Healthy Lifestyle
Fitness, Nutrition and Overall Personal Wellness
24 Hour Fitness

A United States-based chain of gyms.

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I am working every muscle at 24 Hour Fitness - Pasadena, CA location

  • Aug 3, 2004
  • by
Pros: lots of equipment color coded for sections, 30 minute workout area, pool,

Cons: no parking lot, walls are bare, employee uniforms are dull, no childcare

The Bottom Line: Working out is a good thing for anyone at whatever age. The equipment functions with an easy atmosphere.

Earlier in the year I waited in line at the Discovery Store for the Fitness Challenge they were promoting along with Bally's Total Fitness. I did end up getting a six week pass, but the nearest location was downtown Los Angeles and I had to take two buses to get there. That location was within a mall, small with no pool and glass around the workout area for all mall visitors to see.

Even with the free six week pass the incentive was not there for me to partake in this challenge. The summer has my kids attending a daycamp in the South Pasadena area so my plan was to do a two week free session at three clubs, LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and a Bally location.

On Sunday, July 4th I chose to print out the two week free trial membership for 24 Hour Fitness. The next day was the actual Labor Day holiday, so the following afternoon there was a message on my phone system from a fast talking young girl about my free pass. I was impressed, but she was gone for the day and I figured I would stop by the 24 Hour Fitness. I called to find the cross street and the person told me they were between Los Robles and Lake Avenues on Colorado Boulevard in downtown Pasadena.

Well the next day I drove up and down Colorado Boulevard and could not find this place anywhere. I figured it was well hidden and since the side streets were easier to park, although all parking seemed to be for one hour only. As I was crossing the street I noticed the address with a small sign for 24 Hour Fitness, this actual street is Oakland. You will make a left on Colorado and the following street past 24 Hour Fitness is Union, a one-way street where you can only turn left. You will need to get into the right lane to turn into a parking structure where 24 Hour Fitness will validate for 1.5 hours. The cost is a maximum of six dollars per day. I tend to pay anywhere from $3.00 - 5.00 for my time spent at 24 Hour Fitness. This is tight parking and most of the time if you get there after 10 am you will get the roof top and not inside structure parking. There are stairs and an elevator to get to the street.

Speaking of stairs, this 24 Hour Fitness has stairs going down to get inside and once you are finished it is strenuous to climb those to get outside and then to climb more stairs to get to your vehicle. There is a Presbyterian Church that is always watering the driveway and walkway when I get there around 9:30 am, they are next door to the building that houses 24 Hour Fitness. This is an older building below some furniture showroom.

The equipment inside is new, but the furnishings are old with pipes visible and sprinklers. The walls are bare, although they are mostly mirrors wall to wall. After descending down the stairs to arrive at this 24 Hour Fitness you have your membership card scanned and your parking card validated. There is usually an employee manning this section, with supplements behind the counter for sale at 25-30% off. Then there is an elevator to the left with a small store selling exercise gear. Then another left to the stairs for the basketball court to the left, then to the right is the locker rooms. First is the womens and then the men's. The pool area is co-ed with the sauna and steam rooms on this level as well as the weight room. There are many sets of stairs to get back to the main level. Then another level of cardio equipment consisting of bicycles, step machines, treadmills and rowing apparatus. There are rows of televisions that are either set to mute with the closed captioned or no sound coming out. These cardio machines are easy to program, but I do prefer the treadmill. I had never used one before so I am getting used to this and working my way up to twenty minutes. I have asthma and find the other cardio machines hard to keep my breathing intact.

The women's locker room has a television and scale along with many lockers with benches. There is a section with the keys inside where you can pay a quarter in case you did not bring a lock. I wish I had known this beforehand since the day I signed up I did not have a lock, but did have my gear in my vehicle. They do sell locks, but only the kind with keys, so I headed down a few blocks to Target for the combination type and workout towels and gloves.

They do require you bring your drivers license, membership card and workout towel to wipe down the equipment after using. There are two sections with variations of light for primping and electrical outlets. Then there are about six sinks with an electrical dryer on each side of the wall for drying. You will not find one paper towel machine in this locker area, which I find irritating. Then the bathroom stalls and door are to the right, with one for a wheelchair. I did see a wheelchair the other day, but it was blocking the entrance to the bathroom area with no one inside, so not sure if it did not fit through the door or the person used it that far. Inside the bathroom area is a machine for female protection, although the other day the tampon side was empty. When I left I asked the girl at the desk and she called Maria who is in charge of stocking the locker room. I have seen Maria in the restroom a few times cleaning the mirrors by the sinks and another time stocking the soap in the showers. It seems they had no supply on hand.

