Growing up, I was heavily involved in extracurricular activities such as Boy Scouts of America and a club swim team. I swam for almost 7 years and enjoyed the workout but not the competition. When I aged out of the team I needed a new home to swim and keep physically fit. One of my Eagle scout brothers and best friends at the time took me to visit our local Lifetime Fitness club.
After a few trips to this fitness club I had fallen in love with the place and had to get a membership. I had the membership for many years until I broke my back and had to drop it while I healed. I used to work out before my injury from 11pm until 2am most nights and I loved it. The gym was always empty and quiet so I could focus on my needs vs. having to wait for a piece of equipment and losing the drive to have amazing sets.
In 2011, I needed to get back to the gym and start getting healthy and fit again. I joined my city’s rec club, which for someone coming from a fitness club was a joke, with the 8 machines and the dumbbells that only went up to 40 pounds. The room always smelled like a locker room and the equipment was worn out from the years of people using and abusing it.
I never felt like I was doing anything so I joined a big name fitness gym with my mother since she wanted to get fit alongside me. She could use me as a trainer of sorts to help her on her path to fitness. She and I would work out from 2pm until 3pm most days because that was the time this gym was less packed and not filled with bodybuilders who like to make sex noises when they fondled the 115 pound dumbbells (You know who you are! The other gym members and I all want you to stop that!).
Keyed-Lockers to me don’t make or break a gym for me; but I do like being able to shower and change at the gym after I have sweat my body weight on the gym floor. I would rather have a locker for which I didn’t have to bring my own lock, but since this big name gym is not super expensive I understood the need for personal locks. Towel service again is not a make or break, but the peace of mind to know that if you leave your towel on a machine that you can grab another is nice. It’s also nice in the shower knowing you will always have a fresh clean towel that you don’t have to tote home wet is great. However, if you are on a budget and you have to bring you own to afford the membership, it isn’t the end of the world.
The most important aspect for me in a gym is having different exercises for different muscle groups, which keeps me from plateauing and becoming bored. This big name gym was a step in the right direction but it never felt right to me. I love to work out, and I think if someone feels the same, a gym or fitness club like Lifetime Fitness should almost feel like a second home. It should be a place where you are comfortable enough to work out and never feel uneasy.
Hours of Operations
I have always been a night owl and I find most of my best work comes from the quiet night. When I found out this big name gym closed at 9 most nights I was rather sad but determined to make it work. I find that I sleep better after I have worked out.
I don’t suffer many muscle aches, since the hours after the gym I tend to be at my computer and then in bed sleeping. When I wake the next day, I feel some ache and think maybe I should skip working out that night to rest up. Once I really start moving again, the ache goes away and I am ready for my day.
The beginning of February 2014 I threw in the towel with the other gym and made my way back home to Lifetime Fitness. While the club is more expensive that what I was paying, I truly see for my own personal health that it is worth my money.
I am paying 4 times what I was at the other gym but Lifetime Fitness it is not just a gym. When explaining Lifetime, most people see it as an expensive GYM where you waste your money. I understand that if you don’t plan to use it like I do and spend the time there it would be seen as expensive. Lifetime Fitness in my area is a country club of sorts, the affluent moms of the area love to come up there and socialize and get fit at the same time. It can seem snooty at times, but once you realize other members don’t care what you are doing and just get back to working out it all turns to white noise. For the males in all of us, I just have one thing to say about this place… YOGA PANTS!
One of the things I really like here is that there is such a variety of equipment for each area of the body. An example is that I can do a week of just leg workouts and never do the same exercise twice, like you would in a smaller gym.
Growing up as a Lifetime Fitness member I can honestly and truthful say that Lifetime is a major part of why I am alive today. I use to work out 5-6 nights a week with friends and I built up my back enough that it helped in saving me when I broke my back. The doctor told me that the muscles I had developed certainly saved me from being paralyzed and maybe even from being killed in the accident.
While Lifetime’s only contribution was being open 24/7 and having the type of workout environment I wanted and needed; I still do thank them for being there.
The guest polices are more restrictive than that of most other gyms. That is so people don’t leech off someone else’s membership and abuse the clubs equipment without paying for it.
When you work out alone as much as I do, you start needing spotters. I have made a number of friends who worked out at the same time and were on similar fitness regiments.
This is a place I feel comfortable, someplace I can feel like I am not being judged because I am not a bodybuilder. I see Lifetime Fitness as a second home and I am glad to have the ability and finances to be a member here.