Hey guys I was wondering what is the best gym to go workout at in San Francisco? Which offers the best amenities and a friendly staff? What gym should I avoid at all cost?

Much as with our search for a good Italian joint, we'll offer our $0.02 and then open it up to the brain trust of our readership, who probably know a hell of a lot more about this than we do.

We're members of the Embarcadero YMCA and, despite the seemingly constant construction, it's a great gym. It's got weight equipment, a full basketball court, a great pool for lap-swimming, a bunch of classes, a friendly staff, and, importantly, it's a community fixture. Your dues don't simply line peoples' pockets, they help pay for things like camp/summer programs and more for kids and disadvantaged youth.

Now, you specifically mentioned "amenities" -- at a place like the Y you aren't going to find mouthwash and shaving cream (sometimes not even soap, but we digress). We belonged for a few years to Club One, usually utilized the Mason St. or Embarcadero Center locations, and by and large liked it fine -- more up to date machines than the Y, better bathrooms (both amenities and facilities), and a more professional atmosphere. The staff in general was not as friendly as the Y. Some were great -- but we found certain trainers to be a little obnoxious, both in terms of sales tactics and demeanor. And the smaller physical spaces really get overcrowded quickly. Overall, we had a pretty good experience.

Finally, we'll mention the glorious guest membership week we spent at Equinox a few years ago, only realizing after falling in love with the pristine place that we could not really afford it after all. One of our coworkers loves and swears by it though.

Okay, gym-goers -- any further thoughts on a good gym for socialevangelist? Have any good or not-so-good experiences? Any opinions on Crunch or 24-Hour or independent gyms? Please, share it here!