Do You Like Your Gym?

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Remember the track workout from my gym that I posted a few weeks back?  Well, I figured today was a good day to test it out.

track workout



Let me repeat that.




This was so, so hard.  I was thrilled to make it to the 1-minute plank towards the end – which is saying something because my tummy hates planks. 

photo 1 (26)

This workout is super challenging.  It also took a lot longer than I anticipated… I wish I had timed it, but I didn’t.  It was probably around 45 minutes.  I had to keep taking breaks, though.  15 burpees?!  Look, this cardio queen does not “do” burpees.  Especially 15 of them.  But I’m working on it. Smile


Post-workout PIZZA.

photo 2 (28)

Something else to be excited about:  My Trader Joe’s finally carries a gluten-free vegetarian frozen pizza.   I squealed when I saw it in the case.  Henry had a lot of fun baking this pizza with me (and by ‘baking,’ I mean unwrapping it and watching it through the oven window), but when it came time to eat it, he refused!  What toddler doesn’t like pizza?!  Beats me.  I will attest that it was delicious, and if you see it at your local TJ’s, you should definitely try it.


While I was running… and planking… and burpeeing… I was thinking about how much I love my gym. 


My gym has the following attributes, which totally make it an awesome place to exercise:


It’s within a few miles of my house (BIG ONE!).

It has excellent childcare that Henry actually enjoys going to (EVEN BIGGER ONE!).

It’s reasonably priced – $75 for two adults (plus $3 an hour for childcare).

There are lots of classes, like spin, barre, pilates, and yoga.

They have a CrossFit club, but it costs extra (and I’m scared of CrossFit, so I’ve never gone. Maybe one day…).

There is an indoor pool AND an outdoor pool.

There’s a hot tub!

There is an indoor track, which I’m really becoming a fan of.

There’s a good sense of community at the gym; people hang out and talk after classes.

People of all ages, sizes, and fitness abilities use the gym.

And there’s lots of machines and treadmills in the main exercise room, so you never feel like you are waiting around to workout.


Things I didn’t like about my past gyms…


Too far from my house (my personal limit is five miles).

A non-inclusive attitude from other members/staff.

Carpet in the locker rooms (EW!!!)

You had to pay extra for classes.  Boo!


Do you love your current gym?  Why or why not?  What is the most important part of a gym for you?  Because of logistics, childcare is very important to me, but besides that, I really value a gym that is close by.  If it’s not close, I will never go!


Laura won the Albion Fit bathing suit giveaway!  Congrats and thanks to everyone who entered.



  • Katie D January 22, 2014, 3:09 pm

    the track workout you did was essentially a crossfit workout! don’t be scared! and everyone LOVES to HATE burpees, don’t worry 🙂

    • Caitlin January 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

      I need a friend to go with me so I don’t feel as intimidated!

  • Kortney January 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I did that track workout the same day you posted it, but subbed a mile for each of set of laps around the track. So five miles in the end. It was such a good, hard workout! Thanks for posting it!

    • Caitlin January 22, 2014, 3:15 pm

      Dude, you are a BEAST. I bow down to you!!!

  • Glenneth January 22, 2014, 3:14 pm

    a new gym near my home & office just opened up last week and i joined. they have almost everything you mentioned above and more it seems. 120,000 square feet. it is still not completely finished, but i am absolutely loving it and it has motivated me to want to work out more.

  • Jacquelyn @justjacq January 22, 2014, 3:16 pm

    I love how fancy my gym feels. I feel like I’m getting “treated” to my gym time every time I go. I also don’t feel gross using the machines and the locker rooms like I have at other gyms. It’s 2 minutes away from work which means I always go after work, but it’s about 45 minutes from my house which stinks on days off and weekends.

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance January 22, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I actually don’t belong to a gym anymore. I take classes at various studios around my city and pay per class. I like this kind of flexibility. I supplement with workout DVDs at home and generally being active (biking, hiking, etc). To be fair, we do have a small gym with cardio and weight equipment in our apartment building so I could always use that but I actually hardly ever do!

  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles January 22, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Hate burpees. I can run and run and run but by my fifth burpee I am ready to call it a day. I loved my gym (Lifetime Fitness) but it wasn’t close enough to my house so I canceled a few months ago. Proximity is key. Even with having every amenity possible, I prefer to step right outside and run or just use the gym in my community. It works for me and is close and cheaper!

