It is always difficult for me to keep up with fitness when traveling. This is partially because when I am out of town I don’t know where I should workout (what gyms are friendly/have good equipment) and finding safe places to run can be a bit of a challenge. Of course, extracting yourself from the vacation type atmosphere can be difficult as well. I am out of town this week for my sister’s graduation. I went to the LA fitness in Secaucus NJ to try and get my workout in. This was the run/lift that I posted yesterday.
I usually try to give gyms the benefit of the doubt; however, I have to say that this was one of the worst gym experiences I have ever had.
First – The price!
They charged me 20 dollars for a single day, and they didn’t have week passes available at all. 20 bucks for L.A. Fitness? Really? This would have been irritating but acceptable if it was a really awesome gym.
Second– The equipment.
My first question to the girl at the front desk, “do you have an area for stretching?” Her answer “no…not really. But you can use the cardio room if you want.” Let me tell you about the “cardio room.” It was an empty room, with one greasy mat and no sanitizer or paper towels. Neither were there any foam rollers. I ended up using the Trigger Point ball that I brought with me and covering the mat with my personal towel.
Next I found my way upstairs to the row of dreadmills and ellipticals. “Why was the designated cardio room nowhere close to the actual cardio equipment?” you might ask. Good question. Here is the problem with putting all of your cardio equipment on the second floor, heat rises. There were no fans either on the floor or on the actual treadmills themselves, and the average temperature was about 80. Let me tell you, I am from Texas…we know heat. The temperature outside was about 65. That is not acceptable.
After changing all of my clothes (on account of being disgustingly sweaty) I entered the free weights area with a little more hope. “Maybe this is just a weights friendly gym” I told myself. I had been hoping to do another conditioning workout using kettlebells and a jump rope. When I wasn’t able to find the kettlebells (or really much of interest) I went in search of their personal trainers.
Me – “do you have kettlebells?”
Me – “what about bumper plates?”
Pt – “no”
Me – “what about a hex bar?”
Pt – “no”
Me – “what about a glute-ham raise?”
Pt – “what’s that?”
At this point I wandered off to see what there was. I found a decently functioning rack, regular plates, and an old school cable machine. This worked fine; however, I was a bit miffed that I had to deal with such a lack of variety of equipment after paying a ridiculous gym fee.
The mess… This gym was dirty. Weights littered the floor and it would not be an exaggeration to say that there was not a single dumbbell in its appropriate place. This would have been acceptable if all of the personal trainers were occupied…three of them were standing around the info desk bs’ing.
I understand that southern hospitality is a real southern thing. That being said, I would assume that if I am paying you money I deserve some kind of respect. The only employee in this gym who did not treat me either as a hillbilly or in a sexist way was the girl at the smoothie bar.
This was one of the most frustrating gym experiences that I have ever had. It comes as no surprise to me that LA fitness is now being sued in a class action lawsuit. Thus, in conclusion… if you are traveling, take the time to call the gym beforehand. Make sure that the equipment you would like to see is available and that they gym fees are reasonable.