6821 Dempster Street, Morton Grove, IL | Directions 6005342.040687 -87.796114
This budget gym trims the fat off its patrons at streamlined facilities. – The Scene
Most Ballys stick to the basics for their design. Televisions broadcast silently above multiple rows of cardio machines; mirrored walls act as the primary decorative components. But thanks to high-energy television ads and low-impact membership premiums, this national fitness chain has steadily attracted a clientele bent on saving money while losing weight or gaining muscle.
Using fairly standard strength-training equipment and/or racks well-stocked with free weights, the best of the trainers here, who are classified at four different levels, can be as skillful as those found at costlier gyms. For group classes, signature exercise options include Spinning and Powerflex, as well as a number of patented routines inspired by Tae Kwon Do.
One member described it as a dungeon, and I agree - I rate it a 0 if this rating system doesn't work right – TERRIBLE place, I only go there because it's cheap and close to my home. The men's locker room has had locker break-ins and thefts lately (and if I lose something it's never in the lost and found), the "down" escalator hasn't worked for several (over four if not more) months, the personal trainers harass members (either telling them how to dress for workouts like they're some kind of fashion police, giving incorrect medical advice, or selling their poor services like really bad used car salespeople), the manager literally makes fun of members and doesn't call members with complaints (they certainly can't speak to him in person because he's rarely around), in the past year the front desk would argue (very abusively) with members, the juice bar may or may not be open during posted hours (and that's the only way to get a tan - through the juice bar), in the gym the cleaners will mop or vaccuum while you're working out (literally hitting your foot with their vaccuum during your set, as if to let you know they're doing something or just that they don't want you working out, I'm not sure), and the members, alas, are generally inconsiderate about others, frequently leaving towels and plates lying about, not unloading free weight bars or free weight machines when finished with a set. The last complaint may be said about many gyms, but it's no different here, so I just throw it in the laundry list to boot.
I made the mistake of renewing my membership until 3/08. My wife let hers expire. My sister visited it once and was pretty offended when I pointed out to her what the gym calls the "catwalk" (walkway to the women's locker room, where men ogle women), and rightly so. I won't renew my membership when it expires in 2008.
Dishonest staff – The staff at this Ballys blatantly lied to me so that I would agree to sign a contract. I asked about the terms when I moved and said I would not sign unless moving got me out of it, explained where I'd be moving and he said it was fine. A year later he denied lying and I was stuck in it after I moved.
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