Health and fitness clubs abound in the East Bay. There are gyms for singles and families, and clubs catering to men, women, and kids. Most have fitness machines. Some also have pools; others boast badminton courts. This directory will help you choose from among the many facilities in this crowded field. We have attempted to describe the equipment, ambience, rates and other amenities of every club. To alert us to clubs we may have missed or offer suggestions about how to improve this directory, please click here.
1775 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707, 510-524-4583, HomeOfTheLoop.com
Hours: 6:00 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8:00 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun.
Rates: Ranges from $46 to $53 a month, less if you prepay for a year or more in advance; day pass $12.
Equipment: Cardio and strength machines.
Other amenities: Fitness assistants, stretching area.
Ambience: A subsidiary of 24-Hour Fitness, the Fit-Lite chain focuses on one basic plan: a thirty-minute workout featuring a brief warm-up and then 65 seconds on each of a series of machines, switching back and forth from strength to cardio, with each machine working a different muscle group. Music plays constantly, with a chime every 65 seconds signaling the time to change machines. Fit-Lite attracts busy people and whoever else prefers quick functional workouts. It is lean, clean, and streamlined, but doesn't have showers.
Kids: Childcare is not available.
24 Hour Fitness
Many East Bay locations, including:
2050 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94612, 510-433-1140
Castro Valley: 3839 East Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley, CA 94552, 510-733-6448
San Leandro: 15555 East 14th St., Suite 604, San Leandro, CA 94578, 510-278-9744
Oakland/High Street: 3950 Alameda Ave., Oakland, CA 94601, 510-434-2495
Hours: 24 hours daily.
Rates: Decline to state, but ranges from $30/month to $99/month, depending on facility and degree of access.
Equipment: Variable from location to location, depending on floor space and other factors.
Other amenities: Again, varies from location to location, but could include personal trainers, pro shop, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, swimming pool, spa, basketball courts, and more.
Classes: Yoga, kickboxing, cycling, swimming (at San Leandro and Oakland/High Street locations), and more.
Ambience: Yes, it's a megachain, but it's cheery. And during the off-off hours, you can have the whole place almost to yourself — often, if not always.
Kids: Childcare is available.
24 Hour Fitness
2072 Addison St., Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-548-4653, 24HourFitness.com
Hours: 5:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Mon.; 24 hours Tues.-Fri.; 7:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Sat.; 7:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Sun.
Rates: $79 a month; check for specials.
Equipment: Cardio and strength equipment including free weights and machines.
Other amenities: Pro shop.
Ambience: Being open almost around the clock (at least most days) really sets 24 Hour Fitness apart. Sure, it's corporate, but genuine human beings work here and they're helpful and efficient. Members of this 24 Hour Fitness have unlimited access to all other 24 Hour Fitnesses.
Kids: Childcare is not available.
3658 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #101, Lafayette, CA 94549, 925-299-9642, AbsoluteCenter.net
Hours: 8:00 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Sat.; closed Sun.
Rates: Rather than membership fees allowing unlimited visits per week, month, or year, Absolute Center charges per half-hour and hour-long visit, using a multi-tiered scale based on the amounts of time that visitors wish to spend in the center, the number of visitors sharing a session, and on the certification-levels of the trainers involved.
Equipment: Cardio and strength machines including free weights, treadmills, stair-climbers, and stationary cycles.
Other amenities: Personal trainers, physical therapists, stretching area.
Classes: Pilates, yoga.
Ambience: Soft music underscores a very mellow and deliberately "Zen-like" atmosphere. The Absolute Center is certified Green; among other conscientious efforts toward what it calls "intelligent fitness," eco-friendly paints were used in its recent expansion.
Kids: No childcare or kids' programs.
Alameda Athletic Club
1226 Park St., Alameda, CA 94501, 512-521-2001, AlamedaAthleticClub.com
Hours: 5:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Rates: Yearly memberships, $449; day pass, $10
Equipment: Around forty cardio machines and around 75 pieces of weight-training equipment — including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary cycles, and LifeFitness machines — occupy an entire floor, with classes held upstairs.
Other amenities: Personal trainers, massage therapists, shiatsu therapist, stretching area, hot tubs, and saunas.
Classes: Ashtanga and kundalini yoga, tai chi, kickboxing, step aerobics, Pilates — an added plus is that all classes are free to members. View the schedule at AlamedaAthleticclub.com/schedules.html
Ambience: TVs in the cardio and weight rooms are tuned to CNN and DirecTV, silent with closed captioning. Music throughout the facility is softer than at most clubs.
Kids: No childcare on-site.
921 Kains Ave., Albany, CA 94706, 510-525-1130, BAYMCA.org
Hours: 5:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Rates: $75 signup fee, plus $47 a month; nonmember class participation, $12.
Equipment: Cardio and strength equipment including ellipticals, bikes, rowing machines, cross-trainers, stair-climbers, free weights, and more.
Other amenities: Aerobics/dance studio, personal trainers, massage therapists, team sports.
Classes: Martial arts, cycling, Pilates, aerobics, and more; view schedule at BAYMCA.org/downloads/pdf_aclassschedule.pdf
Ambience: A small-town neighborly spirit keeps the Albany Y friendly and unintimidating — so it's one of those home-away-from-home gyms, with enough equipment and skilled, committed trainers to accommodate serious athletes as well as casual ones.
Kids: Many programs for kids such as youth teams and Kids' Night Out. Childcare is available.
883D Island Dr. (inside Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center), Alameda, CA 94502, 510-864-2030, AnytimeFitness.com/Clubs/Alameda
Hours: Open 24 hours daily.
Rates: $70/enrollment fee, then $30/month, though this price is likely to rise in coming months.
Equipment: Cybex strength equipment, free weights, cardio equipment, Expresso virtual-reality bikes.
Other amenities: Personal trainers, nutritional consultants, state-of-the-art security systems to help members feel safe even late at night.
Ambience: It's clean and, given its we-never-close policy, at off-off hours you can have almost complete privacy here.
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