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Jester
12-14-2011, 01:23 PM
I am not sure what to do here.

My gym membership is up later this month, and I am not sure whether or not I should renew.

Here's the deal...I have really not made that much use of the gym in months, but I really SHOULD be. My biggest problem with them is their night time hours, which don't give me much time after work to get in a workout on a lot of days. Yes, I COULD get a workout in in the morning before work, but I am NOT a morning person in any way, and I sometimes struggle merely to get to work on time....at 10 am. You really think I'm going to be in the gym at 7 or 8 am?

The gym is offering me a pretty sweet deal....$370 for a year if I renew now. That's basically a dollar a day to have the use of some pretty decent facilities, though I don't know that they are the best facilities. Also, their staff is only okay...when I signed up initially, the membership was supposed to include an evaluation by one of their trainers. Which I asked for. Never got it, even after being given the main trainer's cell number and calling him.

So while typing that last paragraph, I thought about checking out some other gyms in town, and seeing what they have to offer as far as facilities and prices, but assuming everything else is equal, I need arguments for and against plunking down 4 bills for the renewal.

Whatchya got, CS?

lupo pazzesco
12-14-2011, 02:14 PM
I don't have a gym membership for precisely that reason. I would sit and think "hey, I'm paying for it, so I'll USE it" and then don't. And money is wasted. Plus the hours. Are you more likely to get exercise elsewhere? I know you've mentioned that you bike, would that be more workable with your work schedule?

Also, given that you never got the trainer evaluation, maybe not THAT gym. I know some gyms are open all the time (24 hour fitness, I think they're called?). Also a lot of gyms that I checked out here offered really reduced "trial" prices, that you could try for say, a few weeks to a month, then a deal for a membership, price based on length of membership. I don't know if the same would apply in a different state though.

So, long story short, if you want a gym membership, check your options before committing, find one that maybe fits you better, if you'll use it. If not, maybe other avenues for exercising?

Sorry for babbling, just thinking out loud. Hope it helps.

Amethyst Hunter
12-14-2011, 02:39 PM
Not worth it, especially if you have to get up early in the morning. (Also SO NOT a morning person here; the only time you'll catch me up at 7 in the morning is if I have to be at work or have spent the night on a good writing binge and don't want to stop)

Look at it this way: that's extra money for beer now.

Treasure
12-14-2011, 03:30 PM
I have to second what Lupo said, shop around and see if you can find a gym with later hours that you're more likely to use...
see if they have more reasonable rates - I used to go to Planet Fitness, they have several in FL but I am not sure if any are even close to Key West - that being said, they offer memberships as low as 10/mo with like a 30/yr renewal.... I canceled my membership simply b/c I wasn't going - I find that I do better if I exercise in the morning, but wasn't willing to get up at 530 am (esp when i go to bed between midnight and 2am)

TL;Dr version - Shop around; compare not only prices but services, ask to talk to current members and get feed back (pro's and con's)

Jester
12-14-2011, 03:54 PM
I know you've mentioned that you bike, would that be more workable with your work schedule?

Well, yes and no. I have two bikes, the badass bike I call Amanda and the commuter bike that I call Betsy. (Yes, I name my vehicles. Sue me.) I am trying to ride Betsy to work more often, as that's three miles each way, plus I don't have to use any gas, plus parking is far simpler...right in front of the bar, rather than 2-5 blocks away...maybe.

And I need to start riding Amanda more often, as she's for serious riding. Thing is, I won't do serious riding after dark, as the various routes I could use just aren't smart for biking at night. I don't have lights on Amanda, and while I could buy them and put them on, that doesn't change the fact that night riding here is just not smart. And while I do have lights on Betsy, she is not going to give me the exercise that Amanda will...and night riding here is, as I said, not the best. It's fine for commuting, but serious riding? No.

Which is why I joined the gym in the first place...to supplement my riding. I just don't know that it did that.

But today, I have a couple of opportunities. I think I am going to check out this one new gym I've seen that is not that much further from home than my current gym is. Also, the way I'm going to get to it....I left my truck downtown last night, since last night was The Bar's Christmas party, and I was well lubricated, so since my friend Little Red is not answering my texts requesting a ride, I think I am going to walk all the way into town, checking out the gym along the way, and carrying my backpack with my laptop, so that once I get down there I can get a little work done on some projects. And of course the backpack with the laptop is more weight, thus adding to my three mile walk workout. What a bonus!

