Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Price of New, and the Cost of Old

Ok, has anyone bought a treadmill lately? Any idea of what a good one costs, or the price of the best one on the market? Well, it is not any decision to make. My husband and I bought a treadmill a couple of years ago. It was on the cheap side of the market, a Proform 400. From the beginning, it had its problems. It was loud, squeeking, and the belt was constantly shifting, moving to the right side of the tread, causing it to burn a grove into the the side of the floor console. Needless to say, after our every attempt to shift the belt everytime, the belt finally gave in and started to shread( This was after my husband was making an honest effort to work out).

In my attempts of trying to get back into shape and having a workout routine in place once I get back to work, I revisited that dusty treadmill and made a phone call to a local "treadmill doctor" to get an estimate. I guess that I had hope that a couple a hundred dollars would solve the problem. After rattling off the costs of the diagnostic, parts and labor, totaling near $500, the guy on the phone said "Your better off buying a new machine." He definately knows that these Proforms do'nt have a good reputation. To anyone out there in treadmill market land, I suggest you not to venture into that waters of Proform, unless you plan on getting a replacement within a year.

So, thinking about this $500 I am out, and thinking about what a gym membership would be, the $500 is actually a cheaper deal. I had joined on a trial basis with Bally Fitness. It has a 30 day deal for $19. What's the harm, right? I tried my first day on Tuesday at around 2:00. So I was there at non-peak hours. This Ballys has a pool (both upstairs and downstairs). Has alot of equipment --maybe 40 treadmills and 40 ellipticals available to everyone to use. It also has a good layout of weight machines on the upstairs. One downside to this place is the smell of chlorine throughout your workout. I talked to one of the trainers there to see the bottomline of joining. Basically, if you want just a no-frills membership you pay about $50 a month, the family together is an extra $20 (not bad) but the clincher is that there is an enrollment fee of $150 and the contract has to be 3 years...Okay. So, I can't guarantee that I will be here for 3 years. What if we have to move? What if we decide to move to a different part of town and it would not be convenient to got to this gym. This whole idea sucks. I don't want to be in a contract for that long with a gym. $2520 + 150 is a contractural agreement is what I would agree to pay. I might as well buy a $1500 new treadmill for my own home, with my 16%APR credit card, buy a 3 year warranty and hire a personal trainer to come to my home once every 6 months. That all totals about the same.

I am still out of my $500 bucks and out of a good deal. I guess health is not cheap.

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