Pssst, I know the Main Line’s Best-Kept Fitness Secret

It took some convincing, but I'm ready to share.

I’ve been keeping something from you. I have my reasons: Like, I don’t want you on the elliptical next to me flinging your elbow sweat in my face. And I don’t want you hogging my favorite treadmill (the one on the end). Nor do I want to have to wait for you to finish with the glute machine so I can have a turn.

See, I know as soon as I get this out in the open, you will all be flying out the door to get this deal.

But after some diligent research into other gym memberships in the area, I thought to myself, Man, staying fit can really break the bank. And then I thought about those folks who aren’t staying fit because of the expense of gym memberships. So it’s for these people that I’ve decided to share my little secret.

Here goes: Villanova University offers a gym membership for just $25 a year. Nope. That is not a typo. $25 a year.

The program, called Friends of Villanova, allows members of the public to access the school’s state-of-the-art fitness facility on North Ithan Avenue called the Davis Center. It’s loaded with brand new fitness equipment—and it is awesome.

During the school year, Friends access is restricted to certain hours to help alleviate crowds when students are using the gym. Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.

In the summer, the program offers open access to Friends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; however, the gym is closed on the weekend. There are also select pool hours for members. Friends members can sign up for free fitness classes on a space-available basis.

But, as always, there’s a tiny catch. In order to be eligible for the program, you must be a resident of Radnor Township or live in the direct vicinity of the University. Considering that Radnor is the most expensive suburb in Pennsylvania, isn’t is ironic that it also offers one of the cheapest gym memberships around? We’re talking a little over $2 a month.

Not that I’m complaining.