The Bally Total Fitness located in the heart of Chicago’s iconic Loop is a misleading structure. One could almost miss it entirely, as the cavernous place occupies three floors in the basement levels of retail and office space. Bally spans about 43,865 square feet, with areas for aerobics classes, weight training, swimming, indoor running, assorted treadmills, stair machines and more. Of course, you’ll find saunas and locker rooms too. Plus, there’s a lobby store featuring a wide variety of fluids, protein snacks, dietary supplements and overpriced workout gear that no one ever seems to buy.
While Chicago is a very diverse and cosmopolitan city, the Loop has its struggles. The Magnificent Mile just a few blocks north tends to be more contemporary and clean. For example, the Michigan Avenue Borders bookstore across from the famed Water Tower Place shopping mall is an organized and semi-efficient business. In contrast, the State Street Borders in the Loop is a mess, with homeless people stinking up the aisles and restrooms pumping out even stronger odors. So the Bally spotlighted in this blog fits in perfectly with the surroundings.
Don’t take this the wrong way. If your objective is a cheap workout, the facility will satisfy your needs. You’ll discover plenty of equipment and space available, along with a friendly staff. And Bally is conveniently situated near numerous public transportation options.
However, you’ll also experience unique peculiarities not covered in the membership contract. Your disposition and intestinal fortitude will determine if these things are perks or personal violations.
Enjoy your workout.