At the beginning of the year, I joined all the other people that vow to stop binge watching Netflix and start doing daily burpees, pushups and crunches in the New Year. I was 3 months post-partum with baby #2 and definitely having a harder time losing the weight than with my first. I’m sure the daily frappucinos and cake had absolutely NOTHING to do with it. 😉
I have a gym at my work, but the hours aren’t that convenient, the location isn’t great for weekend workouts, and I wanted to find something to get me motivated and enjoying working out again. I’m also on a budget (have you priced preschool/daycare for 2 kids in West County lately?!) so I wanted to make sure I was going to get the most bang for my buck.
I made it a mission to try out all the free day passes or trial memberships to the different gyms in the area to see what was going to work best for me, and I have rounded them all up here with my personal reviews, pricing, perks, and any other information I thought would be helpful. I’ve also been able to get in some amazing workouts for free the past 2 months! High five me!
I’ll start with my top picks and work my way down – I have a tie for the #1 spot…
BURN Boot Camp – 14377 Manchester Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011
If you’re a women living in West County and on Facebook, I’m SURE you have heard of BURN and the “amazing community” they boast. I have to admit, I was super intimidated to go in and try Burn for some reason. I felt super out of shape and the workouts I saw on their Instagram page looked INTENSE. They offer a free boot camp every Saturday at 8:30am and 9:30am, so I figured this was my chance to try it out!
Warning: The free Saturday boot camps get PACKED. I actually didn’t mind that though because I was hoping to blend in and not get noticed by the instructors at all. 😉 Their workouts are intense, but also really fun! You walk in and just choose a spot on the workout floor and the instructors are super high energy and guide everyone through a warm-up and then break down the exercises for the day and split you into groups. This part is always super confusing to me on the weekends when it’s so crowded and I have definitely just guessed and joined a random group before. Each workout is 45 minutes total and just the right amount of butt-kicking! I am completely obsessed and in love with BURN!
Pros: BURN also offers a free 14 day trial if you sign up on their website (https://burnbootcamp.com/locations/manchester-mo/) which I ended up trying as well. I can totally see what all the hype is about now! BURN is addictive, fun, and a great workout. It is tied for #1 on my list because I think it had the best workouts, friendly trainers, and childcare included, which is such a huge thing for moms and so hard to find. I brought my 4 year old and he had fun in the childcare room. It does get really crowded on the weekends, so I didn’t feel comfortable bringing my 4 month old. I would have brought her to the less crowded classes during the week though. They have a lot of class times available each day, as well as a cool app where you can view all the times.
Cons: Really just one con for me, and that is a big one – the price tag! I honestly felt my jaw drop when the girl told me pricing and I had to quickly rearrange my face to a “thank you, I’ll consider it!” look. For a 12 month contract, it was $150/month. If you can afford it and need the childcare component, I think it is an amazing place to join, but it’s definitely one of the more expensive gyms in the area.
Performance 7 Fitness – 339 Clarkson Rd, Ellisville, MO 63011
P7 is tied for the #1 spot on my list. This place was actually located right across the street from me, so I knew I had to give it a try. They were advertising a free trial week on their Facebook page and I believe that offer is always valid.
P7 is set up similar to 9 Rounds if you have tried that before, but without the boxing. There are 7 centers set up and you are at each one for 5 minutes, making up one 35 minute workout. Each day is completely different, which makes it fun. The gym is pretty small – probably 1/5 the size of BURN, but it’s not nearly as crowded and they make great use of the room. I got to try fun workouts I would never do on my own – I’ve always wanted to do the “gym sled” workout I picture the Rock doing on the reg and I got to try that! (This is definitely exactly how I looked haha)
Pros: No set class times, you can walk in anytime they are open and have a 35 minute workout waiting for you. I enjoy going in and being able to turn my brain off for 35 minutes and just do what the trainers say. The owner is there 90% of the time and is SUCH a nice guy! To the point where I annoyed my husband talking about how friendly he was and how great the place is. LOL He plans monthly outings for all members and it seemed like a great, uplifting environment. It’s also much more affordable than Burn at $79/month, with no contract commitment.
Cons: No childcare and the hours might not work for everyone. They are closed Sundays and don’t open until 8am some days. If the hours work for your schedule though and you don’t need childcare, I could not recommend this place more.
Anytime Fitness – 2450 Taylor Rd, Wildwood, MO 63040
My husband tried out Anytime first and convinced me to try it out. I originally didn’t plan to give it a shot, since I’ve been to Anytime’s before and they all seem basically the same. However, I have to say I really like this location. It is never super busy, so you can always get on the machines you want to use and they have a large selection of equipment, including some I hadn’t seen at the bigger gyms. The husband and wife that own it are very friendly and welcoming, and they have a big chalkboard they update with classes, top check ins, etc that makes it feel like you’re really part of a community.
Pro’s: Open 24/7, not crowded, something for everyone, and affordable (memberships start at $39/person/month)
Cons: Classes cost extra, no childcare. This is a great gym if you are simply looking for a nice, clean place to get in, get your workout done, and get out. I personally like (need?) that extra motivation that I get in a class format.
9 Rounds – multiple locations
A friend at work does 9 Rounds and I have heard great things about it, so I was excited to give it a try with her for a free class. Walking in was kind of intimidating and I was glad I didn’t come alone for my first class – the trainer knew her and got us started, but if I had walked in alone I would have felt really self conscious about where to go/what to do. You go through 9 centers of 3 minutes each to get in a 30 minute workout. 5 of the rounds centered on boxing, and the other 4 were warmup and abs.
Pro’s: Fun workout in just 30 minutes, no set class times – you can walk in anytime.
Con’s: No childcare, and the price of $99/month seemed hefty to me for a 30 minute workout class.
Title Boxing – 14944 Manchester Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011
Once upon a time, before kids, I had all the time in the world to workout and I did Title Boxing for about a year and got in the best shape of my life. I hadn’t been to Title in about 5 years since I had my son, so I was really excited when I found a Groupon for $28 for 6 classes and decided to try it again.
I loved the format of Title when I used to go, which was a 15 minute “warm up” (that almost killed me every time), 30 minutes of boxing, and then 15 minutes of abs. Now they have it set up in “rounds” which they show on TV’s in the gym and after 4 classes, I still don’t understand how the rounds work. But they do offer 30, 45, and 60 minute classes now.
Pro’s: Fun workout that gets your heart pumping and lets you get aggression out! They also have a small open gym area where you can come workout outside of doing classes.
Con’s: Specific class times that might not work for everyone’s schedule, no childcare, and can get repetitive after awhile.
Golds Gym – 15890 Manchester Rd, Ellisville, MO 63011
My husband and I went to try this Gold’s out on a free 1 day pass on a day we were both off work. We went at 11am on a Wednesday and it was crowded even then. It’s a very nice Gold’s with a lot of classes offered, a hi-tech body fat machine, smoothie bar, cardio theater room, pool, etc.
Pro’s: All the extra’s people look for in a gym they offer.
Con’s: The salespeople there are INTENSE. I know they work on commission and have sales quotas, but they seriously hounded us via email and phone calls daily for months. I felt they were expensive considering Lifetime is right down the road and more impressive. Memberships started at $80/person/month. They could quickly get much more expensive though if you add on additional people/perks (childcare, certain classes, the body fat machine)
Lifetime Fitness – 3058 Clarkson Rd, Ellisville MO 63011
This is another one I was intimidated to try out and my first visit there was actually for a birthday party for one of my son’s friends. Which was a really great, well organized experience if you’re looking for b-day venues!
This gym is just so FANCY. No other words for it. You feel like you’re in a LA fitness center or something. They have an awesome smoothie bar/cafe with terrific food, a spa inside, basketball courts, an outdoor waterpark, classes…really anything you are looking for in a fitness center. Pricing starts at $89/person/month.
Pro’s: They offer EVERYTHING. I have heard the childcare is amazing and the room looked really clean and fun.
Con’s: Very busy all the time and the price.
Club Fitness – Chesterfield Outlets
Club Fitness falls to the bottom of my list. I tried out a 3 day pass there and when I went in my first day, the front desk employee basically just took my picture and said “you’re good”. Usually you get some sort of tour or at least asked if you have any questions/need help. I sort of wondered around for a bit looking for the changing room and equipment I wanted to use. They have a nice cardio section full of different machines, but I felt the free weight section was a little small and over crowded. The smoothie bar and classes are actually in a different building, which I had to ask someone in the changing room about to find.
Pro’s: CHEAP ($19/month), childcare available, classes offered
Con’s: Very busy, not the most helpful staff, not a lot of weight training space.
I hope this is helpful for anyone looking into all the different options in our area! I have several more places on my list to try out – OrangeTheory (another one that intimidates me), Wild Horse Fitness, Wildwood YMCA. Are there any others you are interested in or recommend I try out? Let me know if you have tried any of these and your thoughts!