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3 On Your Side: Fitness Centers Rated By Members

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Spring is here. Are you ready to shed the bulky clothes and get back in shape? 3-On Your Side wants to help. Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds out which fitness centers are rated highest by their customers and gives you exclusive access to the results.

Whether you like to multi-task when you're at the gym or workout with high intensity, picking the right health club isn't always easy. So non-profit Delaware Valley Consumers' CHECKBOOK did the heavy lifting for you, so you don't have to break a sweat. Consumers' CHECKBOOK President Robert Krughoff says, "We surveyed thousands of people actually about their experience with their health clubs and there are some health clubs that get terrific ratings from their members."

Among the things Consumers' CHECKBOOK surveyed, Krughoff says, "Was there enough equipment so you didn't have long waits? Was the equipment clean and in good condition? Showers clean? Things like that." Larry Porter is the Executive Director of Philadelphia's YMCA on Ridge Avenue. He says, "Keeping your facility clean is priority one and we have a great staff."

Of 108 fitness centers that were rated by members, the Ridge Avenue YMCA was one of 33 that received CHECKBOOK's checkmark for quality. YMCA member Vanessa Seidel says, "I love it here, I love it here. I'm going to continue to stay with the Y."  While member John Burns says, "The aerobics, the weight room, the swimming pool, everything is absolutely wonderful. Everything's in top condition."

According to Krughoff, before joining any fitness center, potential members should visit multiple fitness locations, during the hours they're likely to use them. He says, "Any good club should let you either have a pass for a couple of times maybe you have to pay a little fee so that you can go for a few times or at least give you a short term membership."

The Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club received CHECKBOOK's checkmark for quality too. General Manager Brian Kosa says, "I think nowadays people need to test drive their heath club just like they test drive a car. I think it's important, they need to feel comfortable, they need to get a sense of what a facility has to offer them." That is what Michele Hasbun did before joining. She says "I did a one day pass, I came, tried some of the equipment, I tried a class and I was impressed so I signed on."

Delaware Valley Consumers' CHECKBOOK is a subscriber-based, nonprofit rating service. Through special arrangement with CHECKBOOK, CBS3 viewers can access CHECKBOOK's ratings of Delaware Valley health clubs without a subscription until Monday, March 28, 2011, and can view CHECKBOOK's health clubs article indefinitely via this link:

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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