T Nation

Gyms in the Bay Area


I just relocated to the San Francisco bay area. Acutually, I'll be located in San Mateo county.

Any 'hard core' gyms in the San Mateo, San Carlos, Foster City areas? Gold's will work, but I thought I'd check with anyone from this area on suggestions. I'm just looking for a no frills gym suitable for hard core lifting..


Most of the gyms in San Mateo county are fitness centers; not hardcore. Even the Gold's Gym in San Mateo (Hillsdale, off the 101) is set up like a fitness center. I went in there over a year ago when they opened and only 1 squat rack, and the dumbbells only go up to 100 lbs. Plenty of machines and 2-3 cable systems (pull down, row, cross over, etc). Perhaps they've added more equipment since then; check it out. Maybe the Mountain View location is better; never been. The 2 in SF are too far.

Never been to Bally's (South SF), so no opinion there.
There's a Powerhouse Gym in Redwood City, but I've never been.
I'm more familar with 24 Hr Fatness. On the peninsula, I've been to the San Carlos, San Mateo, Daly City, Pacifica, and Ocean locations. Pacifica was too small, Daly City was a dirty, hot pit, and San Mateo was a fitness center/meat market (free weights upstairs so you get yelled at everytime you drop the heavy weights). I currently go to San Carlos. 1 power rack, 3 squat racks, 3 complete cable cross over stations, dumbbells up to 140 lbs, plenty of machines, and plenty of Hammer Strength. The plates aren't the newer Iron Grip design, but they still work. Sauna, but no pool. Plenty of cardio machines (segregated from the weight lifting area). I've seen a few people use chalk (keeping the area clean, of coarse), bands, and board presses. Never seen anyone try to bring chains in though.

If you want hardcore, your best bet is to live in the east bay, so you can drive over to Diablo Barbell in Concord.
Hope that helps.


There is Crunch. It is where I train when I visit my brother in SF. It is a "fitness" center and really annoying in a lot of respects, but it has ample free weights, several squat racks and cages, round weights (instead of those hexagonal weights that you can't use for deadlifts and cleans/snatchs) -- and nobody is ever using them (except to do curls). It also has a small boxing ring, and a good number of heavy bags (also rarely used).


Thanks for the help. Now that I have to buy a house, I'm going to say "bye bye" to my home gym that I had in Chicago (that was located in my basement).

I hate 24 hour fitness, but if we buy in the San Carlos area, I'll check it out.


I have tried out a lot of gyms in the Bay. I lived in Hillsborough, you'll know where that is once you get accomidated. I suggest Prime Time, its a good dependable gym. Has everything you need. Plus lost of fine ass hunnies.

Good luck.



Any suggestions a little further south? I'm moving to Woodside in a few weeks and I'll need to find a place fairly quick. Power racks are required and I'd much prefer a place with platforms and bumpers.


Maybe someone else can correct me, but the only place that I know of with platforms and bumpers in that general vicinity, is Velocity Sports Perfomance (in San Carlos). I did not mention them before in this tread because they are not the typical gym, so to speak. They cater to "professional athletes". You pay PER SESSION, and you lift with a coach/trainer.


If you are in Woodside, the closest gym would be 24 Hr Fatness in San Carlos (near the 101 freeway, on Industrial, between Whipple and Brittan) or Powerhouse in Redwood City.


What kind of place is Powerhouse? Have you been to that location before?


Never been to Powerhouse. The weekly rag that comes in the mail (similar to Pennysaver) always has a full page ad for the place on the back; pushing their newly remodeled facility.
It's off the 101, on Broadway St, between Woodside & Whipple.


Check out Xtreme Fitness in Burlingame(I think that is the current name) Used to be a World Gym. Not too crowded and low key at least in the morning. Used to see Barry Bonds there.