Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Let's Talk About Goodlife Fitness

"It's a good life out there. Open up your eyes."
- GoodLife song
I think by now, most Canadians are familiar with the catchy GoodLife Fitness jingle (and their commercials). Not only are they catchy, but I also find them effective.

I've been a member of GoodLife since November 27, 2012. I'm lucky enough to have a small gym as part of the amenities in my apartment building, but that's just it; it's small. If I was really going to start working out, I didn't want to have to wait 30 minutes to use a set of weights or run on the treadmill. A lot of my friends are members of GoodLife and they'd constantly tell me how great working out felt and how GoodLife is a good choice to make. After hearing horror stories from other friends who were members of other gyms (stories such as being charged even after cancelling their contract, being charged more than they should have been every month, etc.) and nothing but good things about GoodLife, I decided to check it out for myself.

GoodLife's no pressure sales approach worked for me and I signed up the same day I went in for a tour. I figured I'd try it out for a bit and then cancel my membership within 30 days if I thought my own gym was a better choice. I didn't cancel though. I'm now a regular (going at least three times a week) and I love it. I've noticed a huge difference in the way I look and feel, since I've joined. I have more confidence and energy. Both of which lead to me being happier. If I am stressed, I find hitting the weights and the treadmill a perfect way of blowing off steam (not to mention the amazing runners high I get after being on the treadmill for a while).

Now let's talk about price and service:

I have the "youth" plan. After tax, I pay $28.25 bi-weekly for my membership (which is $56.50 a month or $678 a year). I know it sounds like a bit much, but when it means I'm taking care of my health and happiness, I see it as an investment. After all, I'm 25 now. My metabolism isn't going to stay as fast as it has been forever... unless I take care of it (by working out and eating right).

Some GoodLife locations also have unlimited tanning, which is ridiculously cheap. After tax, it comes to $7.91 bi-weekly ($15.82 a month or $189.84 a year). If you're interested in the unlimited tanning, you have to sign up for a minimum of three months (making it $47.52 for those three months). That's still a steal compared to any other tanning place, anywhere. But, more on tanning later.

The nice thing about my GoodLife membership is that it allows me to use it at any location in Canada. Considering that there are a few GoodLife's within a stones throw of my office, this benefits me. However, after trying different locations, I've become committed to just one.

One thing I found above all at this location, compared to others, is the staff. They're always friendly and eager to help. The girl who I signed up with still remembers my name and will say hi to me when she see me. I find this very impressive!

That was... until last night.

Back to the tanning for a second.

The location I go to only has one lay-down tanning bed (and either one or two stand-ups). Part of the reason I once became addicted to "fake-and-bake" tanning is because I found it so relaxing: laying down, fake sun beating down on my body while I listened to music. Ah, how calming. It was easy for me to close my eyes and pretend I was at the beach (which is why I prefer lay-down beds to stand-up ones).

You know the saying, "You get what you pay for"? That rings true for tanning at GoodLife. As someone who worked at a tanning salon for over a year, I can tell you that these beds are not great. The staff isn't trained on them either. I've asked more than one person, on more than one occasion, when the last time the bulbs were changed and my answers vary from, "recently" to "I'm not sure." It definitely doesn't seem to me like the bulbs have ever been changed "recently."

Another gripe I have is that the only music control is on the wall. It doesn't let you change the music station either (it plays the same music GoodLife is playing in the gym area); it just lets you change the volume. But even at its loudest, I can't hear the music once the bed is on.

My absolute biggest gripe though, is that I honestly don't think the staff cleans the beds after a tanner leaves. For one, I've never seen anyone go in and clean the rooms. Two, if they are cleaning the beds, they're doing a terrible job as I've seen sweat, tanning lotion and even lint, still on the tanning bed after another tanner has left. There's almost always a spray bottle in the room, which is why I ask for two towels when I go in: one for me and the other to clean the bed with. Which I really shouldn't have to do. If I wanted to clean tanning beds, I'd still be working at the tanning salon.

This brings me to my story of what happened last night.

Last night, I went to GoodLife for my usual Tuesday night workout. While I was there, I asked to cancel my tanning membership. In order to cancel the tanning, the (male) GoodLife employee asked me for my GoodLife membership card. I handed it to him (along with my keys, since the card is on my key chain). I then waited quite some time, as the employee wasn't sure how to cancel the membership. Finally, he gave me a paper to sign that confirmed my tanning membership will end on such set date and sent me on my way.

I did my workout, then went home.

Without my keys.

It wasn't until I got home that I realised the employee forgot to give me my keys back. I called GoodLife to confirm they had them. The same employee that I dealt with earlier answered the phone. When I said I was calling because I thought one of the employees forgot to give me my keys back, he said, "Alexandra?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Oh, yeah. That was me. I forgot to give you your keys back."

No, really? We already established that.

He apologised and said he "knew" I left so he put my keys aside with my name on it.

Here's what I don't get: Why didn't he just call me? My phone number is on my account. If he had called me, after my workout, I would have heard the voicemail and got my keys back before going home.

Needless to say, I was upset and disappointed. If it wasn't for Andrew (and my neighbour who kept me company while I waited for Andrew) I would have had to spend 40 minutes going back to the gym to get my keys and another 40 minutes to get back home.

This still isn't enough to deter me from going to the gym (or leaving GoodLife) but it has taught me to always keep my eyes on my keys. Again, the employees are friendly and they mean well. We all make mistakes. I just wish they had called me instead of just putting my keys aside.


  1. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

    Gym Equipment

  2. do you get a decent tan from the GL tanning beds?

    1. It was okay. It's worth it to spend more on a higher quality (and cleaner) bed elsewhere.

  3. How much do you think they'd make a student (17) pay for access to one location? I'm worrying about the prices I've been reading online, hoping I can get it down to <$35 a month with the student discount


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