summer’s almost there! It’s getting warmer by days (30°C on monday in Berlin!) and people have finally stopped wearing layers of garments. Instead the temperatures have started forcing us to wear even lesser! Which is actually a super nice thing ’cause it means that we may alternate our outfits and styles. Time for shorts, cropped tops, sandals and loads of loose and beautiful dresses!
The most important and most prominent piece of clothing is, however, the swimwear. And surely, I am absolutely right when I say: we’d all love to look like models in our bikinis! So for some us – including me -, it’s time to work out.
McFit is the largest fitness center chain in Germany based in Schlüsselfeld, Bavaria, and has more than 1.2 million members throughout Europe (Austria, Italy, Poland & Spain). The subtitle stating ” Einfach gut aussehen” is the company’s slogan, meaning “Simply looking good”.
Actually, there are already loads of reviews on the internet but they’re all different, covering and stressing various aspects. So I’ll summarize all of them for you; be happy.
McFit has exactly three principles:
Simple: As soon as you decide to give it a try, preconditioned that you’re either grown-up or your parents have formally agreed to it in a letter (You still have to be at least 15 years though.), you’ll be given a MemberCard, a smartcard, you may use in order to check in and out in all McFit studios throughout Europe as well as buy things there, provided you charged it before. Furthermore, you don’t immediately have to sign the contract; in fact you’ve got two free trial session and the studio’s always open, 24/7. Note: Particularly at happy hours you may find yourself not being able to work out due to the overcrowding.
Affordable: The 12-months contract requires a fee of 19,90€ per month + a one-time charge of 19€ which is quite cheap. Note: Other options are not available, so you better not decide on working out in McFit for less than a year. If you already signed a contract but aren’t really satisfied, do not forget to tender the resignation four weeks before the expiration of the contract. Otherwise the contract will automatically extend itself for further 6 months. Furthermore, the cheap price attracts many people and not all are necessarily nice and pleasant.
Few auxiliary services:
In order to keep McFit simple and affordable, it has few auxiliary services. Surely, you can shower there for free but no sauna, no wellness and no bar. It also has less gym equipment in comparison to other fitness studios and even though the staff is always very nice, it’s obviously undermanned.
That’s just the general stuff, so let’s move to the studios themselves. Even though they’re all kind of different in some points, there are indeed some basic standards regarding the equipment:
1. The areas
The training area is divided into several sections; the fundamental ones (cardio, strength and stretching) as well as special ones (beginner, advanced and expert). The gym equipment within these areas are quite close to each other, increasing accident hazard and not all machines are up to date. Note: Besides these standard areas, there are also some extra services such as the Kinesis strength training, the box workout, the cybertraining and loads of other digital or equipped services.
2. The locker and changing room
As soon as you are owner of a MemberCard, you may use the locker whose usage is quite simple. The appearance and the size of the changing room, however, does vary. There have also been loads of cases where people haven’t been able to work out as they couldn’t find any free lockers or the changing room was simply too overcrowded.
3. The trainers
As mentioned before, the trainers are always quite nice but understaffed. If you do not speak to them, they often won’t to you. They’re not really proactive and also miss seeing beginners’ faults. They don’t act as personal trainers but as principal & passive supporters. In order to compensate for their limited capacity, there are several free training plans you may choose from.
4. The vending machines
By charging your MemberCard, you may buy something from the vending machines. And even though their products are always fresh and cool, they’re not necessarily great. So-called power snacks contain loads of sugars, there are no mineral waters without carbon dioxide (As for me, that’s simply horrible. I easily get stomach ache when drinking something including carbon acid gas.) and these protein biscuits and powders are also quite questionable.
5. The media (posters, music, media)
McFit does heavily advertise itself in the media using celebrities such as the Klitschko brothers but there’s also loads of media in the studios: there are several televisions that are always set on the McFit-Channel featuring skinny models on the catwalk, extreme sports and other motivational entertainments as well as posters of trained people and music throughout the studio. It’s not really that loud but if you’re not really fond of charts music, bring your own music.
6. Set of scales
There’s always a scale there. Next to the Terminal. I don’t know why though. To keep people anxious? To let them check whether there has been any progress? Is it just me that feels like the scale’s out of place?
7. Kind of chill area
I’m not 100% sure about that. And even though it’s nice having one coincidentally next to the vending machines, it’s not always happily welcomed by the perspiring members.
Here are some myths people may have wondered about:
1. The price was raised.
Jop, the price was formerly 15€ a month and steadily rised up to 19,90€ which I find alright as it’s still cheap. On the other hand, members have accepted the new regulations unconsciously by checking in with their MemberCards which I don’t find alright anymore. The small notice next to the scanner was easily overlooked and if you weren’t all too happy with the new regulations, you could agree on a date with an employee. But seriously, who has the time for that?
2. The equipment’s bad.
Yes and no. Some studios are on their way to modernize anything like the one next to the shopping center ALEXA in Berlin while others are slowly falling apart and degrade.
3. You can only pay with a national bank account.
I’m not quite sure about the McFit in Spain or Poland but in Germany, you’ve got pay with either your german bank account or the german bank account of a friend.
4. You may take a break from your contract.
Surprisingly yes! However, it’s bound to certain criteria and … no, I don’t want to list that. Just ask in form of a comment for that if you’re interested.
As I’m myself a member of McFit, I know all of these pros and cons myself too well and I’d recommend McFit to people that are not in need of a plan and prefer deciding their own fitness routine, that want to stay fit but not pay a fortune, that couldn’t give a damn about extra services and need flexible times. On the other side, you may know think of signing up and starting to work out for the perfect body but let’s be serious, guys: Are you really going to keep at it? Or are the contract and the payment gonna be the only motivations in the end? In fact, statistically two of three people abort. But fear not, there are alternatives such as working out at home for free with the help of fitness youtubers which are going to be featured in my next post, so stay tuned!
By the way, let me know what do you think of fitness centers? What do you do in order to stay in shape?
P.S.: A german translation of the McFit review is available on request.