I commented back in November about my lack of love for the closest temporary gym location available to me after mine closed and its new location was under construction. And in truth I ended up going to the women’s gym very few times. Fortunately I had yoga to explore (there’s a post coming on that) and continued to try and get in as much walking as I can.
I noticed the other day that they’re charging me dues again, so I figured that meant my gym had finally opened. I decided to check it out today, and intentionally chose a Saturday morning in early January, since I wanted to see just how busy it would be with the newly resolved. It actually wasn’t bad at all, so I don’t know if I hit an hour between rushes or if many folks don’t know it’s open yet. Either way, I was happy. (And I still managed to run into an ex-co-worker and a cousin.)
I got lucky finding parking right out front of the doors, which never hurts. There’s a fair bit of parking there, which is good, since that was ALWAYS an issue at the old location. At the new location there’s more overflow parking available around the building, too.
The gym itself is smaller than I was expecting, though still bigger than the old location, and with more equipment. Nice, big reception area, too, which I’m sure the staff appreciate. The change room locations are a bit odd. The women’s lockers/changerooms/showers/etc. entrance is right up front around behind the front desk. The men’s is farther along, and more where I’d expect the changerooms to be located. Overall the place is done, but you can see little touches that still need to be finished up, like painting corners and the like.
The number of lockers in the front area of the changeroom is misleading, since there are LOTS around the corner in the main changeroom area, along with the bathroom, sauna, showers, etc. The new carpet and paint smells and whatnot are still fairly noticeable, so those who’re sensitive might want to wait a bit yet before checking the place out.
I was very happy to see that they hadn’t gone with radio-based audio for the cardio theatre, and you could use standard headphones. I really, really don’t like radio-based audio at the gym, though I’m sure it’s cheaper. The rest of the entertainment experience was where things got really sexy, though.
There is “ambient” music playing, just generic Top 40-type stuff. Fortunately with your headphones on you won’t even hear the Nickelback, blessedly. There are a couple of TVs mounted in general locations, too, but you can’t change the channels on those, of course. Doesn’t matter, though, because all the cardio equipment now has individual HD monitors. Glory be! I need lots of input for me to be able to just zone and get into a workout, and that does the trick nicely. A nice balance of fun trash and educational programs and I’m happy as a clam.
The arm rests of the treadmills have the controls and where you plug in your headphones. You don’t have access to a billion channels or anything, but enough that it appears most interests are covered. I watched some CBC and some HGTV. I could have watched the show about gardens in Australia forever. 🙂
The treadmills now are all the newest style they had at the old location, which is nice. The ellipticals are all new, and very fancy – video display, virtual trainer, assorted views, ridiculously customizable workout inputs. I went fairly manual this time around, but plan to play with the virtual trainer at some point. It was cool seeing on a “map” how far I’d gone on a 5km track.
The ellipticals also have an iPod input, so presumably you could bring your own shows or movies and watch them on the monitor, which kicks ass. They have a USB port is well, which I thought was cool, but thought it was even cooler when, at the end of my workout, the machine asked if I wanted to save my stats to USB. What an awesome way to track workouts. Will have to start bringing one of my keys with me.
I haven’t checked out the stair machines and others yet, or the weights upstairs, but will get around to it tomorrow and in the coming days. It’s nice to see there are a couple of open areas with mats for stretching and floor work. It seemed really dumb that they didn’t have that at the women’s gym.
I didn’t really check out the women’s changeroom facilities much beyond a cursory glance yet, either, since I don’t tend to use them much. I greatly prefer showering at home (where I don’t have to wear shoes…), and so have no need of mirrors and hairdryers and whatnot, either. I might just try the sauna some time, though.
Oh, and there are two massage chairs off to the side of the cardio area, before the squash courts. You can recline and get your bits vibrated. I imagine once my eyes were closed and I started to drift I’d stop being self-conscious about using one fairly quickly. 🙂 There were people using them almost the whole time I was there, so I guess folks aren’t too shy. The squash courts were in use, too, which is not surprising, given the dearth of good squash courts in town.
So, we shall see if new equipment and high tech accoutrements keep me coming back. I’d tell you to say hi if you see me, but honestly I’m about at my most antisocial when working out and not much inclined to chatting.