Yeah, I'm not really looking forward to walking 3 miles. Where the hell is Red? :lol:

I know some gyms are open all the time (24 hour fitness, I think they're called?).

Yes, some gyms are. But none in this town. We don't have a 24 Hour Fitness, we don't have a Planet Fitness, and we don't have any all-night gyms. Key West, as great as it is, at times reminds you that it is still a small town over 100 miles from the nearest major American city. (We're only 90 miles from a major city, but that city is Havana, and you can't really drive there...and I tend to doubt them having a 24 Hour Fitness.)

Also a lot of gyms that I checked out here offered really reduced "trial" prices, that you could try for say, a few weeks to a month, then a deal for a membership, price based on length of membership.

Yep, pretty much what my current gym did for me. I am sure that kind of thing is standard, as gyms want people signing up, and to only offer long memberships without any sort of trial deal is just not smart business.

Look at it this way: that's extra money for beer now.While I love that particular logic, it doesn't really work towards my getting back in shape and getting ride of this emerging belly of mine.

Seshat
12-15-2011, 12:18 AM
You live in Key West. I'm certain the opportunities for exercise are all around you.

Swimming in its various forms: stillwater, surf, snorkelling, scuba, play-swimming, speed-swimming...

Shallow-water sports, eg water polo, in-water volleyball.

Beach sports, eg beach volleyball, beach frisbee.

Boating, ranging from casual canoeing and kayaking to competitive sailing.

Non-sport exercise, such as hiking, rockpooling.

If you have cliffs, abseiling or climbing.

A month's membership in a kayaking club, including kayak rental and basic classes, is probably comparable to a trial month at a gym: a years' membership ditto. And if you would DO the kayaking, it's much more worth it.

A pair of shoes suitable for rockpooling, a book on the flora and fauna of Key West and a long stick will cost even less.

Imprl59
12-15-2011, 02:34 AM
Are there any of the 24 hour gyms there yet? They are popping up everywhere over Tampa way. You get a keybard to buzz you in and can go anytime you want. They are somewhat limited in the equipment they have but they are relatively cheap and aren't requiring a contract for now.

I think about going sometimes but the couch wins out which is the same thing I did when I had a regular gym membership.

Jester
12-15-2011, 03:31 AM
Seshat, let me address your suggestions....

I am a terrible swimmer (I often joke that I swim just well enough to NOT DROWN), and most of the beach activities are daytime type stuff. I work five days a week....during the day.

Now, on the weekend, I DO have opportunities for some of these, and I appreciate the suggestions.

Surf: due to the reef, there is no surfing here. Period. We have very little surf to speak of at all. There IS kiteboarding, but I think you need to own the equipment, and I have neither the money nor space for a kiteboard. Also, I have the feeling that I would fall flat on my face and/or drown if I attempted this wacky sport....though I would love to give it a try anyway.

I have not the vaguest idea what play-swimming is.

I also don't know what speed-swimming is, but considering my aquatic talents, I have no doubt I would be underqualified for it.

There are places that they play water polo. Generally speaking, though, these are gay bars with clothing optional pools, and while I have nothing against that in theory, I don't really want to practice it in practice. As I tell many tourists....right island, WRONG dude. Water volleyball is MOSTLY the same, though a little more common outside of such places. But not in my complex's pool, and not currently anywhere I know of off the top of my head.

Canoeing is not really done here. Kayaking and paddleboarding are, but generally it's only affordable if you own the equipment, and I have no place to put such things, nor the money to buy them. Rental prices are tourist prices, and I think you know what that means. Don't know about any kayaking clubs, but I will look into it. The on drawback to kayaking here is is that there's not much exercise to be had from it, due to the calmness of the water, as the reef keeps most of the surf away. Having kayaked in both the Atlantic here in Key West and in the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, I have learned the difference between relaxed kayaking (here) and a strenuous workout that may end in you battling for your life (there).

Surprisingly, I have not seen much beach frisbee here. Volleyball, yes, but again, daytime activity....and this guy works days. Fine for the weekends, not so good for the weekdays.

Sailing....you need your own boat. I don't have my own boat. And I am completely clueless when it comes to sailing. Hi, desert guy here. :wave:

Hiking is better when you have off-road stuff or hills. We have no hills here, and off-road here is in the water.

I haven't the vaguest idea what rockpooling is. Never even heard of it until I read it here.

