Slim Gym

I’ve never been one for crowds…Not unless it involves something I’m completely into, and predictably, I missed/skipped/bypassed the myriad classes offered at the next stop on my Gymapalooza tour: the Goleta Valley Athletic Club. Mostly because I had other stuff to do, but also because I had to do other stuff.

That isn’t to say they didn’t offer a plethora of such pastimes, but I won’t bore you by listing the Aerobic to Zumba schedule, nor will I belabor the nautilus/cardio routine in which I engaged, since I did that in my last post. I did get a kick out of their cable machines, though. A bicep & tricep lift, too, since the elaborate but easy-to-use contraptions are designed to target specific muscle groups. A combination of weight resistance & autonomous limb movement, the stacked & contained weights attach to individual cables attached to hand grips—maybe mad monkey, foot grips, too, I didn’t get that far—thus guaranteeing my expended effort even distribution.

Insuring the cramps & aches felt thereafter were evenly distributed, as well, and while I got “lost” on the way to the state-of-the-art rock walls & swimming pool outside, somehow my tender sinews found their way to the “spa” section of GVAC. It must have been all that muscle memory kicking in…I belonged to the club some fifteen years ago, and—oh, who am I kidding. I remembered the sauna from as recently as an hour earlier, when in lieu of warming up, I took a quick detour into the Hot Box!



A tried and true cheat for elevating your core temperature, this is where my review of fat-blasting pastimes takes a detour, too. I’m exchanging the “athletic” in GVAC for “amenity”, because the gym was certainly long on that, and after my grueling workout schedule of last week, I was overdue for some pampering.

Not those kind of Pampers!

I’m not just blowing hot air, either! I’m blowing steam! Though a lack of swim wear nixed my dip in the Jacuzzi, there was another way to get my hot water on. A straight-up humid way, since the locker rooms at GVAC are outfitted with spacious steam rooms as well as the de rigueur walk-in showers & toiletries. I tell you, when those clouds of steam enveloped me, it was all so “Gorillas in the Mistical”, I was a little disappointed when Tarzan failed to make an appearance.

simulated steam room

Still, it felt good to be steam-cleaned, and once fluffed, I paused at the juice bar for an apple & sports drink on my way out, relaxing even more. Lulled by the shouts, ball thumps, and tennis shoe squeaks emanating from the three, nearby racquetball courts, I finished my drink on the viewing bleachers, happy to let these Wallbangers take over, since I’d hit my own.

Left: bleachers–Right: Dodge Ball players?

GVAC contact info:

170 Los Carneros Way
Goleta, California 93117

(805) 968-1023

GVAC stats: A 30,000+ square feet facility offering Goleta & Santa Barbara the best in fitness facilities, amenities, customer service, and dedicated professionals.

GVAC amenities: * 6 Weight Rooms * Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi * 40+ Cardio pieces with Cardio Theater * Racquetball & Handball * Basketball * Rock-Climbing * Steam rooms * Sauna * Personal Training * Swimming Lessons * Childcare * Café & Bar * and Group Fitness Classes.

Special Thanks to Jeff Voltattorni; the general manager & certified personal trainer who showed me the ropes…er…cables of the place.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Gym-a-palooza series, when I visit CrossFit!


BIO: Based in Santa Barbara, CA, Karen Robiscoe is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer through NASM. DBA Kardio with Karen, she is additionally certified as a Group X instructor and Spin teacher with Fitour, a licensed Livestrong Cancer Survivors instructor by YMCA, and a fully accredited Aquatics teacher with AEA.

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