The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Health Clubs & Fitness Studios

How to Find the Best Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA

Most of us spend a lot of time sitting. When you've had enough of the sedentary life and want to firm up your muscles, tone your body and perhaps increase your fitness with Pilates, aerobics programs, weight training, spinning classes, nautilus machines or more, it's time to find good health clubs in Santa Clara County. Several good fitness centers offer personal trainers in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA, while others are class scheduled fitness studios.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best fitness centers in Santa Clara County and issues related to health clubs & fitness studios.

Updated September 28, 2013

 The TOP 10 Health Clubs & Fitness Studios in Santa Clara County CA

Ultimate Cardio
(408) 847-7171
7560 Monterey St
Gilroy, CA 95020

Areas Served: Morgan Hill CA, Gilroy CA, Redwood Estates CA, Holy City CA, New Almaden CA, San ...

San Jose Swim & Racquet Club
(408) 297-0067
1170 Pedro St
San Jose, CA 95126

Areas Served: San Jose CA, Milpitas CA, Mt Hamilton CA, Alviso CA, Burbank CA, Coyote CA

Gilroy Health & Fitness
(408) 848-1234
8540 Church St.
Gilroy, CA 95020

Areas Served: Morgan Hill CA, Gilroy CA, New Almaden CA, Redwood Estates CA, San Martin CA

Club of Mountain View
(650) 969-1783
199 E Middlefield Rd
Mountain View, CA 94043

Areas Served: Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, Stanford CA, Loyola

Sunnyvale Gymnastics Club
(408) 773-1010
550 E Remington Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Areas Served: Sunnyvale CA, Cupertino CA, Santa Clara CA, Monte Vista CA, Rancho Rinconada

Los Gatos Athletic Club
(408) 354-5808
285 E Main St
Monte Sereno, CA 95030

Areas Served: Los Gatos CA, Campbell CA, Saratoga CA, Lexington Hills CA, Monte Sereno CA

Los Gatos Swim & Racquet Club
(408) 356-2136
14700 Oka Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Areas Served: Campbell CA, Los Gatos CA, Saratoga CA, Campbell CA, Lexington Hills CA

Body Line Fitness
(408) 872-2030
12852 Saratoga Sunnyvale Rd
Saratoga, CA 95070

Areas Served: Cupertino CA, Santa Clara CA, Sunnyvale CA, Rancho Rinconada, Monte Vista CA

San Jose Athletic Club
(408) 292-1141
196 N 3rd St
San Jose, CA 95112

Areas Served: San Jose CA, Milpitas CA, Burbank CA, Cambrian Park, Alviso, Coyote CA

How to Find the Best Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 

 

There is no state license required for fitness centers in Santa Clara County and so no state standard for safety or competency. Likewise, there is no legal requirement that they have liability insurance from which you can be reimbursed if you suffer an injury due to a mistake or negligence, however all  health clubs or fitness centers bearing The Prime Buyer's ReportTOP 10 symbol do have that liability insurance for your protection, in addition to passing all of the other requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous members to verify high satisfaction, sufficient length of time in business, clean complaint record, hiring only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more. 

 

Fitness in Santa Clara County CA

The local gym was once the domain of only professional boxers or sweaty weight lifters. It was not a place most people—especially women—went. In fact, most people didn't actually do much regular exercise. In the seventies and eighties that began to change as people's consciousness began to focus on health and natural living. The running (jogging) craze hit and aerobics classes became very popular. People who had never heard of yoga began attending yoga classes. Richard Simmons broke out the short shorts. Leg warmers appeared on women's legs across America, even when they were just going to the grocery store.

Fitness and fitness wear became a new fashion statement. And to answer this craving for healthy living, businesses began popping up in towns across America. They didn't call themselves gymnasiums any more (though doing so might have brought even more business—the original meaning of the Greek word gymnasium was to "exercise naked"). These new businesses called themselves health clubs or family fitness centers. Offering a safe, convenient place to use weight-lifting equipment, attend exercise classes with like-minded friends and perhaps lose a few pounds, health clubs became, for many, a part of daily life.

