- Convenient: There's no point in joining if I'm not going to.
- Good classes: I love fitness classes because they keep me accountable and engaged. It was important to me to find a gym where the classes were interesting and frequent. Bonus points for lots of yoga.
- Pool: I swam competitively in high school, so the pool is really my comfort zone. Plus, it's a killer workout. After a 2-year hiatus, I'm eager to get back in the water.
- Plenty of treadmills: I can't let bad weather be an excuse for skipping a run anymore. Access to a treadmill is essential, and I don't want to wait in line to use one.
- Something nice: If the gym is nice, I'll be more inclined to go.
- Price: Obviously, cheaper is better.
The next gym on my list is Fitness Formula Club.
I always laugh at this club because it's in Boystown - the gay neighborhood in Chicago - and the entire front of the building is clear glass. I always see ripped gay guys working out on Friday nights when I'm going to the bar. It's a nice place and it's convenient (0.4 miles). The class schedule is decent, and there are definitely plenty of treadmills. It's pricier than LA Fitness, but not insane. However, there is no pool. This is a major problem for me. There is another FFC location about a mile from my apartment with a pool that I could use, but it would be a hassle to have to take the bus there. Plus, it's only a 20-yard pool, not a regulation length 25-yard pool.
The final gym on my list is the Lakeview Athletic Club.
LVAC is super swanky. The locker room seriously feels like a spa. It's very convenient (0.4 miles) and has plenty of treadmills (with TVs attached!). The class schedule is insane. They offer an average of about 20 classes a day (including at least one yoga class every single day), plus things like live DJ spinning and rock climbing classes on their 4-story climbing wall. There's an indoor pool AND a rooftop pool that's open in the summer. Unfortunately, the pool is only 20 yards, not a full 25. The other major disadvantage is the price. It's by far the priciest of the three gyms in my neighborhood.
In the end, I decided to join LVAC. It's definitely expensive, but I figured that it would be worth it to pay more money if I knew I would go to the gym more often. The extensive class schedule is what really made the difference. So far, I'm loving it!
What are your must-haves in a gym? Any good gym gear I should know about?