Being an 80’s kid, I remember well what life was like before the internet. Simple things like getting a post-card or letter in the mail was exciting. These days my mailbox seems to be a healthy blend of bills and junk mail. The luster is mostly gone but on the rare occasion, when a letter or card shows up, the magic returns and correspondence seems fun again.
With the internet as big as it is, our mailboxes have been mostly replaced by our email inboxes. I get waves of junk mail every single day. Many of it is legitimate junk that I asked for, because it seemed beneficial at one point in time, but every once in a while a gem finds it’s way into my inbox and email becomes fun again.
A few days ago I received a message from a woman named Carol. Carol must have stumbled onto my website while searching out information for Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville. Seeing that I was a member, she reached out with a few quick questions.
Hello Walt: Congratulations on your success so far and I’m sure you will continue to be motivated to meet whatever you goal(s) are.
My question is about the Anytime Fitness Gym in Gilbertsville. I was thinking about joining but I’m not one to walk into a gym and know anything about what I should be doing. And, at 56 years old, I have definite goals in mind with the most important one being to build muscle. That being said, what is your opinion of this gym? Can I expect to have someone help me while I’m there or do I need to pay for personal training?
Thanks for your help,
I love receiving these types of messages because they give the perfect opportunity to not only respond but to shape my response into a full fledged blog post so that others may find the information useful.
So, in an effort to answer Carol’s question as best as I can, let’s take an in-depth look at my opinion of Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville.
Before we get into discussing the subjective aspects of Anytime Fitness, first I want to run through some very basic information about the facility.
Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville is located next to the Weis Markets at 1050 East Philadelphia Avenue. It is a 24 Hour Fitness Center, however, there are limited staffed hours. Non-Members can only access the facility during those staffed hours.
- Monday: 9:00am until 1:30pm and 3:00pm until 7:00pm
- Tuesday: 9:00am until 1:30pm and 3:00pm until 7:00pm
- Wednesday: 9:00am until 1:30pm and 3:00pm until 7:00pm
- Thursday: 9:00am until 1:30pm and 3:00pm until 7:00pm
- Friday: 9:00am until 5:00pm
- Saturday: 9:00am until 1:30pm
The staff can be reached by calling the office at (484) 415-7101 or by sending an email to Gilbertsvillepa@anytimefitness.com
A Helpful Tip: When visiting Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville, you’ll come to a pair of double doors. The door on the right is locked at all times and only opens with the use of an access key. The door on the left is unlocked during staffed hours. It is amazing how many people I’ve seen pull on the member door, find it locked, then walk away without ever checking the left door or reading the signage.
Anytime Fitness Equipment
Let’s be honest here, if you’re thinking about joining an Anytime Fitness location you are probably going to compare them to a place like Planet Fitness. The closest location, in this circumstance, is the Planet Fitness over on Charolette St. in Pottstown. I don’t have any experience with that location, however, I was a member at the Muhlenberg location when I lived in the area.
Comparing Anytime Fitness to Planet Fitness you will see a variety of differences when it comes to equipment. Planet Fitness has an abundance of cardio equipment and an array of machines with very specific uses.
Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville is small in comparison. The Cardio Area makes up the front of the gym and consists of 5 Life Fitness Treadmills, 4 Life Fitness Ellipticals, a Life Fitness Powermill (Stair Climber), a Jacobs Ladder, 2 Concept-2 Rowing Machines, and 3 Life Fitness Stationary Bikes.
On the surface the cardio area doesn’t sound like much. In a busy gym it probably wouldn’t be enough equipment, however, for the volume of people coming into Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville it is plenty. In addition, the Life Fitness equipment is high quality commercial grade with touch screens, built in television, and internet connectivity.
As you move deeper into the building you’ll find yourself in the strength training portion of the gym. There are a variety of Hammer Strength Machines available, just about all of which have information placards to show you how to properly use them.
The biggest difference between the equipment at Anytime Fitness and what you will find at Planet Fitness is that in addition to the machines there are also two half-racks where you are free to perform free weight barbell exercises. For anyone that needs the stability and safety of a Smith Machine, there is also one available.
Where things get really interesting is the additional areas of the gym. There is a separate room where you can perform aerobics or follow along with virtual classes. With a few simple taps on a computer touch screen the lights in the room will dim, a video screen will drop from the ceiling, and you can following along with one of many training programs.
