A few weeks back I was invited to attend the first POUND class in Portland. That class was held at the Crunch Gym location in Beaverton. While I was there I had the opportunity to chat with Paula, who so very graciously hooked me up with a week trial so I could check out the whole gym – beyond the group fitness area.
I had watched a couple of these gyms pop up in the area and, while intrigued by the very very low $9.99 no-contract membership price, I had always assumed it would be a teeny space with a few machines, good for an in-and-out kind of get-er-done type workout. I was wrong. The first impression walking in the door was that it’s a nice open space. Bright, and clean. There were individuals using the TRX equipment and mats in the group area and a training session going on in the functional fitness area. While I was taking the POUND class I was amused by the cheerfully motivational quips on the walls like, “Objects in mirror are as awesome as they appear” (Or something to that affect) Cool, and very unpretentious.
Ok, so this space was nice, but where was the cardio equipment? I saw some stairs, I imagined that there would be a few pieces in the probably smaller upstairs space. Wrong again. A smile spread across my face as I turned the corner to find an enormous cavern of cardio equipment! There are bikes and treadmills and stair climbers and at least 3 or 4 different kinds of elliptical machines! And PLENTY of them. I couldn’t even fathom having to wait for a piece of cardio here.
Aaaalllll the way down at the end of the cardio machines are a full set of strength machines. Something that I particularly liked was the 30 minute express row with one machine for each muscle group, starting with the largest and working down, if you’re just in the mood for a no-brainer but sweat-inducing quicky lunch time session. I was sore from the previous day’s personal training session so I opted for this workout. These machines are actually unique to their gym (I think), and are quite fun to use. In an effort to super-isolate the muscle group, your entire body moves with the machine, so there is no cheating and using the ground for leverage or support. It makes the job more challenging and you get a free mini-ride while you’re at it.
Around the corner from that is the well equipped free weights area. I didn’t play around in this area for too long. Being a born again noob with free weights (until very recently, I hadn’t lifted since highschool) I felt a bit intimidated by the big guys who looked like they knew what they were doing with their heavy weights. I felt I would be in the way doing chest flys with my 20lbers.
The entire premise of the gym is that it’s non-judgemental in non-intimidating and for the most part I think that’s true. But there is no helping feeling like a small fish in a sea of muscle fish. So, I will just stay over in the guppy pond until I swim a little better. (Did that analogy make sense at all?)
And this brings me to my last blasted-away misconception. Typically, with these low priced memberships (from my experience) the classes are an extra fee. So, you guessed it, I was wrong again. Not only are the classes included, they are cool! They have TRX, and POUND, and a plethora of other innovative classes at a variety of times throughout the day, even on weekends. Though, you do have to get there before noon to take a class on a Saturday.
Last but not least, lets talk about personal training. I did not get to try out a personal training session at this gym. Though their trainers all have impressive lists of certifications and qualifications. The pricing seemed affordable and fair as well.
Oh, I forgot to mention the stretching area with bosu, mats, foam rollers, and stability balls. The locker rooms are huge and have showers. There is also semi-private tanning on site.
Overall, I am impressed with this gym. The price is amazing and the shiny gym is fully stocked and well maintained. I’m in the market for a “normal” gym next year and this one is high on my list.
Want to check it out for yourself? Here’s the deets:
Crunch Gym – Beaverton (right new to Washington Square Mall, off Hall Blvd)
8585 SW Cascade Avenue
Beaverton, OR, 97008
Hours of Operation
Mon – Thur: 5:00am – 11:00pm
Sat – Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm