This post is overdue, for several reasons. First off, it’s never too early to say nice things when you mean them. Second, I’ve already written about my hate for my former emergency backup gym*. And most directly, I should have written this before writing about my trip to Bodi last week. That write-up was almost undoubtedly shorter than it deserved.
The reason is that my gym—Enrgi Fitness—has done so much to shape my expectations and my understanding of what works for me that it functions as a default vision by which I judge other gyms or situations by. Bodi fits into that vision well—which isn’t surprising, since Nikki used to teach at Enrgi and fit in perfectly well there. So really, the lack of text is a good sign—a signal that “yeah, this is just what I wanted.” But without an explanation of that default vision, the post on Bodi might not come off that way.
So here’s why I love my gym, and why it represents the standard that I compare other things to.
- Classes. Enrgi is, essentially, all classes.** It’s a workout model that works really well for me. Being in a group helps me work harder, and longer. And having variety—a different workout each day—is also really valuable. When I’ve tried to workout on my own, my workouts get pretty samey, and then they get boring, and then I stop doing them.
- The classes are good. They’re fun and hard, and I’ve had really good results. We’re never expected to shout “Woo!” There’s a lot of variety, but nothing that’s just stupid. Unlike that one class at terrible emergency backup gym—I won’t name it, but it does slant-rhyme with “Fellate Business”—where we did a full song’s worth of just bicep curls, choreographed to the song’s quite high-tempo beat. Why the fuck?
- The gym experiments: They periodically try new formats and new equipment. Not everything catches on, but sometimes they do.
- The instructors are good. That overlaps with the last point, but it’s worth expanding on. They make their own workouts, within a few broad formats, and they’re consistently challenging and interesting. They have a good sense of when and how to push, when to encourage, when to say “good job,” and when to fix form. They also know more than they need to. I’ve often asked for and gotten good advice on topics tangential to the workout. There’s even a series of “clinic” classes on a variety of topics. They aren’t really workouts, but they go into background information about various things—rowing, pullups, or whatnot—with stuff about proper form and the anatomy involved and practical advice to improve.
- The people are good. That includes the instructors, and the staff, and the other people who workout there. I like them—they’re supportive, they’re nice, they make the classes better… if I weren’t so grossed out by the concept of “inspiration”*** I’d say they were inspirational. It makes it pretty easy to look forward to going to work out.
- And since we all pretty much like each other, we hang out outside of the gym too. Enrgi plans some of these events, which are generally a lot of fun, but sometimes there are informal things as well. (The team I’ll be running the Bourbon Chase in the sidebar is going to be mainly gym buddies, for example.)
I suppose I ought to provide a disclaimer: What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone else. But this really worked for me, and for that, I’m really grateful.
** Members can come in during non-class times (basically between lunch and dinnertime) to use the space, and some do—I certainly have—but classes are the thrust of what they offer.
*** But that’s another story, as a pretty mediocre columnist I used to edit used as the last line of all of his columns.