I stayed at the The Three Arches YMCA over Pesach and used the gym there on two consecutive days. Gym use is free to hotel guests; though the vast majority of patrons during my visits were members. The location is superb, and maybe convenient to some. I forgot to inquire about prices during my visit.
Besides the gym, the YMCA offers an indoor lap pool, basketball court, and spacious locker room and club area. This review will limited to the gym and locker room, as that is all I used. Although, the other amenities looked decent enough; it is hard to comment on traffic during the holidays. There was one lap swimmer and a life guard when I looked at the pool, and a couple of small kids running around on the court.
On to the gym: nothing that blew me away, but it was more than adequate for the casual user. If I had been there more than two days, I would have been disappointed that they had no flat bench press or squat rack. They do however have a pretty sturdy incline bench press and nice Smith Machine. Other machines, in no particular order, include a side-to-side abdominal twist machine, lat pull down, tricep extension machine, combo rear-delt / chest fly machine, chest press machine, arm curl machine, pullover machine, assisted dip/pull-up rnachine, horizontal leg press, leg extension machine, seated leg curl machine, and a dual cable machine. A comment on the dual cable machine: it is the smaller variety where the two sides are two close together, thus making it impossible to do standing flies correctly. It is possible that I left a machine or two out.
Free weight-wise, the dumb-bells go up to 30 kg in increments of 2.5 and 5. There are three adjustable benches, and only one easy curly bar and one full size barbell (that I saw anyway). There are plenty of plates available in all increments up to 35 kgs. Oh yeah, no seated curl bench — what? — might be a deal breaker for some.
The cardio room consists of mostly treadmills — maybe about six or seven. I didn’t see (or maybe just don’t remember) steppers or bikes, but don’t quote me on that. The room was packed by holiday standards. I can’t imagine what it would be like during crowded hours — nearly every machine was taken – or how long you might have to wait for a machine.
There is also a separate matted room which contains a circuit of 7 or 8 body-resistance machines (think the colorful outdoor “gyms” in Tel Aviv, only minus the color). The idea here is you spend 30 or seconds on machine and move to the next without resting, providing cardio and strength training. If I were ever a member and it weren’t too crowded, I would try this, but for my short visit, I didn’t bother.
The men’s locker room, though out-dated in appearance, is nice. I walked through a separate club area for sitting, and once inside the locker room, I almost got lost. It features full size lockers and more than adequate bench space. There are two saunas. I didn’t try the showers.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a pool or indoor basketball court, the YMCA is your choice — and the only choice in Jerusalem. If you are looking for cardio and/or strength-training exclusively, there are probably better options.
Grade: 2.5 stars