I “broke up” with the gym I was going to and I’m so happy about it! My boyfriend and I were paying 60 per person per month to go to a gym where the atmosphere was totally uninspiring and anonymous. But I shouldn’t even complain about the price: I was paying 60 euro, but single people were paying even more (70 euro per month!).
I can’t believe we kept going there for about one year and a half. The service and hygiene weren’t bad, on the contrary, but the atmosphere and the trainers were really, really dull. We had almost no social interactions with anybody and no “gym friends”. Not that I go to the gym to socialize, but still, having a couple of people (at least the trainers) who know you by name is always nice when you go 4 to 5 times per week to the same place each and every week for months.
At first, I was kind of skeptical about changing gyms and going to a cheaper gym. I had seen a couple of low-cost gyms and their concept wasn’t what I was looking for: they usually have mainly machines and very few free weights, just a couple of dumbbells but no barbells so that the gym is “safe” for newbies who have no idea what to do.
I also thought about joining a CrossFit gym for the community-feeling and the “kick in the butt” that I may need regarding my training, but Amsterdam’s CrossFit gyms are located in wealthy areas of the city, far from my neighborhood. And furthermore, the gym membership would be then around 75 euro per month.
Luckily, we found Fit4less: a low-cost gym that doesn’t target beginners, but people who already are into fitness and know what they’re doing. The yearly gym membership costs 30 euro per month, which is under the average gym membership in Amsterdam (40-60 euro). And they allowed me to take pictures!
They also have a cute message on the cardio equipment (in Dutch) saying that the energy you expend is going to help them light the roof of the building :)
The changing rooms look pretty spartan and the shower curtain made of chain does have a kind of weird S&M vibe…
I really like the fact that they also have iPad holders : you can bring your own video workouts and do your favorite Insanity workout at the gym! (Most apartments in Amsterdam are too small which makes working out at home in front of a tv almost impossible.)
The secret for their cheaper gym membership? They don’t offer group lesson with trainers. They do have personal training if you want (as an extra, you have to pay for it), but if you want to take part in a free group lesson, the only choice you have is to follow a video lesson. Here’s for example a virtual spinning lesson:
Video group lessons might sound like a weird alternative, but it’s actually a big plus : after having followed many group lessons in several gyms in Amsterdam, I know how unmotivating and dull some Dutch trainers can be. ‘Superstar’ trainers are rare. Video training is a nice alternative to be sure of what you can expect from a group lesson.
Last thing they use to reduce costs: a vending machine instead of a bar with an employee. It’s way more practical too, so I really don’t mind!
So all-in-all, I’m really happy with my new gym!
The gym’s website: fit4less.nl