What's better that 1 gym membership... 2.
Yes, as of today I have two gym memberships. Madness. I know, but let me explain.
When I moved city I had to leave my beloved Virgin Active gym behind. I had been a member for... oooh, maybe 7 years or something like that. I really really liked it. Literally five minutes from door to door on foot and with more classes that you could shake a wobbly bum at, it was great. Lovely changing rooms, hot showers, loads of cardio machines, free weights, huge mat area for weights etc. It was great. And that's before the swimming pool and steam room/sauna come into it.
Admittedly I only really went to spinning and used the gym equipment so I wasn't making the most of it - but it was my gym and I loved it. Although I wasn't so mad about the £60 a month price tag. That's not quite the way I like to shed the pounds.
There is no Virgin in my new city and to be honest I was quite keen to put the £60 towards rent (my new city is quite an expensive place) but I couldn't be without a gym. However, a solution raised it's budget head in the form of Pure Gym. With banks of cardio machines, a full timetable of classes and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all for the lean and mean price of £17 a month, what's not to love? I signed up and the very next day trotted along for a workout.
It's still very close to my flat. Just over ten minutes walk and I was punching in my very long ID code to get in. They gym itself is great. Lots of equipment. Loads! There are so many machines it's insane. Cardio and weights machines. However, there is a distinct lack of space for any free weight action. I like to use the gym ball to lie back on with my knees bent while I do chest presses. And lunges. Well, I hate them but they are golden for slimmer thigh action and there were very few spaces for me to do this and even fewer that had mirrors. Not the end of the world and a day later I found out the fitness studio has loads of kit including viper bars and kettle bells and that space can be used if there are no classes.
That brings me onto the classes. 9 spaces in each class. 9. That is not enough. I will have to set reminders to try and book into a class if I stand a chance of getting in. And the one class I want, spinning, is not the way I like to spin. The bikes are in the middle of the gym studio. There is no seperate spin studio. Everyone can see you wobbling about as you do your best Lance Armstrong impression.
Now, I can get over that. What I can't get over is that the open studio means the tunes are not pumped up full blast, nor are the lights dimmed. I love it when the beats are right in your face and the instructor is screaming at you. Oh, and the classes are only 30 mins long.
There are other things that make it obvious the cost is only £17 per month for a reason. No paper towels, no shower gel, the changing room is very much a locker room; tiny benches and lockers three high. It's functional. And it has to be. That's how it has made it's mark and created a niche.
It does leave me missing the spin love though. Hmmm. Where else could I spin? Why, of course! TB has a gym at his work! His gym has some classes, cardio machines and even better - he's paid to sign up and adding me is next to nothing (well, it is nothing as he's not letting me give him any money for it. What a sweetie). It's 4 miles away from the flat and so tomorrow I am cycling out there at lunchtime for my induction. Lovely! They have a spin class on a Tuesday teatime - just like I used to go to! And they also have a boxercise class. I am very tempted by that.
So I'll use Pure for wet weather and general gym use. I'll use TB's for good weather antics (as I'll always try and cycle there) and spinning. A killer combo.