what matters in a gym

Last night I made the moderately impulsive decision to re-join Life Time Fitness. If you’re keeping track, I technically belong to three health facilities (LTF, Core Power Yoga, and LA Fitness) but that’s just until my month runs out with both CPY and LAF. And it’s re-joining because I had a membership there when I worked for TCM.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been loving CPY. But at $124/month, I need to get there at least 4-5 times a week to make it worthwhile, and that hasn’t been happening. I’ve also been paying $40/month at LAF- even though I haven’t been there forever- but have kept it to use a treadmill for when it’s too hot/stormy/late to run outside. Fortunately (or unfortunately for my bank account), I’ve only had to go there once in the last few months.

In short, I'll be paying less than half of what I was per month for my membership at Life Time. As part of a promotion they were offering, I had my sign-up fees waived (like $179 or something) and got $150 myLTbucks (fake money you can use for LTF club services) for an extra $49 of my real money. You can use myLTbucks on pretty much anything, but I decided to go with a personal training session and a nutrition consultation. I’m meeting someone for a “fitness consultation” on Saturday morning to discuss my goals and develop a plan to reach my goals, which (I think) they do with every new member. It sounds a little “rah-rah” to me but I guess everyone could use a cheerleader in their corner.

So why go back to Life Time, and not just stay at LA Fitness? Aren’t all gyms created equal.

Um, no.

In no particular order, here’s what I love about Life Time:
  • Hours: 4am – midnight at most locations. LAF was not that flexible, and the earliest class at CPY was 6, making it nearly impossible to take a morning class.
  • Facilities: They have a ton of the latest equipment and spaces within the club dedicated to core work, drills, etc.  And it’s clean, like really, really clean. That will be a nice change. 
  • Classes: They have a class for everything. When I was a member before, I loved their studio cycle classes and went to Intro to Yoga a few times.  I noticed the number of yoga classes has increased significantly, no doubt in response to all the CPY’s popping up all over the place. I’m excited to try their yoga classes now that I actually know how to do it. 
  • Amenities: Free towels in the locker room. Access to every court and pool. In-club child-care (not that I'm using it). Cafe. Salon/spa. You could probably pull a Tom Hanks a la The Terminal and just move in.
The biggest con with LFT is that it’s further away from my house. And some of the locations can get a little “meat market-y” during certain times e.g. Hey Tan Girl, you’re “working out” in full make-up with your hair down, and you hardly have clothes on. The only thing that’s getting a workout is your ego.

That aside, though, I’m excited to be back.


  1. They have a really good Hot Yoga at LTF - at least at the Fridley location!


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