The phrase “workout” is a relative term; it can mean many things to different people. Action is not the only component to a work out, the experience is just as important.
Some people prefer a daily run outdoors because they think the fresh air is refreshing, others prefer workout videos they can pop into their DVD player at home and work out at their leisure. Still others look for something more in a work-out, looking for equipment, aided training and a sense of community. Gyms match fitness expectations for others wanting results offering a variety of fitness equipment for use, along with a comfortable, social environment.
Similar to how workout styles and preferences are never the same, not every gym is the same. Although all offer similar equipment, some newer than others, they are rooted in different values. Methods, amenities, perks, costs, hours and location are all important factors when picking a gym, and these decisions are even more important in a city, such as East Lansing, with numerous gyms close to campus. Powerhouse, Synergy Fitness and Snap Fitness are all newer gyms which vary in gym personalities, each holding a different set of values on which they pride their facilities.
Powerhouse Gym: 4790 S. Hagadorn Road 134C East Lansing, Mich. 48823
Formerly known as Atlas Gym, Powerhouse resides in the Hannah Plaza. Upon merging with Atlas Gym in December 2007 it was decided that the Powerhouse name would be maintained, but under the independent ownership that Atlas had formerly been run. Therefore Powerhouse on Hagadorn Road has next to nothing in common to the Powerhouse Gyms around the country, instead holding onto the hours, prices and ideals that Atlas had started out with, adding just a couple of changes.
Students tend to enjoy the gym because of its convenient location and the fact that the area has free parking available, which is hard to find in the heart of the city. That had been an important factor at the time of the merge. “It’s close, and convenient and we have pretty fair prices,” said Keith Gregg, a Powerhouse staff member. “A lot of people like it from the old Powerhouse location because they had to pay to park and now it’s free,” Gregg continued.
The gym prices are meant to be budget conscious, especially due to the fact that approximately 85 percent of their business comes from college students or recent graduates. “We have mostly college students, some older, it’s a good mix,” Gregg said.
Since the merge Powerhouse has purchased a lot of new equipment including new rows of treadmills and elliptical machines, which has paid off according to Powerhouse manager Karri Hobbs who said that business has risen. “The gym is also big compared to other gyms and we offer specials at the beginning of every semester,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs has been a manager at Powerhouse for nine months. Before becoming the manager she was merely a member of Atlas Gym, and decided that she was always working out so it was a great job for her. “I always have to be moving and this is a really fun atmosphere,” Hobbs said.
Powerhouse offers yoga, spinning and circuit training classes with one of the seven personal trainers weekly to its members, which are popular within their gym community. When classes are not in session, members are allowed to utilize the back room which is used for the classes, for aerobics on their own. “Our locker rooms are pretty nice and take care of,” Hobbs said.
Other perks include tanning, which is an extra charge of $5 per session or $35 for unlimited tanning that month. According to Hobbs the two stand-up hexes have been quite popular, bringing in even more customers who find it convenient to tan at their location. Another benefit is gym members receive a 50 percent discount at other Powerhouse Gym facilities across the United States.
“The staff is really cool and laid back, other gyms have so many rules,” Hobbs said. “It’s a good atmosphere here. We’re not judging, we get a lot of new people, there’s not a gym clique.”
Cost: Memberships are $349 for the year paid in full, $50 for one month, $35 per month when committing to more than one month and $10 per day. If guests arrive with member, their rate is $5 for the day.
: Currently, memberships are $75 for the balance of the semester.
: Powerhouse is open 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information: Call (517) 827-4653
Synergy Fitness: 2655 E. Grand River East Lansing, Mich. 48823
Although farther away from campus than Powerhouse and Snap Fitness, Synergy Fitness offers a unique energy, method and environment. The cleanliness and beauty of the facility alone may be enough to convince a fitness buff to drive the extra mile. “Everyone’s reaction is ‘Wow, this place is super clean and nice,” said Laken Blakslee, trainer and gym attendant at Synergy. Blakslee has worked at Synergy two of the three years it has been open, following owner and trainer, Todd Yehl from the MAC after he opened Synergy.
As Blakslee said, the equipment, workout areas and even the locker room are decorated and kept clean, giving the gym a very unique appeal. Plants are positioned throughout the gym, blending nicely with the ocean blue floor and brown-toned walls. The locker rooms follow suit, with polished wooden lockers for gym goers’ belongings.
