Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bye Bye Bally's!!!

I went to the gym this morning for some cross-training on the elliptical.  I went earlier in the week to use the rowing machine.

I know that I have complained a lot on the blog about the gym I belong to - Bally's Total Fitness.

Well, this week Sherry and I finally decided to switch back to a local gym - Fitness First.  I was a member here a few years ago, but switched to Bally's when my company started a corporate membership plan with them, as it ended up being a lot less expensive.  As they say, you get what you pay for!

Here's a list of some of my gripes about Bally's:
  • Child Care - this was the biggest gripe.  The caregiver at the child care was consistently late (posted Sunday hours started at 8am, however, she would rarely be there before 8:45am), and she did not interact with the kids much.  The room did not have many toys - and what they did have were old and not in great condition.  At Fitness First, I've been there twice now, and when my kids walked in this morning, the caregiver asked my older son how his karate class went the other day - it's a world of difference!
  • Equipment - Bally's was missing one of my favorite cross-training machines - a rower.  Fitness First has two Concept 2 rowers in both of the locations that I have been to.  There are also a bunch of weight machines for abs - which Bally's did not have.
  • Environment - Bally's felt like a factory.  And it was always too warm.  Fitness First has a much more relaxed atmosphere and there are fans near the cardio equipment!
  • Locker Rooms - Fitness First has shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the showers - Bally's had only the industrial soap.  Another nice touch - Fitness First provides plastic bags to put your sweaty clothes in (it's simply a roll of the produce plastic bags that you find at grocery stores...but it makes such a difference).
  • Television - Bally's claims their TVs are controlled by "corporate" so they can't change them.  Even if there is an important game on (i.e. Game 7 of the Celtics/Pistons Eastern Conf Finals...).  At Fitness First, if you want to change the channel and it's OK with others around you, they'll give you the remote control!  Also, a bunch of the treadmills have built-in television screens (which I don't like to use...I somehow can't run while continually looking down)
  • Weekend hours - Bally's opened at 8am on the weekend; Fitness First opens at 7am.  Since my family wakes up early, this is definitely a plus.
That's some of the main issues I had with Bally's.  I'm soooo glad to not be there anymore.

1 comment:

k.s. doherty said...

Mike thanks for the comments on Ballys I am leaving them next month after 19 yrs. Their sales tactics are slimey.The place is dirty. They're charging for things that used to be included..group classes advice from staff.My dues 19yrs ago were $98.00 annual now it's $240.00 more than new membership. KEEP AWAY FROM BALLYS FITNESS. K.S.DOHERTY