Residents find their gym niche for the new year

Courtesy of

Kinsley Centers, contributing writer

Tuscaloosa accommodates gymgoers at all levels of experience with a wide variety of gyms and studios. From ballet-based routines to heavy lifting havens, there is something for every body. These facilities are open year round and are not far from campus.

Planet Fitness

Sitting in the heart of Midtown Village and open 24/7, Planet Fitness advertises itself as the “judgement free zone,” aiming to make members feel welcomed, rather than intimidated.

Kelsey Tubbs, a freshman majoring in biology, said it truly is a judgement-free facility.

“It’s very open to all kinds of people, and like nobody judges you there,” Tubbs said. “It’s a great place if you’re starting to work out, it’s a great place to go if you’re like a beginner all the way up to when you start working out full time.”

Tubbs said she likes how the gym has various places to workout such as the weights, machinery and yoga mats. This gives members the opportunity to work out as they please, with guidance from the trainers if needed.

There are two memberships offered: the classic and black card. The classic membership gives members access to their home facility along with free fitness training. The black card gives members access to all facilities, fitness training, hydro massage access, tanning bed access and much more.

Tubbs said she recommends the black card membership because she likes the fact that she can tan and workout all in one place.

“I never feel like I shouldn’t be there,” Tubbs said.

Crunch Fitness

This is Tuscaloosa’s newest facility on McFarland Boulevard and is open 24/7. Crunch Fitness strives to have no judgements in their facility.

Hannah Castille, a junior majoring in nursing, said she loves the atmosphere Crunch has and can attest it is a judgement-free gym. She said ever since she joined, she has felt more motivated to work out and sometimes goes multiple times a day.

Multiple memberships are offered at different prices. They offer group fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba, Pilates and much more. Castille said she takes advantage of the classes and enjoys them.

Depending on the membership, some members can tan in the tanning beds or get a hydro massage after their workout. Members can also work with small group trainers or personal trainers if they are willing to pay extra.

To ensure that members are staying on top of their health in the kitchen, Crunch offers an online nutrition program to all members to guide them to fuel their bodies with the proper foods.

Castille said she likes how the workers are helpful when asked for guidance on workouts or nutrition. She said they care about their members and consistently build personal relationships with them.

“[Joining Crunch] is probably one of the best things that you can do for yourself,” Castille said.

She said she has seen more results than ever since she has joined.


For those who are on a tight schedule but still looking for a good sweat, this 30-minute high-intensity workout is the one for them.

Terry Wiggins, the manager and trainer at 9Round, said there are no specific class times.  Instead, members can show up on their own schedule and jump into the predetermined circuits.

“We have nine rounds and each round is three minutes,” Wiggins said. “At the end of those rounds we have something called the active break, which is typically 30 seconds, which would actually total up to that 30-minute workout.”

9Round is a fitness facility that is based off of rounds that focus on strength, kickbox fitness and abs and core. Wiggins said he likes to keep things interesting for the members. They do drills on the hand pads and bags, help people with their technique and form, and they recently got box jumps to do step-ups. He said modifications to workouts are available if needed.

“It’s a very upbeat energy I’d say,” Wiggins said. “You got to think like when people work out they want to feel uplifted, you know. You can’t really work out in a dull setting or a dry environment, so you know I try to keep it fun for everybody.”

Wiggins said 9Round does not target a specific crowd; he said it is open to everyone from the age of 10 and up. He said he enjoys building relationships with the members to ensure they feel welcomed during their time at 9Round.

At 9Round the first workout is free. Wiggins said he is offering a free three-day pass to anyone who is interested.

Pure Barre

This fitness studio offers classes for women and men that targets specific muscles to allow a more lean and toned look to the body. The classes consist of a warm up, followed by intense ballet inspired movements, and concludes with a cooldown.

Lauren Nordberg, a senior majoring in psychology, said she enjoys Pure Barre classes because they are different each time she attends, due to the instructors changing up the music and equipment. Nordberg said this workout is not like doing traditional exercise.

Participants use resistance bands and low weights to focus on smaller muscles and movements. Nordberg said she is hoping Pure Barre will hold her accountable to her New Year’s resolutions and said students should try it as well.

“Give it a try,” Nordberg said. “Each class is different, and you’ll get better. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructors for help.”

Whether someone is seeking a place to work out with a group, trainer or manage it on their own, Tuscaloosa offers a variety of facilities where people can get involved and get fit.