Gym freak or gym-ophobe? I used to be very much the latter. I can’t say that I am now a fully-fledged gymaholic who loves working out and follows an intense fitness regime, however I am definitely much better than I used to be.
Last week I was invited to trial the recently opened Raynes Park branch of the now very popular, 24 hour gym; Anytime Fitness. A key word you will associate with Anytime Fitness is ‘convenience’, which is the purpose behind the chain. All of the branches are in convenient locations for its members to access; have convenient opening hours to allow all their members to train as and when is convenient for them, and are conveniently priced with multiple membership options to choose from, including special discounted rates for couples and NHS workers! Convenience, convenience, convenience! The facilities include individual shower and changing rooms, cubby-holes to pop your bag down, multiple classes, a Spin Studio, free weights and exclusive use of the Life Fitness cardio machines.
My first discovery about Anytime Fitness was how secure it is. Obviously there can’t be staff based here 24 hours a day, there isn’t a reception as such. Members are given fobs to allow access into the building, only people with these fobs are able to get in – which is fabulous for the members, although slightly confusing for people who aren’t aware of this and are trying to enquire. Fortunately for me, a smiley member of staff spotted my confused-self waiting by the front door and let me in. I was pleasantly greeted by Nikki who is the Club Manager of this particular branch and the personal trainer that would be giving me a taster session, called Jack. Any nerves that I may have had instantly vanished; I’ve never come across such friendly and welcoming staff – exactly what will help potential new members to feel at ease.
Nikki had to rush off to a spin class, which I was very kindly invited to join, however spinning is definitely not my strong point. Don’t judge me; I said I’ve gotten better with exercise, but I’m not silly 😉 In the meantime, Jack gave me a brief tour of the gym floor and we started our session!
Unfortunately I only had time for a quick 30 minute workout, but boy oh boy, it was still a good’un! I had informed Jack that I wanted to learn more about weight lifting as these are the type of exercises that I would struggle to do on my own, such as dead lifts and squats using weights. It can be very daunting having a personal training session for the first time therefore it was great that Jack was so down to earth and happy to answer every question I had, as well as correcting my form and posture – this is something that is particularly important to me. I’m not the most confident person when it comes to training, so having someone there telling you that you’re doing it right was just what I needed. The work-out Jack provided was very well catered to my objectives as well as meeting my time limit perfectly – an overall success!
After I had cooled down from the session, I took myself for a little wander around to snap some photos.
The club itself is approximately a minute’s walk from Raynes Park station. If you walk out from under the bridge you can’t miss it. It’s quite compact inside, so you’ll never be roaming around searching for a free kettlebell, much like I find myself doing in my current gym!
For all you potential gym bunnies, get yourself down to your nearest club and give it a go for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it!