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Why Top Dog Fitness Is a Gym Straight Out of the ‘Barbie’ Movie

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

If you work out, you know that finding the right gym is a struggle. You are quickly overwhelmed with variables such as size, price, location, comfortability, and equipment. This makes moving gyms every gym rat’s worst nightmare. When I came to Florida State University (FSU) last year, I knew finding a new gym that checked off all those boxes would be difficult, but oh boy, did I not know what I was getting myself into.

gym option #1: the leach

First, let’s start off with the Leach Student Recreation Center. The Leach wins on price and location because it’s free and on campus, but that’s just about it. In my opinion, the Leach being free is the reason for its detriments. Having to pay for a gym membership makes it exclusive. This is a good thing for its members because it limits the amount of people that can work out in the facility. However, in the Leach’s case, its size cannot physically compensate for the 44,597 FSU students that can have access to it. Theoretically, the Leach has great equipment, but good luck being able to use any of it without having to wait. Oh, and if you want to use one of the six squat racks, you are going to have to go to the gym at the most inconvenient time possible.  

gym option #2: crunch fitness

Your next Tallahassee gym option is Crunch Fitness. While not free, Crunch is still a very affordable option for students who are looking to get a good lift in. Notice my use of the word “good” because that’s exactly what Crunch will give you. Automatically, Crunch loses on location because you will need a car to get there. With Crunch, you run into the same issues of equipment availability. On top of that, no matter what time you go, you will see everyone you know. And by everyone, I mean everyone. I would go as far as to equate going to Crunch to going to The Standard on a Thursday night. As a female gymgoer, this was my worst nightmare. The last thing I wanted to see mid-bench was a former situationship or a guy I abruptly ghosted after a date function.  

gym option #3 (My favorite): top dog fitness

Next up is Top Dog Fitness, which is where I ended up. After gaining weight during my freshman year, I realized that I needed to be serious about my fitness if I wanted to achieve my goals. I quickly realized that finding the right gym for me had to be my first step. That was something I was no longer willing to compromise on. Coming from Crunch, the first thing that drew me to Top Dog was the environment. Top Dog is unique because it has a 100% female membership rate. This was something I didn’t realize I’d been missing out on throughout my entire fitness journey. This is a gym I can feel comfortable in, no matter what exercise I’m doing or what I’m wearing. It actually feels straight out of the Barbie movie. 

Top Dog also solves the issue of having to plan your own workout. Top Dog offers around-the-clock group classes every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. These workouts are led by women for women. The class times also helped me in terms of accountability because, as a busy college student, it was very easy for me to make excuses for myself not to work out on any given day. Now, I use my schedule to book my class time the night before, which takes away any excuse I have to miss a gym day.  

The workouts themselves are written on a board ahead of time and planned out week to week. The instructors are college-aged women just like yourself, which makes it less intimidating to ask any questions you have about the workouts. In addition, you can choose to either go into a class with headphones and not talk to anyone or go with a friend and interact with the instructor. Simply put, you choose your own workout experience without having to choose your own workout. Top Dog also dedicates each day of the week to a split that is specific to women, with volume training in the lower body and a blended upper approach. This eliminates the struggle of having to structure what areas to hit each day of a given week.  

Another thing that separates Top Dog is its size and exclusivity. Top Dog has two floors and roughly 300 members. This is intentional. You never have to wait for equipment, feel invisible in a packed class, walk around aimlessly in an attempt to find a machine, or worry about finding parking. At Top Dog, you’ll never be just a number. The staff will know you by name, check on your progress, and, most importantly, help you to reach your fitness goals.

Take it from me: invest in yourself. Invest in the best. Like the Barbie movie, the appeal of Top Dog isn’t the absence of men. Instead, it’s the supportive environment that comes from being surrounded by powerful women.

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Veronica Eichberg is a dedicated staff writer for the Her Campus at Florida State University. As a Hispanic and Jewish female, Veronica is passionate about finding your voice through writing. Her dedicated approach to journalism is also shaped by her wide array of interests ranging anywhere from politics to pop-culture.  Veronica is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Affairs at Florida State University, she has served as a Field Representative Intern for Pennsylvania State Senator Devlin Robinson and actively engaged in local politics as a Student Campaign Promoter for Leon County. Her campus involvement includes being the Director of Mental health and Recreation for the FSU Honors Student Association, Student Senate and directing social awareness efforts in the Delta Gamma Sorority. Veronica is a passionate advocate for mental health, a skilled debater, and a speaker with thought-provoking TEDx talks.  In her free time, Veronica enjoys going to the gym, thrifting, listening to music and reality TV.