24 hour fitness bike ride Challenge Commuting by Bike Confessions Controversy Costco Crosstraining Cycling fitness Free Weights gym Gym-free hiking limiting calories Losing weight Portland Press Product Review relationship with exercise running Shopping starting over staying motivated Success Stories swimming Trail Running weight loss weight training

The Battle of the Gyms

The Battle of the Gyms

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

Related Posts


  1. Brie @ Brie Fit

    Do you live near any colleges or universities (or heck, even high schools)? Many of them offer community rates and have gorgeous facilities (and pools!). I never thought about that until I started at my current gym, but it’s a great option.

    I have a membership to a college gym and have access to weights, cardio machines, a pool, and an indoor/outdoor track. It’s pretty great. I also joined a CrossFit box, which is totally different but I love it too.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It’s a great idea in theory. Unfortunately I don’t live near any college campuses. PCC Sylvania has a really nice pool and gym facility–unfortunately it’s about a 35 minute drive from where I live.

  2. deb roby

    Having worked at 24 hour, I can tell you that the corporation has taken away any option of negotiation from the staff. They “keep it simple” -or perhaps “keep it honest”?- by only providing set in stone options.

    It kind of sucks.

    That said, I paid for a 3 year membership 5 years ago that came with continued $25/year renewals when it expired. For that price, I can overlook a lot from the gym.

    If the machines are frequently broken, complain. To the manager. And -if given the chance- take the email survey and let them know there. That survey affects the monthly bonuses that all the employees are eligible for and broken equipment is a BIG DING for not getting a bonus. (I worked there for 6 months and never got a bonus).

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for the feedback, Deb! Good to know that stuff. I do fill out all the surveys they would email me and I’d frequently report the broken machines to the front desk. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to make a difference. But in the end it came down to convenience for me–location and hours–so I could overlook the annoying things at my gym. The good news: my new membership means I have access to one of the new gyms that’s really nice!

  3. Eleah

    It’s true, I had a membership to Bally for a few months and ended up canceling it because of the parking situation (I went downtown.) This was in 2009 and I still get “DO you want to renew?” letters from them.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I know which one downtown you are talking about. Parking would be a huge pain in the butt.

      That’s funny that they still contact you. At least that’s good business, right? Keep testing the waters to see if you can be brought back…I didn’t get a single phone call, letter OR email from LA Fitness!

  4. cindylu

    I’m a 24 Hour member but rarely go to the gym. I like the locations, but more importantly it’s the gym my siblings belong to. When I first started working out, I’d go with them to the gym occasionally and they’d show me how to use machines/free weights. Also, since my siblings are members, I got grandfathered in to a sweet family deal (they even overlooked the same address requirement, I think my sister was friends with some of the staff). I pay $15/month.

    I also have access to the gym at school. I use other workout/recreation facilities there like the track, but have never used the gym as it’s pretty crowded.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That is definitely a sweet deal!! When I first joined 24hr I did a Costco deal with was like $300 for 2 years or maybe it was $250…either way it broke down to about $12 a month. Can’t go wrong with that.

  5. sugarmagnolia70s

    I feel for you! I am fortunate in that I have I have an amazing gym that fits all of my criteria and it’s 1/2 mile from my house. But before I joined it, I was paying far less for 24Hour and never went b/c it was far. Convenience is a lot. I think you made the right choice too!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That does sound like a fantastic situation. Convenience makes a huge deal for me. If I have a long commute to get to the gym, I’m going to be annoyed every day. It’s a small thing, I know, but I know myself. I won’t travel far to go to the gym!

  6. Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Lisa, so glad the gym issue is resolved. Gyms are funny aren’t they???? Mine is more focussed on making money than people’s fitness. They’re ALWAYS trying to upsell, some “normal” classes cost over and above monthly dues, and the facilities themselves aren’t always “up to snuff” but like you, I feel I need to go for myself. I’ve tried 3 over the last few years, and seems they’re all the same, so I just pick the best for me and go for it… Have a great day!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I understand that it’s a business for them and they don’t really care about us personally….but that makes those smaller gyms more appealing. Who wants to be cattle? Just another number in a long line of people…I wish my gym would take better care of the facilities. But the good news: I have access to a newer, nicer gym now.

Leave a Reply