Spandex not required

Mar 13, 2001 at 12:00 am

Best Gym to Work Out
Powerhouse (various locations)

When I first learned Powerhouse Gym received the most votes for best gym, I was a little disappointed. Sure, it was nice that this large international chain was the first to open a location in Detroit. But I thought to myself: Powerhouse is the gym that attracts only die-hard weight lifters and professional athletes. The first time I (a petite female) walked in with a free pass, I walked straight back out the door the second I saw all the men who looked like they were on steroids.

But I gave it a second chance a year later. And let me tell you, the atmosphere was much different.

They had obviously been marketing more toward women. I saw a banner promoting their new child-care service and cardio machines. They offer nutrition counseling. The crowd exercising inside was definitely more mixed — genders, body shapes, fitness levels, ages, you name it; the atmosphere was more inviting and comfortable. And the gym maintains a top-of-the-line collection of free weights and equipment.

The ability to cater toward all groups of people — without evidencing the “wear-your-best-Spandex-and-try-to-hook-up-with-someone-instead-of-actually-working-out” vibe — now makes me glad that Powerhouse won “best gym.”