On Monday night my son had his usual Chorus practice. In the spring, this means a nice run outside in Baltimore, sometimes through sketchy neighborhoods where people wonder what I am running from. In the Winter/Fall, I’m not brave enough to go running in the dark in a town that can have a beautiful, safe(ish) neighborhood directly next to a scarey unsafe(ish) neighborhood. I have enough problems picking the safe areas to run in! (To the point that my son’s chorus director for the Maryland State Boychoir – Hi Steve! – found my blog, and let me know he would help me find better areas to run!) With this in mind, and the fact that my gym is a chain – I thought to look to see where the local LA Fitness was. A Town like Baltimore had to have a few right? It sure did! 20 minutes away was an LA Fitness in White Marsh. So I headed there.
I can’t show you a picture of the outside, because I didn’t take one. I figured that would be easy to find on google. I was wrong, There are no good pictures of hte building. I will update this with one when i can. It seems that this used to be a Bally’s, and when LA Fitness bought out the chain – they picked up this location. The building has three floors
Floor 1 – Locker rooms, classrooms, racquetball courts.
Floor 2- Pool, lifting equipment (free weights and machines), small store and smoothie bar.
Floor 3 – Cardio equipment and an indoor track.
Most of the online reviews I have seen – give it a horrible review. Google has an average review of 2.2 stars with 17 reviews, although all of the reviews seem to be a year or more old. Yelp has 12 reviews and comes in at 2.5 stars, also a year or so old. I will admit that it did not have the newest equipment. Many of the reviews mention that it still has the same equipment from when it was Bally’s, and I have no doubt that this is indeed the case. However, they all seemed to be working – and were functional and safe. I understand people’s desire to have brand-new gear, but I didn’t find this to be an issue. Many of the reviews also talked about the restroom/locker room – I never went in so I can’t give any reviews on that.
Now, for my workout. My goal had been to run a few miles, and my confusion at the multi-level setup did not change this. I briefly contemplated running the track instead, but since I didn’t know the length or their “Rules of the Road” – I decided to stick with the treadmill. Not a lot to say about running on a treadmill today. I put my foot down, it moved behind me as I pushed with my muscles, picked it up when it got behind me and put it back in front of me – all while doing the same thing with the other leg (just at slightly different times!) I pounded out 4 miles at 7 mph, and finished with a nice 1 mile walk to kill some more time. My legs were letting me know I had run sunday as well -but didn’t overly object to some more miles. The treadmill was still boring though, even watching people run by on a track….
Overall, I give the Gym a 3.5 star rating. It was clean, and while I wouldn’t classify it as “run-down” – it was older in appearance. There were no wait lines for a cardio-equipment, I hogged a treadmill for almost an hour – and there were always a bunch of others free. The weight area looked like there were no real wait times, and the pool had a lane free when I came in and when I left.