Moving from the immense Spiece Fitness gym to the much smaller (Jackson R. Lehman) JRL Y was a big change for me. The day I toured the JRL Y, the weight room was crowded around 10AM on a Monday in September. Part of the reason was a class of about 15 people was being held on one of the multi-station machines which prevented others in the gym from using it. The class was only for an hour and after they were done, the multi-station machine was open for everyone again. I think this only happens about three times a week.
Spiece has much more weight equipment compared to the JRL Y and more variety. In addition to the regular machines, Spiece has ISO weight machines which allow the two arms or two legs to move independently of each other. These are great to force both sides of your body to work the same weight and not allow your dominate side to assist your weaker side. These would be great if you had an injury on one side. Being a much newer facility the JRL just has much newer equipment than Spiece. After a week at the JRL Y, I discovered they did not have free-weight decline bench presses, but I could do dips or modified push-ups as substitutes. Spiece has two. JRL has just one free-weight incline bench and Spiece has three. The Y has two free-weight flat bench presses and Spiece has four. The stretching/multi-purpose area is not on the first floor with the weights – it is upstairs off the track so it’s a little inconvenient to access. They have small dumbbells, kettlebells, Bosu balls and yoga mats. Spiece has two stretching and warm-up areas very close to the weight area on the same floor.
I don’t use cardio equipment very much; mostly for warming up before weights. From my viewpoint, the JRL Y seems to have more cardio equipment than Spiece and more variety as well. I almost forgot about my favorite cardio machine at Spiece – the Jacob’s Ladder. It simulates climbing a ladder and doesn’t take long to wear me out. The JRL Y doesn’t have one of these.
The tracks at the two gyms are both on the second level; the JRL Y is longer at 8 laps for a mile while Spiece is 9 laps for a mile. The JRL Y track has windows where you can see outside and the traffic and other surroundings. The Spiece track has windows, but they are too high to see anything but the sky. Both gyms have pools. And Spiece has a large sports performance area for pushing sleds, flipping tires and anything else you want to do in a big open room. The Y tries to simulate this with a multi-station machine in the weight room. Spiece is known for basketball and has eight basketball courts while the JRL Y has two.
The JRL Y is nice for the average exerciser who wants to use a lot of cardio equipment and some free-weight equipment and a fair amount of weight machines. If you want a vast array of exercise weights and machines then Spiece is your gym. It’s spread out and not as cramped as the JRL Y. Remember that your Y membership is good at all their locations not just the JRL Y. Spiece has one location.
In all fairness to the JRL Y, it would be hard for any gym to compare well to Spiece with it’s large size
and offerings. So give them both a try with a day pass and see which one suites your needs. Or check them out as a guest with a friend.