Visiting a new-to-me gym is exciting, but visiting a brand new gym in the community...now that is super exciting!! And, I got to do just that for July's featured gym of the month, Fitness Premier Champaign!

Fitness Premier Champaign

As for as local gyms go, Fitness Premier is the newest kid on the block, so to speak, having just opened its doors to our community in May of this year. When I first saw glimpses of this new place I knew it would be an excellent fit for my monthly series!

Fitness Premier is headquartered in Manhattan, Illinois and has been consistently growing ever since the first club opened in 2004. Fitness Premier Champaign is the newest to the franchise and is the eleventh location to open across Illinois and Indiana.

Memberships at Fitness Premier take on a couple of different forms. For $19.95 per month (plus $49.95 enrollment fee), you can sign up for a Basic membership. This month-to-month membership includes access to the gym during staffed hours at your home club location. Alternatively, the Platinum month-to-month membership is $29.95 (enrollment fee waived) and provides 24/7 access to the gym, access to all Fitness Premier locations, virtual/live group fitness classes and access to the super comfy and relaxing hydromassage lounge.

In addition to the virtual and live group fitness classes, Fitness Premier offers an additional value-add group fitness class, Team Training. This bootcamp/cross-training style workout is a separate fee above and beyond either membership. Classes are offered multiple times throughout the week from early morning to evening and weekend options.

7-day trial pass, ready to get my week started!

Throughout my free week trial, I got to do a little bit of everything. I spent a couple of days doing my traditional strength training sessions and in doing so got to utilize several of the brand new strength training pieces available at the gym. Fitness Premier has the SYNRGY360 system that comes equipped with everything you'd want from battleropes, rope pulley, TRX, cables and easy access to med balls and kettlebells. It's one all-in-one aparatus that I absolutely loved! I wish every gym had that rope pulley (pictured below). That is one tough workout!

Full line of Hammer Strength dumbbells.
Fitness floor.
SYNRGY360...that rope is killer!!
Weight room floor.

A couple of days at the gym I took advantage of the virtual class access. The virtual classes are all Les Mills (which I love!) and are done in a small private studio located in the back of the gym. The privacy of the room takes some of the intimidation out of group exercise. It's a nice way to try out the classes especially if you're newer to group fitness.  It's also a nice way to try out a variety of different classes on your own time. So if you can't make a live class you could come in later and select your own from the touchscreen and get to work. I'd done both BodyCombat and BodyFlow before but tried them both out virtually during my time at Fitness Premier.

Full selection of Les Mills Virtual Group Fitness classes.
Private room available for virtual classes.
BODYFLOW 81 Virtual

You'll also find a wide variety of cardio equipment at Fitness Premier. From several treadmills, ellipticals, spin bikes, a rower and stairclimber, there is a full selection to choose from each time you step into the gym. I incorporated the rower into both my strength training workouts and utilized the stairclimber for a final leg burner on my last day in the gym.

Cardio floor.
No weight for treadmills here!

Midweek during my visit I had the opportunity to take the Team Training class and no surprise, I loved it! This is definitely a nice addition to the facility and if you are a fan of group exercise and/or you enjoy being pushed during your workout, Team Training will be perfect for you! It's a small group exercise class led by a personal trainer so you get that individual attention of a trainer in a group environment. When you enroll in Team Training, you are given access to a heart rate monitor which displays your heart rate on a LCD screen in the studio. You're able to use that data to work within your target heart rate zone, push harder when you aren't quite hitting the numbers or back off if you're going at it a little to intense.

Team Training studio.

An additional value add of the Platinum membership is access to the comfy and relaxing hydromassage lounge. You guys, this is reason enough to sign up for Platinum! Just think about finishing a super tough workout then getting to relax for a few minutes while you get a nice full body massage! I can attest, it's worth it! Following a couple of my days at Fitness Premier, I relaxed in this lounge, put on some calming tunes and did a little meditating post-workout. Amazing!

Mind and body at Fitness Premier.
Hydro-massage hands down one of my favorite features of the gym!

Based on my experiences, I would say the $29.95 Platinum membership is the best bang for your buck. Both memberships are relatively inexpensive, but if you're looking for a gym with a full lineup of cardio and strenth equipment, plus have interest in taking the occasional group class, Platinum seems like the best way to go! Not to mention that hydromassage lounge and having 24/7 access is a super nice amenity especially those that work non-traditional hours. There are not that many other gyms in our community have that type of availability!

If you'd like to give Fitness Premier a try for yourself, they offer a free 7-day pass so you can give the facility a test run. Stop by the front desk during staffed hours and they can assist in getting you set up with a trial pass!

If you have any additional questions or would like to hear more about my experience, don't hesitate to reach out. You can also send any inquiries about the facility, classes, and membership options from the Fitness Premier homepage.

Many thanks again to the team at Fitness Premier and everyone that I met during my visit. It was really fun to be a part of your gym the past few days and I had a great time visiting the facility!

In case you missed my previous month's featured gym posts, you can find them all here.