Checking out the new Planet Fitness Medford

Ugh… we just got 18 more inches of snow on top of 23 inches of snow with little chance of weather going above freezing any time soon.  Needless to  say, running outside is probably going to be out of the picture for quite a while.  And while I love beyond love my gym, but it’s sadly in Boston and chances are pretty minimal of me making it there on weekends. At the same time, Tony been looking for a new gym as well so I went with him to scoop out with the new Planet Fitness had to offer.

Another lifetime ago, I used to live near a planet fitness that opened up in porter square. It was nice for about half a year, before it turned into disrepair and I think is now shut down.  Since the Medford location is brand new, we decided to join.  He got the black card membership that’s $20 a month plus a hidden annual fee of $39 plus who knows what taxes a year. We decided to do that one, versus the regular $10 a month. The fancier membership allows you A. visit any club and B. bring a buddy called Liana to a club. Since I probably wouldn’t ever go on my own (I prefer working out near my work versus near my home), it seemed like a great chance for me to still have opportunities to go to the gym with Tony on weekends.

The location is pretty clean and nice. We went on a Saturday early afternoon and the location was probably about 30% full. Not too bad for a cold winter stay. The walk in areas were fairly slick looking. I tried to take pictures where I could. I didn’t want to photograph random people and weird them out, so I skipped photos on some areas.

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Clean and minimal carpeting!

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The locker room is a little industrial designed but I liked it. Only thing I noticed was that there are only 4 shower stalls in the locker room.  The other thing that I quickly released was for $10 a month, you don’t get a towel service so I think most people just take their stinky butts back to their car and shower at home. So maybe 4 shower stalls is not an issue here.

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Cardio.. cardio.. cardio… I asked the membership girl that gave me a tour, how many treadmills are in the gym.  She wasn’t sure, but told me they have over 100 cardio machines, with no wait time, sign on sheets, or time limits at peak time.

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I tested the treadmill out on an 8 mile run and am sad to report that like most gyms, the treadmills reset at 60 minutes. WHY!!! Some of us got long running to dooo.  Otherwise, while I am not a fan of so much purple, the machine was sturdy and incline seemed pretty well matched p. Only thing I wasn’t sue if they have or if I missed is one of those quick drop speeds where say you want to drop down to a walking pace (4MPH) quickly, I had to press the speed down.  The other thing, unless fancier gyms, the treadmills don’t have TVs, but instead have a plug that you can use to listen to one of the 8 TVs or so up at the front. Since I watch mostly shows from my own cell phone it wasn’t an issue. And they do have wi-fi but I had trouble getting a steady streaming space so I switched to data.

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One thing I noticed that compared to my personal gym, they have a ton of machines, I didn’t get a close look to tell if they’re just repeats of the same machine, or they’re all different. From what I could see, there was no shortage of weight machines to exercise whatever you want. I believe they have free weights too, but I’m not sure how well the space available is if the gym is packed.

They also have an ab section with ab machines and a stretching area. Although, I have to confess, I thought the stretching, mat area was kinda tiny, about 8 people max, but I’m not sure how many PF members actually use that area as it was empty when I went post run.

Additionally they have a 30 minute workout, that features a circuit with weight machines and some steps to integrate cardio. Tony liked it, but he skipped the steps.

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One thing I didn’t really care was the tanning area available for black card members.  They have rooms with standing and laying tanning beds.  Muscles sexy, skin cancer? Not so much… but to each its own.

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Tony completed his workout with one of these water massage beds something or other. People look pretty cozy on it.

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I personally preferred to end my day with one of these massage chairs instead.  The back massage felt really nice!

Overall, not a bad option if you’re close by and want a place for indoor cardio from the 10 feet of snow we’re slowly collecting. I’m still sticking to healthworks as I love everything about it, but being able to be Tony’s guest on weekends will still be useful.

 

What to put in your (Apera) gymbag: Review & Giveaway

It took me a while, well over a year to figure out how to pack my gymbag and what not to pack. Actually, its probably more important to know what not to pack since I have to carry my bag on the train or walking from my house (about 15 minutes) instead of my car bearing the burden.

