Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: DubyaWife's Gym Criteria

For my monthly Review of a product I'd like to review the local gyms I've belonged to at some time or another. Understandably, not everyone lives in Baton Rouge, LA so unfortunately these gyms may not be accessible to you, however I have developed DubyaWife's Gym Criteria that every gym needs and hopefully that will help you in your search for the gym that best suits your needs. So without further ado:

DubyaWife's Gym Criteria:

1) An Orientation Process - It doesn't matter if you're a newbie, a veteran gym-goer, or a personal trainer, every gym should have some type of orientation process for their new members. Ideally it includes a tour of the facility, a fitness assessment, and a run through the weight and cardio equipment, just to get you started. Do they have some type of orientation process? Do you have to pay extra for a fitness assessment? Did they offer it to you when you started?

2) Moderately Cutting Edge - Key cards, flat screen TVs with headphone plug ins, fitness kiosks, newest equipment. You don't want to walk into a gym that still has the Old Fat Jiggling Machine. Newer updated equipment and renovation shows that the gym is doing well. You want one that's on the rise, not plummeting. Do they have updated equipment? Are there machines torn up and used? Any talk of expansion or renovation?

3) Classes, Personal Training, Nutrition - They should offer a wide range of classes from beginner to moderate. There should be training sessions that you can purchase additionally for extra help. And ideally they either have nutrition classes or a dietitian on staff so that it's not just about exercise,but also eating healthy. Do they have a large variety of classes? Can you purchase personal training sessions on the side? Any nutrition or lifestyle classes?

4) Friendly Staff & Trainers You Can See - This is a big one for me. By the first week you are there you should know at least one staff member's name and at least one staff member should know yours. Part of being in a gym environment in being part of a community of people who care about your fitness and/or weight loss goals. They need to know about you and vice versa. It makes you accountable and makes gym-life more friendly. Do you walk in a see a familiar face? Have you been introduced to trainers or staff members? Do they recognize when you haven't been there or been there frequently?

5) Access to Other Gyms, Guests, & Passes - Any trainer will tell you that you have to change things up once and a while. If your gym is part of a chain then awesome! Different facilities offer various types of machines, pools, etc. Change things up and attend their classes sometimes. Also some of them will have great guest policies. Either you can pay to have a friend come with you or they give you some additional passes to let them try it out. It's a win/win for the gym and you. Does your gym have other facilities you can go to? Do they give you guests passes or can you bring in a friend?

Special Note: There are other factors like price, child care, location that I didn't include for reasons that seem obvious. Price is always better if it's the lowest. Child care is always something you want if you have young kids. And location is always something we want nearby to our office or home.

So let's see how they rank:

YMCAs of Greater Baton Rouge*:

1) Orientation Process - ☺☺☺☺
2) Cutting Edge - ☺☺☺
3) Classes & Personal Training - ☺☺☺
4) Friendly Staff - ☺☺☺☺
5) Other Gyms & Guests - ☺☺☺
OVERALL: ☺☺☺ (& a 1/2)

The YMCAs in Baton Rouge are phenomenal. There's many locations, the staff is very friendly, price point is low and they are growing by leaps and bounds. If you join A.C. Lewis YMCA tell Donna Chustz that I recommended you, and if you join the Downtown YMCA tell Kevin Broussard that I sent you over. ;-)

*Special Note - I worked here for 8 years and am a bit biased, but still I recommend the Y to everyone.


1) Orientation Process - ☺
2) Cutting Edge - ☺☺☺☺
3) Classes & Personal Training - ☺☺☺
4) Friendly Staff - ☺
5) Other Gyms & Guests - ☺

I joined Spectrum through a 3 month membership that I won at a silent auction. They have a great facility. But from the moment I joined until I left I never knew anyone's name. I never received any follow up phone calls or e-mails. I was just a face in their membership roster and never really got any one on one attention. On the positive end they have up to date machines and workout facilities and loved their lady's locker room.

Foxy's Fitness: (my current gym)
1) Orientation Process - ☺☺☺
2) Cutting Edge - ☺☺☺
3) Classes & Personal Training - ☺☺☺☺☺
4) Friendly Staff - ☺☺☺☺☺
5) Other Gyms & Guests - ☺☺☺

Foxy's is the only other gym I've belonged to that really made me feel "at home." They are a bit aggressive with trying to sell you additional upgrades, but there's no doubt that the staff make it a point to get to know you. The facility is kinda cramped and sometimes busy, but usually that's a good indicator of a great gym. I'm currently taking their Art of Strength Classes and they are worth the extra $.

Woman's Fitness:
1) Orientation Process - ☺☺☺
2) Cutting Edge - ☺☺☺☺☺
3) Classes & Personal Training - ☺☺☺
4) Friendly Staff - ☺☺☺
5) Other Gyms & Guests - ☺

Loved this new gym, but the price is outrageous. You pay for what you get though. Great facility, clean and new. I didn't meet much of the staff except for a trainer who was a friend of mine. And the biggest downfall was the lack of another gym to go to and that I couldn't bring my husband or daughter in with me to workout together.
There ya have it. I'm sure along my road to fitness I'll try other gyms and put them to DubyaWife's Gym Criteria. DubyaWife tested. DubyaWife approved.
Get Mean. Twisted Evil Make a Decision. Exclamation Choose Health! Cool

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