Powerhouse Gyms International was founded by two brothers in Highland Park, MI, growing into a well- known fitness organization and a leader in the industry. Each facility is privately owned and operated and it is not uncommon to find A-list celebrities training in these clubs. Powerhouse Gyms have been around since the 1970s, which offers a sense of credibility to the company. Because each facility is independently owned and operated, it is not uncommon to find mixed reviews around the web.
- Price and contracts
- Upfront fees
- Hidden fees
- Other available amenities
Price and Contracts
Membership prices are average as compared to those of competitors, but for amenities such as classes and new equipment, prices are fair at $13/month. This is extremely lower than most of the fitness centers we reviewed. Contracts can be yearly or monthly and one customer stated paying for an individual day pass. Whatever option you choose, the price is most likely lower than the gym down the street.
While many gyms require upfront fees, Powerhouse does not appear to have them. The one complaint none of their members have is the pricing. This is a good sign; however, being that Powerhouse's membership packages and fees are not disclosed to the public, it would be nice to know the pricing structure before going any further and wasting time. Note: A previous reviewer found that upfront fee to be $75, which is much less expensive than the major gyms on the market.
As far as we can tell, no hidden costs have been found that customers need to be aware of. We did find several other large fitness center chains with hidden fees running the gamut, from locker rentals to cancellation fees.
Other Available Amenities
Some locations also offer juice bars, personal training, and myotherapy at additional fees. A myotherapy session ranges from 30 minutes at $55, to 90 minutes at $135. Myotherapy is a rehabilitative method to relieve chronic pain and discomfort and includes Soft Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure, Dry Needling, Stretching, and Myofasical Release.
Certain Powerhouses also offers KIDFIT, a child care service for members with kids. Hours are limited and closed on Sundays. Fit Kids is available for a low monthly price or you can pay per visit. (See front desk for details.)
- Trainers and nutrition
This gym does not have a lot of cardio equipment (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, bikes, etc.). Despite the exorbitant number of weight-lifting options-bumper plates, tires, chains, sledge hammers, sand pit, stairs, MMA/boxing area, ropes, sleds, turf, multiple rooms, etc.-the weights themselves aren't in the best condition. Overall, the equipment is poorly maintained. Some of the bikes and treadmills buckle and slip out of gear, which can cause possible injury.
When looking into how often machinery, lavatories and other equipment are disinfected and the overall cleanliness of the gym, we ran into the issue of each location being individually owned and operated. This means there are no universal policies in place for regular cleaning by customers using the machines as well as staff maintenance. One gym is called "sweaty" while another is very clean with great equipment. This is definitely a drawback. One customer commented that the place can also use a proper cleaning and the turf and mats needs to be replaced.
Since each Powerhouse gym is a franchise, there are no uniform classes offered across the board. For example, the New York City (Queens) gym holds no classes, the Tampa Bay, Florida Powerhouse gym offers around 12 group classes, including a yoga and a cycling class. Even so, the majority of their group classes are for serious weightlifters. Potential Powerhouse members should take note of this lack of consistency among the gym's various locations.
Trainers and Nutrition
This gym seems to be highly focused on bodybuilding with many of its members training for events. While this is not a negative aspect generally, on a personal level it would be safe to bet many novice or beginner trainers would be timid going up against all the expert athletes on the floor. Consumers have stated it has an egotistical Gold's Gym-type feel, which encourages them to find alternate locations to workout in. Some locations offer personal training, nutrition services, a "cyno thing," massage, etc.
The Bottom Line
Being that this company takes part in such events as the National Qualifier for the NPC bodybuilding event, it is highly focused on bodybuilding; however, the gym is taking a broader approach to universal fitness by offering services to families of across all fitness levels, with some facilities providing free childcare and floors with strict access to only females. The price for membership is both flexible and affordable compared to most chain gyms-except customers across the board agree the sales staff can be pushy at the signup phase.
All in all, despite efforts to its offer services for everyone, each location is individually owned and operated like a franchise, so Powerhouse lacks uniformity of policies, features, and classes and services. Some Powerhouse locations offer these, but not as a specialty. If you're a serious bodybuilder with no care for ambiance, cleanliness and fancy equipment, this gym chain is certainly worth checking out. There are many superior gym options for people looking for yoga, spin classes, Pilates and the like, so we don't recommend Powerhouse for anything but bodybuilding.