The showers are on the opposite side of the restroom door and about 8-10 of them with doors for privacy. Some are smaller than others, but there is no hook to hang your toiletries. I picked up a pencil type plastic case and filled it with my items. This can be rested on the ground and seems to be similar to what other members utilize. The soap dispenser states it is Dial, but I could not tell if that is actually what they were filling them with. Here in the showers you will see the sprinklers and pipes above you, kind of creepy at times, especially if you are alone.

There is also a locker room area outside this area to the left that has a combination and where employees change. It is stated that you need to take a shower before you can use the pool. I saw the pool when I was taken on a tour, but since my eczema is flared up in summer heat, I am going to wait before adding chlorine into the mix.

Outside the locker area is a pay phone and signs showing how a trainer would benefit members. The photo of the trainer looks like a professional wrestler and not someone I would want to train with.

Back upstairs to where you entered from the original stairs and to the right is the thirty minute exercise section. The equipment is numbered with a large display showing how many reps to do to complete a full workout in 30 minutes. Since I joined almost four weeks ago they have moved this area around a bit and added two more pieces of equipment, so it is more spread out. There is also a table and stools where new members sit and fill out the forms.

This particular location is a Sport facility. They have four types of facilities. This one does not have the child care option. There is also Super Sport, Active, Ultra Sport and Sport. The active has group exercise, the sport has pool and sauna. The super sport has child care and massage with the ultra sport having racquetball courts and executive locker rooms. The Sport location I am a member also has a basketball court that doubles as the exercise room and a rock climbing wall inside the weight room.

I have never seen exercise classes and after checking the schedule they seem more in the afternoon. The trainer I used for a session said he was taking yoga classes with his girlfriend.

The machines are white and fairly new, this location has been here for five years. The cushions on these machines are color coded according to the body section you want to work on. I found this out after a week or two by seeing one sign on a mirror with the breakdown. Since I did not carry a pen and paper when working out I cannot recall these exactly, but do know that purple is for abs, white might be for shoulder, another color for arms and one for legs with a total I believe of eight.

When I arrived on Wednesday, July 7th I had the coupon and was brought over to a sales associate. There is really no selling technique or pressure here. I was shown a few options for joining the one club a few times a week, everyday with the option of using other clubs. These options all had an enrollment fee, processing fee and the monthly dues. They do not accept cash on a monthly basis, but you can make the initial payment for processing via cash and up to a few weeks later. With the coupon I was told I got to waive the enrollment fee, so the choice was between the processing fee and the monthly fees.

I chose the option of working out at this one club four times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. This kind of stinks since I cannot access the club on Sundays due to no child care. The processing fee was $79.00 and the monthly fee of $29.00, which was due for two months and taken electronically through a credit card. The other option is through your checking account. I was given until the end of the month to pay the $79.00 fee. I did inquire to what this processing fee entailed, but it was basically mentioned to be the set up fee for processing the paperwork, etc. Too bad parking was not included. I did get a session with a trainer and had to move my car after that so I could work out. Now I avoid the one hour street parking and go directly to the parking structure.

The other day the computer was down and all members had to sign in. Sometimes members are asked to show their drivers license. It was explained to me about cancelling and how many days you need to do this before another billing is completed, but then you get more time to work out if that is the case.

The sales associate received three phone calls while attending to me with two of them being personal. He was not very outgoing and seemed rude to me. I have not seen him since that first day I signed up. He had the date I printed out the coupon listed on the computer. In order to print out a coupon you will need to sign up with 24 Hour Fitness online. I already did that a long time ago and was the reason I chose to use them first.

I got a quick tour of the facility and an appointment was made for me to visit with a trainer, Nathan. We ended up having two sessions since the time went by so fast and a lot to cover for a new member such as myself who has not utilized this type of equipment in over ten years. There is a stretching area with pads, weights and large balls to use. The trainer takes your weight and measurements and then the body fat is determined. Mine was quite high, which I was afraid of and the reason to get my body working out, not to mention my next birthday will be #45.

Since that time I have not lost any weight, but two inches off my waist, one on my hips, one from my chest. I like to use the ab crunch and have worked up to 80 pounds and doing 100 of them. The dip machine I moved from 40 - 75 to 120 pounds and like doing the hip and leg machines. I move about doing reps on many machines and go back to each a few times. My workouts tend to run from 1.5- 2 hours with a start on the treadmill. Most members carry their towel and a bottle of water. There seem to be the same members each day I am there and a small to medium crowd. Not many times have I waited for a machine, and when doing so it is for a popular one. I have had members assist me in figuring out a few of the machines I could not master and comprehend.

