This summer I got a bunch of trial memberships to different gyms in the area and toured all of them to see which was the best fit for me. OAC won hands down. I am training for a triathlon, so having a pool was important, as well as a variety of weight training exercises and the freedom to train when I can (I also work two jobs). I have now been a member of OAC for over 6 months and still love this gym and recommend it to anyone who asks.
True, it is an old building with 5-6 layers of paint on the walls, windows and fans instead of high-powered AC and lots of stairs and an unusual layout. But I've always found it to be in good repair and the few times something was broke, it got fixed within a few days.
And true, parking can be a pain if you come during certain times of day, but if you can't find parking at one of their main lots, they have 7 parking areas within a block - the only trick is learning where they are. The front desk has a map they can give you - just keep it in your glove box and you are set.
Friendliness - This isn't a pick-up place and the focus here is on yourself and your own body and your own sweat. That doesn't mean that people aren't friendly, but don't expect everyone to start up a conversation with you just because you are hanging around in the same vicinity.
Oh, let me say something about the pool. I love the pool. There are 4 lanes and a signup whiteboard to tell you who is in what lane and by what time they will be out. There is also a hot tub in the pool area you can wait in if you want, but I rarely have to wait for a lane. It's organized, easy, and people share well. I love this gym.
I have been a member of Olympic Athletic Club for over a year now and can honestly say I have never been more satisfied with a gym. I have tried about all of them in the Seattle area, and have always quit within the first couple months. What keeps me at Olympic is first and foremost the incredibly friendly and helpful staff. I always receive a warm greeting when I come in, and any issues that have ever come up have been dealt with immediately in a pleasant and personal manner. Their customer service is impeccable. Second, no where else in the area will you find such a complete health club. They have a pool, public and private hot tubs, a sauna and steam room, tons of cardio machines and several weight rooms. They also have a large class selection with something for everyone. I personally love the intense water aerobics. Also the club has the charm of an older building, but is very well maintained. The locker rooms especially are checked at various times of the day and have always looked spotless. The club is spread out over three floors, which gives it a more comfortable, homey feel. It is also very family friendly with childcare, kid??s classes, and open swims for everyone. I have never had the problem of being unable to do what I came for. There is always space in the pool and open machines. And finally, Olympic has TONS of parking. They own several lots all within a block away. I would definitely recommend Olympic Athletic Club to anyone interested in finding a great place to work out in the Seattle area. You will definitely get more than what you are paying for.
This place is not clean; not horribly filthy like others have suggested, but the locker rooms do tend to encourage you to shower at home.The facilities and equipment are dated. Parking is extremely inconvenient...half your workout involves walking back and forth between the gym & the parking lots. Forget about the pool unless it's late at night or when you should be at work.However, my primary motivation for writing this was the staff. I ran into a billing issue recently (my bank made a mistake and it took them a while to fix it). My initial motivation for joining this gym was that it was locally owned and if I ran into problems it'd be easy to talk to someone who'd be in a position to help. Well, no one ever returned my calls, and the "accounts receivable manager" was horribly rude and continued to bill me even after I'd told them to stop. Verizon & Comcast were much more understanding about the same issue. Eventually I paid them off & quit; it beats being hassled by the collection agencies they were threatening me with.It just astounded me how the entire organization refused to even speak with me; no one returned my calls, no one even knew what was going on. LA fitness has a beautiful facility not 4 blocks away; I don't understand how given this and the current economy they can continue treating their customers like crap.
But now, it is dated, old, and tired, not to mention filthy. I have been a member for almost a year, and will soon be quiting, as my numerous inquiries/complaints about cleaning have been ignored. Forget about aesthetics, it is very important to have clean facilities. Showers that backup with standing water, cloudy hot tubs with visible dead skin on perimeter (two skin infections for me to date) a steam room that works 1/2 the time, red mold in shower stalls, FILTHY air vents, air purifiers. Are the towels bleached? I can't say I've ever smelled a hint. If there is a place to use bleach, it would be at a healthclub. After my second skin infection I asked how often the hot tub is chem checked. Still don't have an answer, or ever witnessed a single check being done. Sauna is old and barely functional. The 'deep' cleaning that is supposed to happen Saturday nights is nothing more than vacuming and changing toilet paper rolls. Often, even vacuuming hasn't taken place. I've complained about equipment needing service, to no avail. I'm left asking why I would spend $62/mo for unsanitary conditions, very poor customer service, and mediocre equipment, facilities. I'm honestly not sure what gym the folks who are giving good reviews are going to.
