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There are lots of other gyms in the city besides the wretched, filthy 24-hour-fitness syndicate: Club One (slightly more expensive, but better), Crunch Fitness (ditto), World Gym (caters toward meatheads), Fitness SF (formerly Gold's; tends toward gay/female clientele), Sports Club LA (super expensive; incredibly nice), Equinox (also super deluxe/expensive), Bay Club (ditto), Mission Cliffs and Planite Granite (climbing/hippies/hipsters), Planet Fitness (almost as cheap as 24hr; fewer locations but much cleaner), and the YMCA (moderately cheap, clean, functional). There are tons of smaller gyms, as well...mostly expensive crossfit and personal training outfits, but some boutique all-purpose gyms, too.

If you're looking for a gym, do yourself a favor and don't just sign up for a 24-hour fitness membership without looking around. You can do a lot better for not much more money. About the only thing you can say in favor of 24h is that they're cheap and open late.

If you can afford ~$60 a month, you have a lot of options, particularly if you negotiate. The YMCA is a good option in this range, and they don't jerk you around with contracts and high-pressure sales.

Any of them properly equipped for strength training? Went ot at least a couple in the area where they didn't want people to use chalk and the floors were not meant to hold anything heavy, so they'd forbid you to deadlift.

World Gym caters to the powerlifter set that I think you're seeking -- they provide chalk (iirc) and have multiple squat cages and a deadlift mat and use olympic barbells.

But then...I have yet to go to a gym in San Francisco that didn't have at least one squat rack and space for deadlifts. I don't know where you were going that wasn't properly equipped for strength training.

Planet Fitness is known to discourage powerlifters and to focus on a more casual crowd.

Let's be honest, that's where the money is. Casual gym goers who will come in twice a week for 30 minutes (and then possibly stop coming, but keep paying) on a Nautilus, followed right away by a nice glass of Jamba Juice. Gym goers who will pay exorbitant amounts of cash for personal training to "strengthen their core".

Some dude who has a high chance of getting himself hurt and who might bust your floors is probably not even worth considering for membership in the big scheme of things. Too much of a hassle.

I have tried Crunch, World Gym, Club One, Fitness SF, and the Embarcadero YMCA and I would have to say that World Gym is the most serious gym here in the city. They have 3 really nice squat cages (shown here: http://s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/ZsbwBday0IKkB1SljAUbQ...), tons of bumper plates, a huge assortment of freeweights, and a ton of different machines. Oh and they have a bucket of chalk next to the cages, so that's definitely encouraged there.

If you're looking for a gym to just lift heavy shit, this is the place. Yeah, there are some typical gym bros here, but I've never had an problems and everyone is pretty good at following proper gym etiquette.

World gym has 3 combo cages/deadlift platforms and rubber plates that people drop from above their heads all time. I see people use chalk as well.

The YMCA gyms are also incredibly family friendly - way more so than any other gym we ever found in the Bay Area.

Agreed, I work out at the Embarcadero YMCA and it's great. My only gripe is there's nowhere to deadlift, but other than that there's a ton of machines, weights, and free classes.

Yes, please god avoid 24 Hour Fitness. Their business model isn't selling you fitness. It's selling the dream of fitness to people who will come in about twice during their contract.

In addition to all the options mentioned above, check out the city pools. The lap swims are $5 a go, with no contract at all. You just show up, slip Mr. Lincoln under the glass, and go do your thing.

>Their business model isn't selling you fitness. It's selling the dream of fitness to people who will come in about twice during their contract.

That's the business model for (almost?) all gyms. Don't make a decision based on this; decide based on if the gym offers the equipment/availability/classes/etc. you need, feels like a place you'd like to go to, is in a convenient location, etc.

24h fitness is $350 for 2 years Sport and below, and $600 for 2 years Super Sport and below.

It varies based on whatever promotion is going on, but you get exactly what you pay for. At best, the gyms are tolerable, at worst...well, I'm surprised that the Mission location hasn't been shut down for health code violations.

That's the Costco deal, which runs virtually all the time.

Thanks. Added a reference to your post.

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