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human January 22, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Crossfit is awesome! Don’t be intimidated! Although I have to warn you-we do A LOT of burpees 😉

  • lana January 22, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Funny about Henry hating pizza…. my 18 month old hates pasta, which I think is crazy! Every other toddler I know will eat it when they wont eat anything else!

  • Aerevyn Harteis January 22, 2014, 3:54 pm

    A gym HAS to be close to my house. Number one thing. In my past two locations, the gym is an 8 minute walk, which is so awesome. Warm up, jump on a machine, cool down on the way home. Sweet.

    My gym has pretty good hours, til 9:30. If it was 10, that would be even better because I am a night owl.

    The people are super friendly, it smells nice and I can always get a machine. Super.

    I love that they have a pool, though I confess that I have never been in it.

    If I could improve something about my gym, it would be MORE EVENING CLASSES. They have classes at 5:30am, to which I say “not without a lobotomy,” and classes at 6:00pm. Awwwwww.

  • Eileen January 22, 2014, 3:54 pm

    Caitlin, you definitely should try crossfit….I am way (WAY) older than you and don’t feel intimidated. To be fair, I do get a bit anxious each time I go, but the greatest thing about it, is you just have to show up. Someone else does that thinking/planning and leaves the “doing” to you. Supportive environment too.

  • Laura January 22, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I’m guessing you emailed the Laura who won? 😉 Can’t hurt to check. haha

    • another Laura January 22, 2014, 9:56 pm

      wondering the same thing! 🙂

      • Caitlin January 23, 2014, 7:20 am

        Haha she was emailed. Sorry I wish all the Laura’s would win!

    • Laura@SneakersandSpatulas January 23, 2014, 8:44 am

      haha I got my hopes up too when I saw that Laura had won! But no email for me 🙁

  • Laura January 22, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I live in Charlotte and am a member at the Y. Even though parking in the Wells Fargo deck is a huge pain, I love going to the Childress Klein branch because it’s so nice, clean, and offers Les Mills classes. I’m not GF but I’ve gotten that pizza from TJ’s a few times and really enjoyed it!

  • Sana January 22, 2014, 4:24 pm

    I joined the same gym as my BFF so I always have someone to go with. It makes all the difference!

  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health January 22, 2014, 4:33 pm

    I LOL’d at your holy hell repeat… you are such a strong mama, good job!!

  • Anne January 22, 2014, 4:47 pm

    While it’s 9.8 miles from my house, we belong to my university’s gym. The number one reason is that it is “free” for me (well if I pay my fees), and it is about $15/month for my husband. With that we get a gigantic gym with classes and indoor and outdoor pools. Plus, it is convenient to me and open until 11pm on school nights. Even though we are early 30s, we don’t feel too silly with all of the undergrads.

  • Allie January 22, 2014, 4:48 pm

    I love my gym! The only thing I don’t love is the price per month…$105! But, it opens at 5am, allowing me to get to work by 7:30am. It has all of the stuff I need to get ready in the morning- blow dryers, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, even curling irons; an indoor pool (the only one within 5 miles of my house); a great cardio setup; free classes; and a bar and coffee shop! And, may I mention it is 0.9 miles from my house, making this car-free swimmer very happy and willing to pay a little more.

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRuns January 22, 2014, 4:56 pm

    I LOVE my current gym because it is huge, has so many options, 3 pools, and so much more! I go for half price and my husband goes free because it is run by his medical school, however, we will be moving later this year so it won’t be around forever. That’s okay though – I’d rather move out of this city over keeping the gym 🙂

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 22, 2014, 4:57 pm

    I’m lucky enough to have a very small gym in my work building that is just for our office members! There are only about 50 people that work in the building, and I’d say only about 8-10 people are gym go-ers. So although sometimes I have to change my plan depending on what machines are available, there’s always space to workout when I go. Pretty great for a free gym!

  • Coco January 22, 2014, 4:58 pm

    I have a free gym at work…so I really can’t complain at ALL. I absolutely love walking down the hall to do my workout!!!