As for cliffs (abseiling or climbing), there are none in Key West. Don't let the mountain you say in "Fool's Gold" fool you...Key West is a flat freakin' island, with the only hill of significance, if you can call it that, is a man-made road bridge over a harbor. And even that is not that high. The closest real cliffs to Key West are in CUBA. And if you stick to the U.S., the closest real cliffs are....somewhere outside of Florida. And I am at the very bottom of Florida.

And while I can get a long stick, the only thing I would use a book on the flora and fauna of Key West for would be as either a paperweight or for some lifting exercises, as such things completely bore me.

I appreciate the suggestions, don't get me wrong....but most of them are either not appropriate to Key West or don't fit my work schedule or finances.

Are there any of the 24 hour gyms there yet?

No. None.

Seshat
12-15-2011, 04:20 AM
Seshat, let me address your suggestions....

I am a terrible swimmer (I often joke that I swim just well enough to NOT DROWN), and most of the beach activities are daytime type stuff. I work five days a week....during the day.

Uh .. yeah. Sorry about forgetting that bit.


Surf: due to the reef, there is no surfing here. Period. We have very little surf to speak of at all. There IS kiteboarding, but I think you need to own the equipment, and I have neither the money nor space for a kiteboard. Also, I have the feeling that I would fall flat on my face and/or drown if I attempted this wacky sport....though I would love to give it a try anyway.


Do so. Probably during the off-season, if such a thing exists in Key West.


I have not the vaguest idea what play-swimming is.

I also don't know what speed-swimming is, but considering my aquatic talents, I have no doubt I would be underqualified for it.


play-swimming: what I (prefer to) do. Get in the water and move around, however. I often do some dolphin-like swimming underwater, where I propel myself mostly with whole-body movement. I twist and twirl because I CAN. I see if I can make a small vortex. I just have fun with the freedom being in water grants me.

speed-swimming: what a lot of people do. Doing laps, doing formal swimming strokes, etc.



There are places that they play water polo. Generally speaking, though, these are gay bars with clothing optional pools, and while I have nothing against that in theory, I don't really want to practice it in practice. As I tell many tourists....right island, WRONG dude. Water volleyball is MOSTLY the same, though a little more common outside of such places. But not in my complex's pool, and not currently anywhere I know of off the top of my head.


Uh .... yeah. Gotcha.



Canoeing is not really done here. Kayaking and paddleboarding are, but generally it's only affordable if you own the equipment, and I have no place to put such things, nor the money to buy them. Rental prices are tourist prices, and I think you know what that means.

OH yeah, I know exactly what 'tourist prices' means.

And placid kayaking is still exercise: my brother and I took a pair of his kayak club's kayaks up and around a creek delta, looking at the wildlife there. It was tiring, though.

Surprisingly, I have not seen much beach frisbee here. Volleyball, yes, but again, daytime activity....and this guy works days. Fine for the weekends, not so good for the weekdays.

Sailing....you need your own boat. I don't have my own boat. And I am completely clueless when it comes to sailing. Hi, desert guy here. :wave:

Hiking is better when you have off-road stuff or hills. We have no hills here, and off-road here is in the water.


Gotcha. Again.


I haven't the vaguest idea what rockpooling is. Never even heard of it until I read it here.


Get a pair of tough shoes, go find a rocky beach, carry a long stick, and go walking along the beach examining the flora and fauna that lives in the pools that form in among the rocks.

The long stick is so you can nudge things out of the way without necessarily touching anything directly. Being an Australian, that's just a wise precaution. :p


As for cliffs (abseiling or climbing), there are none in Key West. Don't let the mountain you say in "Fool's Gold" fool you...Key West is a flat freakin' island, with the only hill of significance, if you can call it that, is a man-made road bridge over a harbor. And even that is not that high. The closest real cliffs to Key West are in CUBA. And if you stick to the U.S., the closest real cliffs are....somewhere outside of Florida. And I am at the very bottom of Florida.


Bah! You're just saying that to disqualify those suggestions! </joke>

Jester
12-15-2011, 04:54 AM
Seshat, not true. Hell, Florida is flatter than my evil ex-girlfriend! Don't believe me? Look it up! (I mean the Florida part....though knowing her, you can probably find some questionable pictures of my ex for comparison.)

