting a machine but I've gone after work at around 5:30pm and an elliptical can be hard to find. I think different PF's offer different things but mine does have personal trainers. It also has hour long classes each week that 4-5 people can sign up for to get oriented with different machines or weight training equipment. I've had previous experience with both so I haven't signed up for a class yet but I may becasue I'm sure there's weight equipment I've never thought to use. Anyway, I really like it, but if you're a class person then it wouldn't be the place for you. I have a ton of exercise videos at home so I usally do them once a week if I want a class type of experience or if I don't feel like going to the gym one day.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:58 AM   #8
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Hi there! Some tips:
1. Read the contract, including the small print! We have a local gym that advertises 60% off a membership - great deal, but you have to pay $30 every two weeks to "maintain" your membership AND a $100 "fitness assessment fee" AND a $60 processing fee to boot. You have to pay for a full year, with no refunds available. Check it out completely.
2. Visit the facility, and if you have to, buy a set of daily passes before you commit to a membership. We all have good fitness intentions, but when the daily grind hits, reality will set in. And, it sounds like your friend's attendance with you might become an issue. A set of daily passes will truly test your own resolve.
3. Using your daily passes (vice a membership) will let you check out exactly how busy the gym is at your preferred time. Often, clubs will ramp up their memberships expecting the majority of people won't use them. Result -- long waits for equipment and overly full classes during peak hours. You won't be happy if you signed a contract for services that are less than what you expect!
4. Check the cleanliness of the locker room, bathroom, and waiting area. Attention to these details means that the rest of the equipment is most likely properly maintained.
5. Check to see if they have assistants available to help you on the equipment. If you have to hire a personal trainer to get you started, you MUST count this in towards your overall cost.
There are great gyms around (I know, I belong to one!), but it does take a bit of work to find one
Best of luck!
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:44 AM   #9
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Default Planet Fitness

Thanks everyone for responding. I did go last night and join Planet Fitness. It was $19.99 a month for a one year contract but no enrollment fee. With that price plan I could use any of their other gyms, get unlimited tanning, can bring a guest with every visit, get 1/2 price cooler drinks (and got a free t-shirt ) The girl signing me up didn't mention personal trainers but they do offer orientation classes on the various machines. I think I'll sign up for the 30 minute express workout orientation when I can fit it into my schedule.

Anyway it was very busy but there were machines of each type available. The girl who signed us up said Monday nights were the busiest and it gets less crowded as the week goes on. It seemed as though it was all men downstairs on the machines and a mix of men and women upstairs. I started out on some kind of a bike for 10 minutes, then elliptical (I think) for 10 minutes and a treadmill for a mile but it took me over 17 minutes to do that mile I slept good last night! Tonight I'll bring some headphones.

Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:46 PM   #10
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Way to go! Enjoy all the benefits of you gym!
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:36 PM   #11
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Good for you for taking this step.

One small caution--IMO stay away from the tanning beds/tanning machines. Yes, you'll look great but it's a lot of UV exposure that is very damaging over the long run.
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