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Drop Y membership and just row or not?
Old 11-02-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
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Drop Y membership and just row or not?

About a year ago we bought a concept 2 rower. Before that we had joined the Y and was using it for exercise. A year later we've moved and the rower is still convenient for us to use....but the Y is less so. We are still in the same area but are paying $88 a month for family Y membership. The closest Y is about 25 minutes from us so frankly we tend to not go (OK, I'll be honest -- we haven't gone since we moved here a few months ago).

For aerobic exercise I think we are fine with the Concept 2. The only reason to go to the Y is a couple of days a week for strength training (probably mostly machines). Is it worth it basically a $1000 a year or is what we get from the Concept 2 good enough?

I know it isn't ideal but how necessary is it to spend $1000 a year so we can do strength training twice a week? And, with an hour long round trip drive.

We could also join the Gold's gym that is 15 minutes away. For 2 people on a 2 year membership ($100 cancellation fee to cancel early) would be $65 a month. We do have kids but they don't really use the Y as they do martial arts and my son is in college and can use the exercise facilities at school.

So...

Keep the Y for $1056 a year? (I generally like the Y atmosphere better than I like the commercial gyms.)

Join the Gold's gym for $780 a year? (10 minutes closer to so 20 minutes closer round trip - Also it is in the main shopping center that we go to all the time while the Y is off the beaten track and where we wouldn't go to that area to do any other shopping)

Or drop the Y and don't join either and just use the concept 2?

Any other thoughts?
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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How about keeping the rower for cardio, and investing in a set of free weights, rack, and bench to use at home, for about the cost of a year's membership?

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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I've always been too cheap to join a health club/YMCA, and the charges we've considered were a whale of a lot less than $88/mo (jeeeeez) - DW paid $40-50/month for a while, but she decided that was too much and driving too and from added a lot of time to her workout time. It's way more convenient to not have to drive somewhere, and I can work out in crummy clothes and my fuzzy slippers if I want to. Don't have to fight over what's on TV, wait for machines or wipe the sweat off equipment after an inconsiderate member. If I had to drive somewhere, the (winter) weather would probably stop me way too often. I'd rather work out at home, so we have a Bowflex, treadmill & dumb bells. We also walk or ride (bikes) outside whenever the weather permits. My workouts take 45 minutes, not 45 minutes plus time to drive back and forth (no thanks).

Unless you're going to use the health club at least several times a week AND you value the social aspects of a health club (some people join primarily for the social aspect, and there's nothing wrong with that), I'd drop the Y and not join Gold's.

If you're uncertain, start a workout routine at home and see if you can stay with it. For me, having goals like body weight, increasing resistance and/or reps on weights, increasing time/speed/incline on the treadmill are key to sticking with it. If you find you just hate working out at home, you can always join Gold's later. Give it a try & best of luck.

The best program is one that you will stick with and get/maintain results - whatever that takes.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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I think the rower alone is not enough - you still need some kind of strength training/weight bearing exercises. Do you think you could be diligent enough to do these at home?

I pay $70/mo to go to CrossFit (for just me). Even though many of the exercises I could do at home with my own weight rack, I know I don't have the drive that I do when I'm working out next to my competitors (aka don't get as good a work out at home).
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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With downsizing to our current house we really don't have room for a weight set here. Back in the old days I actually a large multi-station weight machine at home but that was when I could devote a room to that. Now, we have every room fully used and now extra room at all. We are using the concept 2 regularly (it is in our bedroom). In a few years our kids will be gone and we would have room for more weight equipment at home but just not an option now.

Midpack - I don't care about the social aspects of the gym at all. In fact, I loved it when I had the weight machine at home. For awhile I had a trainer come to my house once a week and that worked great.

I'm leaning to dropping the Y - while I like the more family atmosphere of the Y and I like that it has a pool, I like even more the fact that Gold's is 10 minutes closer to my house and is close to where we do all our shopping. I drive by it several days a week so it is much more convenient.

While I would like to not join it at all and save the $65 a month, I think ginadog is probably right and I need the strength training. So, maybe do Gold's for 2 years and then reassess as by then we probably have fewer kids at home....
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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A few dumbbells, resistance bands, and some body weights exercises might tide you over.

