I miss spin class, what should I do? :(
January 26, 2011 12:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me decide which gym to join (if any).

I belong to 24-hour fitness because I love taking spin classes. I bought this membership at Costco for $300 for a fixed term, 2 year membership, which will last through August. Unfortunately, I moved and the type of 24-hour fitness clubs near me are not covered under the Costco deal (it's the "fancy" kind). The other 24-hour fitness clubs around do not have spin classes at all. I can upgrade to the fancier 24-hour fitness clubs, but it will cost me $50/month, and the clubs are not that nice.

Tonight, I joined my good friend for a spin class (her first, which she LOVED) at her gym, LA fitness. Afterward, I asked for a 7-day free pass so I could check out the other LA fitness clubs in the area, and different spin instructors (Keep in mind, spinning is the only thing I go to the gym for). Well, the guy there said that unless I sign something and pay tonight, they cannot give me a 7 day pass. I know this is BS, because I can go to the LA fitness website and print up my own 7-day free pass. He was full of it, and wouldn't budge, so I left. As I left, him and his colleagues were yelling at me and telling me that I'm stupid for not taking his offer. This experience is particularly frustrating because I wanted to join LA fitness so that I could go to classes with my friend, but I no longer feel like I should give them my money. Oh, and they were offering me $30/month, with a $50 enrollment fee.

Crunch fitness gets AMAZING reviews on yelp, especially for their spin classes (and they have a real spin studio!). Also, I live right around the corner from Crunch, so I'm likely to go there a ton. Tough part is that it's $60/month on top of crazy enrollment fees (like $300). Can I get them to waive enrollment fee? Or decrease it significantly? Even then, $60/month is very steep for me, because I am a PhD student living on a stipend.

Instead of the above options, should I just put on my running shoes and forget about how much I used to love to spin class :(

So, do I upgrade my current membership and pay $50/month, have a gym buddy but give jerks $30/month, try to splurge on the spa-like gym, or just learn to love running? Oh, or many option 5, wait until memberships get cheaper in March.

Please help, I'm not good at making decisions like this. Thanks!
posted by RUPure to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Knowing your general location will probably help-- if someone who lives nearby knows a killer spin instructor or a great private gym, they can give you tips.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:16 AM on January 26, 2011

I don't spin, so I don't know much about it. However, I can tell you that a friend of mine loves her spin classes at Lotus Kitty in Studio City. She buys a pass of 10 classes, which works out to $13 per class. Still not as cheap as $30-50/month unlimited classes at a gym, though.
posted by Xere at 12:33 AM on January 26, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, good point, whoops. Thanks.

I live in West Hollywood, CA. There are lots of spin studios around here btw, but they're like $15/class, which is too much for me, considering I'd want to go at least 3 times/week.
posted by RUPure at 12:33 AM on January 26, 2011

Best answer: LA Fitness pulled the same crap on me and I was 90% sure I was going to join, I just wanted to use my 3 day pass first to make sure I liked it. I walked out before I even got a chance to work out because of the crazy high pressure tactics. No thanks.

I would consider commuting to 24 hour fitness. There are non fancy ones not that far from west Hollywood. Of course a lot depends on what time of the day the classes are.

Otherwise I liked the crunch in Brooklyn and my friend goes to the west Hollywood one and likes it.
posted by whoaali at 12:56 AM on January 26, 2011

Best answer: Today's LA Groupon roundup has one for Up Dog, a yoga/ spin studio in WeHo. One month unlimited for $30. Probably very worth it to try them out.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:25 AM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Dude. (Or dudette.) YMCA Hollywood. On average 3-4 spin classes a day. Not to mention yoga, gravity strength, dance, two basketball courts and two swimming pools. Included in the price of membership. Which, if you qualify for financial assistance, can be as low as $25. I think I pay something like $54 a month and that includes a locker. And if you have a locker, they do your laundry. Doubles as great storage for your spin shoes. Plus it's an incredible community vibe. Little kids running around and shit. Once a month they serve free breakfast. Bagels, little sliced up oranges and coffee. Amazing. Everyone is really, really cool and super-friendly.

