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Couch Potato reduction plan

It's time to start going to a gym because other than Contra Dancing, I'm getting little exercise. For me to do it regularly it has to be easy and near. The choices for me are the YMCA or the Boston Sports Club in Central Square which are just a few blocks away. The BSC is a much nicer facility with many more machines of every type imaginable. The Y is pretty grubby but does have a pool. I used to swim there a lot when I was having back problems. The Y will cost $30 a month (I qualify for the Senior Rate) and the BSC costs $71 for the basic plan which will work for me. That is a pretty big difference in price. This BSC doesn't have a pool although I could go to others that have them if I wanted.

I should decide soon before the inertial guidance system kicks in. Also the guy at BSC said that their $299 Initiation Fee would be $99 if I signed up by tomorrow! A bit steep, I'd say, but I suppose it helps keep people going to recoup their initial investment.

Does anyone have any experience with BSC?

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I've been trying to sign up for a gym for the past month or so. I kept going back and forth - I don't really need any of the niceties that a place like BSC affords. What it came down to for me was location - near work is essential, and even though the local Y is only a 15 minute walk from home, I think I'd never make it in there.
From what I can tell...
  • BSC's full price is a scam. I'd look around high and low for some sort of membership you might have that would allow you to take BSC's corporate rate. Also, if you don't sign up this week, I'm relatively sure that within the next 3 weeks, there'll be another discount offer that's at least roughly comparable. I think this is how they get new customers - by having some pretty scary rates, but then only charging a few poor souls full price.
  • I would check which BSC locations have a pool...and actually visit the pools before signing up. In the downtown Boston area, the only pool is in the Devonshire "SkyGym" (the 41st floor of an aging skyscraper). The pool is three lanes, and about 20 feet long, I kid you not. If swimming is a priority, you may want to just go with the Y.
  • I don't know where you go on a regular basis, but it might also make sense to check out other options...the Beacon Hill Athletic Club, the (South) Boston Athletic Club, possibly even FitCorp or Crunch Gyms.

FWIW. Let me know how things turn out!

Well, I joined the BSC this afternoon and biked, treaded, and stair climbed for 10 minutes each. I think I'm going to like it enough to go regularly to get in better shape while getting my money's worth. They certainly have lots of variety of equipment there. I hate sticking to just one machine - it is so boring. My excercise bike in the basement can can continue to rust or whatever it is actually doing. I did try spinning it last year and it wasn't one solid piece.

The fact that it is just a 7 minute walk makes it hard to have any excuses. And this afternoon it had warmed up to a balmy 18 degrees.

And now I have a possible reason to get an iPod. We'll see about that.

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