Awhile back, I asked about gyms in the neighborhood(ish). I had planned on trying out a few and reporting back, but that never actually happened. Instead, I signed up for the Y on Bedford and Monroe back in July. Overall, I am super pleased! First of all, you absolutely cannot beat the price. Join with a family member/friend/significant other and get a family membership -- it ends up being around $30 a month for each member. The gym just opened in 2007, and has a gorgeous pool, is super clean and new and has a whole list of available classes, from yoga to spinning to swimming. There are also a ton of cardio machines - treadmills, elypticals, etc - and most of them have built-in TVs so you can watch TV on your own machine. This makes the time fly by. Even Equinox downtown didn't have this feature, so I was impressed.
The Y also offers a Total Fitness program, which allows you to develop a workout plan with trainer over the course of 12 weeks. You meet every three weeks to reevaluate and add new moves to your workout. My overall experience with this program thus far has been kind of...meh...but it did motivate me to totally push myself on the cardio machines (in the past, I'd maybe do level 5 out of 25, and now I do level 18!).
My only criticism thus far is the size of the general workout area. The weight machines are so packed in that you can hardly walk through them, and there aren't a whole lot to begin with. The machines I want to use are often occupied. There's a lot of unused space in the facility, like a huge area with tables in the basement that is never being used. I say use the main floor space for weight machines only, and put the cardio downstairs (or vice versa). Oh, and one more thing- there is no place to stretch!
For the price and the overall newness of the place, it's worth it.
For those of you who think it'll be a schlep, let me introduce you to the wonder that is the B52! It stops along Greene until Franklin, when it cuts south to Gates. It drops you off on Gates just past Bedford, one block north of the gym. On the reverse, it cuts up Classon, and it seems to run fairly regularly.