Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My new gym, Healthridge Fitness

It's not a national chain, but it's pretty sweet...
Healthridge Fitness opened around 2004 I think.  It's around 3 miles from my house and I tried them out when they originally opened.  While I wanted to join, two things prohibited me.  Cost and availability.  They were much higher than my 24 Hour membership and they did not have a gym by my work for lunch workouts.



Fast forward 8 years later with a wife and two kids.  We checked them out 3 weeks ago and we were sold.  Here's the points that sold us:
  1. Cost.  When I added my wife to the all club deal at 24 hour, it increased the cost of 24 hour fitness, making it more realistic to switch to Healthridge.
  2. Child care.  Healthridge is from 8am to 8pm during the week and 10am to 4pm on weekends.  24 Hour only has certain times of the day over lunch and after work, and it varies by club.  The kids area is expansive with a jungle gym type of setup in one room and a open gym with basketballs, video games and movies.  Our daughter cannot wait to hit the gym now!  Even our stranger-danger 1 year old son doesn't mind going.  Bonus!
  3. Locker room UPGRADE.  Double the bathrooms stalls.  Double the showers and the showers are individual stalls with a small space for setting your things in and then a curtain separated shower area.  They have a sauna and steam room for each women's and men's locker rooms.  They even have a separated family locker room for men and women if your child is over 2 and opposite gender so you're not damaging them for life by taking them into the wrong locker room.  They have towels, carpet, TALL lockers, reprogrammable locks so you don't need a lock and you can use any locker.  They also have enough space between benches and lockers to accommodate people and stuff so you're not waiting for someone to move to get changed!  It's AWESOME!
  4. Classes.  They have the typical spin and aerobic classes, but they offer masters swim, boot camps and a few other special classes.  They only problem is that you have to pay extra.  And that extra is not cheap.  So, it's a bit of a drawback, but I have Rev Gym that's more affordable and I feel like I would get more out of.  I did try a Pilate's reformer class and THAT was TORTURE.  Trying to figure out how to afford it.
  5. The pool.  They have a large lap pool, but the also have a separate pool for kids, families, and water classes.  No more sharing the lap pool with the water walkers.  One problem is if you want to swim laps, then you have to time it when a masters swim class isn't going on.  Otherwise, you may not get a lane.
  6. Parking.  Since this is a large gym in a business park, parking is PACKED after work.  You could have a nice half mile walk to the front door if you don't want to troll the parking lot looking for a space.
  7. INDOOR TRACK!  Last weekend, I needed to run 10 miles and the family wanted to hit the gym.  What to do?  We all went and I ran the indoor track.  It was the first time since I have owned a Garmin that I calibrated the foot pod and ran indoors.  I think it was around 0.02 off, so I ran more than 10 miles.  But from the screen shot of my Garmin connect data, it was pretty sweet to run on an indoor track and incorporate speed work and have a controlled atmosphere.  No hills and wind, but you can kick it up a notch to make up for not working as hard.
  8. They have an indoor triathlon!  I will probably sign up and try it out since it's so close to the house.  Should be fun!
  9. It's only 8 minutes from our house!  There's no excuse like "we have to drive 20 minutes to get to the pool" to hit laps or the treadmill.  Get the kids packed up and hit it!  (hit the gym, not the kids)
I'm sure there are more points, but overall it's a WORLD apart from 24 hour.  But, when you think about it, you pay for the differential.  It's a little more than 24 hour, but it saves us time from driving 10 to 15 miles to get to a pool and the convenience of kid care all day is such a bonus!  You can now cram a workout it when you get the kids fed and good for an hour, plus they run off energy in the kids area so EVERYONE is wiped out heading home.

I highly recommend Healthridge if you are in the area!
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