Olympic Athletic club has got it all. From yoga classes, to massages, swimming classes, and nutritional advice. Do what I did, and check out the website, hook up a 7 day free pass! Check out the sites, and see if you don't like it. Staff are friendly and they know what they're doing. They're not pushy like other gyms I've been too in the past. My husband enjoyed open basketball courts.
The OAC is a great little neighborhood gym in Ballard, perfect for those of us who don't like corporate gyms. The atmosphere is nurturing, almost, and while the gym building winds through a whole block's worth of building, you'll eventually figure out where your yoga class is. OAC has a pool, some covered parking, machines, a great staff, a wide offering of free classes, and fabulous locker rooms complete with (at least for the women!) carpet floors, curtained changing stalls, and a girls-only hot tub.
I have been biting back and actually had a friend join recently.\r
I am motified by the fact they let babies on the gym floor!!! I mean I have children and as much as I adore them would never put them in harms way!\r
Wednesday a woman was on a machine holding a 6-8 month old..don't you think..what if you drop they baby. Not to mention we all put our children in child care so we can get away to have alone time.\r
A few weeks before that there was a woman with a new born screaming but she did not hear because she had her headset on...really?!?!\r
I am looking for another gym but sadly my small child likes the pool so its hard just not a safe gym and I do feel not all but most of the gym help just pretend to listen.\r
I just moved back to the Seattle area a while ago, and I needed to find a new gym. I was lucky to find Olympic Athletic Club! I wanted to find a gym with a pool, free parking and a good free weights area and this place delivers plus more! I really feel like my time is being well spent, the employees are super nice and not pushy about memberships, I haven't tried any of the classes, but I hear they're fabulous. \r
I highly recommend Olympic Athletic Club!
I have been a member since June 2010. Having worked as a lifeguard and pool operator, as well as a gym and aerobic instructor, I have minimum health, sanitation and professional standards I expect from a gym.
I really want to like this gym, but it is not cleaned, maintained or staffed properly. I have decided to check out the other gyms in Ballard.
I've tried several gyms in Seattle before finally finding Olympic Athletic Club. Its cool to have somewhere that's locally owned but still has all the stuff (if not more) than nationally owned gyms. Swimming pool, tanning, massage, personal training, great cardio room- what more could you want? The guy who signed me up was super nice- not salesy or pushy. I love their hours too- this gym I went to before closed at like 8pm! \r
Its so much more fun to work out when you have somewhere cool to go!
Five stars is not enough! I just returned to Ballard after spending eight years living and working in LA. My husband and I were previously members at Olympic so we gave them a call to schedule an appointment to get a tour and findout the details about rejoining. Surprisingly, Melissa, the same membership employee who enrolled us originally, answered the phone and remembered us. She was very friendly, answered all my questions, and offered us a one-week guest pass to try out the Club.\r
We arrived the next day, received a tour, and, for those of you out there who haven't seen the place for several years, let me tell you, it is impressive! They completely remodeled the pool and hot tub, replaced all the equipment with new machines that feature personal viewing screens (with the same 99 channels we have at home), and built a new daycare, which my three and five year old said was ""awesome!""\r
After the tour we talked with Mark, the Manager. He welcomed us back and offered to waive the enrollment fee, since we paid it previously. Also, he informed us about the price, which was lower than what we paid for membership before, and he gave us each a gift certificate for two one hour sessions with a personal trainer and a gift certificate for a free massage!\r
After touring and joining other clubs while we were away, I can't describe how good it feels to be home in Ballard and a member of the best health club in the Northwest! \r
Pros: New Equipment, Open 24 hours, Friendly Staff
Cons: Saturday Night Closure at 8:00 p.m.
One star is too many, I'd like to give them a -1 star rating. Being that I'm a business owner who also gets reviews, I will only review the absolute best (all my reviews are on yelp under nicole s.), or in this case the absolute worst customer service I've ever received, anywhere. Four days later, I'm still reeling, although at this point they couldn't pay me to step foot in that place. The gym has some of the better nautilus equipment for the kind of workout I do, and I certainly would have never intentionally burned my bridges. Not to mention that I'm a strong believer in karma, and do pay my bills.
