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Fitness Center reviews in Falls Church

  • B
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    I signed up for a year (August 2011-July 2012). I renewed for "18 months [6 free]" (August 2012-January 2014). I used the pool 2+ times per week. I used the other facilities 1+ times per week [some days doing both]. I liked the 24 hour availability. I liked the multiple location use [Fair Oaks]. I hired a personal trainer when I renewed. The results really showed. When I re-upped my personal trainer - the "manager" added 4 extra sessions [hand written into both copies of my contract]. By the time my last 4 sessions came up, a new manager was on board and did not honor the 4 sessions. I suppose I could have fought harder - but it really would have meant costing my trainer 4 unpaid sessions ... I moved and switched jobs in August 2013. As the last 6 months were "free" - they did not refund any fees. That's understandable. I did need to give 30 days written notice before quitting or they would have auto-renewed me for another term. I was able to convert my membership perks [6 months] into a free massage. That was very nice. Overall it was a good experience - and I would go back if they were closer to home/work. Note: the cost was over 2 years [with significant amount on personal training].
    - Mark N.
  • F
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    I had to go through hell and back to get my contract expired with them. I had really good personal trainers there, but the personal trainers kept quitting. They finally ended up assigning me a personal trainer who I really didn't like and who I kept telling them I did not want to keep seeing. They were like, "Well, you have to see her because there is no one else." That's what made me quit. They were expensive. They made it miserable to quit. They were very unaccommodating in terms of assigning me a personal trainer who was willing to work with me in a way that made sense to me.
    - Karen G.
  • A
    Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do - Arlington
    My son is in love with his Tae Kwon Do classes. Always begging to go and gets sad when he has to miss a class for whatever reason.
    He is one of the younger kids in the class. They start teaching at 4 and he just turned 4. During class I can see the instructors take extra time with him to help him catch up and learn the ropes. They easily could just try and do the class with 1 instructor, but they have 2 or 3 on the mat at all times. That makes a difference.
    What he learns from the class is how to be a leader and what that entails. In part respect, but also confidence. These tools are much more about learning how to grow up then ever learning the actual self defense. Well at least for the first couple of years I don't expect him to take down an attacker, but he might know to scream or run.
    We just signed up for a 1 year extension and hope to go here for many years,
    - Frank L.
  • B
    Gold's Gym Ballston
    The Ballston location of Gold's Gym is nearly always busy due to it's prime location.  That is why I go, convenience of location.  That said, while it is understandable that a facility with this level of traffic can be difficult to maintain, there are some basic issues that have long gone unresolved.
    1) The parking lots need to be restriped and proper signage installed in the entryway lot to deal with the larger cars driven and to manage traffic flow.  The lots are also shockingly devoid of any expectant/new mother parking spaces.
    2) The HVAC is inadequate in the basement weight room based on the number of occupants and summer time heat load, especially on humid days.
    3) Overall cleanliness could be improved in the locker rooms especially, including inside the lockers.  Some of that is fellow gym goers just being plain sloppy, but I think more frequent thorough cleanings would help improve the situation.
    The staff is friendly and the equipment is solid in the weight room, I cannot really comment on the cardio equipment.  The only remaining frustration is the "suggestion box" responses only appear to pay lipservice to the suggestions as minimal action appears to be taken.
    - Chris F.
  • A
    24 Hour Fitness - Falls Church
    I really liked the gym. It is an upscale club with very nice and innovated amenities. Many health fitness classes.
    I really liked the spa, sauna, and steam room. Nice showers. I also had few sessions with the personal trainer which was helpful. Everything about the about my experience was good except that I found it to be bit expensive. I guess the costs does go up when you get such nice amenities.
    - Praveen S.
  • B
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    I joined XSport prior to the location opening. The list of amenities for the price ($33/month) was impressive. The opening was initially delayed and then no one called to tell me they had actually opened. They ended up crediting my account for the couple weeks the gym was open and they were billing me until the time I drove by and saw they were open and called customer service. Whoops.
    Overall, you get what you pay for. The gym became increasingly crowded as membership has swelled and the area surrounding the club developed and I eventually left and joined another club (more expensive and much nicer). The employees working there are hit or miss. The trainers seem more interested in talking to each other than engaging with members other than personal training clients. The class instructors can be really good, but they are paid sparsely and almost uniformly working as a part-time job. The better classes are frequently so packed you can barely move, kind of defeating the purpose of a gym workout. The parking is also a hassle, even with the valet. The equipment really shows signs of wear as not much had been replaced at the time I left and cardio machines were frequently out of service. I enjoyed my time there but I would rather pay more to get more out of a gym.
