T Nation

Lifetime Fitness...


#1

Anyone here have a membership to this place? I'm looking at joining one in the NoVA area (Centreville). Below are the selling points for me:

  • Has power racks
  • Has lots of free weights
  • Open 24/7
  • Close to my office
  • Affordable membership plan
  • Lots of freebies (sports massage therapy, stretching classes, boxing, etc.)

I think the biggest con will be those people that misuse equipment and talk on their cellphones for 5 minutes between sets, but I can deal with that. Any comments from people who have been to a Lifetime gym would be appreciated.


#2

i have a membership at a hole in the wall gym for serious workouts and also a membership at life time. i could not have my serious workouts at life time because it just doesn't have the right atmosphere, the bars have almost no knurling, the dumbells do not go very heavy, no chalk allowed.

however, there are advantages: many pretty women to look at, yoga and spinning classes, a variety of different equipment to use, good cardio equipment, a pool, sauna, steam rooms, whirlpool, its entertaining to watch the traineres and people train there, they almost never close, etc.


#3

I used to have a membership. It's not a bad gym. I never had to wait long to use a machine, maybe it was the time that I went, after work.


#4

I loved the place. For sure it is not a 'dungeon' gym, it is a health club, but as far as health clubs go it is top of the line. Thier are cages and squat racks, DBs over 100lbs, and a mix of all types of clients. If you have family, the deal is even sweeter, and you can really make a day (at least afternoon) out of the place.
When I went, I found it best to avoid peak hours. It was hard to get on certain peices of equipment, and it was a constant distraction with all the people around. However, when I went later at night (11pm or later), the place was mine.
Remember, all the extras are only worth it if you use them. A sauna, juice bar and all those classes (and there are alot) don't do much good if you can't find time to use them.


#5

I'm sold...signing up next week. Thanks for the feedback guys!


#6

I'm a big fan of Lifetime in Centerville, it's a very well run gym, kept clean too. If you are up for it, you are welcome over at Worldgate Sport and Health any time you want, I'll sign you in for free.

Otherwise, you are making a good choice.


#7

The clientele that use the place must have changed. I live two minutes away from the place, and I left after a year to join up at the Washington Sports Club in Fairfax.

A few things turned me off from the place - both in Centreville and the "Executive Club" in Fairfax.

One was the crowded conditions until 11 PM. For someone who has to get up at 5:30 AM and drive an hour to work, starting a work out at 11 PM wasn't going to cut it.

Another annoyance the constant entourages of high school kids and college-age kids that hovered around the benches or the dumbbell racks. I remember one night there were a group of Lithuanian or Russian dudes working out with the token girl just following them around. The girl wasn't working out. All she did was sit next to them working out and watched them for over an hour while talking on her cell phone.

Besides the cell phones, constantly dealing with kids horseplaying in the locker room just annoyed the hell out of me. Several times I would get bumped by a 10-year old who was chasing another 10-year old around or trying to hit them with a towel.

The facility is first-rate, but the place wants to be "family friendly" with the pool, kid activities, rock climbing way, and racquetball courts.

What I like about WSC in Fairfax is that the equipment is in great shape, there is very little wait time, even during peak hours, and the emphasis is on working out. There are some powerlifters that work out there and some that just want to do whatever. That I can handle. Trying to get changed in the locker room while four rugrats are wrestling on the ground or whacking each other with towels, I don't, especially after a day of teaching high school kids and coaching high school kids.

The Worldgate facility is awesome, and so is the one in McLean as well. I've worked out at the one in McLean several times when my brother used to live in McLean and I would come visit up from North Carolina. The McLean facility is almost identical to the Lifetime in C'ville and Fairfax, but I never encountered any of the problems that I did at Lifetime.

However, Lifetime is better than the Gold's Gyms in Fairfax County. That is the only positive I can say about the place.


#8

I used to go to the one in Fairfax...at least it had bumpers to do cleans...but you also have to share it with the Waldos doing things that will get themselves hurt, or the older ladies with the personal trainers....

lots of curls in the squat racks, lots of...ah i wont bash it too much...you know the deal in this area the crowd there is par for the course...I couldnt stand it after a while and quit going...which was good thing forced me back into coaching so I could train with real athletes again and avoid the gym crowd all together...there are NO hard core gyms in this area that I know of...hard to believe in a place so overpopulated there isnt one hard core powerlifting or bodybuilding gym...no dungeon gyms for sure, boy do I miss western PA gyms...anyone from the Burg ever train at Ambridge VFW? you cant beat that place...all bumper plates, squat racks, old time round DBs, hard core all the way around olympic lifting and powerlifting, and I think its $20 month if that...and military/police lift for free I think, you just go to the bartender at the VFW bar upstairs and get the key...

Anyways, Lifetime does have tons of equipment, the Fairfax one has bumpers, and all other neat facilities for athletic things.

Velocity Sports is a good gym too, but cost way too much because you have to sign up for sessions...but it has full spectrum of bumpers, racks, turf, track, v-ball and hoops court.

If anyone ever finds out about a hole in the wall real gym in NOVA let me know, Id definetly sign up...any rich T-people want to open a real gym? too bad no Cross Fit affiliates want to open something up around here...


#9

Go check out Olympus Gym in Burke, next to Capital Gymnastics. I haven't been in there, but some one told me it's a hard core gym.

I'm giving second-hand info about the place, so it could be right or it could be dead wrong.


#10

I am pretty impressed with a couple of the personal trainers at WSC in Fairfax b/c they deal with getting people physically fit. They don't have don't off-the-wall exercises that make you shake your head or try to impress everybody in the place. I saw one personal trainer making his client do hang cleans (just with the bar) - that is definitely a first for me to see.

BTW, there is a garage gym in Spotsylvania County that runs the Westside Method; one of the PE teachers at my high school owns it and runs it.


#11

Hoosier, thanks for the offer, man. I might take you up on that sometime.

Bluecollar - a hardcore gym is definitely missing in the DC-Metro area. I talked to some friends about this very subject long before I found this site.

I think it would be a viable business venture for anyone willing to invest the time and money. I'd be willing to be a part of something like this, but I don't have the "street cred" if you will or the money and business experience to do it on my own.

Maybe if some fellow T-Nation guys wanted to get together and talk about this idea, we could create a hardcore dungeon for T-men and women in the area. Just a thought...


#12

Worldgate is the best health club I've ever worked out at. Top notch all the way. My Dad used to belong there and I'd go there when visiting.

DB