A Variety of Exercise Programs Available at Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA
Health clubs and fitness centers in Santa Clara County have come a long way. The range of options has widened from weight training and aerobic classes to encompass every special interest a client may have. There is equipment that specifically targets cardio training, getting the heart rate up, nutritional programs with certified nutritionists, personal trainers who will work with you individually to address specific needs and goals, yoga classes, spin classes, therapeutic saunas and hot tubs, Jazzercize, massage, tai chi classes, physical therapy, recuperative classes, adapted physical education and more.

Some of the best health clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA have broadened their offerings to include indoor rock wall climbing, aerobic kick boxing, group cycling on modern exercise bikes and treadmills (often with televisions so you can watch your favorite show while exercising) children's exercise and fitness programs, martial arts, racquetball, basketball and even boxing, hearkening back to the old-school gyms where it all started.

Some health clubs offer special seniors-only or women-only classes, specifically designed for that demographic for comfort and privacy. Most health clubs offer free weights as well as exercise and weight machines. Most gyms offer the services of personal, certified fitness trainers who will show you the proper use of the machines and help you, based on your weight and experience, design an exercise program tailored just for you. Many health centers are open 24 hours a day.

Other health clubs offer Pilates classes in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA to strengthen muscles at the body's core. Pilates training is one of the most popular exercise methods in the world and is known to improve flexibility and create lean, strong muscles. Because of its low-impact fitness routines and emphasis on gentle body conditioning, the Pilates method is effective for people of all ages and of various physical abilities.

Some Pilates studios in Santa Clara County area teach Pilates mat work classes, which are performed on the floor without equipment or with small exercise props. Other gyms feature Pilates equipment, which use a system of pulleys, springs and body weight for resistance training. The most common piece of Pilates apparatus is the Reformer, and other equipment and props used in Pilates exercises include the Magic Circle, small weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls and resistance bands.

Different Pilates teachers have modified the original Pilates technique, so various Pilates methods are offered at the fitness studios in Santa Clara County, including Fletcher Pilates, an innovative exercise program based on the original Pilates matwork, Stott Pilates, which incorporates contemporary exercise techniques and emphasizes rehabilitation, Power Pilates, a classic method taught by Pilates instructors, Winsor Pilates, which is faster-paced and includes some cardio benefits, and Gyrotronic Pilates, which offers full range of motion exercises by incorporating Pilates movements on a Gyrotronic machine.

Gym Memberships at Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA
Most Santa Clara County health clubs offer memberships. Typically, in order to use their facilities, one must pay an initial sign-up fee, then a monthly fee thereafter. Memberships may vary widely depending on how often you wish to come and what services you are seeking. Santa Clara County health clubs and fitness centers often run special introductory prices so be sure to ask. Many offer complimentary guest passes, or steeply reduced start-up rates, allowing you to try them out once or twice before committing.

Good health clubs and fitness centers provide a way to utilize the latest equipment and fitness trends without having to buy that equipment and have it sitting in your living room. They are a great place to socialize while staying healthy, and they provide the incentive to continue your healthy lifestyle.


Personal Fitness Trainers in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA

Fitness trainers or personal trainers in Santa Clara County CA are people who give you personalized attention and motivation to help you reach your fitness goals. The quality of personal fitness trainers varies widely. Standard health clubs often give you an option to sign on with a personal fitness trainer. Other fitness trainers freelance and are hired by you directly, not through a particular health club. 

Fitness Studios in Santa Clara County
Fitness studios are different from health clubs or gyms in that they are often not "come-and-go" like a gym, meaning you attend the fitness studio for scheduled sessions either in small groups or for individual sessions with a personal fitness trainer.

Some Health Clubs in Santa Clara County Are Much Better than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these health clubs in Santa Clara County CA: San Jose Athletic Club, San Jose Swim & Racquet Club, Los Gatos Athletic Club, Los Gatos Swim & Racquet Club, Sunnyvale Gymnastics Club, Body Line Fitness, Club of Mountain View, Gilroy Health & Fitness, Ultimate Cardio, Gold's Gym. Other fitness centers in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA that might still be in business include: Flex-It, Custom Fitness, Axis Personal Trainers and Spa, 24 Hour Fitness, Curves‎, Butterfly Life, Embody Wellness Spa, Optimum Results, Mc Call Gym Group. Didn't find what you wanted with the TOP 10 Health Clubs & Fitness Studios in Santa Clara County? Then click here to see additional companies in this category.

