If you’re thinking of enrolling in a high-end gym with many branches, then your choices would have to between Fitness First and Gold’s Gym. Fitness First has sixteen branches in Metro Manila (including the two Platinum branches of TriNoma and RCBC Plaza) while Gold’s Gym has six. Both feature group classes, cycle rooms, lots of machines for both cardio and bodybuilding as well as a free weights area. The two franchises also offer a good locker room amenities and a wet area with shower cubicles, a sauna, and a steam room. Among the perks that FF offers are free coffee, iced tea, soda; backpacks, a water bottle, and a towel upon sign-up; and one of the most extensive sets of group classes anywhere. GG, on the other hand, provides you with two towels each time you visit (so there’s no need to bring home bulky wet towels) and their branches close at 12 midnight every workday—a boon for those who do OT.
If your goal is to become lean and fit, or to become a buffed-up muscular guy, I would recommend either one. In fact, you can go to any gym at all—even your friendly neighborhood gym down the corner. It’s the gym-goer himself, not the gym, that determines whether the he reaches his fitness goal or not. But since this blog is Discreet Manila, the ultimate deciding factor is the cruising opportunities. After all, gym is the gay church. And between FF and GG, the clear winner in cruisiness is Fitness First, no contest. Most people would agree on that.
I mentioned before that I’m a member of Gold’s Gym. The reason is simply that Gold’s is more affordable for me, having gotten a really good membership deal. I’ve gone to Fitness First a few times using complimentary passes and my personal experience is that Fitness First branches are the ultimate cruising grounds. In all the times I worked out in FF, I’ve been hit on every time. This is in big contrast to Gold’s Gym where it took me a full year before I had my first sexual encounter there (but there were a few instances during that year where guys sent out feelers).
I hear at lot of stories coming from FF and some I even find outrageous and hard to believe. Gold’s Gym is by no means a strait-laced gym (I’ve had a lot of encounters in that franchise and a couple of the hottest experiences I’ve ever had happened in their locker rooms), but Fitness First is in a whole different level altogether.
I have a couple of evidences to prove my assertion. First is the very telling advisory posted late last year at Fitness First branches, a photo of which is shown below (picture stolen from Corporate Closet). No equivalent advisory exists for Gold’s Gym.
For SEO purposes, the advisory reads as follows:
Protect the Member Experience
Sexual advances of any kind towards fellow members or staff are strictly prohibited.
Please report any untoward conduct to the Club General Manager.
To know more about club rules and regulations, please read the back of your Membership Form, particularly Section 10 (Expulsion of Member).
The second evidence is the fact that somebody did get himself expelled from Fitness First for such “untoward conduct.” Early this year, a (stupid) guy made sexual advances on teen actor Mico Aytona and was then reported to the management and kicked out of the gym as a result. Read all about it in PEP. I might just be clueless, but I’ve never heard of such a thing happening in Gold’s Gym.
Despite these things, “miraculous” things still occur in Fitness First—people just became more discreet with their illicit activities. I really have no idea why Fitness became such a PLU magnet, but I think the big reason is that it just has a lot of branches making it the ideal franchise for gym-hopping. Anyway, the apt advice is to try to avoid doing it in the gym and do it elsewhere instead. Barring that, just try not to get caught. This goes for both Fitness First and Gold’s Gym.