The following is based on a huge mistake which they flat out refused to verify-
I was a member several years ago for a few years. In that time I was in the account managers office once, where we squabbled over $4.17... it was quite tacky and petty really after being a paying member in good standing for all that time.* That was the only incident I ever had there and remained a member for about another year. To my knowledge, any last dues were paid, and that was the end of that. Well when I went to re-join 6 years later, Mark the general manager and part owner looked me up in the computer and puzzled, told me he couldn't let me re-join due to a billing issue, that I didn't pay my last bill. I assured him that was not the case, and this was the first I had heard about any outstanding balance. He said he knew nothing about it and that he'd ask the other owners and accounting if they knew what this was about. We agreed to talk the next day. I called 3 times the next day as he was in meetings and I could not get through until the end of the day. When we finally talked, he just said he was sorry but he talked with the other owners and they would not be able to let me rejoin. Obviously there was a huge mistake I assured him, the only issue I ever had there was over $4.00...he said he didn't care if it was $4.00 or $400.00. He kept saying over and over ""You must have left a lasting impression on her"", yet when I asked who 'she' was, he admitted to not knowing if the person who wrote this still worked there ""Huh, I don't know"" was his answer (then he looked it up). He refused to actually ask this account manager about it, and he also refused to show me the invoice stating this supposed outstanding balance, saying he didn't have to. He asked me ""Why would you want to work out at a place that doesn't want you?"" I told him that this was a huge mistake, to which he replied ""Nicole we have 10,000 members here, do you think we need your business? This is a privately owned gym and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.""
He couldn't have been more condescending, basically talking to me like I was a nuisance. So this was all due to a $4.17 mistake 7 years prior (and it was not my mistake).
Ethics and professional business practices are very important to me. I really don't like being treated like a criminal. In fact, this was a first for me. As a business owner myself, I would check and verify the facts to be absolutely positive no mistake was being made. Mark did no such thing, he refused to verify any of it, saying he didn't need to. There was in fact no outstanding balance due, and if there was, I certainly didn't hear about it and never saw an invoice, either when I left, or when I tried to return years later. My experience with the Ballard Olympic Health Club was about as unprofessional and downright bad as it gets.
*Sidenote- The squabble over the four dollars seven years ago went something like this: Her - ""It's in the computer, it's not a mistake."" Me- ""Well, actually when they sent me over here from the main building today I saw that my birthday was typed in wrong.. I was born in May, they had it in the computer as September, so I guess you guys do make mistakes."" She turned bright red, wrote off the four dollars and that, I thought, was the end of that.
Pros: Nautilus equipment
Cons: treated me like a criminal
I did a trial membership during the heat wave this past sunmer. Thought I would escape the heat in a nice air conditioned gym. Boy was I wrong. No A/C and the fans were a joke. The place stank because it was so hot. The equipment was old. Also the first time I went there I used the upstairs (nicer) locker room. After my gym work out I wanted to use the pool but found out the pool was attached to the downstairs locker room. So I had to move all my stuff to the other locker room since I didn't want to walk through the entire gym in my bathing suit. After the pool I wanted to go in the sauna but the sauna is attached to the upstairs locker room. I just gave up. \r
Pros: steam room
Cons: the pool & the steam room/sauna are not connected
so we have all been there.... \r
i got to the gym, got dressed put on my tennis shoes on and then.... my ipod was dead! phew, good thing there was an ipod charger on the elliptical, made my day. i cant get into my groove without some tunes. this wasn't the only time i have realized how great my gym is.... just that extra little thing that pushed it over the top for me when i was already having a bad day. my favorite thing of all is sitting in the steam room after a long day at work and some cardio. \r
there are so many cardio machines to choose from, you can pretty much find a piece of equipment in every corner of the building. there is an old charm to the building and not to mention free towels to use. the prices are great and everyone that works there is very friendly. i suppose i have had A problem with the gym.... my protein bar got stuck in the machine :( but that doesnt really count because it could happen anywhere! i'm certain i will stay with this gym for many years, it's helping me live a less stressful life.
Pros: personal tvs, ipod plug ins, free towel service, steam room
Cons: my protein bar got stuck in the vending machine :(
I've been a member at OAC for years, and have seen a lot of change for the better in the last year. Their rates are much more affordable, they have completely renovated their pool area, they have expanded their women's only workout room, and they have a huge variety of cardio, with and without viewing screens.
