Best Health Club/Gym: Eager encouragement from fervent fitness fans

Club One

A sign outside the locker rooms reads “Good job, hurry back!” At Club One, encouragement is everywhere. Whether it’s the red-shirted trainers who assist you with proper technique or the complimentary health assessment when you join, the Oakland facility’s goal is to nurture and support the gym rat. After you sign up, a staffer will help you map exercise goals you are comfortable with. From there, anything you want is at your sweaty fingertips. Most aerobic machines are equipped with televisions and CD players. All you need are headphones and you’ll be able to watch Tom jump on Oprah’s couch while you burn calories. The facility houses a full-size basketball court, a three-lane outdoor pool, racquetball and squash courts, Pilates and yoga classes, and a large weight room. The carpeted locker room is not what we’ve come to expect of gym changing areas. With an almost limitless supply of complimentary grooming tools, the club even provides plastic bags for your stinky shorts. Amenities also include a rarely crowded hot tub, individual showers, and a hot and dry sauna. While most everyone struggles to get to the gym on a regular basis, Club One does an admirable job making this eternal battle a little less daunting. And with the sign hanging for all to see, the health facility’s clientele are constantly being spotted — whether they know it or not.

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