After a long break from physical activity and no break from slumber, I decided to hit the gym one evening. Having paid around 10 grand for a year, I felt guilty of utilizing less than a third of it. The out of shape look did not thrill me either. This was around 6 months back and I have been pretty regular since then.
Recently, I had tried out some of the popular gyms in Chennai a day at a time over a period of a week.
The mecca of body building Gold's gym had a center close to my house in Chennai. The movie Pumping Iron starring Arnold featured Gold's gym prominently and was sure worth an experience. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist and the ambience looked promising. They charged me Rs 233/day and had a yearly rate of Rs. 15000. The workout area was on the ground floor with a locker room upstairs. The instruments were from Precor and in good working condition. The coaches let you work on your own if you knew what you were doing! I found the open floor space for stretching/abs pretty less.
Fitness One was bigger and costlier. It has a reputation in Chennai to adhere to the high income super rich class. They charged me Rs. 333/day and had a 3 month rate of Rs. 9000! I did my warmup and stretching on the first floor which had a poor air conditioner. The basement had all the weights and a separate room for aerobics. Half way through my workout, there came a model posing with instruments and a photographer with a lights guy clicking away. I have heard about their strong marketting!
Blue gym was much smaller and charged me Rs. 200/day. They have a monthly package of Rs. 1700. Surprisingly their yearly rate was 1700 * 12 without any discount! One thing that stands out here were the instructors. They were very friendly inspite of me being there just for a day. They corrected me when I was not lifting correctly. Overall I had a very nice and relaxed workout. It did not have some of the instruments that were a part of my schedule though.
Dimension was undergoing some repair work and had a makeshift place with a lot of instruments crammed together. They charged me Rs. 200/hour and had an annual rate of around Rs 12000. They offered me some deals if I was going to enroll with the next one week. I found the place the smallest and most in dearth of dumbells and other instruments. I went on a Sunday morning and so had to wait 15 minutes to just get to a cycle. The instruments were old and needed oiling.
Compared to my ABS gym in Pune, I found the Chennai gyms costlier and smaller. I see that gymming in Chennai has not really reached out to the middle class or it could just be that the cost of living in Chennai is far higher when compared to Pune!