Crunch Fitness (Mason OH) – Reviewed by “The Powerlifting Golfer”

Crunch Fitness
Crunch Fitness (Mason OH)

Sometimes when an animal is released into the wild they turn around and go back into their cage.

Disclaimer – I have not belonged to a commercial gym in a few years.  I have put a lot of time and money into my home gym and have even made a video about it (see video vault).
So there seems to be a new gym opening every few months in the greater Cincinnati area.  Within 10 miles of my house there is: Lifetime Fitness, Planet Fitness, LA Fitness (x3), Snap 24 and a host of other regional chains.  This doesn’t include the independent gyms.  So there is lots to choose from and something for everyone… or is there?  The latest to open is Crunch Fitness.  I had never seen one before, until they appeared in a former Borders Bookstore.  It’s a great location right at the end of a big open air shopping center.  After passing it twice a day and peaking into the windows (not a creeper) during a date night with the wife, I decided to sign up for a one day trial.  Here are my findings…
Tanning / Hydo-Massage
What the Hell is Hydro-Massage?
The check in process was super simple and the dude wasn’t pushy at all about a membership.  That was cool!  He then mentioned I could use the Tanning and Hydro-Massage during my one day pass.  I said no thanks even though I’m not really sure what Hydro-Massage is, but I was pretty certain it wasn’t going to be my thing.  So with all the formalities finished it was time to enter the Thunderdome!
The facility is brand new and everything is branded.  It says Crunch on everything.  The plates and dumbbells are all clearly labeled and organized.  There weren’t too many people in the free weight area so all lights were green to begin my workout.
Free Weight Area
Welcome to Thunderdome!
I figured chest day would be the easiest way to assimilate into the crowd.  There were only two flat benches to choose from. However, they were both empty.  Awesome!  Time to get to work.  I soon realized I was the only person sporting compression cuffs and wrist wraps.  I also noticed that I was old.  Who gives a shit, let’s get going.  I’ve got my headphones and stocking cap…oh wait stocking caps appear to be out now.  What the hell? Sean feeling uncomfortable…Sean need to lift something heavy!


Please step inside Sean’s brain and enjoy the ride –  Why is the bar smooth? Where is the cheese grader knurling?  I’ll just use some chalk and…that’s right no chalk.  I get it.  Chalk is incredibly messy.  No problem quit complaining and lift.  Why does this feel different?  Why can I almost dump the bar over top of the uprights?  Why are my arms so long, or are everyone else’s arms short?  What…just lift.  I’ll just move over to a power rack where I’ll be more comfortable.  Wait…Smith Machine, Smith Machine, Smith Machine…oh shit!  There’s no where else to go.  I’ll just squeeze out one more rep and forget it.  Let’s move on.

Oh sweet sweet dumbbells how much I missed you.  Oooo they have 120’s. Let’s do some incline dumbbell presses because we can’t do these at home. I’ll just grab the hundos and…stupid knurling.  Why are they so smooth? Why is that group a dudes standing by an adult jungle gym?  They haven’t lifted anything.  Did they all come together in one big car or did they meet here?  How big is that car?  Focus…Let’s try for one more rep…why did that kid just drop a 40# dumbbell?  My 105’s never touched the ground, but he spiked that 40 like he scored a touchdown.  Oh well let’s move onto arms.

Excuse me tan people I need to slide by here.  What…Where are the pins for the weight stack?  When did they start using switches?  How can I not know this?  Relax just pick a weight and…too heavy.  Grind it out Sean there is no back only forward.  That sucked!  Let’s get away from this contraption and back to the dumbbells.  Lets knock out some Hammer Curls…why are they so smooth?  Who can hold on to these things?  Why isn’t anyone else lifting?  Those dudes are still at the jungle gym.  Time for pull ups.

What the hell is this thing?  There are monkey bars, punching bags (not for punching), ropes, rings and lots of kettle-bells.  Oh well…I’ll just jump up and grab something and pull myself up.  What the hell…even this bar is smooth.

It is now safe to exit my brain – Even though Crunch Fitness was not for me it was a really nice facility.  If anything, it was too nice and polished and I never felt like I could bring the intensity.  There were lots of people working hard and some people socializing.  The latter really doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t help my intensity level.  It was overall pretty quiet. If I was to let out a last rep war cry it would of been really awkward. The house music was the standard bullshit, but not too loud.  The Crossfit area was pretty cool and I saw a kid doing box jumps on some really cool looking equipment.  So overall Crunch Fitness was really nice and it’s a hell of a deal.  It’s currently less then $15 a month for there basic membership.  That includes all the enrollment and misc fees they don’t advertise.  However, it’s not for me.  There truly is no place like home. Where everyone knows your name and you own every house record. Unless your spouse has the records; then please be sure to clean up the their weights when they are  done!

Author: Sean Kayea

I've been playing golf for almost 30 years and have been weight training for nearly 20. I'm not a professional golfer nor am I a personal trainer, but what I am is the "Powerlifting Golfer". I've been bombing it past my playing partners for close to twenty years. Which is right about the time I started to visit the weight room just about as much as the driving range. As I've gotten older I've continued to get stronger, which has allowed me to keep adding yards to my drives.