So, I’ve totally thrown the idea around for quite awhile. Maybe close to a year or so? Exactly a year or so. There were a multitude of reasons why I thought it was time to go but this is never an easy decision. Like most things in my life (ALERT, ALERT, VIRGO PROBLEMS RIGHT AHEAD) I carefully analyzed my decision. I made lists of pros and cons. I made more lists. I threw the lists out. I started over again. I couldn’t make up my mind.
Why was it so difficult to pull the trigger on switching gyms?
I was going to Retro Fitness of Paramus (NJ for my non-Jersey followers), for a little more than two years, and for the second half of my membership I was really just not feeling it. If it was one reason, it was another. If you’re an avid gym goer who is either looking for major results or someone, like myself, where the gym is a huge part of your life, this can be a stressful issue. (I am totally not even being sarcastic this time.) I am committed to my health so falling behind isn’t an option. (I may slack on a day here and there but I will always hold myself accountable.)
As I’ve discussed in a previous blog post I am an early bird: A 5am gymmer. For awhile on and off, I’ve felt myself having a hard time getting up to go to the gym. This was sign number one that maybe I needed to shake things up. Number two, was that I felt I physically hit a plateau until more recently. Did I actually hit that plateau? No, I am most definitely in the absolute best shape of my life. The photos from last year, to this year at the same time (even from a few months ago to now), speak for themselves.
Still, this is another huge reason to start shopping for a different health facility. Three, a few of my favorite faces left. Sam, you kept that place in check! Four, there was a certain level of uneasiness for me there.
Retro Paramus IS a great gym, for the price, it gets the job done and then some. It is clean, everything is updated, racked, in order, etc. Typically, you don’t have to fight for a machine and as the months went on, people knew that I supersetted three machines/areas at once and to not go near my stations. It was an unspoken rule that turned into an ongoing joke amongst the morning members. “Ange, you on this?!” they’d scream from across the gym. ::Insert my typical eye roll here:: YEAH, bro, I am! (Yes, I’m a 33yr old woman who says “bro.”) It was comfortable knowing everyone, I made some amazing friends that just started off as head nods, but did I outgrow the place?
After visiting most facilities in the Northern Bergen County area (you guessed it, there were a lot more lists created!) I wound up making the switch to…. drumroll please….
No, I didn’t hit the lotto. This was NOT my first choice, however, it was the best choice for a few reasons and the pros outweighed the cons. The value is there. You completely get what you pay for. Here’s why:
Pros (in order of my must haves to perks):
- Brand new. Everything is state of the art and brand spankin’ new.
- Enough squat racks, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc + areas for my “freestyle” workouts.
- Beyond Clean. The bathrooms make my bathrooms at home look like outhouses. We’re talking adjustable Speakman showerheads, marble walls, wooden spa like floors, Kiehl’s shampoo, conditioner, facial moisturizer, body cream and body wash. Everything is supplied from towels to razors to qtips to salon grade hair dryers. Bleeding? Need a tampon? You’re covered. Mouthwash? Get ready to gargle. This makes it much easier for me, to get ready in the morning, since I am lugging way less stuff with me.
- Close to home and my office where I dock myself when I am not in my work territory. My previous gym was only slightly further. 4.5miles and a dream.
- Different types of classes. I am not your typical “take a class woman.” My normal routine is 15-20mins of cardio to warm up, slam the weights for an hour/HIIT, 20mins of cardio, to end, before stretching. The classes REALLY caught my eye. I fell in love with Precision Running during my trial membership and now I really look forward to it all the time since it can only enhance my runs outside of the gym. I’ve also taken some other classes too which, to me, are only adding to my overall health/physical success/goals. The place doesn’t let you down when it comes to classes that start by 5:45am (they also offer three different types of Yoga. Win).
- Full use of studios when classes aren’t in session.
- Not a young crowd AT ALL. Most members are mostly 30s+.
- Did I mention the bathrooms?
- Let’s get real. The cost is absurd. I am the type of person who tries to remain as financially responsible as possible and cut corners everywhere I can. You don’t need a completely over the top gym to get shit done or to reach your goals. I asked myself a million times, “Self, do you need all of this? This ISN’T YOU at all. AT ALL. Are you ever going to wipe your sweat with a chilled eucalyptus towel?” (Yeah, the answer is “no” to the towel but they smell great.) But, maybe that’s what I needed… Something that just wasn’t me. It was time for a change, so why not make that change? It’s not as expensive as Crossfit (I am not a CFer but I heard it’s insanely priced to hop around like a…. just kidding CFers!) but it is up there. However, I was able to work something out and some other add-ins made it worth it, beneficial and affordable for me. So no, I don’t pay the actual full, full price, because no. Precision Running really stole my heart, Goddamit.
- I’m not your typical Equinox client but I don’t let it bother me. If you know me, know me, you know exactly what I mean.
- Trainers. EVERYWHERE. Yes, this is a huge con. Most clients work with trainers so that means there can be double the people on the floor and in areas that you need. This can be uncomfortable. Some respect all members, some come into the area that you’re working which stinks for both members due to the level of discomfort. That situation needs to be addressed. I do like the idea of Floor Trainers just in case those members who may need guidance can have it or stretching out.
- The locker rooms are just beyond crowded after classes/weekends. There are about 15 showers available and plenty of stations to get ready, so this Con somewhat redeems itself. Still. Too much.
- Only one location in the area. A downside but I can deal with it.
If you’re looking for a new health club always list your absolute must haves and what you can do without. It will make your choice that much easier. Always choose what is best and most beneficial for you and for you only.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my choice so far. The switch was easy, I do feel myself more motivated, I have started talking to some of the trainers who are extremely nice people and I am pretty comfortable there already. I am a member, for at least a year, so here’s to the next twelve months of health, happiness, gym related goal smashing and no verbal assaults on anyone. (Don’t forget those personal goals, work goals, emotional goals and mental goals, too!)