Best Fitness Club or Gym

Readers' Pick

First Place: Gold's Gym

Second Place: American Family Fitness

Third Place: YMCA of Greater Richmond

With its roots stretching back to the muscle beach days of Southern California, Gold's Gym offers the same kind of laid-back, customer-centric place for iron pumpers. While Gold's isn't substantially different from the other health clubs, there's a lot more flexibility when it comes to payment schedules — $30 on a month-to-month schedule is typical — and it pays a lot of attention to keeping machinery and weights clean and trainers easily available. It also has various formats, large and small, to fit the character of particular neighborhoods, including a popular club in the Fan. American Family Fitness has larger facilities — and is famously open 24-hours Sunday through Friday — and is locally owned, but has no presence in the city. The YMCA of Greater Richmond is still, in many respects, the gold standard. And in January, the "Y" expanded it's hours on Sundays, which traditionally remained closed until after church services let out at noon. The doors now open at 8.

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