Fitness and Nutrition

Let's talk about Fitness Gyms - The Pros/Cons & Pricing

[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
267 posts
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Toronto

Let's talk about Fitness Gyms - The Pros/Cons & Pricing

Let's talk about gyms, the pros and the cons & your experiences.
Since its the new year, a lot of us would want to know the differences between fitness gyms. I'm looking to switch to goodlife soon with my corporate plan

I'll start by saying I work out at Planet Fitness.
I signed up when my location opened up about two years ago. I'm paying roughly $20/month with an annual fee of $30-50 (i dont remember)

Pros
Cheap rate of $20 that includes access to all Planet Fitness, use of tanning & massaging services.
Also you can bring a guest with you each time (anyone as long as it's just you two)
$10 rate monthly has access to that one gym location and that's it.. No services from the $20 rate
People are friendly there & also the staff
Open 24/7 & some holidays

Cons
Assisted machines, such as squat rack & bench presses
Small gym (my location specifically)
Weights section is small and usually busy
3 squat racks, two cable machines & dumbells go up to 75lbs
Gets busy at 12pm-11pm but less busy in the early mornings (7am-9am) and midnights (12am-6am)
There's a lunk alarm that goes off when people are grunting or dropping weights, though I have not seen the emoloyees use it when people are dropping weights
There aren't many locations in withing the GTA, maybe 10


My experience is rather good when I work out in the mornings it's not that busy & I try to avoid the afternoon where it's too busy to do any weight training.
The average age when I'm there is majority older adults. When machines are out of order, they tend to be so out for a couple months.
The price is worth it if you don't mind a gym where you lift light and your main focus is on cardio (lots of bikes & treadmills)

*Update
I've been to Oakridge Community Recreation Centre, a community centre where you can work out for free, as long as you sign up for a tag by reception area.

Pros
Does the job with the necessities for working out
Only one staff on duty, scan your tag and go
Most recently they added a bunch of new equipment and also changed some older equipment.

Cons
From my experience the gym is really small, but has most of the things you need (cardio, free weights, unassisted bars)
It's not that busy in the mornings, but after lunch it tends to get busy.

Overall, this is a nice gym if you live in the area, and aren't looking to spend a cent for a gym.
All types of people (old, young) workout at this location if anyone was concerned what the environment is like


I recently joined Goodlife Fitness & I can say the environment is different. So far, I've been to 3 different locations & the staff are relatively nice.
On my first visit to my local Goodlife the staff wasn't welcoming and didn't offer me a towel, but the second time the staff was very welcoming and offered me a towel.
It made a difference, since this will be my local gym, it would be nice to receive good service especially being a new member.

Pros
Going to your local Goodlife, you will see a lot of familiar faces (great if you want to rekindle your friendship or have a workout buddy)
Some Goodlife locations are 24/7
A good amount of unassisted benches & squat racks
There is a lot of classes going on whenever I come in the gym
Staff is fine

Cons
Expensive for a membership, even with my corporate plan of $450/year
The dumbbells are all over the racks. It seems as the staff doesn't organize the dumbbells or it could be the people putting then back wherever
Machines are crammed up beside each other making it impossible to get to the machine behind it
Change room is pretty small

So far, I've been going in the mornings, I have no issue waiting for machines. As it gets to 12pm, a lot more people start coming in all of a sudden
I've met some friends, and they tell me it gets busy in the afternoons, especially by 6pm
Majority of the people that workout at all the Goodlife locations I've been to are young adults
Last edited by markerizza on Jan 9th, 2018 10:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
38 replies
Jr. Member
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Apr 1, 2015
180 posts
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Oakville
im in the market for a new gym so i'll be following this thread Smiling Face With Open Mouth

contemplating a few in the west end of the gta (oakville, burlington). not sure where to start... i've read some yelp reviews (LA Fitness seems to get the worst reviews ever) so hopefully people can share some experiences on here. i'm an endurance runner looking to incorporate strength training/body weight exercises.
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Apr 28, 2011
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I can provide my experience with goodlife only. I have been a member now for over 2 years.