They seem to offer a vast array of amenities for the smaller and older building they have. Not to mention; for being open 24 hours a day, they keep the place really clean! They do get busy around the ""after work"" hours, but what gym doesn't? They offer more classes than I have seen at any other club, and their sequestered workout areas are great for those of us who don't want to ""be on stage"" while working out.
The Front Desk is always friendly, and they even get to know members' names, about their kids, etc. The management is great also, my comment cards are always followed up with a phone call; which is more than i can say for any other place I've left comments for. And the best part: they are kid friendly, and affordable for families even now! I'll admit that I've shopped other clubs recently looking for a better deal or to see the competativeness in the neighborhood, but I'll stick with OAC. They have the best amenities at the best price. They also are part of other club ""networks"" so when I travel for business, I can get a pass to other clubs (even internationally!) and most places I can use for free. Overall, a great experience with them!
Pros: 24 Hours,club network, pool (salt water!), kid friendl
Cons: there is only one of them!
Olympic Athletic Club is by the far the best gym Ive ever been a member of. Although I can imagine the building is very old, it is modern and very well maintained on the inside. The equipment is all fairly new and fully functioning, many of the cardio machines even have personal t.v.s. The locker rooms are spotless and the pool and hot tubs are kept clean and fresh. The staff is also fantastic. They are all extremely friendly and all about customer service. If ever a problem arises, which is rare, they fix it in a timely and pleasant manner. Not to mention they have numerous parking lots and its free. I have never had a problem finding a place to park. All in all it is a wonderful family friendly gym with all the amenities you need: tons of cardio machines, weights, fitness classes, sport courts, a pool, and even daycare. Olympic Athletic Club has also lowered their membership rates so youre really getting much more than youre paying for!
Pros: equipment, pool, parking, price
I've been a member for several years now and recommend Olympic to most anyone. It's not perfect, few places are, but it's pretty good. \r
They have a wide variety of machines and equipment. Since the building is an old hotel, you do a lot of walking and take a lot of stairs to get from place to place. But who cares -- last time I checked, both counted as exercise. \r
The con that kept me from giving a 5 star review is that much of their non-mechanical equipment seems to be reserved for sessions with trainers or in a class, like medicine bals (ha ha, this site won't let me add the extra ""l""), which are only downstairs in the crowded free weight room, resistance bands, punching bags, etc. I'd love if they (gasp!) got rid of some of the older cardio equipment and made a space for working with items like this. \r
Childcare is relatively easy to obtain and kids love it. In over 3 years of going 3-4 times a week, I've NEVER seen a child who looked under age 13 on the equipment or even upstairs unless they were taking a class, so I don't know what that one reviewer is talking about. \r
I like it there. Given it's popularity, so do most people.
Pros: Lots of equipment, nice environment, convenient location, straightforward dues and membership
Cons: Parking situation is bad, would like more non-mechanical cardio equipment
I have belonged to multiple health clubs and Olympic is by far the best gym I have ever joined! Currently, the biggest perk for me is the childcare. I have two kids, a three year old and a six year old, and they both love going to the Kids Corner when I work out. The manager, a former school teacher, does a great job of training the staff and making sure there are plenty of things for the kids to do. There are always lots of activies provided, and they usually bring home an art project. The area is also very clean and organized. I feel better about spending time away from them since the area is so safe and secure. I also have both children in swim lessons, and the older child has just started racquetball lessons. \r
I love the locker room. It's very clean and relaxing, and the steam room is great. I also appreciate that everything I need is provided (shampoo, body wash, hairdryers, ect.). The front desk is friendly and helpful.\r
Since joining, many things have been added such as cycling and new strength equipment. They recently purchased new treadmills and elipticals, my favorite stuff.\r
I would highly recommend this club.
No AC in summer, old equipment, and the shortest pool in th universe. Pretty disappointing. I know they're remodeling, but this gym is modeled on a hotel work-out room. Bleh.
Pros: Other members seem like real people
For a gym that advertises ""Open 24 hours"", I find it very surprising that they close before 8 on the weekends. The below comment about the steam room and other equipment is very true. The difference between this gym and another one in Ballard was the steam room and a big sauna which really enticed me. It hasn't been working for a long time and the only thing the staff can say is that ""its being looked at"". Also, the fact that we pay a fairly high membership rate and can only get one towel (sometimes too small to cover half a normal size woman's body) is ridiculous. Not to mention that the 1 in 4 of the towels that are given to me smell like they haven't even been properly cleaned. I suggest they use some bleach to really clean their stinky, old towels.
