Health club in north Seattle?
August 21, 2006 11:21 PM   Subscribe

I need to get off my lazy butt and join a gym. I live in north/northwest Seattle and work in the U District. Suggestions?

Here's what I'm looking for:

-- I live around Evergreen-Washelli. I work at a large research university. (The IMA isn't an option because it's a 15-20 minute walk from the office and I don't have a parking pass.) I'd like to find a place north of the canal.

-- I don't want a meet market. I already got a wife and have embraced the monogamous lifestyle (YMMV).

-- I would like some guidance, but I'm not up for pitches, just some pointers.

-- I like hygiene. I don't like scummy clubs. I like pools that are regularly cleaned and smell of chlorine.

-- I would love it if they were open at night (7-10pm).

-- I have no idea what the going rate is, but I'm aiming for $40/month +/-10.

-- And yes, I could walk every day for free, but I need to force myself to commit to this (with money and time), because the words "morbidly obese" already are scaring the crap out of me.

Suggestions? Am I asking for too much? Do I even know what I'm talking about?
posted by dw to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Mieko's on Lake city is decent, not a meet market, and clean. But they don't have a pool, and their hours aren't the best. They do have a discount for UW employees, though.
posted by hades at 11:31 PM on August 21, 2006

I was just about to aska simliar question since I'm moving there this week.

SO - if anybody wants to suggest a site for me... I'll be living in Queen Anne.

(Sorry, I know this is sooo not cool MeFites)
posted by bamassippi at 11:41 PM on August 21, 2006

I've been thinking of giving up my Mieko's membership, actually. Since they remodeled, almost everything's in a sort of large horrible open plan arrangement, with a ceiling that seems oppressively low (given the savannah-like expanse of the main room) and a cacophanous barrage of sound from the machines and the Spin classes. I'm pretty sure there's bound to be a circle of hell that looks and sounds a lot like Mieko's. It's cheap, though, and Mona the Pilates instructor there is a real gem.

(I note that my husband hades and I have not been to the gym in several months. It's not like we avoid physical exertion, either. I think it just isn't a pleasant enough place to want to go back to unless you're very motivated and it's very convenient.)

I used to work at the University YMCA, and that'd be something to look into, though it doesn't have a pool. It's relatively small and friendly. Back in the day, at least, you could get a few sessions with a personal trainer for free. And there were little workout support groups you could join, if you were so inclined, to help keep you motivated to keep coming back. It's worth a look.
posted by sculpin at 11:49 PM on August 21, 2006

24 Hour Fitness is a chain of gyms that are open all day and all night. There are a bunch of them in Seattle, but judging from the website, Northgate is probably the closest to you, which might be a bit far. (I can't help with other chains - 24 hour fitness is the only gym I know of, because being open 24 hours is almost the only criteria I care about :)
You should be able to get a membership at that price, however they charge a higher rate if you want the freedom to use any of their gyms, rather than have your membership valid for just one gym.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:54 PM on August 21, 2006

I spend 50 minutes a day at university fitness at 45th&Roosevelt. It's somewhat scummy. No pool. Just weights and cardio. I'm fine with that.

From what I've heard, the UW facility is top notch. Much better than anything else you will find in seattle unless you head downtown.

Get a cheap bike and take the burke gilman trail to/from. The cardio will do you swell.
posted by mmdei at 12:15 AM on August 22, 2006

Oh. And the money trick? It doesn't work.

I paid for 10 unused months. Decided that I had to go, or I'd jump. (Off the balcony.)

