Best gyms in Palo Alto, Stanford area

Oshman Family JCC

Location: 3921 Fabian Way Palo Alto, CA 94303

Cost: $60+/month; $10 for guest pass


The Oshman Family JCC is one of the premier gyms in Palo Alto. Built in 2009, the JCC is a gym that is clean and updated with the newest equipment. The gym contains weight and cardio equipment for almost every exercise, making it a suitable place to train or work out. Whether you’re the casual treadmiller or an intense weightlifter, the JCC will cater to your needs. In addition to the gym, JCC members have access to indoor and outdoor pools, indoor basketball courts, exercise classes, a sauna and a steam room. Pick-up basketball is popular at the JCC and it’s not difficult to find a game on any given night. Despite the occasional crowded facilities, the JCC is one of the more luxurious gyms in Palo Alto, making it worth the fairly expensive membership.



Location: 440 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Cost: $150+/month


Equinox is notorious for its title as one of the most upscale gyms in the Bay Area. Although a membership is not cheap, especially for high school students, members receive access to one of the nicest and most aesthetically pleasing gyms in the Bay Area. Equinox is stacked with cardio equipment and contains good weightlifting equipment. In addition, members can take various fitness classes, such as yoga or cardio classes. The gym also includes a spa, pool, cafe and one of the nicest locker room facilities. Although Equinox is a large gym, it can become crowded during peak hours, and the atmosphere is not as intense as other gyms. If you don’t mind the price, there is no better gym in Palo Alto.


Paly Weight Room

Location: Palo Alto High School

Cost: Free


Many Palo Alto High School students have used the weight room during Physical Education or other athletic activities. Although the Paly weight room is definitely not one of the cleanest gyms around, it contains the necessary weight equipment for almost any athlete. It’s a great place for athletes to spend time improving at their sports because of all the equipment inside. On the downside, the Paly weight room is not spacious and can often become overcrowded after school. However, if you don’t mind the lack of space or cleanliness, the Paly weight room is the perfect place for you. Plus, it’s at Paly so there is no commute involved when school ends. And best of all: it’s free.


Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation

Location: 341 Galvez St, Stanford, CA 94305

Cost: Free for Stanford faculty and students; $5 for guest pass


The Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation contains great facilities for any athlete.  Included inside Arrillaga are basketball courts, climbing walls, racquetball courts and a gym. The three basketball courts are among the nicest indoor basketball courts in Palo Alto, and there is usually an open court. The weight room contains good weightlifting and cardio equipment and is usually not crowded. The only downside to Arrillaga’s facilities is that it does not have a locker room or showers. Arrillaga is across the street from Stanford’s track, which is a good place to run after lifting weights.

Unfortunately, Arrillaga is only accessible with passes that are attainable by Stanford faculty and students. However, individuals without passes can purchase guest passes for $5. If Arrillaga were accessible to all Palo Alto residents, it would be one of the top gyms because of its superior facilities and equipment.


Palo Alto Family YMCA

Location: 3412 Ross Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Cost: $30+/month


Like the JCC, the Palo Alto Family YMCA gives members access to more than just a gym. The weight and cardio room is spacious and contains a lot of equipment. The weight equipment is usually accessible and most people can find the equipment that they are looking for. There is an abundance of cardio equipment, much of which contain small television screens to entertain individuals during exercise. Outside of the weight and cardio room is a climbing wall, a basketball court and two indoor pools. The basketball court is another great place to practice or play pick-up basketball. The YMCA is generally a clean place with friendly staff, though not as luxurious as the JCC. People will find that it’s a community gym with people of all ages exercising. Given its price, the YMCA offers great facilities and equipment. Also, a membership at the YMCA gives access to any YMCA, which is convenient considering the proximity to an additional YMCA located at 755 Page Mill Rd, Bldg B, Palo Alto, CA.

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    systemBuilderApr 18, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    JCC price is now $165 a month for adults. It makes equinox look almost cheap!