BeenThereDoneThat
12-15-2011, 05:11 AM
I was shocked when I took a trip to the interior central part of Florida, out towards Ocala or so, and actually saw REAL hills. I was like...wow! :jawdrop: Of course it's pretty darn flat over here near the ocean, and I come from NJ where we had hills and mountains (not as tall as some, of course, but still).

Eisa
12-15-2011, 07:24 AM
:lol: This reminds me of my friend from Indiana coming to see her brother in Utah (I came down to see her and the Voltaire concert :D ), and how the entire time, she was in raptures over the mountains. :lol: I was just like...yeah...? Lived around the Rocky Mountains all my life?

High-fives for being a non-morning person, too! Yay! :D

Um...the only suggestion I can think of for...other exercise is jump-rope and I'm pretty sure you're not really gonna go for that one... :angel:

Jester
12-15-2011, 01:16 PM
Um...the only suggestion I can think of for...other exercise is jump-rope and I'm pretty sure you're not really gonna go for that one... :angel:

Why would you automatically assume I wouldn't go for that? It's a good aerobic exercise, it's cheap (cost of the rope), and hell, if it's good enough for Rocky, it's good enough or me. It's actually an excellent suggestion.

jedimaster91
12-15-2011, 01:56 PM
Man, I used to be awesome at jump rope. I used to be able to criss-cross and double jump (where you swing the rope through twice as you jump once). I need to go grocery shopping today; wonder if the Mart of Wal would have jump ropes this time of year. I used to be really good at hula hoops too.


Does your current gym offer any group classes you could get to? My current gym doesn't, but when I had a Y membership, I liked going to the Yoga classes. I'm more likely to stick with something there's a class I have to commit to.

kansasgal
12-15-2011, 02:01 PM
Can you use the 4 bills for a machine for your home, maybe a treadmill or something? That would give you the place to exercise (as well as getting you out of the excuse of having to go to the gym) and it's a one time cost...

Eisa
12-15-2011, 02:51 PM
Why would you automatically assume I wouldn't go for that? It's a good aerobic exercise, it's cheap (cost of the rope), and hell, if it's good enough for Rocky, it's good enough or me. It's actually an excellent suggestion.

Oh, really? Sweet! :D I was thinking of my Disney Princess jump rope I had when I was younger...I think that's why I assumed such. :lol: Jump rope is fun, though. I still remember a lot of jump rope chants...

Becks
12-15-2011, 10:10 PM
I should try to find my jump rope...and where's my hula hoop?

BlaqueKatt
12-16-2011, 12:21 AM
And I need to start riding Amanda more often, as she's for serious riding. Thing is, I won't do serious riding after dark, as the various routes I could use just aren't smart for biking at night.

spend part of the $370 on an indoor trainer, check craigslist, bike shops, or websites that sell bike equipment, a decent indoor fluid trainer runs about $150.

Seshat
12-16-2011, 12:26 AM
Seshat, not true. Hell, Florida is flatter than my evil ex-girlfriend! Don't believe me? Look it up! (I mean the Florida part....though knowing her, you can probably find some questionable pictures of my ex for comparison.)

<giggles about the ex->

I did put the </joke> in there for a reason. :)


But yes: jump rope, frisbee, any of the 'children's games' with a tennis ball or other cheap ball, tree climbing, jungle gym climbing, swings, see-saws... all are valid forms of exercise.

And as long as your local police don't assume you're there to vandalise or graffiti the equipment, much of the equipment is free at your local park. And noone's using it at night.

Eisa
12-16-2011, 01:53 AM
I should try to find my jump rope...and where's my hula hoop?


You could hula hoop like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA0wDwQ8i6M) (starts around 3:25) or just add fire... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEgMVR2-AGQ) ;)

BeenThereDoneThat
12-16-2011, 03:11 AM
Hmm, maybe I should get back into jumping rope. It always was a fun thing to do.

FWIW I'm really good at hula hooping on Wii Sports Resort. :D

Android Kaeli
12-16-2011, 04:08 AM
I also put in my vote for a treadmill of some sorts if it can fit somewhere in your apartment where the roommates [ I assume Mr. Anti Social at least is still there and you found/kept another roommate? ] won't have a problem with it being there. Treadmills don't need a lot of the bells and whistles the ones at gyms have, as long as you can do a flat surface and be able to do inclines, that should be enough.

