I’m relatively new to the gym-ing world; in fact my gym is the only one I have ever been inside! I love my gym but I have no idea how it compares to others out there and because it is a budget gym I feel like I might be missing out on extras that I don’t have access to. I have serious gym envy and am always questioning people on what their gyms have and looking at other gyms online.
Luckily for me and my gym envy, I blagged a 5 day free pass (ok, stole the pass from Mike’s Sport Relief mile goody bag!) to a group of gyms based in Newport called Active Newport.
The Active Newport membership is much higher than my current gym (full price adult membership is £34 a month) but for the money you pay you get access to 5 different gyms across Newport, swimming in 4 different pools, classes and extras such as saunas and tennis courts. I’m entitled to the corporate price through my job so membership for me would be £24 a month; I was interested to see if it would be worth changing gyms.
Fortunately my cousin Tara is already a member of these gyms so I had someone to go with. I had heard there is a Freedom Climber wall at her gym which is a climbing wall that rotates while you are climbing. I was very excited to try this out so I signed up with my free pass last Tuesday and met up with her for a gym session. The gym is a bit further from my house than my current gym but has free parking and it didn’t take long to get there from work.
The gym itself is quite small but there is plenty of equipment packed in. We jumped straight on the treadmill for a jog. The treadmill was different to what I’m used to and looked a lot older but had a fan on the front to blow cold air in your face, really nice to feel when you are working up a sweat.
After 20 mins of jogging I noticed the climbing wall was free so we went over to test it out. Tara went first to show me how it was done and then I jumped on. It was so much fun! It was hard work. I’ve never used a climbing wall before so found it a bit tricky at first; it is so hard to keep your feet on the wall. I soon got the hang of it though and really enjoyed trying something different, my arms were aching the next day though.
After the climbing wall we tried a few other things out that my gym doesn’t have. Throwing medicine balls against a target whilst squatting was great fun and then we used the sparring gloves and pads with each other. I really enjoyed taking out all my aggression with some punches, and again it’s a good workout for the arms.
I had a really good time at the gym but I wasn’t sure it was enough to make me leave my gym. I needed to try more.
Thursday evening we booked onto a body sculpt class at the Newport leisure centre (part of the active Newport group). Body sculpt is a combination of weight training and cardio moves. I do a similar class at my gym on a Thursday called Pure Pump so was hoping this would be similar and I wouldn’t struggle too much.
The first thing I noticed about the class was that everyone was so friendly. I knew one of the girls there from work and Tara knew a few from school so I think that helped as they explained what equipment you needed to get (a lot!). Then the instructor came over and asked if we were new which I think is fab. There is nothing worse than being in a class feeling really new and not knowing what you’re doing while everyone else is doing all the moves like a pro. The instructor (I can’t remember her name) was really friendly and explained what the class would be like. Throughout the class she offered modifications to moves for people who were new or just struggling which again I think is a really nice touch.
The class itself was good. There were repeated weight moves using light weights followed by a minute of cardio and then moving onto new moves. It was a slower pace than I am used to but the class was an hour long so I think it was just right for that length of time. I really enjoyed it and learnt a few new moves, some of which were really hard. I was not a fan of the last part of the class though, planking for 20 secs, then 30, then 40 etc. up to a minute of planking. I found this too hard and struggled to get past 30 seconds. At the end of the class I knew I had not done as hard a workout as I would of at my gym, I was not as sweaty and didn’t feel like I had pushed myself that hard. Having said that, if this was the first time I had done a class like this I would have found it a lot harder.
I fully intended to make the most of my 5 day pass but unfortunately it was only valid for 5 consecutive days and with my daughter being off school last week and it being her birthday I just couldn’t go as much as I would have liked. However I do feel like I have experienced enough of the Active Newport gyms to know if I am missing out or not.
To leave or not to leave?
So, will I be handing in my notice to Pure Gym and joining Active Newport? Unfortunately no, not at this time. Even though the membership is only £9 a month more than I pay now, I really don’t feel like I will be gaining much more to justify that extra cost. The gyms are all harder to get to than mine and I know I won’t really make use of the extras such as hiring tennis courts and swimming. If I had more money and time I would definitely join but at the moment Pure Gym is the right gym for me and I have satisfied my gym envy.
I did have a lot of fun training with Tara though and as her membership is about to expire I am trying to convince her to join my gym for a few months. She recently attended my gym for an abs class, she wrote a post about it on her blog here so check out what she thought.
Do you get gym envy or are you completely happy with your gym? What do you look for in a gym? Tell me all about it in the comments 🙂