As a loyal member of an upscale health and fitness center located in Mercer County, I have never stepped beyond the limits of my own gym. However, I was well aware that there are in fact other fitness facilities in the surrounding area such as the brand new Work Out World, located on route 130 in Robbinsville, NJ. “WoW,” as its members refer it to, is known for being decent quality and having low monthly fees. I was intrigued and went to see how this affordable gym compares to the health and fitness center that I have been attending for more than six years.
When walking into WoW, I was initially surprised at just how large the facility is. The walls are extremely high and the space is brightly lit with modern fixtures that bounce light off the red and yellow interior walls.
After my moment of utter astonishment of WoW’s size, I noticed the juice bar adjacent to the front desk, an amenity that my own gym lacks. Smoothies and refreshments of all sorts were available for a pre-work out energy boost or a post- work out recovery treat.
A young woman greeted me warmly. She gave me information about Work out World while setting up my temporary membership. The $10 monthly rate is the lowest I have ever seen for fitness center.
Winding through the corridor to the women’s locker room, I became aware of the pulsing pop music that played throughout the facility. I felt revved up and ready to give 100 percent to my workout. The locker room, just like the rest of WoW was clean, colorful and bright, with casting mirrors, bathroom stalls, and showers throughout.
I planned to start my exercise routine with a warm up run, but the cardio machines were scattered in almost every corner of the gym overwhelmed me. I didn’t know where to start. There were treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and stair climbers located throughout the first and second floors. I chose a treadmill on the upper floor so I could scope out the gym while also speeding up my heart rate.
The treadmill I chose, much like every other piece of cardio equipment at Work Out World, had a personal television set placed at eye level. That is one of their best features; at my gym, every cardio user is forced to share the same six television sets.
After working up a sweat from cleaning my treadmill, I ran to the nearest water station, which was an eyesore of a fountain. The pitiful trickle that struggled to leave the fingerprint-stained nozzle was beyond a let down. As I finished the cardio portion of my work out, I searched the second floor for cleaning supplies to wipe down my treadmill. I quickly located the blue bottle of disinfectant spray. The spray was highly concentrated and excessively strong smelling. I’m glad they take disinfection seriously, but using such pungent chemicals doesn’t make you feel healthy when you’re working out.
Charlie Stein, a nineteen-year-old WoW member of about 2 months told me, “ I always bring my own water. The fountains are soooo nasty.”
After what felt like 10 minutes, I finally filled my water bottle and went in for my first sip. As the luke warm liquid seeped out of the plastic bottle, the over powering taste of copper and dirt filled my mouth. The only way to describe the water is foul.
Hopping from machine to machine, I noticed that I was one of the only women in the entire gym and I could feel myself being watched, which was off-putting. I did see some women carrying yoga matts, but that was about it. Besides Yoga, Work Out World offers a variety of classes including the most popular kickboxing, Zumba, and spinning. I guess that’s where the girls are.
In hopes of finishing my exercise routine before the closing hour of 11pm, I located the abdominal, leg, and arm machines, which were conveniently grouped together by body part. A designated red stretch/core mat was located on the top floor, while arms and legs were on the first floor, adjacent to the indoor basketball court. Seventeen-year-old Dylan Martin said, “the court is small, but I play here when it’s too cold outside.”
Overall my experience at Work Out World in Robbinsville was good. The general aesthetics were pleasing; it was an impressive size, clean and brightly lit. The staff was friendly, and for the most part knowledgeable in answering my many questions. WoW offered all of the machines, weights, and instruments needed for my workout, as well as that of any athlete or power lifter.
But there were a few glitches. The cardio equipment is located all over the facility, which I found problematic. Also, there was a faint odor of alcohol based cleaning spray that lingered in each area. I felt like the only female in a sea of males (not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t like to feel self conscious when I’m working out), and last but definitely not least, the water that I used to rehydrate myself with was not potable. Nevertheless, the problems I encountered were modest. On the whole, WoW offered a great workout for a great prince.