I headed to the Flemington, NJ area. I went to one of the most well-known and popular gyms in the area, HealthQuest. After my pleasant experience with LA Fitness last week, I was determined to have no preconceived notion about the place. The lovely woman at the front desk let me do a workout, despite membership not being there which is usually a requirement. She was quite nice and informative, so I asked about classes. She got a schedule, and started to go through them with me because they were lacking a description sheet. However, after this interaction, I had my first disappointing experience at a gym that I had worked out in. I will touch on why, but first the positives of my past 11 days.
I have noticed a few things about my body progress so far. My little pudge is just about gone, and my abs are somewhere in between slightly squishy and firm. This may not sound like an improvement, but when I started 11 days ago there was just stomach flab. Most of my small pants still fit, but I could feel the little distended pudge and didn’t like how it had crept up on me again. My cardio fitness is slowly improving, along with muscle tone and endurance. I weighed myself at 138 pounds, and was quite pleased with the number. I, unfortunately, didn’t weigh myself when I started because it just wasn’t on my radar. It may have been around 143. I think I am most excited about the cardio fitness, and I’ll explain my progress in the next paragraph.
I started off with some light cardio at the rowing machine, which I wrote about in Day 6, Gym 4. There I did about 12 minutes and almost 2000 meters, which is approximately 165 meters per minute (mpm). Today I did 18 minutes and over 3,000 meters, approximately 172 mpm. I wasn’t as tired, winded, and actually increased my rowing speed towards the end. I am inspired to see tangible results so quickly.
I did my TRX routine, which is going to be a gym requirement. I then went to the free weight area, since I hadn’t done that in a few days and wanted to work on my arms and core. This was my first true disappointment in a gym. The free weight area machines I have used have been mostly by a company called Hammer Strength. They have either all or mostly been labelled at what muscle groups are targeted on the machine, how the machine works, etc at the other gyms I have been to. At HealthQuest, this was lacking on a good number of the machines. Some were labelled with print that said what they were, some of them were partially worn off, and I’d say about one-third to a little less than half were not labelled at all. More than half did not have a diagram of the muscles that the machine targeted, and while I could guess at most of them, I find this is unacceptable for a gym of this size and cost. It is not the gyms responsibility to be equipment police in regards to people, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to make it as user-friendly as possible.
On my way out the door, I asked for the membership price for a single membership. I was astonished at the astronomical price of $93 per month. This does include all the classes, but not children’s programs or some speciality programs. This is according to the little brochure I was given. She almost looked apologetic when she gave it to me. I have not taken a class yet, and would like to take one before passing on a final judgement. This is an incredibly popular gym, and I would like to think there’s a reason for it.