When January rolls around and the sugar cookies you were popping like vitamins over the holiday break begin to weigh on you, your first instinct might be to join a gym, because owning a membership is almost as good as going. But not all gyms are created equal, so don’t waste your time at a sweat factory that isn’t geared toward your own personal goals. A weathered gym-rat gave us the ins and outs of local options. Now the rest is up to you.
6330 Quinpool Road
This was a one-true-love situation for our informant before he moved out of the city. Power-lifting is the name of the game, with mad muscles on display and the clang and bang of weights as your soundtrack of the day. Most notably, Fitness FX offers more than one squat rack and extremely competitive rates. But if you're in it for the cardio machines and the classes, the gym has recently amped up its group fitness with a full schedule of offerings which includes TRX, kettlebell, spin, pilates and more.
The ubiquitous national chain does a lot of things well—it appeals to a broad clientele, making it a gym everyone can feel comfortable working out in, and offers a huge amount of classes that can hit every spot on your list whether it’s weightlifting or zumba. They also offer women-only gyms and locations all over the country so you can switch it up whenever you want. This is the well-rounded option and perfect for first timers, if you’ve got the extra change to fund it.
2631 King Street
The exercise option for people who lose interest in repetitive plans or don’t have hours to spend in the gym, they’ll set you up with something different every day, and the person you end up competing with the most will be yourself. With a mix of functional strength and cardiovascular health, you’ll get ripped quickly and efficiently like a firefighter.
ProEdge Sports Conditioning
36 Duke Street, Bedford
The name of the game is athlete-style training, even if your main sport is trying to sink your hamburger wrappers in the trash. Using progressive class models, you should keep seeing results and avoid the plateaus that might come from following your own feelings… especially if your feelings are telling you to take a nap. If you want to feel like you’re part of a sports team, this might be the way to go. Coach Taylor not included.
135 Main Street, Dartmouth
If you’re looking for something a little different than your average gym, one of the many martial arts training programs in HRM might be just the ticket. Nothing makes you sweat quite like martial arts says our informant, so be prepared for a self-made downpour. Helping with anger management and teaching you self-defense are extra perks while you hit all the cardio, core training and self-discipline goals you can handle.
Seven Bays Bouldering
2019 Gottingen Street
Enjoy the reemergence of climbing gyms in our city by scaling a wall. I know it looks easy, but it is not. Perfect for people who want to tone their body up without the pain of “working out,” it’s the jungle-gym for the modern adult.