I find that the people working here are borderline snobby and definitely not friendly and welcoming. Seems like there are always several of them standing around talking to each other at the front desk, yet very rarely do they say hello when you arrive. I recently asked for an extra towel when I checked in, and was pompously informed that I couldn't have one. My MAIN concern with this gym is the lack of upkeep on their equipment. The main draw for me was the steam room, and the steam room has been out of service for probably over a month now. Very frustrating. Also, they post that children under 13 are not allowed in the upstairs locker rooms, but on several occasions, I've seen children way under 13 in there. Or often playing on the elypticals and bikes on the exercise floor. Very distracting when you are trying to get in a good workout.
To be fair, the work out rooms has nice equipment although some machines seem to be Out Of Order for a long time. The hours are great for people that want fflexable hours with their work out schedule. Child care is easy to get into and well run. My kids enjoy their time there and you can send snack which is nice. On my tour they market the Gym as being very client and community oriented with plenty of parking in the heart of Ballard. Most of the staff is friendly and responsive. My biggest issue is that on one evening visit I parked in one of the Gyms well lite parking lots and when I came out to leave, I my car was locked inside the garage. The staff memeber at the desk informed me that while she had a key to the garage it would cost $75 to get my car out. She also commented that the rule to charge $75 was ""stupid"". The hours on the garage are difficult to see and the gym staff made no effort to locate the owner of the car before they locked it (there was all of ten people in the gym). I had to walk home at 11pm at night (over 20 blocks). I called and left a message with management the next day but never received return call. I have seen the same thing happen to other unsuspecting members since that time. They occasionally announce overhead that the garage will close but I have been there on nights when they do not make any effort to alert members. It seems pretty excessive and not a well thought out policy.
Love this place. Towels available. Many different rooms for cardio workouts & plenty of equipment. I have been there at many different times of the day & have never had a problem getting equipment to work out on. They have TV's mounted on the wall, just bring your headphones & plug in. Many classes to take. Pool if your interested. Friendly staff. No loud announcements. No selling of personal trainers or diet supplements. Never had a problem finding parking. All ages of members and a comfortable gym environment. Check it out!
Pros: great atmosphere, plenty of equipement. Friendly staff. Open 24 hrs.
Cons: Not pricey but not cheap.
My husband and I moved to Ballard about a year ago and immediately checked out Olympic Athelteic Club. I was pleasantly surprized to see such a wide mix off ages. I immediately feelt comfortable working out there. In the year I've been going to OAC, I have never had to wait for a piece of equipment. Some classes can get crowded (Ab class), but most are easy to get into and the instructors are accomodating and knowledagle. My husband loves the fact they have raquetball. Many people are drawn to the salt water pool. It's the perfect gym that's full of character. Although they are located in the heart of Ballard, they have 4 lots availalbe for parking. No matter how crowded they gym may be, I've always been able to find a place to park.
Pros: amenities, family friendly, historical building
Cons: a little pricey
This is the only Gym I've been to that hasn't been staffed by a bunch of Barbie yo-yo's at the front desk, who want nothing but to sell you a bunch of fat burning pills, etc.
As said before, this place is just about going and sweating. If you've got a question they're very helpful. Otherwise just do what your here for. The equipment is in good condition, and 99% of the time up and running. There is a huge amount of variety. I especially like that this club has both raquetball courts and a descent pool. Not many gyms that I've seen can accomadate so many peripheral activities. I highly recommend.
Pros: No hard sales freaks, Raquetball, pool etc., atmosphere
This gym literally has it all! Childcare, parking and then pilates, yoga, swimming and spinning. I highly recommend this gym.
Pros: price, parking, childcare
Olympic Athletic Club offers more than most gyms in town including a pool and a ton of classes. The people are super nice. I love the juice bar too. They even have massage services...WOW! And it's open 24 hours a day.
This is a gym for getting fit, not picking up people or worrying about how you look. It's sooo Ballard. I commute from Queen Anne to avoid the QA health club dress up scene...
Pros: easy parking, not a meat market
Cons: closed sat night!, not cheap