Aside from the image of the gym, the methods of the gym are different from others in the area as well. At Synergy, personal trainers strive to preserve body structure and wellness. There are work out sheets along the walls with workout plans to aid new comers, however it isn’t necessary to follow the fitness regime. “Todd wanted to make it more of an inviting, social atmosphere, and the majority of the members enjoy the workout,” Blakslee explained.
The cost for personal trainers is extra, as is the yoga class that is offered weekly, which focuses on a different mentality for instruction. Yoga classes charge $5 per class for students and $10 for both older and non-members.
Although the setting is farther off campus, there are still a great number of students who attend the facility. Blakslee explained that the clientele was half students, half professionals, with the most popular times being before class and after work. “I’ve worked out at every gym in the area, and this gym is by far the nicest,” Blasklee said. “Everybody knows your name and everybody is in touch. W e’re a big happy family.”
According to Blakslee, attending the gym and taking in the methods of Synergy is extremely beneficial. From personal experience Blakslee has recognized great strides in her body’s well being after being referred to Yehl years ago. She was told by doctors prior to meeting Yehl that there was nothing but surgery to repair the state of her feet and back. “The work out completely changed my posture, how I work out and all my pain is gone…My body feels great,” Blakslee said.
She explained that the work out applies to how a person walks throughout their day, stands while doing the dishes and other simple tasks. “I love working here, it’s one of those places you’re proud to work at,” Blasklee said.
Cost: Synergy offers various membership packages. The basic membership, without the personal training and yoga classes included is $50 as a start-up fee with $45 per month after that.
Special: For students only, memberships are available for a $30 enrollment fee and $30 per month after that.
Hours: The gym is in operation from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information: Visit its Web site, www.synergymethod.com or call (517) 351-3204.
Snap Fitness: 115 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite A, East Lansing, Mich. 48823
Working out at Snap Fitness means belonging to a private club that offers amenities, perks, prizes and a clean environment. Snap Fitness prides themselves on their upkeep of their equipment and facility and limiting the amount of gym members registered. “We don’t want the gym to be overcrowded, we want equipment to always be available,” said Elizabeth Molinksy, general manager and co-owner, with Kevin Baker and Brad Lazorka, of Snap in East Lanisng.
Since opening on September 26, 2008 Snap has done quite well. One of the big kicks to being a member of Snap is having 24 hour access to the facility. Members simply swipe their card when entering the gym. “Motion sensors detect when there are unauthorized guests,” Molinsky said.
Snap has specific staffed hours in which members are allowed to bring guests and new members are allowed to enroll. Guests that come in with Snap members are allowed to work out for free, as long as they come in during staffed hours, which is also a pulling force for business. “We also offer referral specials for our members which is another perk,” Molinsky said.
Members also have access to free classes and are invited to participate in promotional competitions. This month there is Fitness BINGO in which members try out different work outs in order to win various prizes. “We always have a game going on and a Work Out of the Week posted,” Molinsky said.
Plasma TVs are stretched across the walls, allowing gym goers access to choosing the channels. Currently there is a Greek competition for a 52 inch Plasma TV for whoever recruits ten members within their separate sororities and fraternities. Group outings are planned as well for club members. For example members are invited for a small price to attend a Lansing Lugnuts vs. MSU baseball game in April. With their membership, discounts are also distributed to Snap’s members giving them free membership to any of the 1,600 Snap Fitness facilities in the US, Canada and India as well as discounts to various East Lansing businesses.
“It’s nice that you can go to any Snap Gym so those graduating don’t have to worry about spending money on their memberships,” Molinsky said. “Sixty percent of our members are students and forty percent are adults. We get a lot of faculty.”
Another opportunity for members is to become a member online, where they can maintain a profile, receive a meal plan for their goal weight and keep track of their progress. Members are offered one free meeting with a personal trainer every six months to gain knowledge of their BMI, among other things, and learn how to help themselves in specific areas. This information is uploaded to their profiles.
Although many perks are available for free to Snap members, there are some that come at an extra cost including a program called Boot Camp, tanning and additional one-on-one sessions with one of the three personal trainers. “We’re more laid back in a little bit higher end facility,” Molinsky said.
Cost: There are no contracts, but Snap Fitness does offer pre-paid bonus packages where cost of membership goes down as the number of months committed increase. Cost for members committing to monthly payments is a onetime enrollment fee of $149 with $34.99 per month payments. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also incorporated if members find themselves unsatisfied.
Hours: Members have access 24 hours Monday through Sunday
Staffed Hours: The facility is open to non-members and members’ guests during the times that staff are onsite. Hours are 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information: Visit www.snapfitness.com/eastlansingmi/, call (517) 336-0881, or join their Facebook group.