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Which Gym should I join?

ONUnicornONUnicorn Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
I'm considering joining a gym. I need to build upper body and core strength, as well as improve cardiovascular endurance. I was a member of LA fitness from 2010-2012, during which time I made progress on those goals and lost about 40 pounds. I canceled my membership partly to save money, and partly because I was going to school at night and working during the day and had access to the university fitness center (not that I had time to use it).

Option A is LA Fitness.
Pros:
1. I'm familiar with it.
2. It has a pool and hot tub, and I LOVE to swim.
Cons:
1. It's expensive.
2. It's about a 20-30 minute drive between it and home or work.

Option B is Planet Fitness
Pros:
1. It's cheap.
2. It's less than 3 miles from my house. So about a 5 minute drive. I pass it going to and from work.
Cons:
1. It doesn't have a pool.

The pool is kind of a big thing for me. When I was a member of LA fitness I'd use it as motivation, a half hour swimming laps was my reward for a half hour lifting weights, and 15 minutes in the hot tub was my reward for swimming laps. At the same time, it seems silly to pay 3 times as much and drive across town when there's a perfectly nice place to work out so close.

I don't know. I don't know which one I'd be more likely to actually use. Does anyone have advice? Which would you pick if it were you?
edited February 10
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Replies

  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,122Member Member Posts: 3,122Member Member
    I would go with LA Fitness. You know you like swimming, you seem to be able to use the pool and the hot tub as a carrot to get yourself to lift weights (I wish I had that sort of carrot and stick system with strength training), and it sounds like you're comfortable being there. It also sounds like you would actually go, despite it being out of the way.

    I suspect what would happen with Planet Fitness is that you either wouldn't go or you would dread going.
  • Halloweenmom31Halloweenmom31 Posts: 56Member Member Posts: 56Member Member
    I go to planet fitness. I love it. The hydro chair is my reward for working out every day. But that’s just my opinion.
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,756Member Member Posts: 10,756Member Member
    Go for the pool!
  • albryce744albryce744 Posts: 19Member Member Posts: 19Member Member
    Does LA fitness lock you into a year contract or anything? If they don't, maybe try it for 3 mos and see if you think you're getting enough use from the pool to make it worth the extra $.

  • collectingbluescollectingblues Posts: 2,487Member Member Posts: 2,487Member Member
    I'm in a similar situation -- pool is my major priority for a gym -- and went with LA Fitness. Indoor pools with lap swim access are a rarity in my area, and the $19 extra a month is worth it to me. Plus, with the LA Fitness membership, I can get access to *other* LA Fitness branches, which I can't with Planet Fitness. The only way to do that with Planet Fitness was to go for the higher tier, which is only $9 cheaper than my LA Fitness membership -- and that $9 isn't worth losing pool access over.
  • ONUnicornONUnicorn Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    I go to planet fitness. I love it. The hydro chair is my reward for working out every day. But that’s just my opinion.

    What's a hydro chair?
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,942Member Member Posts: 36,942Member Member
    Convenience is a biggie for me. I recently got a supplemental membership to a PF near my office. It's about 5 minutes away and I can pop in during my lunch hour and do winter cardio or lift depending on the plan for the day. My other gym is in the town I live in...I commute an hour each way to another town for work and I was finding myself skipping the gym a lot because after working all day and an hour commute back to my home town I was not wanting to go to the gym.

    Though I'm not a huge fan, I figured I'd give PF a go for a month or two to see if I would be more consistent which I have been and consistency is what is important. I go to my other gym now pretty much on Saturday to do my Oly work. I really love that gym, but I might ultimately give it up for the convenience factor and also to be able to dedicate my weekends to cycling.

