Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have been meaning to write health club reviews for the few gyms I have checked out since moving to Brighton. The first one was the Beacon Hill Athletic Club in Cleveland Circle, and this review will be for the BSC in Allston.
I was a member here from October until late March. Overall satisfaction: B+
Location: Right off Commonwealth Avenue, but about a block set back, right near a CVS. This location has a little parking garage, AND free valet parking. There was really only one time I went there with my car and turned around because there was no parking. Turns out because of my decision, I witness a stabbing on my way home. In fact, I was the a-hole beeping for the three cars in front of me to move, because it was a green light, but little did I know, there was a dead body in front of the first car. Actually, he lived, but he was in critical care, and I saw feet in front of a car and someone put a sheet over him. So that was cool. Let’s just say I have never drove to the gym and decided to go back home since. This location is also right off the T. A.
Price: Just about the same as the Beacon Hill Athletic Club. $65 a month I believe. You have the option to join for a year where they waive your initiation fee, or you can pay month to month and pay an initiation fee. This idiot did month to month, so I paid a $120 initiation fee, but it was worth it because it was already October when I signed up and I knew I wouldn’t be there for a year. B-. No cancellation fee, but also had to provide 30 days notice prior to canceling my membership, but no problems this time.
Locker Rooms: Big! Spacious. Lots of lockers. Sauna! A+.
Staff: Friendly on the way in, and they make sure to say goodnight to you as well. I enjoy those little things, it makes a difference. Lots of personal trainer presence, and lots of people in shirts that say “we are here to help you.” A-, and I don’t know why the minus, but an A just feels too… easy.
The Club: Huge. Massive. It’s got a parking garage, and inside is exposed brick with super high ceilings, and it feels spacious and air-y. It’s got two giant rooms, one with the cardio/TRX/Stretching/abs/kettlebell/light free weights area (for da ladies). The other room is for the bro’s, where the heavy lifting and grunting commences. I prefer to work out near bros to be honest, just to prove that gender stereotypes at the gym are for squares. Mirrors, room to walk around and not feel like you are on top of anyone.
They also have a seperate stretching/foam rolling area in addition to those other areas, a little charming upstairs loft for personal training sessions, squash courts, and a basketball court! I love the basketball court area – which is also the group Ex area. It’s got exposed brick, and they have a bunch of heavy bags hanging around for the punching. If there is no class going on, you are allowed to hook up your iPod and play whatever funky tunes you want while you work out in there. They have some bosu balls and some weights and bars, so you can really conduct your own class! A.
Spin Studio: It’s dark, it’s crowded and feels small, btu it’s got a lot of bikes packed in there. I actually have no idea how many, maybe 20-30. The tunes pump pretty well through those speakers, and I have taken two instructors that I liked, but not entirely memorable. I don’t recall their names. There’s one woman there, Dee, who everyone is obsessed with, and teaches like 2x a day every day. I hear she’s great. B
Group Exercise: I actually never took a group ex class here other than spin. The space is huge though so I could imagine it would be fun and bearable. I did, however, sign up for a free “kettlebell bootcamp” which I was so pumped about! I couldn’t wait to learn how some moves, and instead, it was me and a personal trainer who told me about the history of kettlebells in Russia. She showed me like 2 moves, and then gave me the old, “If you’re interested in learning more, you can pay $250 for a 9 week session!” Thanks, but I’d rather eat chips than pay that much with my student loan debt. That was a let down. She also said she would call to follow up about me signing up for the 9 week session, and she never did – poor sales on her part, but maybe she could see the utter disgust in my face when she told me it was $250 for 2 months of 2x a week classes. C+
The Members: Again, feels like a college gym, which I like at my age. Catch me in ten years and I’ll probably be working out at a Jewish Community Senior Center, but that’s how I feel today. A.