Pick Your Punishment- A Survey of Local Gyms and Fitness Centers
The beginning of the semester is almost like Jan. 1 to many people. It’s the time to rekindle old friendships that have maybe gone astray, to look in the past and see what you can do better this year or to finally commit to going to the gym on a regular basis. Regardless of what “new-semester” resolutions you’ve made to yourself, starting the semester off by going to the gym regularly can benefit you in a countless number of ways.
Despite the lack of, well, everything in the Berrien Springs area, there are a surprisingly large number of gyms around. Berrien Springs has three gyms: Meier Health Club, Lamson Health Club, and Crossfit Berrien. In nearby Saint Joseph and Benton Harbor, there are countless other options, which include the YMCA and Planet Fitness. In Niles and Dowagiac there are even more gyms to choose from. With so many options, it can be hard to know which gym is best for you. Lucky for you, I’ve interviewed students who’d like to give you a sneak preview of their favorite gyms in the area.
Address: 1345 Mall Dr., Benton Harbor, Mich.
Cost: $10/mo + fees
Distance from campus: 11.8 miles or 19 minutes
Interview with Gati Wankyo (2016 Andrews University Alumna and Crayon Box Receptionist):
Why do you choose to go to Planet Fitness instead of Lamson Health Club or other gyms in the Berrien Springs area that may be closer to where you work?
For a couple of different reasons. I live off campus so I like to go to a gym that is closer to my house and not my work. Planet Fitness is also cheaper than Lamson Health Club and larger. There is also more equipment and more opportunities.
What do you mean by more opportunities?
Well, there are personal trainers that you can hire at Planet Fitness. They also have classes that are nice to go to.
Address: 3665 Hollywood Road, St. Joseph, Mich.
Cost: $20/mo + fees
Distance from campus: 9.8 miles or 16 minutes
Interview with David Kelly (junior, international business):
Why is the YMCA your favorite gym to go to in the area?
Well, it’s not really my favorite, but it is the most convenient for me besides Meier Health Club (MHC). MHC is kind of a hardcore gym, but the YMCA seems cleaner and has more equipment than MHC.
What equipment does the YMCA have that Meier Health Club does not?
In addition to the same type of equipment in MHC, the YMCA has machine presses for chest, multiple squat racks, machine rows, basketball courts, etc.
How are the hours?
The hours at the YMCA are broader, so it is easier to be able to lift weights when I want to. Occasionally I still go to MHC, but it is hard for me to have to work around the 2 to 9 p.m. afternoon schedule that MHC has.
Address: 102 North Mechanic St., Berrien Springs, Mich.
Cost: $125/mo without commitment
Distance from campus: 2.5 miles or 8 minutes
Interview with Kristen Halbritter (senior, animal science/pre-veterinary medicine):
Why do you choose Crossfit Berrien over other gyms in the area?
Well, the thing that I like about Crossfit Berrien is they formulate the workout for you, so you do not have to figure out what you are going to do. It is only one hour per workout, so it takes less time than if I had to make my own workout, figure out rest periods, and then end up spending two hours in the gym.
What equipment does Crossfit Berrien have when compared to other gyms?
There is more space to do exercises that require multiple muscle groups to perform. They have gymnastics rings, more barbells, dip stations. They do lack dumbbells, but have kettlebells and row machines.
So, what do you look for in a gym?
Mainly equipment. I like using barbells a lot now. I don’t focus too much on the atmosphere.
Meier Health Club
On campus, located in Meier Hall
Cost: $15 per semester
Interview with Tyler Young (junior, landscape design):
What do you like about Meier Health Club?
Well, it is a pretty hardcore gym and has good atmosphere. It is really convenient to get to considering it is located in the dorm. They also have pretty much all the equipment that a person needs.
Is there anything that could be improved upon?
I think that they could use some more machines for specific body parts like calves, and also I wouldn’t mind a little more space to move around in there.
How are the rates?
Really reasonable. I think it is only $15 a semester for residents of Meier.
Lamson Health Club
On campus, located in Lamson Hall
Cost: $18 per semester
Interview with Kimberly Park (junior, biophysics, pre-med):
What makes you choose Lamson Health Club over other area gyms?LHC is great because it has a lot of open space for different exercises and aerobics. It also has a sauna and a jacuzzi, which is nice.
How is the price?
The price is reasonable, $36 for 2 semesters. It is cheaper than other gyms I could go to in the area, and it is super convenient to get to considering it is in the same building I live