Heath clubs up­ping their game mak­ing now a great time to join

Escalon Times - - LIVING - DEN­NIS WY­ATT 209 Liv­ing

Noth­ing like healthy com­pe­ti­tion to lighten your stress and your wal­let.

If you live in the 209 there ar­guably isn’t a bet­ter time to join a health club.

Not only are there a grow­ing slew of bou­tique gyms such as for CrossFit, box­ing, and yoga to name a few but the tra­di­tional health clubs have upped their game.

That’s be­cause Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion — the new kid on the block — is mir­ror­ing the foot­print of InShape Health Clubs.

InShape for years has ranked among the best pri­vately owned health club or­ga­ni­za­tions in the coun­try.

Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion has come along and is now giv­ing them a run for the money.

The re­sult is InShape is meet­ing the chal­lenge head on breath­ing more life into clubs, em­pha­siz­ing what sets them apart and en­gag­ing in a price war of sorts.

Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion and InShape are al­ready go­ing head-to-head in Tur­lock, Stock­ton, Modesto and Lodi. Within a month or so they will be go­ing head-to-head in Man­teca.

Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion will open its new 30,000-square-foot club at the for­mer Best Buy in the Prom­e­nade Shops at Or­chard Val­ley an­chored by Bass Pro Shops about the same time InShape com­pletes a major re­model — in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of an out­door swim­ming pool — at its East Yosemite Av­enue lo­ca­tion.

I’ve be­longed to the InShape East Yosemite lo­ca­tion since 1991 back when it was Man­teca Rac­quet­ball Cub ex­cept for a three-month pe­riod in 1997.

I’ve be­longed to Cal Fit on North Main Street since Jan­uary of 2012.

A week ago I joined Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion. My mem­ber­ship al­lows me to ac­cess all of their clubs.

A few days later I upped by mem­ber­ship at InShape from Gold to Plat­inum mean­ing I can ac­cess all of their lo­ca­tions as well save two spots In Sacra­mento

For me, it is a bit of heaven on earth. I’m al­most ex­actly a 1.5-mile jog one way to Cal Fit as well as the East Yosemite InShape and the new Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion.

And it’s only cost­ing me $85 a month in­clud­ing the fees that lock in the monthly rates.

Thirty years ago when I got into Jazzer­cise se­ri­ously it cost me $30 for a monthly pass to Donna Shaw’s classes in Ro­seville and Lin­coln that took place over the course of six days a week in four dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing a union labor hall, an IOOF Hall, a con­verted park pav­il­ion in Lin­coln that had con­crete floors, and the dance room of the Ma­diu Park Com­mu­nity Cen­ter in Ro­seville. All you got for the $30 — and too me it was well worth it —was the in­struc­tor’s time and music. There were no tow­els, no mattes, no step, no free weights, no child care, no ma­chines, and cer­tainly not ad­dons like swim­ming pools and tan­ning beds. Save for the free weights and oc­ca­sion­ally a mat as well as a towel when I don’t bring my own, I have no use for the other stuff. I’m there for the group ex­er­cise class.

Keep in mind the deals may change some­what but I’m locked into Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion that — af­ter all costs are fac­tored in — comes to $20 a month. My InShape mem­ber­ship is now at $40 per month and noth­ing more while Cal Fit is at $25.

Some of the pric­ing is ap­ple to ap­ples or more pre­cisely Am­brosia ap­ples to Gala ap­ples. But a lot of it is or­anges to ap­ples. I could eas­ily spend at last 25 per­cent less at InShape and still ac­cess a lot of clubs that of­fer things that Fit­ness Evo­lu­tion doesn’t. And in both cases I could have gone with a one gym op­tion mean­ing only the Man­teca lo­ca­tions for a lot less. If you are a ma­chine junkie only you prob­a­bly won’t see much of a dif­fer­ence be­tween the two.

Re­mem­ber, how­ever, this is not a two-horse race in Man­teca for tra­di­tional gyms. There are two oth­ers Cal Fit and 24 Hour Fit­ness.

Cal Fit is a horse of a dif­fer­ent color be­ing a tad more old school and smaller. What I like about it be­sides hav­ing its own dis­tinct per­son­al­ity is the fact the group ex­er­cise room has rub­ber floor­ing. That is a big deal if you tend to jump around and are leery of hard­wood floors that aren’t swept reg­u­larly to pre­vent from be­com­ing slip­pery.

The rel­a­tive small­ness of Cal Fit is ap­peal­ing for many of its clients.

That said, even Cal Fit is step­ping up its game by adding spin cy­cles along with a spin­ning class.

There lit­er­ally may not be a bet­ter time to join a gym and start mak­ing ex­er­cise a reg­u­lar part of your life in the 209 and es­pe­cially Man­teca.

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