    I guess it really depends on how important the pool is for you vs. convenience. Doing stuff you like is very important to keeping on keeping on...but so is convenience.
  • MostlyWaterMostlyWater Posts: 4,105Member Member Posts: 4,105Member Member
    I have an Equinox membership which costs crazy money. But I really use it, so it's worth it for me. In addition, my health insurance pays for some of it.
  • chunky_pinupchunky_pinup Posts: 759Member Member Posts: 759Member Member
    Can you find like, a one or three month groupon or livingsocial type deal for the LA Fitness? That way you're not locked into anything, it's cheaper and you can use that time frame to determine how feasible that type of commute/membership will be. That way, if you determine after that period of time that it's just too much and you're not utilizing it as much, you can choose not to become a full member.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,942Member Member Posts: 36,942Member Member
    To add to my post, a 20-30 minute commute to go to the gym is pretty significant. When my wife and I first got back into fitness years ago, we joined a JCC. It was awesome...nice weight room, good cardio room, yoga and spin and other classes, indoor track, gymnasium, and a kids swimming pool and adult pool. It also had inexpensive child care.

    We loved it, but it was not at all convenient. It was out of the way in regards to our work commutes and about 30 minutes from the house. Initially, we were fine with it because we were new to fitness and pretty gung ho about it. Ultimately, this meant that an hour gym session was a two hour overall time suck with the commute, and we often felt obligated to stay there longer to make the commute worth it, but that furthered the time suck when you have other *kitten* going on in life. After a few months, we started going less and less because even though it had absolutely everything we wanted, the time suck was just too much. It was $100 per month for the family membership and thankfully on a month to month basis with no contract or commitment.
  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Posts: 1,223Member Member Posts: 1,223Member Member
    Which one will give you the best value?

    Generally, you will go most often to the gym that's convenient, that stares you in the face on your commute.

    However, if you really will go to the one with the pool MORE, that's the one for you. But you'd have to make a bit more effort.
  • ritzvinritzvin Posts: 2,400Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,400Member, Premium Member
    I'm in a similar situation -- pool is my major priority for a gym -- and went with LA Fitness. Indoor pools with lap swim access are a rarity in my area, and the $19 extra a month is worth it to me. Plus, with the LA Fitness membership, I can get access to *other* LA Fitness branches, which I can't with Planet Fitness. The only way to do that with Planet Fitness was to go for the higher tier, which is only $9 cheaper than my LA Fitness membership -- and that $9 isn't worth losing pool access over.

    At least for the one by us, the default tier is multi-location, but you can buy a single location membership for a bit cheaper (had to prod the sales people a bit before they offered that despite the website listing both).

    To answer the others here: unless it differs between locations, they don't have a contract, but they do charge a sizeable initial join fee (and I don't recall ever seeing promotional deals in which they waive that - something that some of the other local gyms including the YMCA occasionally do).

    To the OP: if you're not broke, I would say the pool sounds like its worth the money to you. You'll have to decide if it's also worth the further commute though.

    For me: I'm with those above who vote both (if finances allow). The inconvenience would be a deal breaker (there are only a few things I'm willing to drive that far for) for something I need to cram in before or after work - so PF wins on that. If I loved swimming, I'd possibly join the LA Fitness (or a closer aquatic center) as well for the pool access. (for reference, I belong to an LA Fitness and have never used the pool..it's the closest gym to where I work. Boyfriend chose it because he wanted pool access - he also has never used it).
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,942Member Member Posts: 36,942Member Member
    Another thing to consider...depending on how many days you're planning to swim, you could gym at PF and join an aquatic center if there is one closer. That's what I did when I left the JCC and wanted to keep swimming on the weekends. I just did the daily fee which was $4 per visit because I was only going once and sometimes twice on a weekend and it was cheaper that way. The aquatic center I was going to was pretty close to my house so more convenient than the JCC.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,642Member Member Posts: 4,642Member Member
    I vote both - the pool sounds worth it to you, and the PF cost is small enough to be worth having it as an option for quick workouts when you don't have time for the drive. I'm allergic to PF on principle (I like my heavy weights and grunting thank you very much) but if it suits your needs, go for it.
  • winatiwinati Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    I loove a pool, but I ended up at Planet fitness, let me tell you why. I go out of state and I can find Planet almost everywhere. Planet Fitness is also resonably priced.
  • mom23mangosmom23mangos Posts: 2,830Member Member Posts: 2,830Member Member
    I vote for both as well, if financially possible.
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