Great Gym Expectations


I’m a gym rat. I love being in the gym. I loved it when I was going to the local YMCA, but I just couldn’t afford the membership fees anymore, so I moved to another gym where my husband (then fiancé) is a member. It was hard for me to make the switch, but I have learned to really enjoy this gym. It had it’s low points–equipment breaking down, crappy carpet, etc., and it just felt like it was going downhill.

Then a new company came along and purchased all of the UA gyms in the Lexington area. We were actually excited because we hoped this meant all the problems would be handled and the gym would start to be nicer.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

When you’re paying membership fees, plus bi-annual fees for better equipment and building maintenance, you expect that the money would be used for improvement. So it’s frustrating to go to the gym in the mornings to run with your two running buddies and out of the row of treadmills, we can’t find three that are together, or even with just one in the middle, that works.

Equally as frustrating is the constant search for the right dumbbells. It seems like there’s always a missing dumbbell or bar, and when I’ve asked the personal trainers if they knew where they are some either didn’t know, or they’d be in the personal training room.

Then there’s the matter of the temperature in the building. I can understand and appreciate the difficulty of heating and cooling a large building such as a full-service gym. But when the dressing rooms are in the 60s, and the general area is in the mid-70s, there’s something wrong. I don’t mind the coolness in the dressing room, but what I do mind is the mid-70s where I’m working out.

When you’re working at a high intensity, your body temperature goes up 20 more degrees. So essentially, if you’re working out at a high intensity like I do, it’s like you’re working out in the mid-90s! By the time I get one mile in on the treadmill, I’m already soaked with sweat. It makes my treadmill runs very uncomfortable.

Eenie-meanie-miney-mo... Which treadmill will work today? It's always a constant frustration when trying to get in a workout at my gym.

Eenie-meanie-miney-mo… Which treadmill will work today? It’s always a constant frustration when trying to get in a workout at my gym.

So what would my perfect gym have?

  • Regularly maintained, updated equipment, and I would ensure that my patrons would be updated regularly on new equipment or when broken equipment will be fixed.
  • Ensure that equipment is replaced on a regular schedule throughout the day, that way patrons will be able to find what they need for an efficient workout.
  • Work with an HVAC professional to figure out how to ensure consistent heating and cooling, and provide adequate air flow (fans on in the studios, ceiling fans throughout the main area). Keep the temperatures around the mid-60s or so.
  • Provide classes in the early morning hours. Some professionals would like to get their spinning in before work instead of after.
  • Bring in fitness professionals for special clinics and/or classes throughout the year to show some new moves or new workouts to inspire patrons.

Those are just a few things I’ve thought about. I’ve been frustrated with my gym a lot lately, but I didn’t want to mention it by name at this moment.

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