A Guide for Gains: Local Gyms

A Guide for Gains: Local Gyms

It’s 3:45 p.m., and you are walking into a local gym after a long day at school. Some people are dripping with sweat, and others are slamming weights. The infamous Lunk Alarm is going off. Uh-oh: you are at Planet Fitness.

Working out is a staple of youth life in Arlington. Every day, hundreds of teens flock to numerous local gyms, all of them offering different prices and experiences. As costs increase, amenities tend t0 improve along with the condition of the machines and the quality of a workout. As prices decrease, the experience typically becomes less consistent.

There are four main gyms within a 15 minute radius of our school. These include 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Onelife and Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is always a mixed experience. Setting aside all of the Lunk Alert memes, it’s not bad for the price, which currently stands at $10 per month with a $1 enrollment charge and a $49 annual fee for the Classic Membership. The Classic Membership is a baseline subscription that offers admission to the gym, free fitness training and access to showers and bathrooms. Because this package is inexpensive, it serves as a popular choice for teens looking to get into lifting or folks on a budget. Planet Fitness also offers The Black Card. Starting at $29 per month, this deal provides hydromassage beds, tanning beds, massage chairs and a free guest pass.

Even with the fabled Black Card, the gym itself is mediocre. It’s often crowded, and machines are inconsistent with the workout they provide. The same weight often varies across similar machines, leading to a different workout every time you go.

Planet Fitness only has smith machines, benches with a limited range of motion and guide rails which attach to the bar. This encourages an unnatural range of motion, making bench pressing and squatting difficult.

Gold’s Gym of Ballston

Gold’s Gym is held in high esteem by local lifters. Often seen as a step up from smaller gyms like Planet Fitness, it is located in Ballston and renowned for its diverse collection of versatile machines, free weight benches and squat racks.

With the noticeable jump in quality comes a jump in price. The cheapest plans are currently $20 every two weeks, with more expensive options ranging up to $40 on the same schedule. The inexpensive plans include access to 18 gyms in our area and all of the numerous amenities Gold’s has to offer, while the pricier option includes premier access to 20+ local Gold’s locations. Some of the amenities include a sauna/steam room, a boxing area and locker rooms.

Aside from the steeper prices, Gold’s Gym of Ballston offers a more personal experience and higher quality lift as a whole.

24 Hour Fitness

Like the name suggests, 24 Hour Fitness in Falls Church is open 24/7. The gym itself is very well liked amongst fitness fanatics, offering free weight benches and a wide array of machines and squat racks. While many other gyms offer similar features including a sauna/steam room and group classes, few offer a lap pool, whirlpool and basketball court.

Another plus is the price. The annual Gold membership costs about $300 per year, working out to a monthly payment of $25, while the upscaled annual membership costs $360, equalling out to a $30 monthly payment. The premium option offers two free buddy passes for each visit and access to the 24 Smart Start Plan, a fitness regiment tailored to your workout desires.

For the amenities offered by 24 Hour Fitness, the prices are unbeatable. If you want to spend hours in the gym, diversify your workout daily and crank a lift at 3 in the morning, 24 Hour Fitness could be for you.

Onelife Fitness of Ballston

Onelife Fitness is the country club of gyms. Offering an excellent workout and high end experience, Onelife Fitness in Ballston takes a different approach towards working out. Instead of the standard lift-and-get-out-mentality of gyms like Planet Fitness, Onelife encourages a healthier lifestyle all together and draws customers in through their emphasis on the individual and their health.

Often held in high regard by lifters, they offer a different and more personal experience to the customer while still including standard features like free weight benches, various machines and squat racks. With the mass appeal to lifters and fitness oriented gym goers alike, their plans start at $43 per month with a one time starting fee of $59. The premium option features a one time fee of $1, but costs $53 per month.

With the aforementioned plans comes amenities like a steam/sauna room, hydromassages and group fitness classes. Although Onelife has steep prices, they appeal to a large client base and encourage a healthier lifestyle while still providing top-tier equipment. One thing to note is that parking at the Ballston Mall parking garage costs $1 for three hours in the lot, which can add up over months of training there.

While every gym in our area offers different experiences at different prices, they all provide a valuable opportunity to improve one’s physique and general health. Doing so can increase lifespan, self confidence and quality of life as a whole. Fitness is a vital aspect of life, and finding a good gym which matches your needs is a crucial first step on a path towards a fruitful, healthy lifestyle.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Wagner
Matthew Wagner, Sports Editor
Matthew Wagner is a senior and Sports Editor for The Yorktown Sentry. This is Wagner's third year on staff and first year as an editor. Outside the classroom, Wagner can typically be found lifting, golfing or doing homework. He is an avid sports fan and is looking forward to a fantastic final year on staff.

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