I have a gym membership where I pay a flat, low fee every month that includes full access to the two locations the gym has, classes, sauna, weigh-ins and instruction, water massage bed, and I think I can also use the tanning beds but not sure on that. The employees at this gym are pretty decent and are willing to help. Plus one of the two locations is about the same distance from my house as my work is, and I can often go there after work. The only problem I have is the weekend hours but I rarely go on the weekends so it's not like I'm missing anything.

I find it worth the money I put into the gym, but if you think you should find other solutions go for it. Maybe do a online search of what activites there are during the nights or days off? Heck, I'd even suggest getting a Zumba DVD and do that -- that's a pretty good way to stay in shape.

Jester
12-16-2011, 05:36 AM
Does your current gym offer any group classes you could get to?

Yes, but almost all of them are on weekdays...when I am working. The ones on weekends are right up my alley, being spin classes, and I have been to one of them, but I have a problem in my head of going to a gym for a spin class on a Saturday or Sunday morning when that is the perfect time to actually GET OUT AND RIDE. Excluding rainy days, of course.

Can you use the 4 bills for a machine for your home, maybe a treadmill or something? That would give you the place to exercise (as well as getting you out of the excuse of having to go to the gym) and it's a one time cost...

Can I? Yes. Will I? No. For at least two reasons I can think of: space and variety.

Space: I don't have any. My roommates would not put up with an exercise machine in our woefully small common area, and my room is already too full to even contemplate such a thing. The only place it might fit would be the balcony, which would expose it to the elements and, once again, intrude on the roommates' space, as the balcony is part of the common area.

Variety: I like variety in exercise, and honestly, variety is recommended by most trainers, so to just have one machine would bore and limit me. "But Jester, you seem content to perhaps limit yourself to your bike(s)." Yeah, but I LOVE bicycling. And I can do other stuff beyond it. And it gives you a different view, rather than the same old view I would get with one machine in my one apartment.

Oh, really? Sweet! :D I was thinking of my Disney Princess jump rope I had when I was younger...I think that's why I assumed such. :lol: Jump rope is fun, though. I still remember a lot of jump rope chants...

Yeah....no. No Disney ropes, and no chants....picture Rocky Balboa, not Rocky the Squirrel.

spend part of the $370 on an indoor trainer, check craigslist, bike shops, or websites that sell bike equipment, a decent indoor fluid trainer runs about $150.

No, no, no, and absolutely NOT.

Not only is the space for such a thing not available to me (see above), but the thought of having my bike and riding it INSIDE when I live on a tropical island where the weather is usually good enough to ride OUTSIDE just doesn't sit well with me.

Besides, again, there is that whole space issue.

Heck, I'd even suggest getting a Zumba DVD and do that -- that's a pretty good way to stay in shape.

I swear I'm not trying to shoot down everyone's suggestion, but for different reasons, this wouldn't work for me. First, I just can't see myself exercising to the same DVD over and over again. Secondly, I can't see myself exercising to a DVD, period. Third, my tv is in my bedroom, at the foot of my bed, so I can lay down and relax and enjoy watching it. We have no tv in the living room, and that's the way we like it. And...no, I'm just not a DVD exercise kind of guy.

When Gwen Summers releases an exercise DVD, then maybe. But probably not.

Eisa
12-16-2011, 06:21 AM
Well, you didn't actually shoot down jump rope, just disney princesses on it and going "cinderella, dressed in yella'..." :lol:

Jester
12-16-2011, 01:24 PM
Nope. Still say the jump rope idea is actually quite brilliant. Deals with issues of space, finance, time, and exercise, all at once.

Mikkel
12-16-2011, 06:49 PM
Weight training? Lots of exercises to train different muscle groups and a set of dumbbells store easily.

CorneliaMarieRocks
12-19-2011, 06:24 AM
I second Mikkel's suggestion, I follow chef Robert Irvine from Food Network on Twitter (for those who might not know who he is, see my avatar ;). Anyhow, folks are always asking him what his workout regieme (sp?) is & his answer is: focus on one body part per day, meaning rotate them. He lifts 45 lbs in weights & does 60,50,40,30,20,10 reps with 1 minute rest in between ('course he usually does that on 'workout the arms' days lol..Surely a small set of weights would fit in your living space?
If you're on Twitter Jester & want to tweet/ follow Robert for suggestions, his twitter handle is @robertirvine1..Plus, he lives in Fl (near Tampa) but he travels alot so he may know of some place close to you that you could check out

Good luck!
Kris