OK readers – I’m contemplating switching gyms and I want your thoughts.
My current gym membership expires in a little over a month. I like my gym. I’ve been a member for about 4 years, and have written about it many times before, including just the other day. There are two locations, it’s clean, it’s rarely so crowded that I can’t use the equipment I want to use, and parking is generally easy. It’s a simple, no-frills gym – no fancy decor, no juice bar, no hot tub or sauna, and on location doesn’t have towel service. And it’s cheap. When I first enrolled 4 years ago, I was paying around $24 a month, but I renewed last year while they were having a special, so right now I’m paying $16 a month (!), and I’ve never paid sign-up, processing, or any other additional fees.
But there’s a big, new fancy gym comin’ to town, and it has caught my eye.
Are you familiar with Crunch Gym? It’s a very fancy, very pricey, high-end company with about 30 locations across the country (mostly in big cities on the east and west coasts). If you watched Will & Grace, than maybe you’ll remember their logo – the characters on that show worked out at Crunch in multiple episodes.
The only Crunch in Los Angeles right now is in West Hollywood (about 30 minutes away). But they’re in the process of building a second location, in Burbank, a few blocks from my current gym. It’s going to be big. It’s going into a retail space that was formerly a CompUSA, and it’s going to be 26,000 square feet. Construction is currently on-track for a mid- to late-March opening. Crunch set up a membership center near their new location, and on Friday, after my workout, I went over to check it out.
This new Crunch facility sounds like it’s going to be awesome. They’re planning on offering 70 classes a week, and stocking the gym with all new, state of the art equipment of all kinds. The woman I was talking to kept peppering our conversation with mentions of types of training and machines that I’ve never heard of before, and it sounds very exciting. Plus, there was a big floor plan of the space on the wall, and I’m a sucker for a floor plan.
And, of course, Crunch has a membership special that’s running right now. Here it is in a nutshell: A full-price membership to Crunch runs $75 a month. I can enroll right now and get access to both the Burbank and West Hollywood locations for $49 a month, plus a one-time $20 processing fee. The monthly billing wouldn’t start until April 1st, which means I’d get access to the West Hollywood location for free for the months of February and March. There also isn’t a contractual length of time: I could hypothetically cancel my membership in May, and they’d stop charging me.
I’m really tempted. Having access to the West Hollywood location for free for two months is exciting, although it’s a little far. The price is great, too – $49 is a good deal for a $75-per-month facility. Then again, $49 is significantly more than the $16 that I’m currently paying. Then again, that $49 will get me access to more machines, more types of exercise, more everthing. Then again, I’d like to think I’m going to love the Burbank location when it opens, but there’s always the chance that, for some reason, I’m going to hate it or it’s going to be ridiculously crowded. There’s lot of “then agains.”
Plus, there’s the matter of my current gym. I have yet to sit down with them to talk about renewing my membership, or what they can offer me, price-wise. I think I’d need to, at minimum, renew for a couple months even if I do sign up with Crunch, just so I have access until the Burbank location opens. Going to the West Hollywood Crunch will be nice, but I just don’t think I’ll be able to swing it into my schedule as often as I want to, and having my little gym 10 minutes away will be nice.
So, there are the facts. What should I do? What would you do? Please offer some input in the comments section!
Oh, and my Friday workout was fantastic – 40 minutes of weights, then 17 minutes of cardio, mostly on the the arc trainer.
Keep it up, David!