Best of Boston

2001 Best Gym

Mike’s Gym II

These days, “gym” is such a bandied-about catchword, people barely know what it means anymore. Well, we do. It means a no-frills establishment where people come to sweat, not be seen in Spandex or loiter over echinacea smoothies. Mike’s, a South End staple, takes equipment seriously—in fact, we dare you to name an apparatus they don’t have. Who cares about the lack of décor and amenities when there are seven rooms of machines, free weights, and cardio equipment? The clientele’s chummy demeanor and the clean locker rooms make you feel right at home. Getting back in the habit? Just look around at the burly shoulders and pumped pecs for inspiration.

560 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-338-6677,