Berlin is a big city with a lot of variety –being such a diverse city – this is the perfect spot to expose yourself to different cultures, traditions, foods, lifestyles, art, and even activities. When I first arrived here a few years ago I joined the gym down the street from where I lived – I enjoyed the gym except when I wanted to explore Yoga & Pilates and they offered no classes. I ended up finding a Yoga program at another studio – in another part of town and ended up spending more time & money to ‘supplement’ my original gym membership.
So when the time came to renew – I quit & while I have been looking to find a new gym with everything I am looking for – hours, equipment, location(s), studio space, special classes like spinning, yoga, Pilates & aerobics – I have been gun shy to make the investment & lock myself into a membership the only meets half of my requirements…and or keep hoping someone will develop a gym that meets all of my needs & anticipates new trends?
Problem Solved: Urban Sports Club.
I had the good fortune of being able to test-drive a new concept in gym membership – The Urban Sports Club (www.urbansportsclub.com). Here is the gist of the concept – under the umbrella of a single membership you have access to a multitude of gyms, yoga studios, climbing clubs, Zumba classes, tennis courts, basketball games – whatever suits you- they have over 55 partners in/around Berlin & I would bet there is something in their program that is perfect. They offer on average 450 unique activities per week.
In the course of a month I went to about 6 events/classes/gyms – some were great – like a wonderful Zen Yoga class 2 blocks from my home – and some were not-so good – a smallish gym close to a friend’s place- the air-conditioning was not working and the weather was unseasonably warm. Needless to say while the place didn’t suit me I did get in a work out close to where I was for the weekend – which I couldn’t do with my old membership to a single gym. There are also spots close to my work – and every week different offerings with the business just beginning to take shape & developing partnerships with trainers & facilities – the possibilities are seemingly endless.
The pricing is fair & flexible – with 3 levels of membership allowing for additional flexibility. They even offer pay-as-you go programs for team sports & events. Another great bit for those of us who are here on a temporary status – all their memberships are month to month – no need to lock-into an annual membership you might never be able to see through. Brilliant.
The concept is well executed with a robust & user-friendly website and address all the normal ‘pitfalls’ of a gym membership: outgrowing a gym, bored of the same classes, people & routines, and not having a range of memberships to customize a plan & budget that works for you. The only thing missing is your own will – because now there is a way.
The will to go – that is a much longer story.