 

 

 

How to Choose the Best Health Clubs in Santa Clara County CA 

In general, most people who join health clubs are motivated by one of two reasons: They want to tone up and be healthier, or they are recovering from an injury, surgery, or other health issue. These goals often go together, of course, but it's important to know what your goals are before choosing a health club. Trainers and exercise professionals often have very different approaches to the same stated goals. Your objective is to find the health club that most closely matches your goals and your comfort level. Sit down and write out exactly what you're hoping to accomplish by joining a health club, even if you're not completely sure. That way, when you go in, you'll be able to give each health club representative the same list of goals. This will make it easier for you to compare their responses to your consistent description.

Although many health clubs in Santa Clara County may have similar equipment and classes, there are differences of style, temperament and interest. Some don't have a lot of compassion for those just starting out; some emphasize comfort and privacy. Ideally the health club representative will show a great deal of interest and ask relevant questions, perhaps pointing out things you hadn't yet considered. If, after meeting them, you've gotten a good initial impression, ask some questions about the club's facilities and credentialing. Use the list of questions below as a guideline to develop your own.


• How long have the fitness centers' trainers and employees been in the health club industry?

• How many members do each of the Santa Clara County health clubs have?

• What are the hours the health clubs are open?

• Are there "peak" hours of use at the health centers?

• Do the health clubs provide child care?

• Will someone at the health clubs be able to train you on the use of the exercise equipment? Does this cost more?

• What does the gym membership fee include? (personal training, classes, pool, towel service, lockers, childcare, etc.)

• Are there extra costs for additional services at the Santa Clara County health clubs?

• Can you speak with members of the health clubs and ask them questions before you join?

• Is there a certain time-frame minimum at the gyms or can you quit anytime?

• Are the trainers/employees at each of the Santa Clara County health clubs trained in first-aid and CPR?

• What industry certifications do the personal trainers at the health centers have?


Through this question-and-answer period, consider first impressions, the cleanliness and overall look of the health club, experience levels and compatible styles. Visit the health clubs at different times. Many fitness centers have high-density use times or "peak" hours.  Are there long lines at equipment during the times you would be at the gyms in Santa Clara County CA? Do the health clubs offer a wide enough variety of equipment types to help you achieve your fitness goals?

When you've chosen the health club most suitable for you, make sure they are experienced enough to meet your fitness goals. Before you sign up, insist that there be a written contract that details pricing and all details of the gym membership, including how to opt out should you change your mind.

 

 

Tips for Choosing Good Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 

Take Time Choosing Between Santa Clara County Health Clubs.
Whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish by joining a health club, take your time choosing. Different gyms and fitness centers have different skill sets, specialties and experience so it's important to be sure the health club you choose can actually provide you with what you need to achieve your goals. If you shop around a little you'll have better odds of finding the right fitness club for you.

Write Down Your Fitness Goals.
Think about the fitness goals you have in mind. What do you want to do? Tone up? Change your entire lifestyle? Restore your health? Write everything down that comes to mind. That way you'll be able to hand each health club representative a clear, consistent summary of what you're after.  If you give each health club the same information, it will be easier to compare apples to apples when you learn what each has to offer.

Talk to and Visit Several Gyms in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA.
It's not about just finding the lowest price, or nearest-to-work location. Comparison shopping for pricing help you get an idea of the median price for gym memberships and it will give you a chance to sound out the personalities and policies and customer service of the different health clubs before joining. It will also give you a chance to see the facility and get an impression of whether or not you'd be comfortable there.

