TEST RIDE: Life Time Fitness – Troy / Detroit Suburbs

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Before heading over the southeast Michigan for the Fourth of July holiday, I looked into Life Time Fitness via their website. There are several facilities in the Metro Detroit area, including their new premier fitness center recently opened in Bloomfield Township…check out this recent article in the Detroit Free Press. Life Time offers a complimentary 7-day trial membership at most locations. Unfortunately the new Bloomfield facility is not currently included in the trial membership program, but the Troy location is about a 10-minute drive from Clawson, where my daughter lives, so I completed the on line inquiry form and got the ball rolling for a visit over the holiday weekend.

Pre-class/ride planning
Life Time Fitness (based in Minnesota) is one of the larger chains of full-service fitness centers in the US, but is not in West Michigan. Their website is good resource, but was a little cumbersome to use for finding classes and times, so I just waited to get pick up a schedule at the Troy location. Because of the holiday, the group exercise schedule was lighter than usual…but at least one Cycling class was offered daily over the long weekend.

Arrival
I had been to the facility on Thursday and Friday to tour the center and work with free weights and their new TRX “jungle gym”. Sunday was my day to go for a ride. As I was getting situated in the studio, I noticed no fans…and the AC was set just right so it was comfortable in the studio from start to finish. There were 50-60 bikes stored to the side of the studio…a mix of models, but mostly FreeMotion Indoor Cycles with monitors with information about RPMs, speed (MPH), Watts (Power), heart rate, time and distance.

Time to Ride
Raul picked up the class from the regular Sunday AM instructor and made a point of connecting with everyone in the class during the 5-10 minutes before the hour long class was scheduled to start. There were about 15-20 participants in this class…some Sunday AM late arrivals during the first 10 minutes. Raul gave a full overview of the class including, details of drills, during the warm up. The first half of the class was focused on hill climbs and the second half was focused on flat road and speed work. I didn’t have my heart rate monitor with me, but feel like it was about an average level of intensity. Sound system was one of the best…four full-range speakers at a moderate volume (could have been louder) for the music, but the mic for the instructor wasn’t very clear.

Summary
The facility, instructor, studio and equipment were all good. The nice thing about these full-service fitness centers is that they are FULL service…this Life Time location has a couple pools, spa, pilates studio, sauna, spacious locker rooms, multiple studios with several group exercise class options (not just cycling), racquetball courts, gymnasium, cafe…etc. Looking forward to seeing the Bloomfield location once the grand opening dust settles in a year.

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