I have been meaning to write a few reviews of some health clubs in the Brighton/Allston area that I have been a member at during my time here. The first one will be the Beacon Hill Athletic Club in Brighton on Commonwealth Avenue in Cleveland Circle.
I was a member here for.. 7 months I think. October to April. Ish. Overall satisfaction: C+
Location: I joined this gym because it was literally in my back yard. It took approximately 1 minute to walk from my bed to the front desk. That was an A++ in my book. I wonder if the bed bugs lift weights there, too. It’s a good location for the Cleveland Circle/Washington Square area, right on Commonwealth Avenue, and right off the B line T. No parking unless you find street parking (yaaaaa right!)
Price: I think I paid about $65 a month here. I am pretty sure there was some sort of hefty “initiation” fee, but since I was a Tuft’s Healthcare Member, it was waived. (Go Tufts!) I don’t think there was a cancellation fee, and I think it’s about $15 – $30 a month to freeze your membership – Don’t quote me on that, though. This seems to be a fairly standard price for the area I live. One thing that bothered me was that I had to give a 30 day notice that I was going to cancel, so I ended up wasting a month’s worth of membership because I didn’t know this policy and was set up somewhere else for the month (fast forward to a few posts!) B+.
Locker rooms: Decent. Standard. Nothing impressive. Never had trouble finding a locker. Never had to witness any old, saggy, ass-naked boobies hanging out, so that’s always a plus. B
Staff: Not my favorite. I never got that warm and fuzzy, “Oh they are so happy to see me again!” feeling after 7 months of going there 3 – 5 days a week. There was a Zac Effron-type who worked there who was great eye-candy, but never hit on me once, so therefore, D+.
The Club: Small. The treadmills are in two rows, one facing the other with about ten feet in between, so you are awkwardly staring at someone else running/struggling on their treadmill the whole time. Tv’s above, but that’s a bit of a neck strain. Machines were fine, standard.
The stretching/abs room was small, and always had a guy in there who smelled like he rolled out of a trash can, like clockwork, every. single. night. doing some sort of yoga/capoiera moves. I’m fairly certain those are two completely different things, but it’s how I’ll describe it, to get your imagination going. Now picture him rolling out of a trashcan gracefully while doing capoiera.
Even at the free-weights area, it was filled with bro’s who didn’t want to lend me their big bad bench for my big bad 5 pounder tricep-kickbacks. Well, sCrEeEeWwWw You. I would steal the free-weights and take them to the one area of the gym I loved, which was right by the front desk/entrance, where they had a garage door that they would lift when it was nice out. Fresh air, a nice view of Commonwealth Avenue and the suckers waiting for the slowest T in the world. However, it’s a small area, so if one other person was there, you were either left with the trash-can smelly man, or the really cool bro’s in the bench area. C.
Spin Studio: I actually liked this studio. Small, only about 12 or 14 bikes in two rows, facing the instructor, but there was room to walk around and you didn’t feel on top of one another. Sound system was great, air circulation was never a problem. I absolutely loved Jess there.. I’m not sure if she still teaches, but she was my favorite instructor.
Jenny, on the other hand, I almost wrote a complaint about a few times. The type of instructor who thinks she’s hot shit from the second she walks in, gives attitude, and comes around to yell in your face (ok, fine, that motivates some people), but also turns up your resistance for you if she doesn’t think you are working hard enough. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. That’s completely unsafe, unfair, and just plain stupid – I learned in my certification course that there was an instance where one rider who was recovering from ACL surgery on a spin bike re-tore their ACL because of a bitch instructor who turned up the riders resistance. There’s a lawsuit right there for you and your health club. A for Jess and the studio, and F++-/ for Jenny.
Group Exercise: I took a lot of muscle conditioning classes here, and adored them. I mostly stuck to taking classes with Jess and David, and loved their classes. Hard and good instructors. The studio is well lit, mirrors, but a little tight. B+
The Members: A lot of young professionals, and even some college kids or graduate students. Felt like a college gym, which I like at my age. Makes me feel young again. A (minus the smelly guy and the bro’s). A