Pros: Lots of goodlife locations (there are 3 within a 10 minute drive from my house). This is great because one of the gyms is older and the other is brand new each offering different machines/equipment so depending on what I plan to do that day I can pick to go to either one (if you have access to all gyms of course).
Assisted machines as well as lots of free weights
Never heard any alarm go off so I will assume goodlife does not have this...
Most gyms are open 24x7 and most holidays (but with reduced hours)

Cons: Will be more expensive than some other gyms (fit4less, planet fitness etc..) even with the corporate membership.
You cannot bring another person unless they have their own membership and/or the other person is on a trial membership
Can get pretty busy at peak times.
Use of the tanning beds and trainers/massages are all available at an extra cost
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
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I have only used Goodlife for a few years now. I only go because I go to the classes. I love them.

I don't know what kind of classes other gyms offer but I only do classes 99% of the time.

Plus their many locations is pretty good. There are 3 within 3 subway stops near me. Downtown Toronto is insane with the amount they have.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2006
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Woodbridge
Joint, meaning paying either monthly or like me annually through corporate gives me motivation to go.

I'm sure the difference are minor between clubs. The advantage GoodLife has and why I switched are the massage chairs and 24hrs.

There's also T&A to motivate you LOL and a chance of hooking up.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

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THE NEWSROOM (HBO)
Deal Addict
May 14, 2009
4824 posts
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I use a community centre gym. Is it the cheapest? No, but I get a corporate discount and it's very convenient. Also, it's never very busy when I go and I don't find that there are a LOT of members at this location. It has everything I need, without having to wait for equipment (for the most part).
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Apr 1, 2015
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Oakville
I went to a few places over this week and here's some info i got. Sorry for the mess:

LA Fitness (3055 Vega Blvd, Mississauga)
30/35$mnth promotion going on now (reg 60-64$---I doubt anyone actually pays that). they'll suggest to sign right away but I believe they'll honor it until the end of January.
Gym is clean (its still new) and the staff were friendly and approachable.
They get scathing reviews online about poor service but I haven't noticed anything bad enough to be totally turned off from them or why it would stand in the way from using the gym.
Their rates are so god damn cheap and can even cancel just on a 10-day notice (most gyms are 30).
The layout takes a bit of getting used to at first. It sorta feels like you're on display during your workout, at least in the main area... but its not that big of a deal.

Planet Workout (3345 Laird Rd, Mississauga)
19.50mnth (1yr contract--service fee waved(70$)+2 maintenance fees of 18$x2) or $28mnth (service fee($70)+2 maintenance fees($18x2).
Staff are friendly and the atmosphere is nice/very laid back
I feel the place caters more towards lifters/gym rats than the average demographic who would use places like LA Fitness/ymca/orange therapy, etc). Not saying there's anything wrong with that, just my take on what I observed.
Although the place appears clean, upon closer inspection the washrooms/equipment was just dirty... stuff wasn't wiped, some of the machines were not working (which makes me question their maintenance fees, which struck me as a cash grab way of lowering the initial fee).
The place being open 24/7 is a major boon as far as convenience but parking can be an absolute pain in the ass during busy hours.

One Health Club (1011 Upper Middle Rd E, Oakville)
bi-weekly payments of 38~$ (its negotiable to an extent). Its expensive but there's some reason do it... its immaculate (front of house + washrooms), machines are well maintained and the staff are friendly/plentiful.
They have hot yoga so for that aspect alone (its inclusive) I can understand those fees---at specialty yoga places its very pricey.
One thing that bothered me a bit was how the representative talked so much about the Mississauga location being "a lot more expensive" (squash court+pool) to the point where those members can use both locations, but members from Oakville can't use the Misssissauga club at all.
They have an age requirement of 24+ so its for more of a mature crowd. The place didn't strike me as pretentious or anything, but it obviously caters to people with $ (hence 'club', not gym).
Physiotherapists are on site which is convenient but for me I have my own therapist for that so its not something I would use anyway.
Sr. Member
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Aug 15, 2015
700 posts
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Markham, ON
Is planet fitness your only gym? Did you use to use the gym equipment available at your high school.

You cannot make comparisons when you only been to one gym.