  • Brynn January 22, 2014, 5:03 pm

    I definitely need the gym to be close enough that it is hard to skip a workout! Also love diversity in group fitness classes. My gym just started barre class and Insanity, which I like so I stay interested and motivated.

  • Breanne January 22, 2014, 5:20 pm

    When I *very* first became a gym goer, proximity and class schedule (time/type) were the most important to me and in that order.

    Now, a “seasoned” gym goer, class schedule (time/type/instructor) is THE most important part. An example? I will travel 25 minutes to go to a class that’s in my schedule and my friends’ will be at because I know I’ll work harder. Likewise, I’ll go to the gym closest to my parents’ house because of the schedule even though I have to pay instead of the gym that I belong to that is 20 min from their house.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 22, 2014, 5:24 pm

    I do really like my gym. It is further away than I’d like it to be but I don’t let that keep me from going, I just wish it made it more convenient sometimes. I love that we actually have a track…you may have to run around it 12 times to hit a mile, but it’s nice to have and I LOVE walking it. 🙂

  • alli January 22, 2014, 5:34 pm

    looks fun & challenging!

    my gym is 2.5 miles, it’s $15/month (i can also bring a free guest with me every time!) the daycare is an extra $5/mo where i can bring up to 5 children with me everyday for 2 hours (crazy, stupid cheap!). they have a “women only” weight room, which i think is awesome for beginners or women who dont want to be bugged by some of the meat head dudes 😉 theres a sauna, too! it feels great to stretch after a hard workout. also, im assuming that most or all gyms have showers but i especially love it! most days i go early in the am and shower at home, but a couple times a week i bring my son with me later in the day. i love that i can workout, shower, and get completely ready without a toddler tugging on my pant legs. sometimes you just need to be alone 😉

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 22, 2014, 5:39 pm

    I pay $19.99 a month for my gym, it has plenty of cardio equiptment and weights and it’s a 15 minute walk from my apartment, so really I can’t complain. Things I don’t like though: it doesn’t seem clean, there’s a pool but it’s warm and seems dirty so it totally freaks me out, they don’t have very good classes, and lastly they took all the smaller weights and things like bosu balls out of the multi-purpose room! Aka I can’t use them and to use dumbells I have to go up to the scary area with all the body building men. Not a fan.

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama} January 22, 2014, 6:33 pm

    I’m gonna give that workout a shot! Thanks for posting it.

    We just joined the Y (yes, we are totally the cliche couple who joined a gym in January) and so far I’m liking it. I like being able to get out of the house!

  • Katie January 22, 2014, 6:40 pm

    My muscles just hurt looking at that workout haha. WOW your gym seems like the whole package deal 😉 I wish we had an outdoor pool, but I guess since it’s Wisconsin that would become an issue during winter. I LOVE my gym. I have been a member since they opened in 2003. However since we like in the “middle” of two cities, whatever gym I go to is 20 minutes each way—not ideal ESP with a baby! But we’re moving soon 🙂

  • Lauren January 22, 2014, 6:58 pm

    Hey! I’m a long-time reader but an infrequent commenter, but I had to let you know about this recent discovery of mine . . . it’s an app called “Zombies, Run!” and it’s basically a story about running from zombies that plays mixed in with your music as you run. It’s super intense, and since you mention zombies frequently on your blog, I thought I’d let you know. 🙂

    • Caitlin January 22, 2014, 8:11 pm

      I have it!! I love it 🙂 🙂 LOL

  • Ems January 22, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Sounds like an awesome gym! I love, too, the sense of community at ours. The only thing I wish ours had was a pool! There’s a small one for some swim group classes, but what I wouldn’t give to swim laps!!

  • Kate @KateMovingForward January 22, 2014, 9:01 pm

    Dang!! This looks INTENSE. I am not a burpee girl either. Your gym sounds awesome! The plus of my “gym” is it is close–maybe 100 yards from my house, the downside is it is not a real gym so no classes, but there is basically all I need to get my sweat on!

  • Jo January 23, 2014, 3:29 am

    Friendly staff is a must for me at a good gym. In some places they just look at you like a cash machine unless you’re a bulked up man. I really value it when I can ask the staff stupid questions about using the equipment and not feel like they’ll brush me off and roll their eyes at me when I walk away.

