To switch gyms or not to switch gyms? That is the question.
My fitness journey appears to be taking an incredibly drastic turn.
In April of this year, my one year gym membership expired. I had been going to a community rec centre gym over this past year, and as the expiration date crept up on me, I began to wonder whether it was time to move on. My old membership was the youth fee, at $17 a month. The student fee will now be $24 a month, which has me wondering if I should switch it up to a bigger, more real gym, or whether to renew my current one and stay put.
This was a significantly more difficult decision than I anticipated.
To those of you who lift, you understand that a sense of community is established within a gym. You get to know the staff, the regulars, the best times to go and not to go. It takes time, but as you move forward in your gym journey, you make friends and become familiar with the space to the point where you’re not just excited for the workout, but for the experience. This may seem overly poetic and a little dramatic but if you know, you know.
With that being said, there were still aspects of my gym that weren’t always the most pleasant, driving me to the decision to start window shopping for other gyms. I tried out a couple, most of which I didn’t like, until I settled on a Fitness World right down the street from the rec centre. It’s the only one I have genuinely started considering, and have taken on a 7-day trial to see whether or not it’s worth sticking around.
After a total of 4 workouts so far, I’ve compiled a Pros and Cons list of Fitness World as well as the Rec Centre.
Fitness World Pros:
- WAYYY bigger
- 19+ (so no groups of like 4 teenagers at a time hogging the bench press)
- Crazy perks (NormaTec recovery, hydro-massage, deals on personal training sessions)
- Tons of machines and more equipment
- A variety of workout spaces
- Wicked lighting throughout (neon green and downlighting)
- More serious lifting environment
Fitness World Cons:
- Packed full of egotistical gymbros who grunt loudly and slam weights
- Significantly more expensive
- Shirtless men posing in the mirrors…
- Disorganized (no weight trees, clamps are scattered everywhere, bit of a weird layout)
- No friends (yet?)
- A nauseating amount of kids from my high school
Now if you compare these pros to these cons, you’d think that the pros outweigh the cons. The main thing turning me away is the energy. While it is very inspiring and motivating to workout in the same space as jacked dudes who can deadlift 5 plates and muscle mommies in matching Gymshark sets benching my bodyweight with ease, it’s also really f**king annoying. There’s so much weight slamming, and people are always filming and taking pictures of themselves. Tripods and mirror selfies and the whole lot. Don’t get me wrong, I also like taking pictures and filming myself to check my form and such, but not the extent of what I’m seeing. The whole thing feels very performative. Guys are walking around basically shirtless and girls show up in matching sets with their makeup and hair done. And power to them! I’m no hater! It just goes to show the sort of vibe that is created at this gym.
That being said, the vibes of going to this gym anytime before 2pm are totally different. Lots of professional athletes and older people, and everyone is keeping to themselves while still emitting a friendly aura. I went this morning around 8am, and it was great!
Rec Centre Pros:
- Small, tight-knit community
- Huge windows, lots of natural lighting and very open-feeling
- Friendly but focused aura, everyone minding their business
- Friends <333
- Convenience (I work at the coffee shop in the Rec Centre)
- Reasonably priced
- I love her I’ve been there for a year
Rec Centre Cons:
- Very small, but still busy (anytime after 3pm and you’re not getting any equipment)
- Only one of each machine
- All ages (so many high schoolers… *shudder*)
- Limited equipment
- The vibes are very light and whimsical, unlike the hardcore serious energy at Fitness World
In conclusion, I’m torn. Recently I’ve been breaking the news to all my friends at the Rec Centre that I am considering switching and they’re all giving me heck for it. No one wants me to leave! I’m just so popular!
Anyways. Them not wanting me to leave isn’t really the big deal here. The question is