New Year is around the corner and I know some of you are ready to hit the gym. Yup… This goal makes it to most people’s top ten resolution list every year, and now is definitely a great time to start if you want to be in better shape by Spring/Summer. So now that you’re ready to start which gym should you go to? Well, as a fitness junkie I have been a memberof all four of the major Fitness Centers we have in SoCal (Equinox, Crunch, 24Hours, and LA Fitness) at some point within the last 5 years (for at least 1 year), and I am going to give some honest insights of each to help you decide.
Hours & Flexibility:
24Hours is definitely is the best when it comes to hours and flexibility. Some of their locations are open 24 hours a day. The rest of their locations are open later than some of the fancier gyms. So if you like to go at really late hours than this gym offers that flexibility. I think 24 hours has the most locations spread out through LA.
Most LA Fitness locations operate from 5am -12pm so they are the 2nd most flexible. They have locations in almost every single city within LA.
Crunch is open from 5am – 10pm. When it comes to locations Crunch has the least amount of fitness centers around LA. They have about three so it’s not very flexible if you live away from those locations. I wish they had more locations.
Equinox usually goes from 5:30am-10:30pm. SO if you plan to shower and get ready at their gym, you gotta wrap up your workout an hour before closing. Their locations are pretty spread out and I have seen one in almost every city within LA. I still waiting to see one in the art district of North Hollywood though… 🙂
Most of the time, you get what you pay for. So if you are interested in higher end shower and changing room amenities, you need to carefully consider this section!
Equinox is definitely the cleanest of the four. Their locker-rooms are very clean, pleasant, and full of amenities you need to shower (towels, raisers, feminine products, blow-driers, Q-tips, deodorants, mouth wash, and more.) They dispense top of the line shampoos and lotions. The machines are clean and someone working there is constantly placing equipment back to where they belong.
2nd cleanest locker-rooms belong to Crunch. Also very clean but the amenities there are half of what you get at Equinox. Decent shampoos in their showers. Their workout floors and machines are very clean.
3rd and 4th spots are pretty much equal between LA Fitness and 24Hours. Their locker rooms are messy, always stuff on the floor, no amenities to use other than shampoos in shower (shampoos are basic), and towels. LA Fitness doesn’t even offer towels last I checked. As for the gym floor, the machines are clean for the most part but you will have a hard time finding some of the sports gear or weights if they have been placed elsewhere. And if anything is broken (machine, water fountain, air conditioner, etc) good luck seeing it fixed because it usually takes months.
All four of these gyms pretty much have the same machines. Equinox and Crunch have newer machines so you get a little more cushion and comfort with their machines. With Equinox you get more variety in gear (jump ropes, waist bands, etc). Crunch also offers more gear equipment than 24Hours and LA Fitness.
24Hour locations have made some nice upgrades within the last year by bringing in additional squat racks (sets of 3) so you don’t have to wait for one as long. They’ve installed a nice football theme across the floor so it’s got a nice outdoorsy look, and good area to flip those big tires/push heavy objects across the gym. They also run (paid) group classes on these new floors which is something different and cool.
I personally think that Crunch has some of the best fitness classes between all of these fitness centers. They offer really tough and unique classes that kick your butt. Some of their classes include Barre Brawl, Boxing, Pole Dancing 101, Rope Burn, and huge variety of Yoga classes.
Equinox has great classes as well and they are best equipped when it comes to their classes. They have Yoga mats (of quality) and even blankets if you don’t have one and. Some of their locations offer outdoor classes on site, which is pretty cool. They also have more designated rooms for classes so they offer more classes & more often.
24-hour and LA Fitness have fitness classes on similar levels. They offer good variety of classes on 1-3 times on weekly basis.As a beginner I started out with LA Fitness, and their classes helped me learn some basic work out routines.
All Fitness Clubs have some sort of an initiation fee up front which are sometimes waived during promotions. Best to check with them.
Equinox membership is the costliest. Their membership costs anywhere between $150-$235/month depending on the location you select and if you want an all access pass.
Crunch is the second highest cost. Their membership costs anywhere between $60-$110/month depending on if you want one location or access to all clubs. They also throw in an additional $40 annual fee once a year.
24-Hours goes for about $29 – $50 a month. They usually have special rates to start but change it once their promotional period is over (6-12 months).
LA Fitness goes for $25-$40 a month. They are very heavy in pushing for personal training classes which ties you down to a contract you will be stuck with. Be very careful before signing up for personal training with them.
So you just got loaded with lots of information and now it’s time to pick what works best for you. It may be best to narrow down to the three most important factors from the points above and make a decision based on that. In all honesty, if money is not an issue than Equinox is definitely a top option. You get lots of luxury for the amount you pay, you get help with equipment if you need to, and you workout with a more mature crowd overall. If you’re not willing to pay this much for a gym and still want the next luxury fitness center than go with Crunch (assuming you reside near one). But if all you want to do is work out without showering at site and don’t want to pay too much than 24Hours is best because of their flexibility and low rates. I am not going to recommend LA Fitness because I’ve never liked their customer service much. Regardless of which Fitness Center you select… the goal should be to feel healthy and beautiful, and I think all locations will work for that goal! 🙂
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