Nathan had mentioned I should be keeping track of my eating and caloric intake and told me he would give me a chart for calories. I forgot about that and asked someone at the desks one day before heading back to the locker room. You would think I was asking for a free book the way I was interrogated by an Assistant Manager. He showed me a book but did not open it to go over the training sessions options and said normally when one signs up they have an appointment with him. I told him I had been there already for two weeks but he had an appointment coming and I was a bit put off by his fast talking attitude. While the initial sales approach was laid back, I felt this was the complete opposite with the trainers options.

There are many members that are in my age group and there are some younger members and an equal amount of males and females. It does not feel like a meat market or pick up situation. There are a few water fountains around, but otherwise only the clothing and supplements appear to be for sale. There are about eight desks for the associates with computers and another room I saw some training taking place.

I like the set up of the rooms and equipment and the overall ease of using this facility. There are more males than females here in the role of trainers. They wear boring white and gray clothing and the place is dull and drab looking. That would be the one downpoint to this 24 Hour Fitness. I would rather work out among modern accommodations without the pipes, etc, but otherwise the music they have playing is not too loud, but can the Michael Jackson tunes.

The other morning it was quite dark in some of the rooms, this is because there were workers on ladders changing the lighting. They do seem to be on the ball with fixing and rearranging equipment.

The parking situation and lack of childcare and morning exercise classes is something to consider when choosing the downtown Pasadena, California location. Since I can only get 2-3 days working out I wanted to transfer to everyday and called the office to get prices. I was told I needed to speak to a sales associate and was sent to the fast talking girl again. She informed me I first had to pay the $79.00 processing fee and then some other fee of $50 for the change over and maybe even a transfer fee. I honestly did not write it all down and decided it was too much to do at the moment. With summer camp winding down I realized I will have a gap of three weeks since my older son will not return to school until September and I cannot access the club with him in tow.

On July 15th I received my membership card in the mail along with two guest passes to use. On the 23rd I paid at the front desk the processing fee and received a receipt for that. When I signed up the sales associate folded up the paperwork and placed it inside a plastic cover that had numbers to scan each time I entered until I changed it over with the membership card.

Nathan did mention to me that I should eat before coming, but not closer to 45 minutes prior and have some protein afterwards. One morning after dropping off my kids I was really hungry so I stopped for some french toast before getting to the 24 Hour Fitness. By the time I got there and changed it was just about 45 minutes later too.

So far I have worked out 11 times this month and feel like I have more energy and can lift more weight as time goes on. I also feel the effects the next day when I work on new areas. I certainly hope I am working my muscles the correct way. All the equipment has step-by-step figures showing what group of muscles are being worked and how to sit on the machine. They have buttons to pull on and move seats and other pieces to adjust to your size and weight.

The members wear shorts and tank tops or t shirts. Some of the women wear leotards or short bra tops. Otherwise mostly everyone is wearing t shirts. I did see someone on a bicycle the other day wearing sandals and once a girl looked like she had on street clothes. When an appointment has arrive for a trainer the front desk personnel uses the PA system to contact that person. They seem to be very busy lately and a few trainers have regular clients at the same time I am there.

As time goes on I will update with my progress and with personal experience on the pool, jacuzzi and sauna rooms. I would advise to bring a beach type towel for the shower and flip flops for your feet to get to the shower and back to the locker room. The drains are always working with the water pressure decent, although I tend to use cold water for my skin condition and it feels so much better than hot water after sweating.


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About the reviewer
Bonnie Sayers ()
Ranked #38
single parenting two teens on autism spectrum. Working out daily, Zumba & Bodybugg enthusiast.
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24 Hour Fitness is the world's largest (by memberships) privately owned and operated fitness center chain, and 3rd in number of clubs behind Gold's Gym and Fitness First of the UK. It currently has 425 clubs in the U.S.A. The company's corporate office is located in Carlsbad, California. The operations' headquarters is in San Ramon, California in the Bay area. 24 Hour Fitness has over 19,000 employees. The founder is Mark S. Mastrov and current CEO is Carl Liebert III. 24 Hour Fitness is currently a subsidiary of the private equity firm Forstmann Little & Company, since its acquisition in a $1.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005.

Club Levels

24 Hour Fitness currently has 6 levels of Clubs: Fit-Lite, Express, Active, Sport, Super-Sport, and Ultra-Sport. In addition 24 Hour Fitness has signature clubs with Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O'Neal, as well as Jackie Chan and Yao Ming in its clubs in Asia.


Generally over 100,000+ Square Feet Amenities include Cardio Equipment, Free Weights, Group X Room, Kid's Club, Basketball Court, Pool, Tanning, Executive Lockers, Massage, Racquetball Club, Rock Climbing and Volleyball. There is only 1 open Ultra-Sport level club, located in Irvine, California. The Second Ultra-Sport level club is coming to New York City, New York on 31 August 2008, and the third is planned for Northern Colorado in 2009.


Generally over 50,000+ Square Feet, Cardio Equipment, ...

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