    - Andrea J.
  • B
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    This gym has a decent selection of aerobic and strength training equipment, but not as good as some other gyms in the area, including the other Xsport locations. At the Merrifield location they don't have very much stretching equipment. Their indoor cycles are OK but nothing special. For example, some other gyms have the Expresso stationary cycling system which is much more motivating and fun than the standard Life Fitness stationary bikes. Merrifield does not have this although one of the other Xsport locations does. Their stairclimber machines are OK but not the latest version which offers better feedback as you exercise.
    The other Xsport gyms in the area seem to have a little better selection of equipment. Your membership allows you to use them, but of course their location may not be convenient. Merrifield has free inside parking which is a plus.

    Their locker rooms are subpar. In the men's area they have about 350 lockers so there is no shortage of lockers. Maybe 10% of them are full height lockers. Even though there are many lockers, there is very little space available to sit down while dressing or undressing. Typically, an alcove with 30 lockers has a tiny bench that really only accommodates two people at the same time.
    Showers are OK sort of. I have experienced valves that seem to have been installed with the hot and cold water feeds reversed. The ventilation of the showers could be better. They have more of a damp musty smell than some other gyms I've used
    There is only one water fountain location so getting a drink is not always convenient. On the plus side, free towels are provided for members.
    - Gary J.
  • C
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    WARNING: If you join any Capital Fitness-owned club, be sure to read the small print in your contract! It is up to the person joining to actively CANCEL membership even after the year ends - and then, Capital Fitness takes its sweet time actually terminating the direct charge against your credit card. I requested termination of my membership at the gym itself in October 2013. I was told to go back and read the contract for specific instructions on how to terminate the membership. It required me to send a written request via CERTIFIED MAIL to the Capital Fitness HQ. The small print also said, in essence, Captial Fitness would get around to terminating my membership when they felt like it - and in the meantime, they would continue to charge me month by month for a membership I was no longer using. I just found out that my membership was FINALLY terminated in March 2014 - SIX (6) months after I requested it!
    Why did I cancel the membership? How to begin.... First, the only business of this gym seems to be to hard sell as many unwanted services to members as they can. I was persuaded to sign up for 3 months with a personal trainer. It actually went well...for about a month, when the trainer suddenly had to return home (to the Philippines) - and I was assigned another trainer. I had no choice in the matter as to who they assigned me. Fortunately, I liked the guy - and continued with him...until the day he simply didn't show up. This happened a few times - I'd get a last minute call - or no notification at all. The last time this happened, it turned out he was lurking in the parking garage, trying to avoid the gym manager, because he (the trainer) hadn't and quot;made his sales numbersand quot;. That day, he was fired - even though I told the manager I really liked him and was making progress with him. So they assigned me a third trainer - this time a woman, who had absolutely no clue how to accommodate my preferences. I am not a natural exerciser, and the reason I liked the other two male trainers is that they were willing to work with me to craft training packages that were definitely challenging to me, but also enjoyable, so I'd actually show up and do them. This third trainer - forget it. Basically, she only had one way of training, and it wasn't supposed to be enjoyable. Meanwhile, the club was on my case constantly to sign up for more personal training sessions. On top of the monthly fee just to use the facility.
    The reason I joined this particular gym in the first place is that it's the only one in the entire area (within reasonable drive) that has a pool, and I wanted to make swimming a big part of my exercise routine. Except I soon discovered I couldn't do this because the chlorine in the water began causing my eczema to flare up terribly. So after the training fiasco, I decided I wanted out of my membership. I waited for the year to end - and thought that would be it. But it wasn't - as I wrote above.
    This experience reinforced what I should have already known based on previous attempts to use a gym and work with a personal trainer. The time I'd done it before, the trainer was a lovely woman...but had no clue how to craft a training package for a rather out-of-shape, overweight woman nearing 50. Within 6 months of working with her, I had heel spurs on both feet and pains in my knees. No matter how often I told her I absolutely could NOT do and quot;high impactand quot; exercises, she said they HAD to be part of my training. With the results I've described. I should have known then that I should try something other than gym/trainer to get in shape. But I lived in hope...never again. A least that gym (Vantage Fitness in Falls Church) didn't make it a Sisyphian effort just to end one's membership!