  • Runner Girl Eats January 23, 2014, 6:42 am

    I do not love my gym. No classes, old equipment, not so friendly staff. But it is cheap and very close to my house. After my membership expires though I will find something else :/

  • Sara January 23, 2014, 8:28 am

    We cancelled our membership after our son was born. We hadn’t been using it recently and it was too expensive to upgrade for childcare. So, I use our gym at work during lunch. It’s really nice we have that. It has a few treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, bikes, yoga balls, a DVD player so you can do a workout DVD and there’s classes at lunch and some in the evenings. It’s convenient (which is the only way I’ll workout these days). Oh and there’s a locker room and showers.

  • Kris January 23, 2014, 10:04 am

    I lovvvve my gym which is the Y! Four miles from my house, tons of classes, great instructors, friendly members, family oriented, lots of equipment, never very crowded, free coffee on my way out 🙂 What I don’t like — crummy locker room (could never get ready from there to go to work), limited Sunday hours (1:00 to 5:00) and very crowded popular cardio classes. Membership for me and DH is $60.00 which is ok. The family, community oriented nature of the Y is really great and people use better manners there than all the other gyms we have belonged too. We actually have a small gym in our community, but I hate going there because people aren’t serious about their workouts and tend to roost and chit chat on the machines (snowbirds), or are vacationers who drip water in from the pool and work out in swimwear and flip flops (semi-resort community).

  • Corrie Anne January 23, 2014, 10:51 am

    I actually think location is my #1 priority. Love going to a gym that’s close!! I go to a CrossFit box — the best one ever!!! — and a local rec center which is super cheap. I actually bought a Black Friday membership there because I wanted to do a rowing challenge.

    By the way, I think you should try the CrossFit club!! Not because I’m addicted, haha, but because I think you’d love it! I never really enjoyed strength training or anything along those lines because I just found it so boring. But in CrossFit, it’s kind of like you’re always racing. With cheerleaders!! Haha. Of course the first few months are usually pretty miserable….. You shouldn’t be scared. I am a huge pansy and super slow at learning new skills, but now I love it and have accomplished so many things I would never have on my own. 🙂

    And, I’m already scheming some sort of childcare swap with the other members when I have kids someday. 🙂 Your gym is a REALLY good deal… I’m in Denver so comparing it to that. We’ve moved around a bit, but have never found anything close to under $100 — especially with a pool. I want an indoor track! So cool.

  • Jill January 23, 2014, 11:08 am

    Wow, that workout looks awesome! I think I’ll give it a try this weekend when I know I have ample time to complete it 🙂
    I used to have a free gym at work, but now that I work from home I usually workout over my lunch break either running outside when it’s nice weather or in my basement on my treadmill.

  • veronica January 23, 2014, 11:31 am

    I DO do Crossfit, and I can tell you that what you did today was harder than almost any Crossfit workout you’ll ever do.
    CF workout are 3-4 movements MAX. None of this squat-lunge-pushup-run-plank-mt. climber-burpee stuff. That is really demoralizing because you’re exhausted and running around like a chicken with your head cut off!
    CF works a limited number of movements so you can “chip away” at them. Like, “Ok, 21 pushups, now 10 squats, and 20 box jumps” and 3 rounds of that. It breaks it up for you so it’s not so overwhelming.

    It appears that whomever “created” that workout did not actually think about it. They just threw some movements and reps on a page with very little thought.
    But good news: If you can do that and not die…you can DEFINITELY do Crossfit!

  • Peggi January 23, 2014, 1:19 pm

    I used to belong to 24 Hr Fittness along with my husband but we did not renew when we moved to our current home. Our neighborhood has a gym that we already pay for with our yearly HOA fees so we figured why spend $600/yr on 2 gym memberships when we had this one. It is small but I usually always get the machine I want. Plus, I run outside on the weekends since I really don’t like doing treadmill runs – BORING! However, I do the treadmill during the week. Actually this past Sunday I ran my first FULL Marathon – what a blast!!!! I really want to try this track workout – wonder how it would work at the gym since there is no track, hmmmmm – any ideas?

