Gyms in SE1

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Wednesday 14 January 2009 2.17pm
I know there are loads of Gym threads on this site (but none come up when I search??), but can I suggest we have one where we can discuss and compare all??

I am considering changing gyms (I'm at Topnotch) and obviously 37 Degrees is not popular, so who is happy with their gym and why?

Topnotch has seen better days, the showers are cold, the equipment rather worn and something always seems to be breaking down. I'm considering Virgin near the Minories across the river. While that will be less convenient, they have a good reputation - does anyone else use it? I'd prefer a gym with plenty of other branches so I can use where convenient

In my experience, very few people are truly happy with their gym - maybe it's the nature of the beast - paying good money to work hard???
Wednesday 14 January 2009 3.06pm
Have you thought about going along to each gym for a one day trial? I know that before Christmas all the gyms were offering one day passes.

Have you considered Fitness First (Cotton Exchange) on Tooley Street as that also has a branch near Minories amongst many others nationally?
Wednesday 14 January 2009 3.31pm
I tried Fitness First a while ago and found it rather dirty, some of the machines not working properly as well.
I am a member at Soho Gyms, they have further branches throughout the City (SE1: Empire Square and near Waterloo). The monthly fee is rather low (I pay GBP 50 - they offer special rates when you work for a big bank ...), the facilities clean and everything is new. Only disadvantage: small room for courses. All in all, it suits my requirements and I am quite happy there.
Wednesday 14 January 2009 5.31pm
I use the Colombo Centre and am very, very happy with it. I go to the gym to work out and CC fits the bill for that perfectly. It's not a place to pose, watch tv or have a sauna. It's a community based gym with helpful, friendly staff and regulars. OK it's a little rough around the edges, but it's 26 a month for SE1 residents and it's part of the London Fitness Network so you can get access to around 80 community based gyms all over town. (No connection except as a member).
Wednesday 14 January 2009 6.02pm
I have always been with Soho gyms- great gyms, great value for money.
Wednesday 14 January 2009 9.41pm
Soho Gyms are far and away the best in SE1. two branches... one in waterloo and the other at Empire square. I use the latter and thoroughly recommend it.
Thursday 15 January 2009 12.07am
I was at Top Notch and left for all the reasons you describe. Plus I couldn't stand the horrible misogynist rapper videos you couldn't escape. The two days the video broke down and I could hear my iPod and not be forced to watch some poor girl have to shake her tits and ass in my face while some rapper abused her were the best.

For all I know all gyms foist this on you. At least the anger generated by being forced to watch this while paying to try and work out really helped my bag work, which got me onto the machines without a wait once the guys saw I was a woman with a issue, but it wasn't worth the potential hearing loss or the high blood pressure. And the additional expense: I had to join the Fawcett Society.

I now do Powerplate at Fitness for Everyone on Weston street about 100 yards from Topnotch. It takes a fraction of the time and I get way better results than I did with a traditional workout (well the same results but in really a tiny fraction of the time and effort) and the music is not in your face or an issue. There are no videos. I'd never done Powerplate before but I'm well impressed at the amazing results in very short order. I can do a half hour there twice a week and get better results than in the three hours three times a week I was doing at Topnotch. It sounds mad but look it up, the vibration thing really does work.

The only thing I miss about Top Notch is the wonderful pool.
Though in all my 40 something years that was the only time I ever got Athletes Foot.

Why can't gyms just get the basics right: clean, efficient and don't foist yer rubbish loud music and videos on us!
Thursday 15 January 2009 11.00am
thanks all!

Davies: Fitness for Everybody sounds "too good to be true" but on your recommendation I'm going to give it a go. There are some offers on, like 10 sessions for 180/270, rather than committing to 6 or 12 months.. so here's hoping.

I like the stress relief you get at the gym, not just the workout so I'm unsure if powerplate will offer this, but hey... its'll be worth it if I lose a few pounds trying!
Thursday 15 January 2009 11.24am
LisaJ wrote:
I tried Fitness First a while ago and found it rather dirty.

Ugh, me too. I remember swimming in the pool once and spotting a champagne cork and a used condom next to the jacuzzi. Clearly the staff have fun their when it's closed. And one time when my husband was there the place had to be evacuated because of an overpowering smell of sewage.

I now go to the Bankside Health Club in the Blue Fin Building and I really like it. Everything's new and the staff are super-friendly.
Thursday 15 January 2009 11.27am
I go to the Marriott hotel gym in County Hall and although it is quite expensive (85/month), the classes are small (max 8-10 people), and there is a nice 25m pool with daylight. Plus there is no 12 month contract, so you can easily cancel it. Plus you can spot some celebrities...
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