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August 2, 2012 at 4:24 am #604224
I was a member of Allstar previously and was generally happy. A few annoying things- but I think all gyms do.
I am going to be joining either Allstar or YMCA soon and wondering if I should switch to YMCA.
Pros/Cons that I can tell:
YMCA: PRO: the kids gym– it looked like a lot more fun. And I’ll probably go more if the kiddo is wanting to go there to play. I’ve heard the pool is better, but haven’t used. CON: seemed busier, less equipment, more crowded (mid afternoon/weekday visit) and kids gym closed in mid afternoon.
ALLSTAR: PRO: Familiar with it already. A lot more spin classes. Spin classes located in same building. Great equipment availablity. Childcare open in afternoon. CON: the showers are a bit skeevy.
I need a pool, spin classes, childcare, and ease of equipment availability. I don’t care of gym events, whole family activities, etc.
The childcare/kids gym seemed to be the biggest advantage of the YMCA.
Thoughts? Am I missing something? Recent experience feedback? Thanks!August 2, 2012 at 4:55 am #765574
I think both gyms are good. I have gone to Allstar on only a short visit (meaning a one month pass) and liked it. I belong to the Y. The childcare is good but I have heard great things about Allstar too. I would ask for a 3 day pass to the Y so you can really check it out.August 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm #765575
Thanks for starting the post. I want to swim laps only; any pros or cons re: either place/pool?August 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm #765576
If you just want to do lap swimming consider the city pool (Seattle Parks & Rec) if it’s close to you. They have pre-paid passes for a set amount of sessions at a discount as well as monthly rates for unlimited sessions. I used to attend water aerobic classes at Helene Madison and Greenlake pools and the locker room and shower facilities were always spotless and in great condition and never skeevy. I liked it better than some of the chain-gyms I have visited. The lap swim times were usually wrapping up when I was waiting for water aerobics and didn’t ever look crowded/busy. Could be different at the West Seattle location, YMMV.August 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm #765577
I think Southwest or the pool in White Center (called Evergreen? not sure) would be good if you just want to swim laps.August 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm #765578
If you just want to swim laps, I’d recommend joining All Star or the Y instead of going to Southwest. I’ve done both and Southwest has a lousy schedule for lap swimming, whereas All Star almost always has lanes open. Plus if you go frequently enough, the costs are about the same…and you’d get other options like spin class or yoga included.
However, there are other pros and cons to weigh. I couldn’t stand the lifeguards at ASF and quit out of principal. I’ve had to adjust my schedule to fit in swimming and drive all over town to do so with the interesting Seattle P&R lap swim schedules, but I suppose it’s worth it.
As for the shower facilities…I will never complain about the cleanliness of All Star, I found it totally acceptable. If you’ve ever been in the nasty locker room at Colman Pool, you’d understand! I’m no germaphobe but I am amazed that so many women walk through there barefoot.
As for the Y, my sister tried both All Star (pre-kids) and joined the Y after she had kids. She was okay with the Y for daycare, but said they’d only watch the kids for one hour, which was never sufficient time to get in a good swim for her. She’d just lift weights super fast and go back for the kiddos. I may be incorrect on some of this so definitely get a 3 day pass to test it out!August 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm #765579August 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm #765580
Thanks all! Has anyone had a problem needing to wait for equipment at the Y? Or with lap lanes full?August 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm #765581
I’m also a swimmer and mom, and have belonged to both Allstar and the Y. Parking is easier at Allstar and a huge drawback of the Y espeially during childcare hours. Childcare is much better at the Y, though if your kids would be separated at the Y because of their ages it may be a plus to have them in the same room at Allstar. Allstar dedicates more time and space for lap swimming. If you want to swim at the Y during childcare hours, you’ll be sharing a lane with at least 4 others. I hear the Matt Griffith Y is much better because it has a dedicated lap pool, but have not driven down there yet to check it out.August 3, 2012 at 12:20 am #765582
Another option to consider for the Y is as the kids grow older, would they be interested in the sports and fitness programs they offer (baseball, soccer, basketball, karate, camps, etc.) Parents nights out are pretty cool ($20 for >3 year old for 5:30-10pm about once a month). Matt Griffith is like a country club facility wise, awesome locker rooms and pool. The Y is also a non-profit which I like. You can usually find 2x year when they waive the initiation fee, and you can also take vacations from the monthly membership fees if you don’t see yourself using the facilities for a couple months. Parking can e a challenge, especially with the construction going on.August 3, 2012 at 4:52 am #765583
Well, with the Y you can go to West Seattle, Fauntleroy, Matt Griffin, Bellevue, Coal Creek, Downtown, Auburn, Northshore, University and a few others.August 3, 2012 at 5:00 am #765584November 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm #765585
Bumping this as we’re at a crossroads of where to take our membership. We thought we were a member of Allstar but due to general gym business shadiness, we have to re-pay first and last month to rejoin. Anyway, we have a small child and are thinking the Y might be the best option. I’m mostly concerned about parking and equipment (treadmills, elliptical) – is this an issue at the Y? I’ve heard parking is a nightmare during peak times. I will most likely check it out myself, but would love to hear some more feedback.
Thanks!November 6, 2012 at 12:05 am #765586
I ended joining the Y and have been happy. There are definitely pros/cons to either. I thought the childcare staff at AllStar were all very nice…but there are a lot more activities for kiddo to do at the YMCA, which she loves. (That makes me more likely to go).
Cons of YMCA: parking is worse, cardio machines more crowded, less space for weights, less classes, group shower. Less hours for childcare, fewer dedicated lanes & lap swim hours per day.
Cons of Allstar: cost, childcare isn’t as fun for my child, have to pay each time to use childcare so you end up waiting at desk to pay a lot of times, less supportive staff, less diverse, more expensive.
Honestly, it is a toss up. Because I need childcare to be able to exercise it seemed like the YMCA was the best option for me at this time. And I really value the diversity there. I do miss the spaciousness of Allstar and will likely consider it again when my child is in school and I no longer need as consistent of childcare. As the best time to swim laps is when there isn’t childcare. I haven’t been able to figure out optimal workout schedule for myself that coordinates with my work schedule childcare availability.November 6, 2012 at 12:34 am #765587
The Y just secured an 18 space lot across the street by the dry cleaners on Fauntleroy. That makes parking a little bit better.November 6, 2012 at 1:08 am #765588
I have been a member of the Y for over 5 years and am starting to reconsider my membership.
Cons: Monthly fee for family has increased almost every year since we began, started at $93 now is $107. Lap swims are at odd times, never a lap swim pre-work hours. The classes are great but some are so crowded you can’t access them unless you go to the previous class. The yoga classes are all at a beginner level. You can only have 1 towel and they will shame you if you take more. I am not joking!
Matt Griffin pool is nice and you can have all the towels you want!
Pros: the pool is warm. clean locker rooms
Obviously very annoyed with Y at this time!November 6, 2012 at 2:37 am #765589
I’ve belonged to both – you are right there are pros & cons to both. We are at the Y now. The childcare, staff, and community just rocks socks. I would be missed if I didn’t show up, I’ve made several good friends, and I’ve always gotten a parking spot!
With 3 kids Matt Griffin pool is awesome (0 entry and warmer). I like basketball and soccer for the boys too – and the price for 2 hours of babysitting a day is PRICELESS and probably 98% responsible for my sanity. :)November 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm #765590
We like the Y and their programs, especially family and activities. But after seeing the monthly dues go up again, West Seattle/Fauntleroy is getting the short end of the stick compared to the newer ones around Seattle (Matt Griffin, Coal Creek, Samammish). Hopefully some new upgrades/building come soon.
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