    I strongly, STRONGLY warn anyone who isn't willing to sign up for life against joining Xsport...because you will have to fight tooth and nail to terminate your membership!
    - Karen G.
  • C
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    Well, the personal trainer thing was somewhere between puzzling and a fiasco. I joined the gym - a prerequisite for personal training sessions - not inexpensive, but not the most expensive around, and 24/7 access. The pool - which is a reduced-size lap pool, but does the job - was the big selling point for me. My only other experience with a personal trainer had been at another gym, and resulted in me getting a lot of injuries due to trainer's inability to adjust the programme for my abilities, fitness level, age, and weight. So I was quite forthright about what I wanted and did not want from the new trainer. They assigned me a very nice 20-something young man who was remarkably savvy about how to handle my needs - pushing me but also accommodating my likes and dislikes exercise-wise. I was making good progress with him - improving cardio and strength fitness and enjoying exercising (which is NOT my natural proclivity) - when I arrived at the gym for a session and was told he had had to move back to his home country suddenly due to a family crisis. So they assigned me a new trainer - another 20-something young man who was big into weight training. I didn't mind, because I kind of groove on that as well - though I have no body-builder ambitions at all. But the only problem with this guy - who I liked a lot as a person - was his absolute flakiness regarding keeping appointments. Lots of last minute cancellations and rescheduling. And ultimately, I arrived one day and he just wasn't there. Which was odd - so I asked the manager what was up (fearing he too had returned to his home country suddenly). But the manager had no clue where he was, either. Then I got a mobile call from him - apparently he was hiding out in the parking lot avoiding the manager, because he hadn't made his sales numbers and didn't want to face the music. So there I am - out another training session - and the manager says he's assigning me a new trainer that day. Which is NOT what I wanted, because I liked my flakey trainer and was still making good progress with him. But what I didn't know is that they were planning to fire him that day. So I got assigned this new woman trainer...which made me a bit worried, because my last trainer was a woman, and I hadn't had great success with her. And this new trainer was no different. Unlike the men, who seemed able to LISTEN to my needs, desires, interests, etc., the new trainer wanted to do the and quot;boot campand quot; approach with me - i.e., and quot;You will do the exercises I give you because they are good for you.and quot; Now, no matter how much I explained to her that the fastest way to get me to STOP exercising is to make me do exercises I hate, rather than working with me to come up with a balanced programme that I actually enjoy, she just wouldn't bend.
    The other thing I really disliked about this gym was the fact that they were CONSTANTLY SELLING - and really good at NOT TAKING and quot;NOand quot; for an answer. And they price things like all gyms do - i.e., instead of just having one price for a training session, they discount them if you prepay for a and quot;packageand quot;. Well, I did this, more than once - and I finally got so fed up with my third trainer in 6 months there, that I just stopped going and lost the money on my last two prepaid sessions. I haven't been back to the gym since ... though I still haven't decided if I will give up the membership, or if I'll just use the equipment (which is great and there's lots of it) and pool, and learn how to say and quot;NOand quot; to their additional and quot;servicesand quot;.
    I HATE hard selling - and I really hate trainers who don't listen or who cannot adjust their programmes to my needs and desires. Unfortunately that was my experience with Trainer #3 at Xsport.
    - Karen G.
  • B
    Xsport Fitness - Merrifield
    The amenities for the price and location can't be beat. The facility is modern with all new equipment as of a few years ago. It's not posh like Equinox or some of the Sport and Health locations, but there is full towel service, internet, and TV's on every cardio machine. There is a good variety of classes offered at convenient times. They aren't necessarily the latest fitness trends like you might find at more expensive clubs, but the instructors are generally good and the classes are always free. It can get crowded at peak times in the evenings. The mornings are pretty quiet other than in the locker rooms. There appears to be a good amount of turnover in the staff. Not sure if pay or the job itself is the issue, but it certainly is a negative that none of the people who opened the gym a few years ago are still there. If you want a reasonably nice place to workout for a competitive price, this place is great (but there certainly are better!).
    - Andrea J.
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Fitness Centers in Falls Church

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