To Gold’s or not to Gold’s

First of all, to whoever found this blog by googling “ice cream and pancakes ben and jerrys,” let’s be best friends, ok?

Over the weekend Steve and I took a tour of the brand spankin’ new Gold’s Gym in downtown Milwaukee. We are members at the Y which does have a convenient downtown location, but the problem is the lack of a pool downtown. I swim at a Y that is located in, how shall I say, well a less desirable location. We’ll put it that way. Steve swims at a Y near his work, which is not really too convenient. Enter Gold’s Gym and their pool downtown.

We received a flyer in the mail promising $19.99/month membership and no commitment. Yeah, obviously too good to be true, but the flyer did its job of getting us through the door. Oh my gosh you guys, this gym is the bomb diggity. It is five stories tall. They have over 150 pieces of cardio equipment with NO TIME LIMITS!!! Most of the treadmills at the Y are set to stop after 30 minutes. A select few are set for an hour. Either way, highly annoying when you are trying to do a longer workout and you have to stop and restart the treadmill. And no, nobody is waiting. Usually when I run in the morning, there are at least 23 other treadmills open and at the ready. Anyways, almost all of the cardio equipment at Gold’s has a personal tv attached with cable built-in. Many of them overlook the river. The spin bikes actually sway back and forth to better simulate the feel of outdoor riding. Apparently only a few gyms in the country have them. There is a cardio cinema. For real, there is a huge movie screen up front so you can run/bike/ellipticise while enjoying a flick. Everything is brand new and high tech. They have 2 Woodway treadmills (they are self-propelled). The pool is a salt water saline pool no there would be no smelling like chlorine for 3 days after a swim. All group classes are included, even yoga.

After we were wowed with the tour, we sat down at the sales desk. I was bracing myself for a super-high pressured sales pitch, but that never happened. The sales guy (Matt) told us that he hates the $19.99 flyer because it is misleading. So what’s the catch? For $19.99 a month you can use the gym only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Um, seriously?

So in actuality the membership fees aren’t too bad, but it is definitely more than we pay at the Y. If we did a one year commitment at Golds it would be $19/month more than the Y, and if we did a two-year commitment it would be $14/month more. Plus the one time joining fee of around $150 or something like that. So is it worth it? I am going to make a pro/con list.


Pool downtown, even though it is a 20 meter pool instead of 25 yards which is weird (this would be more convenient for both of us, but especially for Steve)

Awesome state of the art equipment with no time limit (and plenty of equipment so there would never be a problem getting a machine)

Cable TV’s on treadmills & cardio cinema

Yoga included (Group classes are included at the Y, but not yoga)

Smoothie cafe


More expensive

No free parking between 8am – 5pm weekdays (normally this isn’t a huge deal but sometimes I have off during the day and this would present a problem because parking is $$$ during the day)

No spin classes on Sundays (as of now), and I really like taking spin on Sunday to recover from my Saturday long run

As the weather gets nicer I will really only be using the gym to swim and maybe lift weights (who am I kidding with the lifting weights part?)

So is it worth it? The main pro is the pool and the main con is the price. Everything else is pretty secondary. Help! What would you do?



Filed under Miscellany, Workouts

4 responses to “To Gold’s or not to Gold’s

  1. Sounds awesome!! I’m a pretty simplistic gal when it comes to gyms… and frugal (not by choice!). Good luck! and Yeah for Milwaukee… I just put a race on my calendar for Milwaukee in July.

  2. No free parking?!?! That is just weird. Holy cow it is pricey. Before I started teaching I got my Gold’s pass for 14 dollars a month with no fee in the beginning. Move to Utah, life is cheeper:) I say if you can do it without going into debt you should do it. No time limits, the pool and if you bug them enough I am sure you can get a spin class on Sunday:) Either way you are still going to be an amazing athlete!

  3. The no free parking would be a deal breaker for me. However a saline pool is bomb diggity.