St. Paul, Minnesota, part of the twin cities, is one of the healthiest cities to live in, in the United States. I always find this intriguing as most of the year the city is covered in snow and ice, in addition to the frigid temperatures. One of the things that makes a city “healthier” is typically the public access to gyms and recreation centers. This holds true at the in the city, as the St. Paul YMCA – Midway offered one of many YMCA’s that one could visit when in town. Personally, I was visiting St. Paul to teach an exercise class to a group of retired sisters in ministry a low impact exercise class. After I completed the exercise class with the sisters, I decided myself that I also wanted to get in a workout. I punched into the GPS the nearest YMCA, and it took me right to the St. Paul YMCA – Midway. We will look at a few of my experiences and thoughts on the gym including:
- Weight Room Area
- Cardio Area
- Walking Track
- Locker Rooms
- Parking and Logistics
St. Paul YMCA – Midway Review – St. Paul, Minnesota
Weight Room Area
The weight room area at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway was outfitted with numerous pieces of equipment, offering a wide variety of ways to strengthen your body. There was one section, near the cardio machines, that offered a variety of machine based strength equipment, great for beginners and individuals who aren’t comfortable using free weights. I didn’t personally use any of the machine equipment, but did recognize the quality of it, as it was all updated and fairly new. In addition to the machines, they had two squat racks offering space to do squats and other barbell exercises, in addition to a platform with bumper plates, providing opportunities to do deadlift, hang cleans, and many other platform based lifts. I used both of these areas pretty excessively, and was pleasantly surprised as the barbell bearings had quite a bit of spin on them. The dumbbell and kettlebell selection was large, with numerous dumbbell and kettlebell sizes for all of your different exercise selections. One of the things that some YMCA’s have been adding is a cross training area, which includes a punching bag, sturdy wall for ball slams, attachment points for bands and such. The St. Paul YMCA – Midway was outfitted with one of these sections, in addition to some boxes for box jumps and other functional movements. Lastly, there was a large cable crossover machine to complete all of your accessory work, in addition to a few smith machines in the area. The weight room at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway provided quite a bit of exercise opportunity for me, with ultimately no complaints.
The cardio area at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway had a variety of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and even stair steppers. All of this equipment was very new, in good condition, and worked extremely well. In addition to the integrity of the equipment, there was numerous pieces of each equipment in the St. Paul YMCA – Midway. This is a great addition, because no one wants to be waiting for cardio equipment (let’s be honest we don’t even want to be doing cardio in the first place.)
This was the one area of the St. Paul YMCA – Midway that I experienced and wished it was a little different. Likely due to the size of the building, the walking track actually runs in line with a part of the weight room and some of the connecting areas of the gym. Because of this, it is kind of awkward when you are walking around the track. I often found myself running into people transitioning from the basketball area, into the weight room; the weight room area into the cardio area, and so on. I really enjoy having separate walking track areas so I don’t have to worry about people coming into the track and ruining the flow of the run or walk. This was not a deal breaker for the St. Paul YMCA – Midway, but it is a point to note.
The locker rooms at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway were clean, well equipped, and offered everything I needed during my trip. With numerous locker spaces for people to use, I did not feel cramped next to somebody, trying to change my clothes and invading his privacy. The St. Paul YMCA – Midway had numerous showers to use to clean yourself off after the workout. I believe there was at least four or five showers available when I went there. I used one of the shower stalls, and was provided with hot water, soap, and everything you to get the job done. I brought a towel, but I believe that they did have some available at the front desk. Coming from out of town, the locker room at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway was perfect for what I needed in my trip.
Parking and Logistics
Parking was a breeze at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway as there was free public parking in a large parking lot right outside of the gym. When I travel from out of town, sometimes I worry about downtown gyms as the parking is very scarce. Thankfully, this was not the case at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway as I was able to park with no problems. I will say that the area that the gym is in, doesn’t seem “low crime,” so I was slightly concerned about my car’s safety. This was based off of nothing more than an observation, and I am sure that the area is fine when it comes to crime. The check in process at the St. Paul YMCA – Midway was as smooth as the parking, as I was able to simply scan my normal barcode I get into my hometown YMCA in about thirty seconds. Coming from out of town this makes getting in a quick workout that much more flexible, as I didn’t need to spend 15 minutes filling out paperwork. Lastly, the gym itself is fairly easy to find, as my GPS took me right to the location. The gym is located on a one way, so it should be noted that this makes it a little out of the way.
Overall, the St. Paul YMCA – Midway offered me a perfect escape to complete a short and sweet workout coming into town. A few other options the gym had was a basketball court, racquetball court, group exercise rooms, a swimming pool, and child care. I didn’t personally use these amenities, but wanted to note them because many people like these exercise options. I would highly recommend checking out the St. Paul YMCA – Midway if you are in the St. Paul, Minnesota area! Feel free to check out the website for the gym here.
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