randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

Workin’ It at the “J”

on March 5, 2013

jccI recently joined the Jewish Community Center in Newton, MA and haven’t not stopped talking about it since! After moving to our new home, I was forced to switch to a new gym which I was not happy with. While I run outside alot, I love having access to a gym at any time, so with my new gym being very disappointing I began to see what else was in my area. For most, picking a gym can be tough, but for me it is REALLY tough. I managed  a fitness center for 5 years and have worked in the fitness field for the last 8 years. I am picky about my gyms and finding one that works for me can be hard…enter the Jewish Community Center. This place is amazing! At first I was unsure if I could even join as I am not Jewish(all are welcome!), but just 5 minutes with my tour guide and I knew I needed to be a member. The “JCC” as it is called to us member folk, and if you are really cool, just the “J” has everything. It is much more than a fitness center, but truly a community center offering everything from poetry to Zumba. I joined for the fitness, so I will focus on the highlights of their fitness offerings. Here is a highlight of the things I generally look for when choosing a gym and how much the JCC met my expectations. It is important to keep your fitness goals in mind when selecting your gym, but also making sure the facility can provide a safe and positive environment.

Equipment

The JCC has very new, well maintained equipment, all Freemotion equipment in the weight room along with functional equipment such as TRX, Bosu, and Kettlebells (one of my favorites!). In the cardio area, all equipment has their own  TV and it is spotless! This is really important, well maintained equipment is key in not only for your safety, but your health. Gyms can be a breeding ground for germs and if they are not cleaned and maintained regularly that can lead to big time illness. Here is the best part about their equipment…there is a “complaint board” in which you write your complaint about the equipment on the board and within 24 hours, you have a solution…it is AMAZING! How many times have you gone to a gym and seen the same piece of equipment out of order for weeks? Not here, I don’t know how they do it, but its awesome!

Space

I like a gym that has space to move around and allow for you to feel comfortable rather than right on top of other members. I love to mix in all types of functional exercises into my workouts and having the space to do that is awesome. Along with free-weight and cardio space, there is a rock climbing wall, basketball court, indoor track, and a pool. The place itself is huge and I feel I have barely scratched the surface with taking advantage of all the different areas.

Staff

This is a big one for me, while I don’t generally tap into personal training services, I look for fitness staff that have the proper qualifications and background. Unfortunately, in the fitness field many people call themselves “trainers” with little experience. This can lead to bigger problems when exercises are taught improperly and the fitness center is overseen by someone without the appropriate fitness knowledge. Most gyms have a “Meet the Staff” board where you can check out the staffs credentials. The JCC checked out very impressively with a huge training staff, who are not only knowledgable, they a super friendly! Just the other day a trainer asked me how my workouts were going and introduced himself. I almost fell over as I have been in plenty of gyms for years (as a member) and not one person says hello to me.

Money!

In a dream world the cost of a fitness center would not matter as long as it had everything you needed, right? Well I don’t live in a dream world and do want to make sure I am getting the best value for my fitness experience. The JCC surpasses many other gyms in value with coming in just a little over $100 per month for both my Husband and I. We were lucky when we joined, as they were running a special of waiving the joining fee and a free month.  Such a great deal! Side note-if you are joining a gym close to the end of the month, you may be able to work out a deal, ask if they can waive joining fees. Sometimes if gyms are looking for an increase in membership numbers, they will be happy to waive the fee which could mean a couple extra 100 bucks in your pocket! Also-depending on your health insurance you may be eligible for a reimbursement each year for being a member of a fitness center. My husband and I are eligible, which adds a $300 savings!

I could go on and on about how much I love this place, but you might start to think someone is paying me to write this(no one is!). If you are thinking about joining a gym or not happy with your current gym, look around think about other places than just the big flashy commercial gyms, try them out, see which one feels right. Once you find that right place, you will be amazed at how much of impact it has on your fitness goals.

Run On-

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2 responses to “Workin’ It at the “J”

  1. […] you have already read my post on the JCC, you know my love for my gym. Here is what I have been bringing into my workouts. I have shied away […]

  2. […] classes at the JCC (If you don’t know about my love for the “J”, you can find it here) are packed, and while I have no rhythm it might be a fun way to spend an hour and worse case […]

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