Normally the Body Rabyd does not appear until Saturday or so when I end my week but I spent a couple of hours looking at Gyms in Big Rapids today. The purpose was to check each gym out and get some idea of which one I liked the best. I want to make a decision on these visits and maybe I will try a couple out if there is a tie or something with what I am about to do. I am trying to be as objective as possible so I have created some criteria and am going to assign a score depending on how each gym does. 5 points for first, 2 points for second and o for third. The gym with the most points at the end of this test will be where I hang my hat for at least the next semester at school.
BEagle FITness (BE FIT): On the south side of Big Rapids on Northland Drive. It is probably the newest of the contenders.
PT Plus (PT): Middle of the three as far as age. Near the freeway on the West side of town just outside of the city limits.
TNT Gym (TNT): The oldest gym in Big Rapids. I remember when it was founded when I was in High School. The guy has been in business for 30 years and he is located north of downtown Big Rapids.
The Categories, Results and Running Score:
- Weight Lifting Equipment: Ok, I can tell you who was weakest but in this category there was little variance other than one that lead the pack in free weights. TNT’s longevity means they have collected a ton of free weights and machines over the years. If you went their to lift, there is just no way you are going to have to wait for equipment. BE FIT was second but only because as I looked at their stuff they defiantly have more cutting edge weights and more importantly smith machines aplenty. TNT:5; BE FIT:2; PT: 0
- Cardio Equipment: This was close one but one definitely was behind the other two. I would have to give the slight edge to BE FIT over PT with TNT bringing up the rear but they had upgraded a little. BE FIT: 5 (7); PT:2(2); TNT: 5 (0)
- Classes: All the gyms had classes but there was one who was far behind in number – TNT although they probably had the best aerobics room of the three. There is just no trainers to lead these classes yet as it is a new facility. BE FIT and PT both had classes with pretty good numbers but BE FIT took the edge slightly because they actually have classes in lifting and not just cardio as well as martial art mats. PT had Crossfit classes but they were far beyond my price range but they had some classes that are included in membership. The more I weighed it in my mind I couldn’t decide between the two so they both finish first and I am giving TNT 2 points for second. BE FIT: 5 (12), PT: 5(7); TNT: 2 (7)
- Trainers and Training Partners: Only two Gyms said they had trainers and this really isn’t a high priority for me but the possibility I could find a training partner has been looming large for me from a motivational stance. The real problem here is none of the gyms could say they had a way to help people find training partners but all of them said if you hang around long enough you might find one. Given that then TNT affords me the best chance to find one my age but I would say PT and BE FIT might give me a more motivated partner. Hmm. I am going to give everyone a 2 on this TNT gets a 2 for the best training partners possibility but the other two get 2 for trainers being available. BE FIT 2 (14); TNT 2 (9) PT 2 (9)
- Affordability: This is difficult. PT has a clergy rate per month of $25 which includes some classes. BE FIT has a student rate of $75 dollars for a semester which comes out pretty much the same but no classes are included. TNT had a flat rate of 40 bucks per month. I have to give it to PT with BE FIT a close second. PT 5 (12); BE FIT 2 (16) TNT 0 (9)
- Rules: No body was really ninja with stupid rules. The real problem I can see is that atmosphere might have some unwritten rules. In that case I got to give it to TNT, BE FIT would be second. TNT 5(14); BE FIT 2( 18); PT 0 (12)
- Locker Rooms: I would like to say someone stood out here but not really the slight edge goes to BE FIT because they were newer and thus cleaner in a lot of respects. That said I am still going to give everyone 2 points because they were al pretty much the same. BE FIT 2(20); TNT 2 (16); PT 2 (14)
- Extras: This is where the uniqueness of each facility shows. All of them had aerobic rooms but TNT’s was the largest, but BE FIT had MMA mats in one room. All had the protein shake bar but my guess is that TNT and BE FIT probably have it easier watching theirs because of where they are located. PT has a rehab center attached but I wouldn’t need that right now but they also had Crossfit classes. It’s close but the order is BE FIT, PT and TNT. Be FIT 5 (25); PT 2 (16); TNT 0 (16)
- Atmosphere: PT’s atmosphere is weird for me. Other people may like it but I like things a little darker for a gym. Reminds me of the shop. That means TNT and BE FIT had that dark dungeon gym feel that I like though I imagine if TNT turned all its lights on it would be far brighter. That said TNT also has that old school feeling I enjoy as well, at the same time BE FIT had that new feel I also like. TNT 5 (21); BE FIT 2 (27), PT 0 (16)
- Convenience: This is based on location mostly and that is based on where I live compared to the facilities. Other people might have a different view of this depending on where they live. TNT 5 (26); PT 2 (18) BE FIT 0 (27)
- Intangibles: This is all the other stuff. The big one is a war in my heart between belonging to something old school as far as a gym but staying young and fresh. TNT gives me the first and BE FIT gives me the second but BE FIT also has that dark side too. PT’s problem for me in this area is it feels to new to be dark but is beat up a little so it does not have that new feel like BE FIT. BE FIT also was playing the music I love when I walked through the door. I like TNT but I love BE FIT’s atmosphere. Add to that BE FIT’s plans to move and expand and I am part of something that really is going forward. PT – Meh. BE FIT 5 (32), TNT 2 (28); PT 0 (18)
- Staff: Everybody had someone to help me. All of them gave me tours. This is where I engage my ‘people treating me like people’ detector. To whom am I a client, to whom am I a person and to whom am I both. TNT’s owner took me around and showed me stuff. He was definitely engaged with me and was pretty proud of his place. BE FIT had the added bonus of having two people talk to me and answer my questions. They have a pretty extensive staff as does PT. The fact all of them did pretty well. I can’t say one was better but they were all different. No point in giving points here as they would be a three-way tie.
Final Score: Beagle Fitness: 32 points, TNT Gym: 28 points, PT Plus – 18 points
Now I want to remind everyone that this is based on my first impressions and nothing more. If I were to spend a month at each one I would probably have a different opinion. I however want to get back into things as quickly as possible and the place I think I can do this the best is Beagle Fitness. Not by much though, I think I could also find a home in TNT. PT, well it just didn’t feel right for me. Someone else might feel differently. In the end I think I can make a go of it a Beagle for the semester and then reevaluate.
Blessings and Cheers!!!