Report Card: Readers rate their favorite Charlotte gyms

Readers provide overwhelmingly-positive reviews of their exercise experiences

by QNotes Staff  Staff Reports  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: January 4, 2013 in A&E / Life&Style, Cover Stories, Featured Stories

It’s January! And, you know what that means. Gyms will be packed! It’s the natural and always-expected fact as many of us take on New Year’s resolutions to get into better shape and pay more attention to personal health. This year, qnotes decided to check in with many of our readers who regularly work out at local gyms. Their anonymous reviews and ratings are included here. Their experiences at their gyms are overwhelmingly positive, but not all gyms are cut from the same cloth. Some gyms offer full services like personal trainers and exercise classes. Others that don’t offer classes or trainers might be more fit for those seeking to work out alone and on their own schedules. Comfort level is also a factor in many people’s gym experiences. Some folks like a so-called cruisey gym. Others, meanwhile, seek a fully-stress-free environment. Use the reviews and information about the gyms below to help guide your decisions as you pick out a gym for you this year.

 

Planet Fitness

2200 Coronation Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28227
704-849-4050
planetfitness.com

Score: 4.1 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, equipment availability, equipment maintenace, comfortable/affirming environment, membership affordability/satisfaction

Scored lowest: Class offerings (1/5), Access to personal trainer (2/5)

Amenities/Services: Open 24 hours, tanning beds

Reviewer notes: “A great selection of equipment, very clean and well-maintained. Even during busy times, there are plenty of machines available. Staff is helpful with any questions on how to operate equipment. This is a gym for those who like to work-out on their own. You can’t beat the price to join. Not for those who want or need classes or fancy dressing rooms, but a great value and a great facility for a great price.”

Membership: $39 enrollment plus $10 down, $10 per month.

 

Levine Jewish Community Center

David Silverman Fitness & Wellness Center
5007 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226
704-366-5007
charlottejcc.org/webpage-directory/fitness/fitness/

Score: 4.7 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, equipment availability, equipment maintenance, class offerings, LGBT-friendliness, comfortable/affirming environment

Scored lowest: Access to personal trainer (4/5), Customer service (4/5), Membership affordability/satisfaction (4/5)

Amenities/Services: Swimming pools, jacuzzis and sauna/steam rooms, basketball courts, racquetball courts, outdoor tennis courts

Reviewer notes: “Fitness center offers child care, multiple vending machines including healthy foods, Pilates, video on all stationary aerobic equipment, an indoor track, snack bar in the summer, adult and family lounges, massage. Towel service with permanent lockers is an extra-fee feature. Monthly direct pay, no contract, free one-week trials available.”

Membership: As low as $42.50/mo. for students (14-21 years of age) to $103.50/mo. for a family. One-time joining fee applies. Daily towel services are $36/mo. for an individual or $60/mo. for a couple.

 

Dowd YMCA

400 E. Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-716-6100
ymcacharlotte.org/dowd/

Score: 4.8 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, diversity of equipment type, equipment maintenance, class offerings, access to personal trainer, customer service, comfortable/affirming environment, membership affordability/cost

Scored lowest: Equipment availability (4/5), LGBT-friendliness (4/5)

Amenities/Services: Towel service, swimming pool, jacuzzi/sauna/steam room, basketball court, running track, spinning class room, yoga room

Reviewer notes: “Quite possibly the gayest gym in Charlotte! Even the married, ‘straight’ men love to look in the shower.”

Membership: Adjustable-rate memberships based on income, as low as $30 for one adult and up.

 

Childress Klein YMCA (Uptown)

301 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-716-6400
ymcacharlotte.org/childressklein

Score: 4.8 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, equimpment availability, class offerings, access to personal trainer, customer service, LGBT-friendliness, comfortable/affirming environment, membership affordability/cost

Scored lowest: Diversity of equipment type (4/5), equipment maintenance (4/5)

Amenities/Services: Towel service, juice bar, swimming pool, jacuzzi/sauna/steam room, basketball court, running track, cardio studio, free parking at select times

Reviewer notes: “Always clean, friendly, easy access. Closed on Sundays by the Dowd Y is nearby.”

Membership: Adjustable-rate memberships based on income, as low as $30 for one adult and up.

 

Johnston YMCA

3025 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-716-6300
ymcacharlotte.org/johnston

Score: 4.8 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, Equipment availability, diversity of equipment type, equipment maintenance, class offerings, access to personal trainer, comfortable/affirming environment, membership affordability/cost

Scored lowest: Customer service (4/5), LGBT-friendliness (4/5)

Amenities/Services: Swimming pool, sauna/steam room, basketball court

Reviewer notes: “Satisfied with membership cost and adjustable-rate pricing structure based on income. Not as ‘cruisy’ as other locations, makes for more comfortable experience for personal fitness.”

Membership: Adjustable-rate memberships based on income, as low as $30 for one adult and up.

 

The Fitness Factory

1111 Hawthorne Ln
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-371-4660
fitnessfactoryofcharlotte.com

Score: 4.2 out of 5

Scored highest: Cleanliness, availability of equipment, equipment maintenance, class offerings, comfortable and affirming environment for health/wellness

Scored lowest: Diversity of equipment type (3/5), customer service (3/5), membership affordability/cost (3/5)

Amenities/Services: Open 24 hours

Reviewer notes: “Great gym for cross training and body building. For serious work-out enthusiasts.”

Membership: As low as $100 down, $42/mo. Annual memberships $449. Group classes $10/ea., $100/mo. unlimited.

Extra: Independently and locally owned.

 

Ultimate Gyn

401 E. 35th St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-333-0071
ultimategymcharlotte.com

Score: 4.2 out of 5

Scored highest: Availability of equipment, equipment maintenance, class offerings, customer service, LGBT-friendliness

Scored lowest: Diversity of equipment type (3/5), Access to personal trainer (2/5)

Amenities/Services: Three boxing rings, many martial arts areas

Reviewer notes: “This gyms main focus is martial arts and boxing. Many weekly fitness, boxing and martial arts classes, as well as yoga, cross training and even belly dancing. Kids Judo and Ju-Jutso also available.”

Membership: Enrollment fee, $50. $30/mo. Day pass, $10.

Extra: Independently and locally owned.

 

Blast Fitness

5404 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-537-2600
blastfitness.com

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Scored highest: Diversity of equipment type, class offerings, membership affordability/cost

Scored lowest: Cleanliness (2/5), equipment maintenance (2/5), customer service (2/5)

Amenities/Services: Swimming pool, jacuzzi/sauna, track, childcare service, open late nights until midnight

Reviewer notes: “Pleased with some aspects of this gym, including membership cost. Have been a member since before this location was bought by Blast Fitness. Since then, jacuzzi has been broken and not fixed for five months. Tanning beds are advertised but not available. Staff and management say things will be fixed but never are. Advertise a women’s only area but they don’t have one.”

Membership: Current promotional membership, $1 joining fee and $10/mo. Platinum membership, no joining fee, $19.99/mo.

— All ratings, reviews and feedback were gathered and compiled by qnotes staff from readers and community members. Ratings, reviews and feedback are published anonymously after being vetted by staff.

Note: The YMCA of Charlotte has an inclusive policy for household memberships, which can be comprised of any two or more adults as well as children living in the same household no matter their blood or legal relation.