  • Rebecca January 23, 2014, 1:45 pm

    My parents go to our local Y (two miles away) and if their membership cards get used so many times per month we get a discount on some insurance thing. Or rather it’s a reimbursement on our membership? Idk. It’s $45 per adult, and child care is $1.50 per hour per child. Some of the classes are free, and others I think you have to pay for, particularly if they’re like through the community and not specifically the Y. No hot tub that I’ve seen, or outdoor pool, (slide and kids’ zero-entry pool separate from bigger pool, though!) but there is an addition going on that’s going to add more track space and I think more gym space and maybe make the indoor training/weight room bigger. Apparently the Y has more people than space at times.
    My dad has made so many friends from running and hanging out at the Y. He doesn’t always know their names, but he talks to people frequently enough that he’ll recognize them outside of the Y and chat. I don’t go very often, and now that Mom’s work schedule is so busy, she’s not there much either, but Dad is there at least once a day for different workouts.

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 23, 2014, 2:08 pm

    I like my gym, but don’t love it. The track is small and there is no consistency with where faster/slower people should go (to the inside or the outside) so people are all over the place. Plus, the swim team often uses it and when you have a group of six kids screaming and running in a big pod, it tries my patience. Don’t mess with my run! 🙂

  • Anne Weber-Falk January 23, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I really like my fitness center. It’s run by a local hospital and most of the people are there to really and truly workout. It sounds a lot like your place actually. We have a lot of the same ammenities. We don’t have a permanent Barre class yet, but we have all the Les Mills classes you could ever want as well as a variety of yoga, spin, dance and other fitness classes, something for everyone. I like the pool. We have an outdoor and four indoor plus the spa (hot) tub. It never feels like a meat market and there are people of all ages doing their workout thing. I love it and always feel so inspired by the other members.

  • Hillary January 23, 2014, 4:44 pm

    Oooo I am constantly pro/con-ing my gym situation.

    The gym I belong to now:
    -Reasonably priced ($24/month)
    -Close to work
    -Huge, olympic-sized indoor pool (i’m not a swimmer, so this doesn’t matter that much to me, but it’s nice to look at and have available)
    -Big indoor track (6 laps to a mile, circles around the basketball courts)
    -Terrible group fitness offerings (mostly yoga and cycling, which aren’t my thing)
    -You have to pay to attend the fitness classes
    -Plenty of machines, usually not super crowded
    -Machines are not new, but are in fine condition

    The gym that I would LOVE to belong to:
    -PRICEY. Around $90/month.
    -Close to home
    -Rooftop outdoor pool
    -Wide offering of group fitness classes that work with my schedule
    -Lame indoor track (14 laps to a mile, circles around the machines)
    -Fancy, new machines
    -Crowded during peak hours

    I have always felt like my current gym was a great deal and perfectly suitable for getting in a workout on my own (because I don’t really *need* brand new machines or spa-like decor in a gym)… but as I’m getting older I’m discovering that I really enjoy group fitness classes, so the hefty price tag might be worth it. I’m in a contract with my current gym through September, so maybe next year I’ll finally pull the trigger!

  • Charise January 24, 2014, 9:21 am

    The most important to me is definitely proximity to home. If I can’t drive there in less than 10 min, then I won’t go. Followed up things like good classes at times that fit my schedule (because I’m on a class kick this last year), lots of good-condition equipment so there’s no wait, and a reasonable cost. My current gym fits all but the third- the cardio and weight stuff isn’t quite as nice or as abundant as my previous two gyms, but the class types and schedule are way better for me, and it’s fairly cheap.

  • Allison January 24, 2014, 11:16 am

    My 14 month old wont touch pizza or anything else with sauce!

  • Jelena@ThoseLittleThings January 26, 2014, 8:40 am

    I love my University gym. It is just across my lab and I still get student discount even though I am 29 and on 4th year of PhD. It comes to 15 Euros a month and it is brand new and very clean and bright. It is pretty small too, but there are a lot of classes offered. The bummer is that I am commuter and that I can not use it on weekends. And also that everybody is younger than me 🙂

  • Amanda January 27, 2014, 7:54 am

    What’s the distance of the track at your gym?

    This sounds like a great (tiring!) workout!

    • Amanda January 27, 2014, 7:55 am

      Nevermind…I just went back to the other post you linked to and saw it’s 12 laps=1 mile. 🙂

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