What’s your fitness-center style?

This week, I’ve been visiting a bunch of area gyms for a Bethesda Magazine feature (stay tuned for details in a month or so). I’ve been amazed at the diverse array of fitness centers located within a 15-square-mile area, and yesterday, was amazed by … well, *everything* at Equinox, a luxury gym where you can wipe your sweat with eucalyptus-scented, chilled towels, and where you can work out on an incredible-looking lower-impact treadmill I’d never even *heard* of before (again, stay tuned for details).

Tomorrow morning, I’m slated to try a CrossFit class at CrossFit Bethesda. Something tells me CrossFit won’t have eucalyptus-scented anything, and when I met up with Steve yesterday evening, I told him how funny it will be to visit those seemingly opposite gyms back-to-back. I also confessed that I felt just a little too smelly and gross to for pretty, elegant Equinox, and said I anticipated fitting in a little better at CrossFit, where my perma-stinky running shorts, mud-stained trail-runners and random race T-shirt will likely blend right in.

Steve nodded thoughtfully, and said, “Yeah. You’re looking for more of the ‘still blood on the wall from last night’s cage fight’ sort of atmosphere, huh?”

Well … yeah.

I’m not done with my gym visits, and I expect to be thoroughly impressed with some of Equinox’s group classes, including one 6 a.m. circuit class simply called “Whipped.” But I’m pretty sure that when my visits are all done, I’ll head back to the free (to me) gym at National Naval Medical Center, which until a few weeks ago was located in a gigantic temporary trailer. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s where I’m most comfortable.

Do you ever work out at a gym or fitness center? If so, what kind of vibe do you like? Are you a class person, or more of a lone ranger?


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8 responses to “What’s your fitness-center style?

  1. I like something in between. I can certainly appreciate frou-frou towels and all the amenities, but can’t stand people hanging all over machines, in perfectly coordinated outfits/makeup, not breaking a sweat (or even working out), meet-market type gyms. On the other hand, working out next to someone who has clearly not washed their gym clothes for a week is literally suffocating.
    And I’m definitely a lone wolf, not a class person.
    Can’t wait to hear about all you discover on the tour of gyms!

  2. Kaveh

    I’ve always been the type of person who likes the hole-in-the-wall gyms. I think you’ll certainly like Crossfit more because while not all of the gyms look like they’re falling apart, you def won’t see anyone wasting their time. People go there to work out…and almost all of us wash our clothes regularly ;).

    I hope you have a good experience at CF Bethesda and I’m curious what you’ll think.

  3. I just want my gym to be clean. I don’t mind paying a little extra for the ammenities. I often shower and get ready at the gym in the morning before work, so I want to be comfortable. I find you get what you pay for in most instances.

  4. Amy

    Hahaha, I love it. My gym is probably somewhere in the middle of fancy and cage-fighting. There’s a great pool so that’s why I go most of the time. It’s not insanely crowded like some other gyms, even during classes. I take a yoga class or two a week and get the occasional massage for the member price- $60 for 50mins! A steal in NYC.

  5. Cross-fit sounds like fun, but I’ve never done it.

    My fitness center style: the closest place available. That’s why I belong to golds 1.5 blocks away. No excuses for skipping out.

    (well, and the trails for running/biking…and the pool, of course)

  6. Wow, this sounds like such a fun research project to be doing! I’m more comfortable in the “blood on the walls” gyms as well. I can’t be fancy AND sweaty!

  7. I’ve enjoyed most of the classes I’ve tried out (which hasn’t been many) but I’m mostly a loaner. I’m one of the few girls who likes lifting “real” weights (and not being afraid of “bulking up”). I do like having nice, new-enough equipment though.

  8. Randy Marchman

    I’m a loner at Lifetime, I go there because they have pools.

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