By Nathan Wertheimer
Currently, I am exercising out of my home and wanted to try explore joining a new gym to continue my workout. Not all gyms are the same. You pay for what you get. Some gyms feature more than others. This gym caters from beginners to advance. What do you have to loose?
It is a short drive from Downtown Orlando to Oviedo Mall. Check your GPS for the best route there. There is plenty of free parking in front of the gym. The gym is located at 1173 Oviedo Mall Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32765.
What is The Zoo Health Club? This is a franchise gym owned by a local Central Florida owner who operates gyms in Oviedo and Winter Springs. This establishment offers personal training, end-high gym grade exercise equipment, clean restroom/locker rooms, and much more. The Zoo Health Club currently operates in 10 states with 48 gyms locations. The very first Zoo gym is located in Ft. Lauderdale and is still open for business today.
Because of COVID-19 pandemic gym members are asked to socially distance from one another while working out. Masks are only required in the common areas when walking in and when leaving the gym. There are signs posted on exercise equipment for social distancing. Facemask are not required while on gym equipment.
Next, I was invited to try this gym out to see what they offer me. So I decided to take the Zoo Health Club representative up on her offer. Here is what I found out. The peak times of any gym is between 6am – 7am and 5pm – 7pm during the weekdays. Just recently they just started going back to 24/7 open gym hours.
For first timers to this gym, it is recommended to try the “FREE 1 WEEK PASS.” However due to the physical/social distancing mandates affecting gym capacity, A health waiver is required to be filled out prior to working out.
When I arrived at the gym, I was given a gym tour. A knowledgeable staff member explained the different areas and features of their gym. Besides the spacious workout area there are two classroom areas for live classes. They offer a variety of classes.
Here is list of exercise equipment that the Oviedo location has. They have machines and equipment for biceps curl, shoulder press, leg extension, prone leg curl, glute extension, leg press, outer thigh, seated leg curl, triceps extension, chest press, seated dip, converging chest press, lateral raise, rower, rotary torso, abdominal, rear delt/pec fly, diverging lateral pull down, back extension, balance trainer, hammer strength, free weights, and much more. Because many people workout on them the average machine will last about three years before this gym replaces it. Know that they have commercial gym grade exercise machine brands such as Cybex, PreCor, Life Fitness, CONCEPT, StairMasters, and much more.
The cost per membership will vary. There is a regular membership for $32.95 per person. Check with gym representative on any current promotional special they may have.
When walking inside the building, a friendly staff member will greet each member who checks in. Most members head to the back to the locker rooms before they begin. The gym walls are painted in a gold/yellow color to simulate sunlight, which gives an open feel.
My goal at this gym for the day was to 60 minutes on the reclining exercise bike, followed by stretching, strength and conditioning. At the end of my workout I was sweating and had a great time. No issues to report.
At the end of most members’ workouts, many of them stop by the Beast Mode Juice Bar to get a cool drink. They are located to the left side when coming in the front doors of this gym. Cool down with a great beverage.
Before leaving for the gym day, I had a chance to talk with Chris LaRocca, President and Owner of Zoo Health Club of Oviedo/Winter Springs. La Rocca told me that his two gyms he owns and manages are the top in the Zoo company. He plans to build more in the future in Central Florida. LaRocca describe his gyms having a friendly culture, vibe is very upbeat, and passionate members who want to exercise and stay in shape. Most members come to this gym three days out of the week. Plus, LaRocco said, “We like to be known as the Cheers of the fitness centers.”
Overall, my experience was very pleasant. I highly recommend this gym for anyone who lives in the Oviedo-Winter Springs-Casselberry area. It is definitely worth the drive to this gym. For more information please zoogym.com/oviedo-florida/