Get the Gym Membership Terms in Writing.
Nothing is official until it is written and signed. So insist that the health club you choose provides you with a detailed document that describes the pricing in detail. Make sure you understand what you're agreeing to. Is it a month-to-month fitness club membership? An annual gym membership? (Don't sign up for a lifetime gym membership: They are illegal in most states.) Three-quarters of the states have specific legislation regarding the maximum length of health club contracts and provisions for cancellation. There is usually a "cooling off" period offered on all contracts, typically three days, during which you can cancel your agreement without penalty. Be sure you understand the cancellation provisions in the contract. To learn more, call the California State Department of Consumer Affairs. (See our article, "Resources About Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA).

Do Your Homework Before Joining a Santa Clara County CA Health Club.
To narrow down your choices, do some detective work. Research the club's licensing, insurance and reputation. See if there have been complaints about the health club with the Better Business Bureau. To help with this, see our article: Resources About Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA. Verify all of this information before signing the contract.

 

 

Health Clubs in Santa Clara County Offer Many of the Best Exercise Equipment and Brands 

Health clubs in Santa Clara County CA offer many of the best exercise equipment and brands including Bowflex, Nautilus, Precor USA, NordicTrack, Advanced Fitness, Inc., HealthRider, Inc., Cybex International, Inc., Eloton Exercise Equipment, Sohn, Benter Ball, Cableflex, Butt Blaster, Cardiosport, Orbitrek, TrackMaster, StairMaster, Sportline, Jumpking, Empower, Altus, Variflex, Valeo, Powertec, Infiniti Fitness, Textrix, Unisen, Scifit, Versa, Intek Strength, Sportsart and Quinton.

 

 

Resources About Health Clubs in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 


Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations Health Clubs & Fitness Centers in Santa Clara County
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
Diamond Certified http://www.diamondcertified.org/
Consumer Reports on Health (http://www.consumerreports.org/oh/index.htm)



Media Related to Health Clubs in Santa Clara County

National Health and Wellness Club (http://www.healthandwellnessclub.com/)
International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association (http://cms.ihrsa.org/)
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (http://www.fitness.gov/)
National Gym Association (http://www.nationalgym.com/nga/index.php)
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (http://www.ncpad.org/)
Association of Women's Fitness (http://www.association-of-womens-fitness.org/)
PRO Pulse Magazine (http://public.proclub.com/PROPulseMagazine/tabid/77/Default.aspx)
Club Solutions Magazine (www.clubsolutionsmagazine.com)
Natural Health Magazine(www.naturalhealthmag.com)
Women's Health Magazine (www.womenshealthmag.com)
Men's Fitness Magazine (www.mensfitness.com)



The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Health Clubs in Santa Clara County within the following zip codes:

94023, 95056, 95156, 94022, 95135, 95123, 94041, 95139, 95038, 95113, 95153, 95122, 95170, 95101, 95136, 95131, 95052, 95127, 95154, 95070, 95008, 95138, 95030, 95150, 95110, 94301, 94086, 95054, 95115, 95106, 95103, 95009, 94087, 94035, 95158, 95014, 95046, 95173, 95026, 95037, 95129, 94088, 95124, 95148, 94305, 95109, 94309, 95152, 95021, 95013, 95155, 94039, 95002, 94302, 95157, 95133, 94304, 94089, 95035, 95119, 95071, 95116, 95031, 95044, 95164, 95020, 95134, 95126, 95015, 95130, 94085, 95132, 95151, 95032, 94040, 95159, 95112, 95128, 95051, 95050, 95141, 95118, 95172, 94043, 95140, 95160, 95121, 95125, 95042, 95111, 95161, 94303, 95011, 94042, 95120, 94306, 94024, 95055, 95036, 95108 and 95117

 

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Health Clubs in Santa Clara County within the following cities:

Palo Alto, Los Altos, Gilroy, Mt Hamilton, Mountain View, Saratoga, Mt View, San Jose, Monta Vista, Redwood Est, Los Altos Hills, Alviso, Los Gatos, New Almaden, Sunnyvale, Coyote, Monte Sereno, Campbell, Stanford, Cupertino, Holy City, Permanente, Milpitas, San Martin, Blossom Valley, East Palo Alto, Redwood Estates, Morgan Hill and Santa Clara