I pay $11/mo for a municipal rec center membership, plus it's a mile away. But I have a few dumbbells, a barbell, and a universal multi-station (Craigslist, $45) in the garage. Too hot in the summer, but the spare room is filled with guitars and home studio gear...
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Maybe you don't have room for a full weight set, but you can do a reasonable amount of basic strength training/muscle conditioning with your own body weight and a set of arm/leg weights, some small dumbells, and resistance bands -- all of the latter can be housed in a small rubbermaid container you put someplace in a closet or the garage (or throw a nice cloth over it and call it a foot rest or end table).

It's your $780, but given that you haven't made the effort to drive to the other place since your move, I would try the home equipment first (most of which you can probably find on craigslist or a used place like Play it Again Sports) and see if it meets your needs. If not, you can join the closer in gym.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Kat, I think your answer is in the first paragraph. You tend not to go as it is too far away. As others have said, you can get strength training through some of the above. Let's face it, a lot of us do cardio and strength training, but we have no intentions of bulking up like the Hulk. A famous athlete in the 1980s Hershel Walker weight training consisted of 1500 daily push ups and sit ups. The reason why I have a membership is because it forces me to go since I paid for it. I have tried and failed to work out at home because I just can't make myself do it at home. If I could, I would have dropped mine. Try setting up a routine at home, and if it don't work, they are always willing to take your money and you can try it again, then. Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Golds is closer but still doesn't sound close enough to me.

I'd drop the Y, join Golds if it is closest, buy more home gym equipment, and see which option you use more (home gym equipment or Golds). If it is the home gym equipment then I'd drop Golds. Yes, this is the expensive solution but good health as we grow older is worth a lot.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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Since I am cheap once I pay for something I use it but I also enjoy the social aspect of the gym . If I were you I would add some free weights to your routine at home and skip the gym.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:50 PM   #11
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Lot of good points. When we were living at our old house after I ESR'd I did regularly go to the Y. It was about as far away from me then as Gold's is now. One reason I think I went was that it was convenient to the shopping and everything else I did. At the new house the Y is just sort of out of the way and I never go that way. (Actually that isn't true - I go to the office once or twice a week and I pass by the Y on the way home but that is the last time I want to exercise and DH and I like to go together).

I actually like strength training (more than I do the cardio actually) but some good points were made. I haven't done it in months so for the moment the cheaper solutions might work. On the other hand, when we were going regularly to the Y what worked was DH and I going together and sort of reinforcing each other. I'm going to talk to him and see what he thinks. I am sure that we either need to drop the Y and join Golds (and use it!) or drop the Y and figure out something at home... Just paying for the Y and not using it is a total waste...
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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Check out "Silver Sneakers".

See if your healthcare plan covers this. Free if you are eligible. In our community, currently oversubscribed and has a waiting list.

There are 10,000 locations for the program.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginadog View Post
I think the rower alone is not enough - you still need some kind of strength training/weight bearing exercises. Do you think you could be diligent enough to do these at home?

I pay $70/mo to go to CrossFit (for just me). Even though many of the exercises I could do at home with my own weight rack, I know I don't have the drive that I do when I'm working out next to my competitors (aka don't get as good a work out at home).
People survived well into the 70s with little or no weight training. It was commonly thought to be harmful. My former brother in law, a prominant academic physician cautioned us to avoid weight training. For men at least, it does make muscles look more impressive. Specifically speaking of rowing, many successful University programs just row. So it is hard to say really, how much is excellent marketing, and how much is benefit that is worth the trouble. Whatver benfits are there, are likely available with a very small investment that will take no more room than what can be devoted in a typical city apartment. Weight lifting injuries ae fairly common also.

I think it comes down to individual choice, unless cosmetics are an important consideration, or someone wants to be a professional athlete.

Ha
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #14
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I pay the gym fees precisely to make sure I will do this - but then my gym is walking distance. If I had to drive 20-30 minutes I would never make it. But from everything I have read resistance exercise is very important. In the other hand, you only need to do it once or twice a week, with a very short, very hard, simple set of repetitions. Get some free weights and/or stretching bands, install a chin-up bar. But keep some resistance in your regimen.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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Forgot the link to Silver Sneakers.

