Even though I love CrossFitting in Nature’s Garage Gym and doing HIIT sprints at the dog park , there are times when I want nothing more than to pick up some heavy weights or swing some kettlebells. Potentially around some sweaty, grunting men. While I was in Aspen over the winter, I worked out at Bleeker Street Gym, which is still my fave. But I had to explore the other options in town too, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything …
1) Bleeker Street Gym
Of course it doesn’t have a website, because this is the bodybuilder’s gym where all the meatheads go, and they’re way too legit for that. Honestly, the gym is crowded with equipment, bodybuilding photos line every inch of wall space not consumed by mirrors (there’s not even a place for me to kick up for a handstand pushup), and it’s so low-tech that you sign in upon entry. Literally, on a piece of paper, with a pen–sign in. But Joe, the owner, is friendly and tough, and the clientele are mostly the same. It’s a good, solid gym and it’s definitely the cheapest in town.
It’s in Obermeyer Place – since there’s no website, you’ll have to just drop by. This town continues to amaze me with its low-tech lifestyle.
2) Aspen Club & Spa
Let’s not lie: I can’t afford to join the Aspen Club & Spa. It’s tailor-made for Aspenites, the kind of Aspenites that give Aspen its reputation: they fly in on private planes, take private Pilates lessons, eat at private dinner clubs, and want private hot tubs and steam rooms in their private gym, assuming it’s not in their private home. Naturally, the allure isn’t in the PRIVACY inasmuch as the exclusivity possessing privacy declares.
Anyway, I occasionally weasel my way in to the Aspen Club & Spa because I actually like the people who work there, and I enjoy working out in the brightly-lit, double-high-ceilinged main gym floor, despite the fact that I have to share the elbow room of my olympic lifting space with the bench press. The facilities are top-notch and both classes and personal trainers are plentiful. It’s really a destination, complete with spa, salon, and cafe.
3) Jean-Robert’s Gym & JR’s Gym Downstairs
The multi-level gym has very different personalities. The top, Jean-Robert’s Gym, is upscale, sleek, shiny, with all-red equipment, wood floors, and lots of windows. They have the latest in cardio equipment (including one of those crazy treadmills that doesn’t put stress on your knees), naturally, and all the weights match. I didn’t see anyone working out while I was up there.
I took my workout down to JR’s, the windowless literal basement of a gym that used to be the Aspen Athletic Club. It’s a maze of multiple layers with equipment crammed in where it can fit, but I had room to weightlift and they had a rower, so my CrossFit self was happy. The people down there were there to get in and get out–not unfriendly, but no sense of camaraderie. The most remarkable thing to me was the two-lane lap pool, whirpool, and–get this–ice bath! The only gym I’ve ever been to that had an ice bath. You bet I enjoyed it, until I realized I could just go get in the river by my house to ice my poor sore self (see: me, broken, after the half marathon I ran recently).
And there you have it, folks. The three gyms in Aspen. There are some other boutique personal training gyms (like the one with the owner who told me he was too expensive for me–without me asking a single question), but these are the main “box” gyms!