The last exercise space in the building is what I think of as a cross training area. There is a faux turf floor covering for agility training, ropes and rings for body-weight exercises, boxes for jumping, and another rack for weight training.
It is amazing how much has been made available to members in a fairly small space (I believe the building was an old Rite Aid at one time). On occasion you’ll find that someone hasn’t re-racked their weights or has stolen some of the plates that go to a certain station, but it is always clean and well maintained.
Anytime Fitness Staff
When it comes to the Staff at Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville, I don’t have much to tell. It seems as though three employees rotate on and off, the manager being there more often than the others. Two of the staff members are men, probably in their late 20’s to early 30’s if I were to guess. Being a quiet guy myself, we tend to have that typical ‘Guy Nod’ relationship as I’m coming and going during their shifts.
The manager, on the other hand, I’ve had a fair amount of interaction with. Shortly after joining the gym I had an issue with my access key. A quick email to Kelly (the manager) had the problem resolved in short order.
One day, while having a rough day in general, I was struggling with Squats. Out of the blue Kelly came over and struck up a conversation and offered some advice on cleaning up my form. She really seemed to know her stuff and never came off as wanting to push unsolicited advice on me. I appreciated her helping me out and actually wound up following it up with personal training from her.
The personal training has been great (as of writing this I’m two sessions through the three that I booked) and my other interactions with Kelly have been great. She is laid back and has a no-nonsense sort of vibe about her which I appreciate.
Anytime Fitness is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. This particular location (as well as a few others) are owned by Amy Gherghel and Henry Lesher Jr. (I don’t know either of them nor have I met them – I just know that the club website has them listed as owners).
Because of the way franchising works, I’m under the impression that each club has the ability to set their own rates. I think this is the case due to a conversation I had with very good friend of mine recently. This friend lives in Maryland and joined an Anytime Fitness in his area on a month-to-month basis with family access for his wife.
When I joined Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville I was given two options. Sign a contract for 12 months of membership at one rate or sign a contract for 24 months at a lower rate. In addition, there was a key fee (which I had waived) as well as an annual maintenance fee (It is a minimal fee to cover cleaning clothes and such).
The aspect of the contract that was a turn off for me was cancelling. If I wanted to cancel the contract early I would have to pay 50% of the remaining balance or $150 – whichever was greater. Now, I wasn’t planning on canceling before the contract was up but being presented with that sort of penalty wasn’t appealing.
In my case, I pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $32.99 per month for the next 24 months. This is a basic membership without additional perks such as tanning.
I visit Anytime Fitness anywhere between 3 and 6 days per week, depending on the weather. I generally do my strength training after work and arrive around 3:45pm. By the time I finish up and head home, it is usually around 5:30pm. In that particular window there isn’t a whole lot of traffic through the gym. It seems to pick up around 6:00pm onward but I have yet to see the place so busy that people have to wait on equipment to become free.
On occasion I’ll be unable to do my cardio routine outside. In this case I normally walk through the door between 4:30am and 6:30am and work out for about an hour. Surprisingly, this time frame seems a bit busier than the afternoon hours. My assumption is that people are trying to get in a workout before starting their day-jobs.
On the occasion when I stop in during a weekend, I’m usually using the gym with one or two other people. If you are a social gym-goer I suppose I can see where this may be a problem for you. I’m a quiet guy and love the fact that I can get in and out without a whole lot of time wasted by making conversation between sets.
I joined Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville on May 5, 2015 and had my very first workout in the gym later that evening. This was the first gym I had been a member of since Planet Fitness (which I cancelled when I moved from Reading to Gilbertsville) and I remember feeling very intimidated.
Here I was, a fat guy struggling to lift weights, standing in a sea of fit people. I was self conscious and immediately began second guessing my decision to join. The more time I spent in the gym the more I realized that the people around me didn’t give a damn about me. They were there to work out, just like I was.
It took a couple of weeks before I felt comfortable but now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The people are friendly, the gym is clean, and most importantly, I feel like I get more than my monies worth out of my monthly membership.
If you are interested in joining Anytime Fitness of Gilbertsville, drop in and take a look around. Maybe you’ll even find me working out during your visit and, if that is the case, be sure to say Hi and let me know you read this writeup.