It might be beneficial to show up at your current gym at busy hours to see if you can find a work out buddy so you challenge yourself! You don't always have to use the machine or weights

Or proposed intramural gym battles of weigh lifting
Member
Aug 31, 2017
422 posts
108 upvotes
Goodlife Fitness

Pros:
24/7 Gyms
Sauna/Steam room access
Classes (yoga, dance, fitness)
Goodlife Fitness Members Rewards site perks (20% off GNC, 10% off Popeyes, $200 off Lasik MD, 10% off Freshii, 15-20% off Toronto Aquarium etc)
Free Access to 24 Hour Fitness in the USA (this came in handy during Honolulu)

Cons:
Price
No wifi (would be nice to have)
Crowded - but expected
Some location staff are rude (but they usually don't last long)
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2009
1286 posts
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I used to go to snap Fitness but they decided to hike the maintenance fee and monthly fee, so we have a Motion fitness open up last year ( https://www.motionfitness.ca/) and it is a brand new facility they charge me 4.99 bi-weekly and I think $37.00 maintenance fee. No contract and open and staffed 24/7. So far it has been great.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
267 posts
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Toronto
MattSF wrote:
Jan 9th, 2018 7:44 pm
im in the market for a new gym so i'll be following this thread Smiling Face With Open Mouth

contemplating a few in the west end of the gta (oakville, burlington). not sure where to start... i've read some yelp reviews (LA Fitness seems to get the worst reviews ever) so hopefully people can share some experiences on here. i'm an endurance runner looking to incorporate strength training/body weight exercises.
Just recently switched to goodlife. Most locations are relatively small. Not much of a difference, mainly would be the unassisted machines (squat racks, bench)
I'd say to check out those gyms by getting a tour to get a feel of the types of equipment you would implement to your training
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
267 posts
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Toronto
SirVicksalot wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 9:12 am
I can provide my experience with goodlife only. I have been a member now for over 2 years.

Pros: Lots of goodlife locations (there are 3 within a 10 minute drive from my house). This is great because one of the gyms is older and the other is brand new each offering different machines/equipment so depending on what I plan to do that day I can pick to go to either one (if you have access to all gyms of course).
Assisted machines as well as lots of free weights
Never heard any alarm go off so I will assume goodlife does not have this...
Most gyms are open 24x7 and most holidays (but with reduced hours)

Cons: Will be more expensive than some other gyms (fit4less, planet fitness etc..) even with the corporate membership.
You cannot bring another person unless they have their own membership and/or the other person is on a trial membership
Can get pretty busy at peak times.
Use of the tanning beds and trainers/massages are all available at an extra cost
My location is fairly old, but still looks in decent shape. Thought it'd be bigger from the outside, but it wasn't sadly
Just switched to Goodlife. My main change is because I prefer to use unassisted machines for balance, and much more challenging experience
Lots of services cost extra, would at least expect them to offer those part of what we're already paying.
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
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Toronto
speedyforme wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 7:55 am
I have only used Goodlife for a few years now. I only go because I go to the classes. I love them.

I don't know what kind of classes other gyms offer but I only do classes 99% of the time.

Plus their many locations is pretty good. There are 3 within 3 subway stops near me. Downtown Toronto is insane with the amount they have.
How are the classes there? Was contemplating on going to one of them since its part of the plan. Trying out the classes could help me challenge myself
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
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Toronto
bembol wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 2:08 pm
Joint, meaning paying either monthly or like me annually through corporate gives me motivation to go.

I'm sure the difference are minor between clubs. The advantage GoodLife has and why I switched are the massage chairs and 24hrs.

There's also T&A to motivate you LOL and a chance of hooking up.
I'm paying anually too. Its extra motivating knowing that you paid a full year out flat at once. So better put it to use and great way to keep healthy

What gym did you go to before goodlife?

The massage chairs are definitely better than Planet Fitness, it actually does deep massaging into the knots which I really enjoy after a workout

What's a T&A? tna? You talking about girls? haha, I noticed that most members are fairly the same age as me (20-30)
[OP]
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Dec 25, 2011
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Toronto
amz155 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 2:28 pm
I use a community centre gym. Is it the cheapest? No, but I get a corporate discount and it's very convenient. Also, it's never very busy when I go and I don't find that there are a LOT of members at this location. It has everything I need, without having to wait for equipment (for the most part).
That's really good, as long as it has what you need and is a reasonable price. That's the way to go at the end of the day. When its busy its a whole different story when working out.
I try my best to go early in the mornings, just to avoid waiting to use machines

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