Chicken or the egg? We recommend the Harris YMCA primarily because of its relationship to our recommended Hampton Inn Charlotte/Southpark. And we recommend the Hampton Southpark because of its deal with the Harris YMCA! Guests of the hotel get to work out for free. Those staying elsewhere in the area (south of downtown) and looking for a full-service workout option can enjoy this fantastic community center for $10/day. If you're staying for more than a few days, Harris YMCA offers a week-long pass for $20.
Harris has three rooms devoted exclusively to cardiovascular equipment and another three areas devoted to strength training. The main fitness room has 50 pieces of cardio equipment including AMTs, Ellipticals, Treadmills and Steppers, a full set of Hammer Strength resistance machines, a full set of Cybex resistance machines, along with every free weight you could imagine. If you're looking for an Olympic weightlifting experience, there's an ancillary training room with a full set of Olympic platforms, cages, and weights.
The Y also offers group exercise classes, yoga and Pilates, and boasts both an indoor (12 laps to a mile) and outdoor running track (2 laps to a mile). Along the indoor track, there is an additional 20 pieces of cardio equipment as well as a full set of resistance band machines.
Swimmers aren't left in the dark here: a six-lane 25-yard indoor lap pool fills the Dickson Aquatic Center, and there are several lanes available in the 25-yard outdoor pool -- depending on the overflow of kids outside. Opt for indoors for a child-free lap experience. The indoor pool hours vary for lap swimming, so it's best to check the website before heading over.