Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome, to tonight's Main Event. In the Top corner, we have a Heavyweight Fitness Club based out of England, Boasting of international representation in at least 15 nations, spreading throughout Asia and Europe, and "One Million Members Worldwide, Fitneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeess Firrrsssttt.
And in the lower corner, a Heavyweight Fitness Club based out of the United States, with representation in at least 6 nations, mostly throughout Asia, and a slew of celebrity autographs on the Wall, Caaaaaaaaliforniaaaaaaaaaaaa Fitneeeeeeeeeesssss.
This match is scheduled for 4 rounds....Let's get Ready to Ruuuummmbllllllllleeee.
Round 1 - Appearance/Location
Each fitness club looks modern and up to date. For the locations in Thailand, California Fitness is in downtown, highly populated locations. This helps to give California a better name as far as word of mouth travels. Fitness First is in locations which are more on the outskirts of downtown Bangkok. Not as "High Class" as California. This means two things really. Highly populated locations, means crowed facilities. Having to wait for weights, or benches, or machines is never fun. So really Round 1 is Socializing Crowd Vs. Comfort. For Me, that gives Round 1 to Fitness First, though the Socialites will score it differently. Fitness first also had a nice said of giveaways with membership; nice bag, water bottle, t-shirts.
Round 2 - Locker rooms
Each Fitness center has nice locker rooms. More or less, there are adequate amounts of lockers and showers available. Steam rooms and Saunas are also available at both Fitness Clubs, although steam rooms are not available at every California Fitness branch. At Fitness First, each locker has keys in them. If a locker is available, the key will be there in a similar fashion to pay lockers at bus terminals and theme parks, although they are free. At California you have to buy a lock and bring it with you. If you forget the lock, or the key to the lock, you have to either put you clothes in a locker with not lock, or buy a new lock at California Fitness prices. California Fitness however, does offer towels, both shower towel, and hand towels where as Fitness First does not. Not having to worry about towels is nice. Round 2 is a tie for me. Each has there advantages and disadvantages.
Round 3 - Memberships
Each fitness center can be considered expensive. There are first time membership fees, and then of course monthly payments with a 1 year contract. Depending on your ability to be sold, and/or haggle for a good price, the initial membership fees can be really high (US$300 THREE HUNDRED asked), to reasonable (US$25 TWENTY FIVE paid). That is simple though, and that is how Fitness First is. California was not as simple. California has a wide variety of membership colors; Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Of course each has different prices associated, but what all that means is, with a lower level of membership, you are limited to what days you can work out on. Certain number of days per week, and Fitness location limitations are put on each card. This is not to bad for those with a strict schedule, who will work out on the same time and same day and same location each time for that year, but for those who's schedule may vary, and for those who travel to other parts of town, let alone other countries, this can be a true limitation. Fitness first has two member ships, with only different payment schedules. And although their monthly payment is a bit higher (US$5 / month), there is complete freedom as to which day, time, location, and country you choose to work out in. Round 3 saw a strong Fitness First battling back.
Round 4 - Equipment
Really, this is what it all boils down to. How is they equipment at the gym. That is why you are there, to exercise. As far as machines and free weights go, I would say Fitness First and California both have adequate supplies and space, though this goes back to round one, and how crowded the gyms are. Each fitness center does have the extras though. Rooms for Aerobics, Yoga, Body Combat, Cycling, etc. Though California offers a slightly better selection of aerobic and body combat classes for free, California has the cycling and yoga classes for additional fees, where as each class is free at Fitness First. Round 4 goes to Fitness First.
In the battle between the 2 great Heavy Weight Fitness Centers, There is a split decision. Over all they are close, but at the Heavy Weight Fitness centers like these, you expect more than the light weights, and for that reason, all of the extras matter. And when taking all of the extras into consideration, California seems more about Face than Fitness. So for those looking to socialize, California would be your choice. But for the Fitness of it, the Winner of this hard fought Battle is Fitness First.
This article, along with other tips and motivation for living a healthy lifestyle can be found at the Sabaidi Health Blog
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