That worked. I've been everyday since.
posted by mmdei at 12:18 AM on August 22, 2006

I don't understand why the IMA won't work for you. A 15-20 minute walk is a 10 minute jog.
posted by splitpeasoup at 1:57 AM on August 22, 2006

I hate to say it, but I think that the IMA is your best bet - totally clean and incredibly nice, and CHEAP. Parking is a bitch, yes, but there are meters in front (a few, not many) or you can pay to park in the E lot there (like $3 or something). Or, as someone above said - jog there in 10 min.
posted by tristeza at 5:04 AM on August 22, 2006

Maybe you could buy parking near the IMA instead of a gym membership? Do you know when you'll be going? Some of the lots (padelford?) near there may open up at 7 or thereabouts.
posted by Wood at 7:08 AM on August 22, 2006

In your situation I'd join 24 hour fitness. The key to going regularly, especially when you are first developing the habit, is convenience. It is much more convenient to have multiple gyms to choose from. There's one in Shoreline about 50 blocks north of Washelli and others abound in the area. $40 a month will get you into all of them. Buy a gym bag and always keep socks and sweats and underwear and t-shirts and shoes handy when you go to work and you will always be prepared to grab a quick workout. Make it as important as your work. Consider it a part-time job that you have to go to four times a week. Like your other work, plan your fun events around the workout. And never skip a workout because you only have thirty minutes. Not only is 30 minutes plenty of time, but it is amazing what it does for your habit-forming skills when you're able to shoehorn a workout into a busy day. Also, I think the idea of the gym as meat market is mostly a myth. You go in there with some headphones on, keep at your business, don't worry about what other people are doing or look like or anything, and you can get in shape in four hours commitment per week.
posted by vito90 at 9:33 AM on August 22, 2006

The Interurban trail goes right behind Evergreen-Washelli; why not invest the money in a bike instead of a gym? To me, exercise is a lot more fun when the scenery changes.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 11:01 AM on August 22, 2006

I second, third, whatever, the IMA. Their facilities are better than most gyms, and it's close enough to your work that you'll be less tempted to blow it off.

As a workout note, a 15-min walk to get there should not be a dealbreaker - if you do that walk at a decent pace, you're already warmed up and can just hit the weights/cardio/pool whatever when you get to the gym.
posted by pdb at 1:04 PM on August 22, 2006

The problem with the IMA is logistics. I park in West Campus, so I don't actually have a parking pass. Without a parking pass, I'd have to pay to park at the IMA. $3/session three times a week is $36/month for parking. A 15 minute walk shouldn't be a dealbreaker... but that's 30 minutes to-from. I'd be better off walking around campus 30 minutes a day. (Hey, that's not a half-bad idea....) And I really want to get back to riding the bus and leaving the car at home.

Also, time is a big issue. I'm juggling daycare pick-up and drop-off. The best time for me to hit the gym is 8pm, and with the IMA that means I'm going daycare, home, dinner, back to the U, workout, home.

So, I think I'll try and stay local to the northlands. Now, I just need to find a gym and stick to it. I'm tired of the butterball.
posted by dw at 3:26 PM on August 22, 2006

Also, time is a big issue. I'm juggling daycare pick-up and drop-off.

Ah, see, that wasn't in the original post. your IMA reticence is more understandable now. 24 Hour Fitness is probably your best bet, then. Or, the 30 min walk around campus is always a great way to shed some pounds, too - and it's free! When I was a student there I used to walk every damn inch of that campus, and it does wonders for your fitness. Good luck!
posted by pdb at 3:34 PM on August 22, 2006

Ah, see, that wasn't in the original post.

I elided it because I sounded like a whinyass when I tried to explain the problems to someone at work. I'd love to do the IMA, but daycare is by the house.

Not to derail my own thread, but hey pdb, fancy seeing a Mariner blogger on here. The wheels really have fallen off the last couple of weeks, haven't they? At least Doyle is finally up.
posted by dw at 4:00 PM on August 22, 2006

I've seen JMB on here a few times, as well. Mariner bloggers - we're everywhere. hahahaha.

I think I want the M's to keep losing, at least for now - next year's for optimism. This year's all about records. Lookout 1899 Cleveland Spiders, we're going after your 24-game losing streak! :-)
posted by pdb at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2006

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