Weighing-in on weight rooms: A review of local gyms

March 3, 2021

It’s that time of year, folks. The long awaited return of high school sports is upon us, and athletes across the state are suiting up for competition. With nearly a full year without sports for some, gyms and weight rooms became flooded with high schoolers, eager to stay in shape and get stronger for their future seasons. 

For DGN students, there are a few hot spots for athletes looking to get a lift in. Some have made drastic changes in response to COVID 19, while others have operated as usual (as long as you strap on a mask, of course). Some students are beyond pleased with the gym they belong to, while others are less than satisfied. Here are a few gyms in the area that many Trojans have flocked to:

Xsport Fitness:

With a starting price of $9.95 a month, this is one of the cheapest gyms around. Of course, that small fee only gets you access to the weight room, and not the basketball courts, hot tubs, saunas, massages, and yoga classes Xsport has to offer (access to those luxuries would be $29.95 per month- still, not a rip off). Junior Josh Knutson joined Xsport Fitness about three months ago, and hasn’t regretted it for a second.

“I love the size and the price of this gym especially,” Knutson said. “Most of the people there are cool, pretty laid back, and it’s just a great and positive atmosphere. There’s everybody from beginning lifters to some pretty ripped dudes, so anybody should come.”

Senior Maddie Redpath also works out at this gym, and while she is a fan of the facility and price she pays, she acknowledges that there are some creeps enrolled at Xsport, as there are at any gym.

“For many women the gym can be uncomfortable,” Redpath said. “Many men comment about me while I work out, one man went as far as filming me while I lifted. It’s annoying, but that’s not just my gym, that’s everywhere.” 

In the end of the day, Xsport Fitness is a great gym for students to work out at, regardless of their strength and experience in the weight room. With a large supply of equipment and many added bonuses such as the pools and basketball courts, the fair price makes this a great place to go break a sweat.

4500 Fitness- Downers Grove Recreation Center:

Better known as “the rec”, 4500 Fitness hosts a plethora of DGN students looking to workout. A student pass is $21 a month, and includes the fitness center, access to the basketball courts and a track. 

The rec has made perhaps the most noticeable restrictions since reopening after COVID-19 hit. Capacity has been cut from 90 to 40 people, and members must sign up for a time slot to go workout. With only eight 90 minute slots, it’s hard to get in on a busy day. Junior Jacob Baldwin has been very frustrated with these restraints.

“As a student athlete with limited time, the time slots drive me crazy,” Baldwin said. “I want to go to the gym when I want to work out, now I need to sign up days in advance.”

While this change could be bothersome for members, the rec is creating a safe environment, doing their best to eliminate germs in their weight room. This is one of the pros 4500 fitness has to offer.

“While the time slots and mask mandate are annoying while working out, I understand they’re trying to keep us safe,” Baldwin said. “They also have a ton of nice equipment for everybody, whether you want to lift or run they have nice equipment.”

TK Fitness:

Located off Forest View Road in Lisle, TK fitness is another gym in the area. This facility offers a weight room with plenty of weight training and cardio equipment, and also has an outdoor workout area designed for hill training. Open from 4:30 am to 11pm, this gym costs $48 a month, one of the more expensive gyms around.

Senior Eduardo Marquis has been at TK Fitness for about a year, and for the most part is a fan.

“They have great equipment, I can go whenever I want and the people there are super nice and helpful,” Marquis said. “The only  complaints I have is that the locker rooms are very small and the gym sometimes isn’t clean, there is garbage left around and sometimes their floors are dirty.”

Avolve Downers Grove:

One gym that is seemingly growing in popularity amongst teenagers is Avolve. Located on Ogden Avenue, this gym is open all 24 hours a day, something which most other gyms in the area do not offer.

Junior Monty Burnap loves the fact that he can workout whenever at Avolve.

“ I used to workout at the rec (4500 Fitness) and they close at 8:30,” Burnap said. “At Avolve, I usually don’t even get there until after 8:30. I workout when I can after work and it’s nice having that option.”

A membership at Avolve is $25 a month, one of the more expensive options considering members only have access to a fitness center, none of the other luxuries offered at other gyms. The workers at Avolve also don’t get rave reviews.

“As soon as I walk in their heads are buried in their phones, and they hardly look up,” Burnap said. “They’re rude, and they kind of bring down the energy.”


These four gyms are not the only gyms in the area, but four of the more popular amongst students. While they all have their pros and cons, they are all great options for DGN students to go break a sweat and get in shape.


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