SilverSneakers | Older Adult and Senior Fitness, Fun and Friends

Eligibility is dependent on having a healthcare plan that accepts silver sneaker membership. Typically over 65 or on Medicare, with a supplement health plan.

Memberships in the ten thousand participating health facilities is free. In our small town, there are three, including the YMCA. The programs are quite complete, and tailored to the individual needs, including consulting, medical evaluation, personalized regimens if preferred, and follow up. The popularity of the program accounts for a short waiting list here, but not a problem in most facilities, from what I've heard. Ummm... did I mention "free"?
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:16 AM   #16
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Weight lifting injuries ae fairly common also.
Back in the 1970s, when I used to frequent a weight room in Toronto, one of the 'older' guys, (who was younger then than I am now), remarked that, in his youth, he and a bunch of buddies were quite 'heavily' into weights......he said that every one of them ended up with 'bad' backs.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:19 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
With downsizing to our current house we really don't have room for a weight set here. Back in the old days I actually a large multi-station weight machine at home but that was when I could devote a room to that. Now, we have every room fully used and now extra room at all. We are using the concept 2 regularly (it is in our bedroom). In a few years our kids will be gone and we would have room for more weight equipment at home but just not an option now.
Though I have a Bowflex Ultimate, I will sell it before we move to downsize, it takes up way too much space. I'm not sure we'll keep the treadmill either, not only space but I'd rather walk outside and do in all but the most extreme weather.
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A few dumbbells, resistance bands, and some body weights exercises might tide you over.
+1. I assume few if any of us are training for a bodybuilding contest, we're just trying to keep fit. If so, you can do good resistance training with nothing more than a good set of dumb bells and the basics (push ups, sit ups, chin ups, squats, etc.) - you don't have to have a weight machine. If you need more resistance (unlikely IMO), old style free weights don't have to take up much room.

I have Bowflex SelecTech dumb bells, all I really need.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:41 AM   #18
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Back in the 1970s, when I used to frequent a weight room in Toronto, one of the 'older' guys, (who was younger then than I am now), remarked that, in his youth, he and a bunch of buddies were quite 'heavily' into weights......he said that every one of them ended up with 'bad' backs.
I assume those were (aspiring) body builders. For folks just trying to maintain basic fitness, there's no reason fear of injury should be a part of it. For that matter, knee, ankle, back and other problems plague a lot of runners too.

I hope we're not confusing basic fitness routines with those who take fitness more to an extreme.

Resistance training has always been more beneficial than cardio for me anyway. Though I know others who find just the opposite. Of course the best exercise is just engaging in activities that use all the muscles & flexibility like our ancestors, instead of "training," YMMV
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #19
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I have Bowflex SelecTech dumb bells, all I really need.
Coincidentally I came across these in the store we are at today. I wondered if they were worth it. They cost about $300 which I thought would be worth it if they are really easy to switch from weight amount to another. I like that they are compact and you don't have to buy a bunch of different dumbbells. However, the concern was whether it was easy to switch weight amounts or if you had to do a lot of fiddling and tugging, etc. to change weight amounts.

Would appreciate any feedback.


DH and I talked about it and we are definitely dropping the Y (he actually thought we already had). He doesn't want to have to drive the 15 minutes to the Gold's gym particularly since we now have the rower at home so likes the idea of spending a few hundred dollars and buying stuff for home. So I'm trying to examine this and decide what is really worthwhile to get that won't take up too much space.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #20
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Coincidentally I came across these in the store we are at today. I wondered if they were worth it. They cost about $300 which I thought would be worth it if they are really easy to switch from weight amount to another. I like that they are compact and you don't have to buy a bunch of different dumbbells. However, the concern was whether it was easy to switch weight amounts or if you had to do a lot of fiddling and tugging, etc. to change weight amounts.

Would appreciate any feedback.
It's a cinch to change weights, I really like them. I was able to negotiate on price at Sports Authority on the weights and bought the floor model of the stand. But millions of people buy exercise equipment and then sell it when their New Years resolutions wear off, just look around classifieds or auctions and I am sure you can buy some lightly used for a fraction of new. Best of luck...

Caveat: They are well built, but if you drop them, there is some risk that the adjustment mechanism can be damaged. I read that online, so I've been very careful not to drop mine.
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