24 Hour Fitness: If you have an insane schedule, where normal business hours don’t exist for you, than 24 hours fitness might just be for you. Most of them seem clean and are current with the use of technology for training your muscles. Personally, not my cup of tea.
LA FITNESS: I call it la fit, with a French accent. I think that most LA Fitnesses are designed for those who are already in the know about working out. It could be that I am writing from the west coast, but it seems that people at LA FITNESS go in, get their business done and go. Yes, you run into people in your neighborhood, or your dentist, but still, this is the gym I chose when shopping around.
Equinox: Equinox is like the Barney’s of gyms. They are gorgeous, elite, and you pay for what you get. Their trainers are gorgeous, everyone seems certified or degreed in something or other, and most of all the presentation is impeccable.
Curves: Not for us, I tried getting in, didn’t work.
Gold’s Gym: Okay, not the gym for me, but in my experience, Gold’s Gym are for those who are really hardcore into fitness. They are muscled up, all about their protein shakes, and supplements. In my experience everyone, male or female had a bangin body. Their gyms are equipped with cross fit training centers, and heated yoga rooms. This is definitely for the experienced fitness addict.
Smaller Localized Gyms: It seems that a million little boutique gyms have been opening up around southern California. They are chains, they have all different sorts of equipment but not in the volume or quantity as powerhouse gyms listed above. These are great for those who feel like working out for 30 minute a day is enough. I would totally belong to one, mainly because it is cheaper, but unfortunately our neighborhood doesn’t have one.
Now the reality of it all, gyms aren’t the only place to work out. Community Centers, dance studios, pilates studios, and yoga centers are great places to work out. Community centers offer tons of great classes, so you are only committing for 6-8 weeks. Dance studios all around are offering Zumba, but high intensity Zumba for those who are dancers or simply enjoy dancing. Pilates studios, even though they are more expensive, I feel get the quickest results as you train one on one. Yoga centers are definitely relaxing, but I don’t feel that the body results happen as quickly. I have tried. Though, when doing yoga consistently, I did notice my eating habits changed, and so did my sleeping patterns. Another great fitness program is cross fit, the first time I did it, I threw up, but my girlfriend stuck with it and now her biceps are bigger than mine, and her abs are like… well… woah. Even walking your dog is a great form of cardio, unfortunately it doesn’t push your heart rate up high enough to maximize burning calories.
Still intimated by gyms? I know I am. It is a scary feeling, especially if there is a designated weight area. These men, gay or straight, are pushing their bodies to the max, and flexing their arms to check the swelling and tone. Trust me, it is super threatening, and I totally feel inadequate when walking in. So, here is what I do: Before I even walk in, I put my headphones in and play my “I’m Super Fierce, no one can stop me song.” Walk in, and immediately go into my routine, no lingering no nothing. When I warm up, I even close my eyes and just focus on me. Usually, after my warm up I am good to go. But trust me, you will rarely find me in the weight room.