Chain Gyms vs. Locally Owned

Afternoon! I’m feeling very energetic today for some reason! Spin this morning was just what the doctor ordered, and ever since spin it’s been go, go, go with clients and weighing in clients/members (Biggest Loser contest ends today!! Open-mouthed smile)


Prior to spin class, I ate a quick breakfast of a small protein pancake, 1/2 mashed banana, and a bit of sunflower butter. Bananas + nut butters provide the perfect amount of carbs + protein + fat before a hard workout if you ask me. Throughout the day (at the various gyms I’ve been to, haha) I completed some bicep/tricep super sets, too:

  • Alternating hammer curls/tricep dips
  • barbell curls/overhead cable extensions
  • Lower half cable curls/tricep pulldowns

Good times!

Post spin-sesh and client-training, I had a more substantial breakfast:


Amy noticed my breakfast yesterday consisted of oatmeal + a protein shake, and she advised me to add the protein shake to my oats in place of the water/milk. The only time I’ve done this is by adding the actual powder in the oats toward the end and I’ve got to say, Amy’s way wins hands down!


I just pre-mixed 1 c. of water with 1 scoop of protein powder and then cooked the oats in it! Genius.

This second breakfast was pretty filling, so I didn’t end up having lunch until around 2:00 while working at the gym:


Just a tupperware salad! Romaine + pickled beets + goat cheese – no dressing.


Health Club Chains


Gold’s Gym, 24 Hr Fitness, Planet Fitness. These are just a few of the gyms that are sprinkled in nearly every state across the country. Like chain restaurants, chain gyms have their perks. They’re consistent in what they offer, the membership prices are fairly low, and are usually pretty well funded, for starters.

However there’s also the drawbacks. They might not feel as welcoming to its members and might lack a sense of community. Additionally, sometimes its staff might not care as much as locally owned gyms.

One of the chain gyms I’ve been a member of before is Gold’s gym – and I quit 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. So when I saw that a Gold’s Gym Express was opening in town, I was less than thrilled.


I was especially upset because I originally thought the little guy on the sign with the barbell was a yogi sitting indian style. We need another yoga studio in Bloomington/Normal!!

What time of gyms do you prefer? Well-known chain gyms or locally owned


Well I’m off to prepare some meals for the week! This week’s going to be somewhat busy, so while I have a couple hours (and the extra energy,) I’m going to make the most of them!

Have a great night, friends! Open-mouthed smile

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  1. I’ve mainly used chains I think. Right now I’m using Sport & Health which I think is a DC-area chain? Not sure. I really like YMCA’s too.

  2. I’ve belonged to both types before and I have to say I prefer the chain. It could just be that any local one I’ve been a member of has just been a little “ghetto” but I didn’t like the older, less frequently updated equipment, the inconsistent schedules and one actually closed on me without warning after taking the monthly payment the day before!

  3. I have only belonged to chains (and my university gym) but I haven’t been very pleased lately. They oversell memberships making it very crowded and I often feel like just a number. But the smaller gyms in my area are in bad neighborhoods and look kind if dingy. I need a nicer one to open near me!

  4. My current gym is a chain gym (with only a few in the country), and it suits me fine! Wish it was more runner-friendly instead of MMA-friendly, but it will do for now!

    My former gym was my company gym. Loved it for the free personal training and just making friends with them. Awkward due to seeing co-workers in ways that might not be desired… ahem. But I met my love there, so I can’t complain!

  5. That bowl of oats looks awesome! I need to try adding protein powder to mine. I used to be a golds member and enjoyed it. I traveled a lot for work and liked having access to other Golds when I was on trips. Now I work at a gym that is a chain, but a local chain. I think its sort of the best of both worlds.

  6. I belong to our city’s recreation center. Lots of pros: cheap (my husband and I pay $360 for both of us for a year), family-friendly (daycare on site), a full pool, track, and climbing wall, and plenty of classes for all abilities. It’s the perfect mix of what we need in a gym right now!

  7. I go to 24 Hour Fitness b/c of the most amazing deal – $300 for 2 years. You can get it through Costco. An added bonus is that it is an easy 2 mile bike ride from my house.

  8. I belonged to Planet Fitness for a few months and it just wasn’t for me. I quit and joined a small, local gym and I LOVE it. The instructors know you, so they are invested. They are always welcoming, motivating, and helpful. I will be so sad if/when I have to switch gyms.


  1. […] realized I didn’t give my opinion on the chain vs. locally owned gyms from last night’s post! I’ve had great and not so great experiences with both. While I didn’t […]

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