Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gym Review: Bullitt County YMCA

As a personal trainer and strength coach, I have been privy to visiting a lot of gyms.  I have worked in many and have been a member of others.  In a previous life, I have even sold equipment to most of the gyms in the Louisville area.  I have a generally good idea of what makes a good gym, what makes a bad gym, and what makes everything in between.  So I wanted to make a periodic post on what I think of ALL of the local gyms in the greater Louisville area and wherever else I may workout in my travels.  You can use it as a guide or you can use it to tell me that I'm full of crap.  Whatever.  

A little about how my ratings are going to be.  I am going to have 6 categories: equipment, staff, cleanliness, amenities, members, and miscellaneous.  I'm sure there are other variables that can go into this but I'm a pretty simple person and these are the most important to me.  I could easily get into group class schedule, pricing, parking, location, whatever.  And those might go into the miscellaneous pile.  Who knows.  Since this is the first post of this type, I'm kind of winging it here.  So, without further ado, my fist gym I'm reviewing is the one I go to the most.  It's the Bullitt County YMCA

I have been a member of the Bullitt County YMCA for about 5 years.  I went there because I was a member of a nasty gym, Hester's, which I will review at another time.  That one will not get good reviews, I can say that already.  Not only have I been a member of the B.C. YMCA, I have also sold them a lot of their equipment.  I know the staff very well and they even allowed me to teach a crosstraining type class there once.  The B.C. YMCA is located in Shepherdsville, KY right off of I-65.  For the location I guess it serves it's purpose.  Bullitt County doesn't require or need that much.  The population there is not high maintenance so neither is the gym.  

Equipment:  This facility has a full line of Paramount strength machines with some Cybex thrown in.  I'm not a fan of machines but for the money, I guess the Paramount line isn't too bad.  Not too many plate loaded, it's all weight stacks.  They have 2 racks of dumbells,  2 power racks, 1 smith machine, 2 bench presses, 1 incline, 1 decline, and a cable cross multi-gym.  Throw in a bunch of misc. benches and it pretty much has everything that's needed for the strength world.  The plates are great but if you are looking for bumper plates, this is not the place.  For cardio, they have a full line of Precor ellipticals and treads and AMT's and a few Star Trac treads with cardiotheater.  A couple of Cybex Arc Trainers and 1 Concept II rower fills out the cardio line.  I would prefer one more rower and for more of the treads to have entertainment systems with them but I guess this line of equipment fits the crowd that goes there.   The quantity of equipment is good for 8 months out of the year but from January to April it can be tough getting a treadmill or getting into the free weight area with the increased crowd.  
Rating:  3.5 dumbbells out of 5

Staff:  I know the staff here well.  The Fitness Director, Chris, is a good guy and seems to know how to implement programs to try and get everyone involved.  The front desk staff is very friendly and I never have any problems with Justin or anyone else from that area.  I know a few of the group instructors and they are all very good at what they do.  They seem to have a very loyal following for the group classes, of which I do not partake any, but I see the crowds that go.  One area I think could be improved is the personal training staff.  Chris has told me that there simply isn't much personal training that goes on there, so maybe that is why I haven't been impressed with it.  The fitness staff seem fairly knowledgeable on basic fitness program design but I think they need to work on continuing education in order to stay abreast of the latest trends (not fads) in the fitness world and keep up with the latest research.  
Rating:  3.5 Ex. Phys degrees out of 5

Cleanliness:  For the most part, this facility is very clean.  It should be.  The standards the YMCA of America sets for all of their facilities is pretty high.  I rarely see nasty sweat stains on the benches or treadmills.  The locker room is pretty clean and I don't feel like I have to fear to tough anything in there or the rest of the facility for fear of MRSA, although I can never say enough about the importance of shower shoes regardless of where you go.  
Rating 4.5 bottles Hibiclens out of 5

Ammenities:  This facility has a full gym, 2 racquetball courts, 2 group rooms, 1 spin room, a kids room with games, and a whirlpool and dry sauna in each locker room.  Oh, and a child watch for kids under 7.  The one thing lacking that I desperately wish they had was a basketball court.  They do have a hoop in one of the racquetball courts but it's not very good and it's taken away when their are racquetball players on it.  I'd love to be able to take my kids there to play basketball but that doesn't happen.  
Rating:  3 basketballs out of 5

Members:  This is the fun part.  Rating the members at a facility could be hazardous to my health.  It's possible they could read this blog and if I knock them, they may be waiting for me in the parking lot.  That said, the members for this facility are definitely from the country.  They are very blue collar, working class citizens and generally good people that are very polite.  During the day, there is a huge population of active aging adults (old).  After working hours, there is a huge population of meatheads that congregate in the free weight area and generally just take up space.  If they spent their time working out rather than talking and standing around, I'd be able to get through my workout a little easier.  90 percent of the members at this facility are great.  It's that 10 percent that congregate in the free weight area and stand around and do nothing or stay at the bench press for their entire workout that drive me nuts.  
Rating:  3 sleeveless Affliction shirts out of 5

Miscellaneous:  One thing I love about this YMCA, that can be said about all of the other Louisville Y's, is they stay current with the latest equipment.  Every year they make a big capital purchase, rather a lease I should say, and bring in new equipment.  I like that.  A lot of gyms are still running on Trotter treadmills and ancient Nautilus equipment.  But these guys are pretty good about staying current.  And the equipment is rarely broken, which is a huge plus.  They recently re-did the locker rooms and I like them.  The one thing I would knock is that they do not provide gym towels.  I realize that can be a pretty large expense, especially when people are always mistakenly taking them home, but I'd still like to see them.  The music leaves some to be desired, but that's why I bring an ipod.  
Rating:  4.5 gym towels out of 5

Overall rating:  22 out of 30.  

Great job Bullitt County Y.  You guys do enough to keep me coming back.  While some of the crowd that hangs out there isn't particularly my type and I wish you had a real basketball court, you do a great job with what you have.  

1 comment:

  1. I too am a member of the BC YMCA. I really liked reading the review you posted. Very accurate down to the members. A plus that I do love about the Y is the childcare. Hands down the best around town. I will knock the personal training and coaching down further then what you reviewed. I think the reason there is not much training is because it is not properly addressed. The trainers I have seen do not show proper form or give advice that is soley for the indivdual. Its a problem at this Y. I would highly recommend to seek out another gym if you are looking for a good trainer. The classes ehh they are ok. Sometimes it feels that the classes are for the instructor rather then the class. That is a problem. The free weights and cross training area is great. The equipment is there, but not a lot of each. That said for the space the Y has, they do have everything you need.