Is Anytime Fitness The Gym For You?

Jackson Novak, Design Editor

   Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour gym with over 4,000 independently owned locations worldwide. Locally, ten locations are within 12 miles of Lake Central, including St. John, Dyer, Schererville, Munster, Cedar Lake and Crown Point. Each facility has cardio machines such as treadmills, exercise cycles, ellipticals, etc. Weight machines, free weights and functional equipment like jump ropes, punching bags and medicine balls are ready to use. Access to private restrooms and showers, tanning beds and hydromassage beds are also available with memberships. The age limit to join without parental consent is 18 years old. However, 16 and 17-year-olds can join as long as their parent or guardian signs the membership payment agreement.

   I joined the Munster location since it is the closest to my house, but my membership allows me access to all facilities worldwide. However, I am most familiar with the Munster location at this time. Their staffed hours are Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. I decided to check out the 7-day free trial offer, which was tricky with the rules and restrictions, but the manager was accommodating to make sure I received the most from the trial. I signed up online on a Thursday, which immediately activated; however you cannot use the facility until you sign up with a staff member for a tour, so the manager extended the trial until I could schedule an appointment. Also, access is allowed during limited staffed hours for the trial, so they offer a key fob for 24-hour entry for a $50 fee. The fee goes toward membership costs if you decide to join or gets refunded if you do not join. I took advantage of a promotion that waived the initiation fee of $49.99. The Munster staff was accommodating through the membership agreement process and allowed me a few days to look over the details before signing. The fee of $24.99 is taken out of my bank account every two weeks. There is also a one-time $35 fee for the key fob. Guest passes are available to bring friends and family during staffed hours.

   Memberships include one personal training session, and the staff is always willing to answer questions. Since I was new to working out in a gym, the training helped me feel comfortable with how things work at that location. It was overwhelming at first, but the more I went, the easier it was to find my routine. I primarily use the cardio and weight machines currently but am working on incorporating free weights into my workout. I found the 24-hour access the best fit for my busy schedule; I try to go as often as possible. 

   In conclusion, I recommend seriously looking into joining Anytime Fitness if you’re in the market for a gym membership. The convenience makes it easy to get a workout in and challenging to come up with excuses not to go. The best approach is to contact the location you plan to join directly instead of signing up on the website. The staffed hours vary by location and are still being adjusted after COVID restrictions. The Munster location can get very busy in the evening, but with 24-hour access, I find times that work for me.