Pros: The gym is extremely well-equipped and beautifully maintained. Out of every Anytime Fitness I have visited (I travel, I've been to 100+), I would put this one at #1 for total amount and variety of equipment. The members are also pleasant and considerate to one other.
Cons: Management (the owner's wife, Jen).
I have never written an even slightly negative review of any business, but I feel that others need to know about an interaction that occurred today, 10/13/2021.
I noticed a sign in the dumbbell section of the gym: "If you are grunting louder than a woman giving birth, you are lifting incorrectly. Please see a personal trainer." Every sign/advice I have seen from any Anytime Fitness has been scientific, except this one.
I completely understand, agree with, and support the enforcement of no-grunting policies. Grunting is annoying/distracting to other members of the gym. I also see the humor in the statement. Yet, I know from obtaining a Personal Trainer Certification with the American College of Sports Medicine, that this is an unscientific statement, and can spread misinformation among members that don't know better.
Martial Artists, Tennis Players, Olympic Weightlifters, and many other athletes see an increase in performance when they grunt. In the Olympics specifically, many athletes will scream at the top of their lungs while performing their lifts. It is easy to google and find studies/data of research that state grunting can increase performance by up to 10%.
A simple "No grunting" sign would accomplish communicating to members that grunting is frowned upon, without the misinformation of loud grunting supposedly making a lift "incorrect" or "improper."
Admittedly, I think out of any issue I've ever had with a gym, this is the smallest. I actually can't recall if the sign said incorrect or improper because of how small of an issue I think this is.
When I brought this up to Jen, I had this attitude of it being an extremely small issue. I asked her to come see the sign so we could read it together. I never disagreed with anything the sign had said. I even stated that I agreed with no grunting policies and thought they were beneficial. After we read it together, she asked me to come back into the office, which I happily obliged.
When we returned to the office, it's almost as if a switch was turned on, and Jen became extremely defensive. I have given constructive criticism to many people in my life, and I have never seen someone go 0-100 as quickly as Jen did. Especially as I had not even criticized anything yet.
She immediately accused me of "trying to make a scene" and "reprimanding her before her members." I had not even thought of this possibility, so I politely apologized and stated that was not my intention and that I didn't even think of that. She said, "That is absolutely what you were trying to do." I still am confused by this, just in general, as there was no one around us. The entire dumbbell section, every adjacent machine and rack was empty. I actually looked around and saw no one on the floor from our vantage point.
Jen also accused me of "raising my voice," which no one else in my entire life has ever accused me of. I am very soft spoken and have been complemented many times for my calm demeanor, and non-confrontational nature. I try to de-escalate situations whenever they arise, which is exactly what I did here. Every time Jen accused me of something, I would apologize and say that was not my intention, trying to move on to actually get to the point of my argument.
Before I could get to my point, Jen abruptly cut me off: "You are a guest here, you can workout, but pick your battles wisely." I was flabbergasted. I ended the conversation by telling Jen that I did not feel comfortable at her gym, I was leaving, and wished her a good day.
I believe that Jen is the Manager because of her husband (the owner) instead of formal training. Regardless of how Jen got her position, I would be hesitant to bring up the smallest of complaints to her, unless you'd like to be accused of ill will. I would also not trust any personal trainer that agrees with the grunting information displayed at the Cape Horn Rd location.
If you do care about having a healthy relationship with your manager, instead look at the Etters location. Emily, the manager there, is absolutely wonderful, and the personal training they offer is second to none. Emily knows Jen, she stated that Jen gets defensive extremely quickly and even Emily's own friends have difficulty communicating with Jen. (I'm sorry Emily if I'm not supposed to say this). Emily also informed me that if I wrote a negative review about the Cape Horn Rd location that Jen would block me from her club's entry.
I am disappointed with the interaction I experienced today, and am saddened that I feel I have to write this review to warn others about a single unprofessional individual.