You can get a free two-week pass to check it out. I'm telling you, it's unbelievable. You can mefimail me if you have any questions.
posted by phaedon at 2:34 AM on January 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

wow, that sucks that you had that experience at l.a. fitness. i kind of feel the whole thing with joining gyms is sort of an icky experience. the sales people who sell memberships there are usually so incredibly pressuring and sleazy. that said, gym membership fees are not set in stone and you can always negotiate the cost of your gym membership. i did this when i first moved to l.a. (pasadena) to go to art school. for about a year before i enrolled in school, i was working full-time and going to classes at night so my main point with the sales guy was that i wasn't sure how much time i even had to go to the gym. i wasn't using my busy schedule as a negotiating tactic per se because it was absolutely true that i was wavering about whether i wanted to invest in a membership—particularly because the first number he game me was something like $200 initiation fee and then $25/month after (or something like that). but the more he tried to sell me that membership, the more i insisted that i didn't know how much use i'd get out of it, etc. i must have been talking to him for at least an hour but i eventually got my fees down where i paid for three years up front, with no initiation fee, for $300 total. thereafter, i would pay $99/yr.

granted, that was 13 years ago, but still. i pay $99 a year and can go to any l.a. fitness in the country (and get towel service), even the new fancy ones. my friends are always telling me i can never give up that membership and believe me, i know (even when there wasn't an l.a. fitness in for a few years when i first moved to portland, i just suspended my membership for that time). i'm not saying that you can get that deal—i can't even believe i got it—but i am here to say that you can negotiate your fees.
posted by violetk at 3:11 AM on January 26, 2011

considering I'd want to go at least 3 times/week.

The single most important criteria that directly correlates with you actually going as often as you'd like is proximity. If Crunch is right next door and not full of assholes, I'd go there. I would never give my money to a place that tried to railroad me like your experience with L.A. Fitness—just on principle.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:07 AM on January 26, 2011

A former Y spin instructor, I favorited the Y comment, but I also agree it's worth talking to Crunch to see if they can do anything about the joining/monthly fees. Walk in and tell them you're a student and would love to join and ask if that offer's the best they can do (or if they know of any upcoming deals). Having a gym that's really convenient to home or work makes a huge difference.

Also, don't spin too many times more than 3 times/week - our instruction spent a Lot of time on preventing overtraining. I know, I love it, too - so if you need your fix more that three times a week, at least take it easy those extra days. Enjoy!
posted by ldthomps at 5:37 AM on January 26, 2011

I'm a huge fan of Crunch (particularly their spin classes in NYC). According to their website, they have a special running where they'll cut the $250 enrollment fee in half, and you can go month-to-month from there. I'd suggest that you visit the gym, get a guest pass and take a spin class. The psychological boost I get from spinning makes it totally worth it, and you'll be glad you splurged on it.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:38 AM on January 26, 2011

I don't know what your budget is, but the Reebok Sports Club/Sports Club LA is an amazing gym. Plus, if you're bi-coastal, you can access their gyms in DC, NYC, and Miami if you want to pay for that.
posted by dfriedman at 6:28 AM on January 26, 2011

I don't do contracts for monthly consumer services, and especially after the way you were treated at L.A. Fitness, no freaking way would I go there. So I'm seconding the YMCA suggestion.
posted by Leta at 7:56 AM on January 26, 2011

Before you buy any gym membership, go to the gym at the hours you intend to be there. Going to work out at 6 a.m.? Go see the gym at 6 a.m. Too many people visit gyms in the afternoon and then are dismayed when they're crowded at their hours of choice.

Before joining, ask for a set of day passes. You said that one place wouldn't give you a 7-day pass. Screw that. If they make noise, ask for seven 1-day passes. Ask to speak to a manager. Are you female? Tell them you want to understand the vibe of the male members before plunking down money. Are they polite to women? Or has the club attracted a bunch of meatheads?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:33 AM on January 26, 2011

Ask Crunch if they offer a student discount and/or the possibility of waiving enrollment fees. Gyms can be willing to negotiate.
posted by andrewraff at 12:10 PM on January 26, 2011

Response by poster: Wow, thanks everyone!! I didn't even think about the YMCA, and that's a GREAT idea. Also, I didn't even notice the Groupon until you mentioned it fairytale.

It's too bad that I won't be joining my friend for spin class, but at least I will still get to spin and not break the bank. Thanks again for your help!
posted by RUPure at 12:12 PM on January 26, 2011

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