Thursday, November 01, 2007

Presidio YMCA/Arc Trainer

This past week, I joined the Presidio YMCA gym. Prior to my layoff from work, I would workout twice a week at the Foster City Athletic Club and on weekends at USF's Koret Center (total 4 times a week).

Since my layoff, I cancelled my membership at Foster City Athletic Club and started going to USF's Koret Center exclusively. Problem with the Koret Center is that I was only eligible for "Red" membership. Which means my hours to visit Monday through Friday are from 6 a.m to 2 p.m. I would have to be a student, faculty, alumni or neighborhood resident to visit without restricted hours. Parking wasn't exactly convenient since the lot permits only free public parking on Sundays. I got a hefty $50 ticket last year to prove their point.

It also doesn't help that sleeping in now until 9 and not being conscious until 10 leaves me only a 4-hour window to workout. Which means if I want to have lunch or use that time for shopping, errands, or interviews, I would have to give up the workout. Bottom line, I don't have much schedule flexibility if I continue going to USF.

After a ton of online research, I found out through many favorable reviews on Yelp that the gym most suitable (distance, cost, and quality) for me was the Presidio YMCA at the Main Gate in the Presidio. I drove over Monday afternoon to check it out. While the locker room isn't very large, and the outside of the building is non-descript, it's a great gym. Fee is only $60/month. If you live or work in the Presidio, it's $45/month, which to me is extremely reasonable.

First and most importantly, the place is very, very clean. Another great perk is the free towel service. LOTS of free parking. All of the equipment is brand spanking new. And, something neither Foster City or USF have, an arc trainer. I tried it out for the first time today and really like it. It works in a similar fashion to an elliptical machine. The major difference is the arc versus elliptical motion. I find the arc motion less stressful on the knees and provides a great all around workout. It feels like the same sweat storm I get on the treadmill.

If my next job lands me back in San Francisco, then it's likely I'll keep the YMCA membership, as it stays open until 10 p.m during the week. If I end up anywhere else outside SF, then I'll look for something close to work. I'm being intentionally cryptic, but based on recent events with my job hunt, things are leaning on staying in SF.

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