Gym review: Absolute Power Fitness and Planet Fitness

I live in New York City which means that when the weather isn’t forgivable during the winter (especially when it’s cold and rainy), I’ll have to take my workout further indoors. Although I workout at home these days, I can see it becoming a little monotonous eventually. I do miss my gym membership.

A couple of months ago I swiped a deal that provided 600 fitness passes around NYC. I thought this was the perfect way to “shop” for a gym. Last night I checked out Absolute Power Fitness in Williamsburg (750 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211). It’s actually only a 2.5 mile bike ride and i figured that I could jog about 20 minutes to get there as warmup if it worked out. I went in and did one of my routines for upper body: Bent-Over Rows, Squats, bicep curls and chest press.

I think the gym was just ok. I’ll explain:
Decisions usually play out like job interviews or selecting the right partner to me. I love being able to see room for growth in my future. With a great job, I can learn more about my field and enrich my career and with a good partner, I can also learn more about myself on a personal level and become a better person. I feel like my fitness goals fall into the same approach. My fitness goals are pretty open now as I train for my first marathon. What I loved about my last gym was that there was no real limitation. I felt like I could try anything. I got to learn more about my body’s response to multiple machines and whether I just wanted to keep up my physique or push my limits, there was nothing stopping me from doing so.

Absolute Power Fitness did have all the machines but the facility seemed a bit cramped. It makes sense because they have been there for over 10 years and you know how NYC is with real estate. There’s no way I’ll compare them to an Equinox or NYSC chain etc. I also felt like the locker room was also extremely small so I didn’t feel like I’d want to relax and take my time after accomplishing an intense workout. Unfortunately, the person who I showed the fitness pass to didn’t try to pitch the membership deals to me and I had to figure things out and do research on my own.

What they offer:

We provide a relaxing and well appointed environment where you can work out, train, and watch a variety of your favorite sport events on our televisions. We also have a protein shake bar for drinks. You can sit and enjoy a nice protein shake, and still have time to work out… Absolute Power Fitness offers something for everyone. We hold special events and tournaments as well. At the bar, we have on TV sets which always shows sports events, like football and basketball.

This is the current membership deal:
Option 1:  $399 year
Option 2: $59 month
Option 3: $29 month with a year contract ($79 Down Payment)

On another note, I kind of want to redesign their website…

Anyway, I bike over to Planet Fitness right after. My first reaction was: “My lord this place sure is very purple.” I’d never been inside a Planet Fitness before. I think it’s actually a great space and choice of machinery however, it didn’t seem to meet my fitness needs now. I wouldn’t completely ditch it as a place I would mind working out at but it’s certainly a commitment when it comes to the deals (which are definitely cool).

I could join for $10 per month but knowing myself, I would get the Black Card ($19.99—Oh just say $20 darn it) which allows me to go to any of the locations nationwide. There is minimum term of 12-months and $39 is billed to your account every June 1 as “fees.” With the Black Card you get Unlimited Total Body Enhancement (I have yet to understand), Unlimited Guest Privileges to any PF Location (kind of cool), Unlimited Tanning (which I don’t need), Use of any site nationwide, Free Use of Massage Chairs (sweet), Half-price cooler drinks (which I’m hoping isn’t soft drinks I didn’t check those out), Free Unlimited fitness training (I think is pretty good), PF Black Card T-Shirt (I love new shirts), PF Black Card Key Tag (not sure what that is).

What I didn’t like:
The dumbbells only go to 60 lbs, which is fine, but when I get used to that weight, I’d love to move to something heavier. My boyfriend did ask, “What the heck do you do that requires heavier?” I think I shouldn’t set limitations on weights. When I’m used to 60 lbs I might want to change gyms.

  1. Judgement free zone. I’m not sure why I’m afraid of joining because of that phrase. On their website they say, “… means members can relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms.”
    To be honest, I don’t mind the “look-at-me” attitude that exists at other gyms because I feel like that makes me work harder. When I went to my last gym, I saw other people working out and I could definitely ignore them but I got curious and ask questions about their routines to see if it lined up with my fitness goals. I think “Judgement free zone” is a little to ‘lax. I’m sure this might be for people who might feel uncomfortable about joining a gym if they aren’t near their fitness goal. I’d just wish those people knew that starting is the journey required to get to your goal and you can learn from others.
  2. Pizza night. Absolutely NOT! I asked my tour guide why there’s a pizza night. He said it’s because we all need a cheat day. In my mind I said, “No, I can cheat on my time.” I think I’d hate it if I walked into the gym and smelt pizza. I actually do love pizza but there’s just something about being subjected to a weakness when it’s not necessary. Also, what’s with the Tootsie Rolls at the counter?

What I did like:

  1. The Fitness Training Schedule. Unfortunately they don’t have fancy classes like yoga, boxing etc… However, I like that they have sessions to get people on track.
  2. Massage Chairs. I use these at nail salons, sure as hell is a perk.
  3. 24-hours. I have no excuse to not go to the gym because of “time” restrictions.

The gym does what it needs to do and if I just want something to get me out of the monotonous routines I can definitely try. It’s true I don’t need more than 60 lb dumbbells…

So far, I did like Planet Fitness over Absolute Power Fitness because of space, price, convenience and accessibility. Can’t wait to try some other gyms from my 600 fitness passes.

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  1. Pingback: A week at Equinox | 30 for 30 fitness

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