Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REVIEW: Redmond Athletic Club

As you know, I am all about mixing it up and trying new things.  I love checking out popular classes or picking up Living Social deals to keep my workouts fun. 

Yay fencing date!

One of my latest expeditions was a visit to the Redmond Athletic Club in downtown Redmond (right near Bella Bottega and Z-Ultimate).  My teaching schedule puts me in the area often, and one day I decided to head over and check it out.

Uber-spacious weight "room"
I went online and looked for the RAC to see if there was anything I should know before coming.  It looked like they offered a free 5-day trial pass, so I submitted my email to get one in time for my visit.  It didn't show up in my inbox before I had to leave for teaching, but I didn't think much of it.

Boot camp class on the basketball court

When I arrived at the RAC that evening stoked to workout and explore, the guys at the front desk were gracious enough to honor the trial pass I mentioned, even though they didn't seem to know what I was referring to. 

I found out later that I had been on a completely different website for a Redmond Athletic Club in a completely different state.  Embarrassing.  I'm now EXTRA impressed that the "real" RAC honored the guest pass just because I mentioned it, rather than making a stink about it or tossing me out on my hinny.

Honestly, the staff was awesome.  They took care of me, gave me a great tour of the gym, and okayed me bringing my camera along for the ride.  They gave me some details about pricing, answered my questions, and were always available to explain equipment.  If I understand it correctly, the front desk staff also work as trainers at the anyone on hand is qualified to give you input on how to use a particular machine.

Here's my point-by-point review:

  • Environment: 5 out of 5.  This is probably the best looking gym I have ever met.  Everything is wide and open and is obviously kept up well.  Everything is laid out well...and in case you get lost they even post signs to help you find your way around.
  • Staff: 5 out of 5.  As I mentioned above, they really want to serve and help you find a gym that is a good fit.  They know their stuff if you have questions...but if you don't, they leave you to workout in peace 
  • Affordability: 2 out of 5.  The price list I got put your monthly membership over $100...depending on how many people are in your family, you can get a better deal...but still pricey.
  • Convenience: 4 out of 5.  The RAC offers great hours, and being smack in the middle of downtown Redmond, makes a great stopping point on the way to or from work/school.
  • Cardio machines: 4 out of 5.  Lots of variety.  There were plenty of machines available, even at their busiest time of night.  You face the rest of the gym, so it's nice to have some "breathing" room and not feel cramped.  My only complaint stepmill (which is my personal cardio fave.)  I DID love the ArcTrainer - had never seen or tried one before.  It's kinda like an elliptical, but more like hiking than running.  There is also a separate room for spin classes.

    Sweat your heart out!

    Super schnazzy ArcTrainer...

    ...which kicked my little tush

    Spin bikes
  • Free weights/weight machines: 5 out of 5.  Again, lots of variety and plenty of room.  In addition to plenty of traditional machines (in great working order), they had one of those cable machines everyone keeps talking about, "boxes" for getting your Crossfit on, and a slider with fancy socks. 

    Cable machine

    Box jumps!!!

    This thing made my butt sooo sore.

    Cool socks!  They go over your shoes.
  • Stretching/abs area(s): 4 out of 5.  They actually have upstairs near the cardio machines and one downstairs near the childcare center and weights.  The have medicine balls, bosu trainers, foam rollers, and all kinds of good stuff.  Some of the equipment didn't look as updated as the rest of the gym, and the downstairs area seems a little in the way of folks on their way to lift, but other than that, good spot to work your core and stretch your muscles. 


  • Awesome extras: 5 out of 5.  The RAC has a basketball court, a racquetball court, and a rock climbing wall.  Pretty sick.

    Shoulda brought my partner!
    If this doesn't make heights look fun, what would?

  • Classes/training: Great Options.  The RAC offers a ton of different classes from boot camp to spin to yoga, and at convenient times throughout the day and week.  Personal training and nutrition coaching is also available.  I can't comment further having not taken a class or had training, but they definitely have a lot of options available.
  • Locker rooms/bathroom: 5 out of 5.  Amazing.  I could have spent my entire visit to the RAC without leaving the locker room and been pretty happy.  Everything was beautiful and well laid-out.  From the sauna to plenty of (carpeted!) benches near the lockers to an ironing board, it seems they've thought of everything. 
  • Atmosphere/focus factor: 5 out of 5.  Honestly, a gym this nice had me kinda expecting folks to be less serious about working out and more into "gym culture," if you know what I mean...folks who come in to jump on the elliptical for ten minutes and then "stretch" for an hour while chatting on their phone.  SO not the case at the RAC.  All the clientele seemed committed and excited about their workout, whether attending a class or running or hitting up the rock climbing wall.  It's always important to exercises in an encouraging environment, and the RAC offers that in spades.
Final verdict: Hands-down, this is the nicest gym I have ever visited.  They manage to maintain top-notch offerings without seeming snobbish.  The only drawback here is the cost...but frankly, if you can afford it, you will definitely get more than your money's worth for the equipment, classes, and "extras."  In the Seattle area, it can be SO hard to stay motivated when the weather gets crappy (you know, from October to June).  But the RAC makes working out so fun, you'd be hard pressed to stay away. 

You tell me:  Have you ever been to the RAC?  Thoughts?  Comments?  Sore muscles?

1 comment:

  1. sounds awesome, but yowza that is expensive!! I didn't even know it existed. Thanks for the review!


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