Wednesday, July 26, 2006

NOLA gym review

We finally went gym hunting today. We probably had the best workout of our lives just going to see these places. It took us two hours of walking but we did it. We saw the St. Charles Athletic club and Elmwood. Here is the review.

First up was St. Charles Athletic Club.

The walk there was just the nightmare we imagined. We ran into a crazy man under the Business 90 overpass. He was shouting obscenities at people and flexing his biceps. If you want to see crazy flex man walk under 90 off of Magazine Street. We walked back under 90 down Saint Charles street around 4 so we missed the crazy person rush hour there.

That has nothing to do with the gym. To tell you the truth - I like it - a lot. First of all the staff were super nice to us as soon as we walked in the door. There was a guy who walked us around and showed us the sights. They have a big area filled with both free weights and dumbbells. The cardio area wasn't as impressive. There were about 15 machines - maybe 5 treadmills total. They were pushed together in a corner really close together.
The guy who took us on the tour then took us downstairs and showed us the spin area and the area where they are putting up another free weight area identical to the main one. Apparently they want men to go downstairs so women can feel more comfortable in the main one.

We ran into a professional bodybuilder while we were there. She was HUGE. The guy told us that they have a couple that workout there.

The price is nice and it's month to month membership. Parking was a concern. They told us that you get a tag that let's you park around back. They are trying to buy another parking lot nearby.

The best part was the hours. I'm confident that they can't be beat in the city. They are open from 5 am until midnight on weekdays! Saturday is 6am to 10pm and Sunday is 10 am to 6pm. That is phenomenal!

The next stop was Elmwood. It's on the 13th floor of One Shell Square.

The weight room is on the first floor right when you open up the door. The cardio area is elevated on a second floor which overlooks the free weights. They had probably 30 cardio machines. Somewhere between 10-15 treadmills. Every machine had a flat screen tv attached which is SWEET! You just plug in your headphones on the little remote on the front.

Instead of mirrors on the wall they have windows overlooking the city. It's pretty nice. They also have a spin area as well as raquetball and basketball courts.

The staff up front wasn't as nice as the St. Charles guys. We asked to look around and were told to just go look. It's not very "Cheers" like. I hope we didn't bother them! We did run into one of the personal trainers on our walk and he was awesome. He introduced himself to us and asked if he could help. He gave us a quick tour and answered all of our questions.

The hours aren't as nice. It's 6 to 9pm on weekdays. The downtown location is closed on the weekend but you can go to Harahan then. The trainer told us that it's about a 20 minute drive. We asked if hours are going to change anytime soon and they said no. Apparently the place was closed on Sundays before the storm. There is a big staffing shortage so Saturdays aren't happening.

As for parking - you can park in the deck. They validate in the morning and again after 4:30pm.

While there we learned that there is no cancellation fee if you join after August 1.

Aubie thinks that Elmwood is more woman friendly. That plus the walk and the TV screens make it the winner. Our first day is August 1.

To tell you the truth I have a much better opinion of St. Charles then I thought I would. I'd heard it was smaller but I don't think it's that noticeable. If anyone ever asks me what I think about it I'll tell them that it's awesome. If we get tired of the Elmwood staff I won't think twice about switching to St. Charles.

EDIT: (10-6-06)
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Anonymous ashley said...

You check out the JCC, on St. Charles? ONce the streetcar gets going, it stops right out front.

7:12 PM  

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