As all Illinois citizens know, Illinois is cold three out of the four seasons. This makes it harder for Illinois residents to get out and become active during times when its raining or snowing. Late Fall - early Spring are the colder times of the year and especially during winter people are looking for a way to stay fit without needing to wear a parka.  During the harsh times of the winter and other cold parts of the year, it's just too cold to be outside so the question remains, what are active people to do for the other 6-7 months of the year when the temperature becomes too cold to stay outside? 

From novice to advanced, Bloomington-Normal has a selection of gyms to suit all needs. Trying to decide what gym type you are looking for and what classes to take can be tedious so we have gathered summaries and information of the local gyms including perks and extras that may be helpful in deciding which gym works best for you. Since Bloomington-Normal is full of so many options for getting in shape, it can be somewhat stressful deciding where to begin . More students and residents are becoming interested in getting shape and becoming fit. 

How To Decide:

For new fitness seekers it can be intimidating to pick a gym. The key is choosing a location that is beneficial to your needs. Some gyms have perks to joining such as free training. Others contain extras such as basketball courts, swimming pools, or saunas in addition to the usual weight equipment. All gyms are different and have their own "personality."

Location and money available are also things to consider when picking a gym. Picking a gym that is closer to you will help motivate you into going. Obviously it will be tougher to want to go on days that are colder than cold or when you maybe are lacking in gas. Another key aspect is money. Some gyms have pricing options that will essentially rely on your initiation fee. Waiving the fee will end up costing you more in monthly payments but will save you about $40-$70 at the time you decide to join. On the other hand paying that initiation fee will drop monthly payments about $20.  Choosing a gym with more amenities will cost more, but you are getting more out of it. Choosing the gym best qualified for your needs based: workouts, equipment, and location will really help with determining the monthly long-term costs.

In addition to the type of equipment, perks and extras, some other things to consider is the type of people that also work out there. Some gyms have very dedicated members and these "workoutaholics" can be scary for first time gym goers. Another thing to consider is the time the gym closes, if you are someone that works late and has no time before hand to work out you may want to consider a 24 hour workout facility. Although the prices are a bit higher for joining not having to rush your workout can be beneficial. 

General Gyms

          General gyms are perfect for all fitness seekers from novice to advanced. These type of gyms usually contain usual cardio equipment such as treadmill, ellipticals, and bike machines. These types of gyms also have the usual weight machines critical to strengthening upper body, legs, and core. General gyms also have groups such as Zumba, cycling classes, and other extreme classes such as P90x or Insanity. If you are a student at either Illinois State University or Heartland Community College, each campus has their own Recreation center with tons of work out equipment, classes and a staff that is willing to help you get into shape. Both gyms are free if you are a student attending that college. If not, the recreation center at Illinois States lets kids that do not attend to pay only $10.00 cover fee for their workout time, which is great! For only $10.00 you can workout, swim, play basketball, soccer, get a jamba juice right outside the main lobby or even sit out and do some homework between workouts. Heartland and Illinois States gym is a very friendly. safe and healthy environment for students to be in! If your can't afford a fitness center that causes $50.00 or more a month, both these places are great if you are an attending student! 

  • Anytime Fitness - A 24 hour workout facility that contains the usual workout and cardio equipment. This gym would be a great choice for someone who enjoys a workout early in the morning or doesn't have time to get to a gym until the late hours. And with secured entry only allowing members with a key for night late goers, so members can have the security of feeling safe in the workout environment. Anytime Fitness also has a 24 hour tanning area in most locations. The cost for membership is quoted as "being less than a daily cup of designer coffee throughout the month, the average price of a haircut and style, or the average monthly cell phone bill.
  • Fitness Quest - A gym dedicated to personal trainers and their clients. This gives more personal one-on-one time to help give you knowledge and motivate you into becoming a workout pro. Not much information is given on a website so the best contact for pricing is through Facebook where you can personally contact a personal trainer before joining. Fitness Quest also offer a charity boot camp for the Hartich family, whom with the help of Fitness Quest look to get back on their feet after losing their daughter Kara. (More details below)

  • The Workout Company - A smaller gym like atmosphere with great personal training experiences. Many personal trainers who have been to this gym have been impressed by the large array of workouts they have, from short 30 minute exercises for someone with no spare time on their hands, to 1-2 hour plans for the dedicated pros/amateurs. Pricing includes an opportunity to waive the enrollment fee but this brings up your monthly payments to $40.

  • L.A. Fitness - A general gym that has workout equipment, cardio equipment, classes for Zumba and cycling, a basketball court, 3 racquetball courts, full sized sauna and a swimming pool. The pricing for L.A. is a little steep more so in the initiation fee starting at around $80

  • Gold's Gym - One of the most easily recognizable gyms in Bloomington-Normal is Gold's. This is where the most dedicated and ambitious workout fanatics go. With great equipment, trainers, classes, and atmosphere, Gold's is a great place to join and commit to day in and day out. Another big thing to consider is the no contract month-to-month payments starting at close to $10.

  • Golds Gym Express - Like Golds Gym, there is fantastic equipment, trainers and a very friendly atmosphere. There are no contracts involved and is very affordable. Golds Gym Express has amazing employees and Fitness Consultants that will help you with any questions and will ultimately help you reach your fitness goals. Now has tanning and massage chairs. Has full locker rooms with showers, changing areas, and hair dryers.

  • Four Seasons - Much like L.A. Fitness Four Seasons has much to offer. Four Seasons in Bloomington has multiple work out areas including cardio and lift equipment. There is also an olympic sized pool, smaller courts for volleyball, and a regulation sized court for basketball. Four seasons is a great choice to get involved in many of the events. They offer including volleyball and basketball leagues among other events listed below on their webpage. Pricing will get more expensive due to having more activities and equipment available. For one month, payments can start around $41-$53.


Specialty Gyms

        Specialty gyms are gyms that are specific to certain needs. Some of these gyms will contain groups dedicated to sports such as rock climbing, kick boxing, or just contain courts for soccer or other sport leagues. Usually these gyms lack the usual equipment but are a great place to meet up with friends and play in a league. You may also  become more advanced or start out a new sport. Like to try rock climbing? Here is your place to start. Pricing varies depending on your needs and ability to pay and best way to find these out is to contact these types of gyms.


Events -

Listed below are various types of events scheduled based on days and times at specific locations.

  • Zumba (at L.A. Fitness) - an aerobic fitness program that includes moves inspired by Latin American dance and includes Latin American music and hip-hop.
    • Sunday - 9:45AM
    • Monday - 5:45PM
    • Thursday - 7:00PM
    • Friday - 5:45PM
    • Saturday - 8:30PM
  • Pilates (at L.A. Fitness) - a system of exercises (similar to yoga) made to enhance physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and increase mental awareness.
    • Sunday - 11:00AM
    • Wednesday - 7:00PM
    • Thursday - 8:30AM
  • Charity Boot Camp (at Fitness Quest) - Help raise money for the Hartich family for the lose of their daughter Kara. These classes are 3-30 minutes long made to be challenging yet have enough different options so everyone can accomplish. All proceeds go to the Hartich family.
    • 8:30PM
    • 9:10PM
    • 9:40PM
  • Events page for Four Seasons:


Nutrition Locations

       Nutrition locations are a location to where you can pick up essential to supplements, protein, and toners. 

  • GNC
  • Complete Nutrition

See also the Fitness Guide