Choosing a gym can be a tough choice as there are many things to consider: cardio to weights ratio, proximity to home/school, ambience, crowd, cost, etc. Luckily for students, there are many gyms to choose from in the area. Some are solely used as gyms, and others are country clubs that have gyms along with other amenities like swimming and basketball.
Mt. Tam Racquet Club: 3 stars
Located right down the street from Redwood on Doherty Drive, the Mt. Tam Racquet club is known to many students as a daily after-school spot. The club has it all: eight tennis courts, two swimming pools (including a jacuzzi), a sauna, a café, a basketball court and more. Like any other health or country club, the Racquet Club has a fitness center as well. At first glance, the gym looks very compact and crowded, as space is limited. There are many machines including treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers and stationary bikes. The weight lifting area has a substantial amount of equipment for the size of the gym making it crowded and many people have to wait in line to use the machines. There is also a group exercise room, where the club hosts a number of different classes such as yoga, spin and pilates. Members also have access to nine professional fitness trainers that come at additional costs. For a single student to join solely for fitness, they would be looking at an initiation fee of $550 with $145 monthly dues. There are other fitness clubs in the area that provide a bigger gym with more equipment at the same or lower cost. If you’re looking for a club to join, then the Racquet Club should hit the spot, However, if you’re joining solely for the fitness center, then the Racquet Club is not the best option, as the gym is cramped and lacks equipment considering its price.
Bay Club Marin: 4 Stars
Hop in your car, drive three minutes down Tamal Vista Boulevard from Redwood, and you’re at the Bay Club, located in Corte Madera Town Center. Upon walking into the fitness center at the Bay Club, you’ll notice state-of-the-art equipment, a spacious environment and many members engaged in intense workouts. The weights section has everything you need, including Olympic squat racks, a variety of free weights, dumbbells, benches and much more to get your pump in. The cardio section has over 80 machines, all of which were installed in the last six months. Walking out of the gym, there is a SoulCycle-esque spin room that holds multiple free (for members) spin classes per day and seven group exercise rooms that are used for classes or even personal workouts. Besides the fitness center, the Bay Club has basketball and squash courts, a swimming pool and a downstairs area with a healthy snack bar. The downstairs area is also a great place to do homework. Unsurprisingly, none of this comes at a low cost. The Bay Club has high membership costs (but wouldn’t share them to be published), so if you’re looking for a cheaper option, then look for another gym. If not, the Bay Club’s proximity to Redwood, large and spacious gym and many amenities make it a great place to work out.
24 Hour Fitness: 3 Stars
A little further away than the other gyms, 24 Hour Fitness is located in the Marin Country Mart at Larkspur Landing. Without traffic (which can get bad after school hours), it is only a six-minute commute from Redwood. However, the San Anselmo exit is always jam-packed after school, meaning that it will be a much longer drive, closer to 15 minutes. Additionally, parking is often difficult to find. The gym is fairly small, but it fits a lot of equipment. First of all, the gym has plenty of cardio equipment. Most of their cardio machines are old, but according to Sales Manager Ruben Ortega, the gym has a repairman who specializes in fixing the equipment, so it has not been a problem for most people. The weight room fills up most of the gym. Many of the machines, however, are next to the window out to the mall, which may make some feel uncomfortable. Compared to the Bay Club, 24 Hour Fitness has around the same number of equipment pieces, but it isn’t updated as frequently, and to some it may feel outdated. When it comes to costs, this gym is one of the cheapest options in Marin. For a student to join, there would be no upfront payments and it would only cost $45 per month.
5 Points Fitness: 4 1/2 stars
5 Points Fitness is located on Paradise Drive in Eastern Corte Madera, in the same shopping center as Nugget Market. On the outside, the gym doesn’t present itself as well as the others, but on the inside, it will impress. This gym is spacious and filled to the brim with great equipment. Additionally, the gym is clean and doesn’t attract a large crowd like the others. At smaller gyms with more people, you often have to wait in line for certain machines, which can be distracting to a workout. The cardio area is large and has many machines, including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and stair climbers. The majority of the space is dedicated to weightlifting. Five Points Fitness also has an upstairs area that has most standard gym equipment, like a treadmill, bench, and dumbbell rack. For those who like to exercise in privacy, that area is perfect as most of the action is concentrated downstairs. In the group excercise room, you can take a variety of classes including spin, yoga and dance. Membership costs are quite cheap for Marin, though not as cheap as 24 Hour Fitness. Joining costs with the student discount is $59 per month and no initiation fee