Fitness in Madison?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
pattymcnutt
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Fitness in Madison?

Postby pattymcnutt » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:23 pm

I know this question has probably been asked on here before, but the archived discussions I found are a year old, so hopefully I can get some more current information. I really want to join a gym, but am kind of at a loss as to the best place and the best value. I live on the near east side, does anyone have any recommendations? I am going to go and take tours and maybe do the one week trials, but I am kind of looking for unbiased opinions too (ie not people who are trying to sell me a membership!).
I have heard Princeton Club is really dirty and has unfriendly staff and weird fundamentalists all over the place. Monkey Bar has really weird hours, Ford's Gym seems like it is kind of a hangout for muscle-heads, and I don't want to go to curves with the old ladies. I am kind of leaning towards Capital Fitness....

bluethedog
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby bluethedog » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:18 pm

Do you know what you want to do, workout-wise?

I used to go to Monkey Bar; they have group exercise classes that were a lot of fun and hard as hell. No machines so be ready for pushups, jump rope and the like. It's not for everybody.

Now I'm at PInnacle which I chose because they have a pool at their Fitchburg location. It's clean and usually not that crowded, but they're really expensive compared to other gyms. They have a downtown location which I've never been to.

I've heard good things about C. Fitness.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby Kyle Motor » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:21 am

I go to Anytime Fitness, it's a 24/7 place and they've got locations all over the city (since I'm usually all over the place at any given time, works great for me). It's cheap, clean and simple. There isn't currently a near east side location, but I've seen a couple of Snap Fitness centers open up in the neighborhood that are essentially the same thing.

surroundedbyreality
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby surroundedbyreality » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:35 am

pattymcnutt wrote:I have heard Princeton Club is really dirty and has unfriendly staff and weird fundamentalists all over the place.


I'm a member of the Princeton club. In general I’m pretty happy with it. I go to the East side mostly but have been to the West. Generally pretty clean. Never had a staff member be rude to me, when they aren’t busy helping someone else they greet with hello and say goodnight when you leave. Weird fundamentalists all over the place? I can only guess that you mean there are people there trying to push their beliefs onto others. Never has happened to me.

Stomach
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby Stomach » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:01 am

What about the YMCA? I'm not familiar with it myself but a couple of people I know seem to like it.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:44 am

While there might be a handful of "muscle-heads" at Ford's, I can pretty much guarantee that everybody there is either welcoming and friendly or shy and quiet. Overbearing and obnoxious behavior isn't too common there and all it takes is a mention of it to Ford and he will deal with it. The big weights and boxing ring you see in the front windows shouldn't dissuade you from checking it out. You have to go around the back through the Anderson Thomas parking lot to get to the entrance. I think this hidden door stops some people from even touring the place. At least give them a look.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby anyportinastorm » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:46 am

I was a member of Princeton Club for years...one of the reasons I left was because they started holding church sevices at the Club. I joined Capital Fitness and am very satisfied with the gym...clean, nice people, enough equipment, never really too busy.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby Marvell » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:04 pm

I second the Ford's recommendation. I just plopped down $140.00 for a three-month membership, which should keep me at least somewhat in shape until biking/softball season.

The staff are super nice, and the meatmarket quotient is almost non-existent.

pattymcnutt
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby pattymcnutt » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:36 pm

Thank you for all the responses! I am a very out of shape former distance runner, so I am looking mostly to do cardio and toning and maybe some yoga- don't really need to lose weight or train for anything specific. I have looked at the YMCA, but it isn't really convenient location-wise. Most of what I have heard about Princeton Club is just that for the same price there are better, cleaner places that don't close down for church services. I thought about Monkey Bar and have heard good things about it- it just seems to have kind of limited hours. Maybe I will check out some of the other suggestions- thanks for your input!!!!!

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:18 pm

I recently called Princeton Club to check on pricing, since I was up for renewal at Pinnacle.

They do NOT giving pricing over the phone. Period. The line they are taught to give (or that at least the guy I talked to parroted over and over again) was that "our rates are variable depending on your family status, what you want to do, etc. Please come in for a tour."

I said: "My situation is simple: [gave my relevant status and current workout regimen]. Can I find out what it costs for that kind of program?"

Him: "We really have many options, and it would be best if you came in to go over your choices."

Me: "So you don't give out pricing over the phone."

Him: "As I said, it can be quite complex, so we'd like you to stop in and..."

Me: "Ok, thank you. You're out of the running. Goodbye."

I re-upped at Pinnacle, and have been happy.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby fisticuffs » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:26 pm

My lady works at Pinnacle part time and while the rates are considerably higher its a much different experience than something like the Princeton Club. It's a lot more personal and private. Anyways you get what you pay for. Gold's is opening up right down the street from them in Fitchburg and their rates are less than half Pinnacles. But that place will also be a nasty smelling zoo for the first 6 months to a year as well. They have already sold tons of memberships and the building isn't anywhere near done. If you like your space and access to machines then Pinnacle is worth the $$.

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby TAsunder » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:38 pm

When I belonged to Princeton it was pretty reasonable, but they lock you into contracts, and when your contract is up, you have to sign a new one. The nice thing about cap fitness is that you are month-to-month after the initial contract of 1 year.

That said, it lacks a lot of the facilities of Princeton, Prairie Athletic Club, and Pinnacle. No pool, courts of any kind, etc. There are a lot of classes, and the machines are generally functional, though.

ilikebeans
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:41 pm

fisticuffs wrote:If you like your space and access to machines then Pinnacle is worth the $$.

Plus, I need a pool. I'm guessing Gold's won't have one.

massimo
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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby massimo » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:18 pm

One option that's often overlooked is the Shell. They offer community memberships which are super cheap ($334/year, but I just sign up for the academic year for $262 right now...). I'm a runner, so the indoor track is the main reason why I choose the shell, but there are definitely drawbacks (crowded at times, a bunch of young people to contend with [get off my lawn!], sort of outdated equipment, etc.) that most people find as deal-breakers.

So, not the best place to work out for most, but ideal for me. A lot of people aren't aware that it's open to the public...

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Re: Fitness in Madison?

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:19 pm

Or just order the Bow-Flex and stay at home. "You gotta get this DVD, it'll change your life!" "I gave all my fat clothes to my fat friends!" er, ex-friends.


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