Now I just needed a bag. While I loved my little gymbag from Old Navy that I got for $11, it took about 2 weeks before it was falling apart. As I get older, I’m learning more and more that you get what you pay for. I guess that bag is meant for people with cars and not people who walk. I then migrated to using those reusable grocery bags. Problem is, they’re really uncomfortable to walk around with and I look like a crazy bag lady! Not cute, not comfortable, not fun.

So when Apera contacted me and offered to send me a bag of my choice in exchange for my views, I figured perfect! I did gasp a little when I saw their retail value, but after using the bag for a few weeks to travel and the gym, I have to confess that just like a well made designer purse, it is worth every dollar! 

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I picked out one of their Performance Duffel Bags in fuchsia. First of all, it’s beautiful, but also since I go from home to gym to everything else between, I needed a bag that can handle it all for the day or for the weekend.

Why I love my Apera Bag

  • It’s super versatile.  I use it for work, for the gym and for weekend traveling. 
  • There are pockets for everything!  I have to confess, I’m a bit of a bag lady because I like to keep everything separate, but since this bag has so many pockets, I can finally get rid of all the gross bags I use. I have a place for my shoes, water bottle, fuel, gum, shower stuff, ipad, book, and so much more that I’ll mention later.
  • It has a washable insert to put your wet/sweaty/muddy clothes or in my case, my stink ass swimsuit as well.
  • It’s easy to clean! Apera makes their bags from an antimicrobial bag that protects the bag and everything I put in it from bacteria and odors.  All I gotta do is wipe it and it’s feeling fresh again.
  • Apera’s bags are also vented to allow for airflow which helps to keep everything in my bag dry and smelly free like my shoes!
  • Apera is charitable. Apera donates one Sprint Pack to the Special Olympics for every three Apera bags they sell.  Any company that promotes charity is good by me!

Let’s take a closer look at the bag, shall we?

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There’s two small compartments on top where I keep my keys, cell, wallet and glasses case. The bag features two vented pockets on each side. I keep my running shoes on one side, while my flipflops go on the other side.Apera Bag (3)

There is a large side pocket on the back that I keep my ipad in. On the inside between snacks, shower stuff, and gym stuff, let’s just say I find a use for each and every one of the pockets.

What I keep in my gym bag

First and most importantly I always pack it the night before because when I pack in the morning I forget crucial things like socks, sports bra and worse of all underwear.

  • Running Clothes – Even if I’m planning on swimming, I still bring them because when you get in the mood, you want to have means to the go!
  • Swimsuit, goggles, cap, and that ear water drying drops – because even though I haven’t swam in months, I like to think when I finally talk myself into it, I’ll be ready
  • Underwear and socks – I always keep extra in case I forget, because I’ve forgotten countless times and it sucked to say the least
  • Running Shoes
  • Flip-flops – While I don’t use at them at my work gym, the Malden Y has so many strands of unknown diseases that I would never risk it and that’s a lot saying for me
  • Shower stuff – Shampoo, shower puff, conditioner, body wash, face scrub, moisturizer. I usually go home stinky and sweaty in the summer, but in the winter I have to put up with the horror of showering at the Y. In addition, I have dry shampoo for when I run at work. Hairbrush that always stays in my gym bag because forgetting that sucks too.
  • SNACKS & Fuel – Nuun, Gu, Kind bars, gum, leftover lunch because I really am always hungry
  • Work stuff – Wallet, glasses, my lunch for the day, a few basic make-up stuff that I never wear but sometimes carry
  • Sweatpants and hoodie – if I workout after work, I don’t really want to change into my office clothes, so I wear my hoodlum outfit home.

See, I wasn’t joking when I said I find a use for every pocket!

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I may still be a secret bag lady, but at least my bag is looking mighty good!

The Performance Duffel sells for $124 but Apera is also running a sweet promotion where all BLUE bags are on sale for 40% off and a duffel bag of any color is also 40% off!

Apera Blue Bags

If you want to learn more about the Performance duffel or any of the other 6 bags Apera sells, check out their website where they also have videos available to give you a better idea of which bag will work best for you.

Giveaway

Apera is giving one lucky Run To Munch reader a Sprint Pack of their own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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QOTD

1. Do you use a gym bag? I’m currently using the Apera Duffel mentioned above. I’m thinking of buying their backpack for when I start running to work if the snow ever melts.

2. What are your gym bag essentials? Dry shampoo and a facial scrub, everything else I can almost wing it.