Being a fitness first

A while ago I was contacted to see if I wanted to try out a Fitness First gym, and as there is one in the town where I work, so I thought I would give them a go.

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As well as a gym pass, I was sent a rucksack and a fitbit.

This week I went after work on Wednesday, as I needed to get a few bits in town (although I ended up leaving so late, I missed the bank). As I normally run on a Wednesday, I decided to go on the treadmill, and because I am not a huge treadmill fan, I went for a 5K hill session. This made it more interesting as the treadmill kept changing the incline level (at one point I had to slow it down as it was so tough)- I was dripping by the end. I had my phone with me and was trying to listen to podcasts, but even with the volume up at the highest I could not hear it over the sound of the treadmill belt.

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I always feel a bit dizzy after getting off a treadmill too, so walked around a bit before showering and heading home. Now, my first visit wasn’t that great. I think after work is a very busy time, so I had to wait a long time to swap my card over for a pass, and then I was just left to it- I wandered about and found the changing rooms and showers, but had no idea how to work the lockers so had to keep my bags with me- OK in the gym, but the shower cubicles were very small so I had to leave them outside and hope no-one would move them.

It was OK but I would much rather have run a 5k outside. Although I was telling myself that the hill training will help me on Sunday (the first part of the 10 mile route does contain some hills).

Anyway, I decided to give it another go on Friday morning before work (I still went to Body Pump as usual on Thursday as I love that).

2015-07-10 06.37.55I was a bit confused about when to get there- the gym opens at 6, but the car park didn’t open until 7. I really should be in work for 8, so I turned up at 7 on the dot, but I think in fact the car park would have been OK to use earlier as there were already plenty of cars there.

This visit was more successful- the person at the front desk helped me out as on the previous visit it turned out I had been given the wrong card, and should have handed it back when I left (but this wasn’t explained on Wednesday). I was given a quick tour of the gym, shown where the studios were, told how to work the lockers, and then left to it. Although this was useful, it was eating into my time because I had to leave there by 7.45 to get to work. Anyway, after body pump I often get really achy legs, and I didn’t fancy the treadmill again, so I went for a bike this time. I only managed 20 minutes because time was ticking, but it was quite enjoyable. I listened to some marathon talk (the bike doesn’t make much noise) and rushed back for a speedy shower and a change (hooray for dry shampoo as no way did I have time for a hair wash and dry, even though they had nice hairdryers in the changing rooms). As I left I was even shown how to validate the parking (it’s a town centre location so was expensive on Wednesday when I had to park elsewhere).

Now I have a studio timetable, I will have a look and hopefully try out a class, because I think that is what would persuade me more than the equipment. I do want to give yoga or Pilates a try, but I need to work out if I could fit one in this week at some point. The timetable is pretty comprehensive- loads more classes than my local gym, and sorted into morning, afternoon and evening time slots so you can start to work out which one would suit you. There are lots of body pump classes, but I love my instructor and I don’t know if I would like it so much somewhere else.

Anyway, I am very glad I went again, because it was a much better impression this time!

The fitbit has been interesting too. It didn’t come with instructions, just a link to the fitbit setup website, but once that was sorted it seemed to work well. The website dashboard has loads of sections to track different aspects of health- it even tells me how much water to drink in a day! I have my vivofit, so at some points in the day I have been looking at both to compare the steps and distance (although at the moment the distance is in km so I need to work out how to change it) and the steps seem to be fairly similar, although sometimes the fitbit has been a bit higher. More on that once I have used it for a bit longer.

Are you a fan of the gym? Which classes do you prefer? 

*I was sent the pass and fitbit to use in exchange for a post. All opinions are my own.

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5 thoughts on “Being a fitness first”

  1. How odd that the gym car park opens later than the gym itself! My gym is a 15 minute drive away and I only really use it when I am injured. I’m not a ‘member’, but I can sign up for payasugym passes which works out better for me as I can pick and choose how often I go. I always get annoyed on the drive over though – if only there was a gym right opposite my house!
    I’m glad that you gave the gym a second chance. I must say, I much prefer it when customer service staff are forthcoming with information and over-the-top friendly to when they give you no information at all. I don’t often go on the treadmills in the gym, as I’d always pick running outside, but tend to stick to weights and bike work instead.

    1. It’s a town centre car park, so you have to validate your ticket, otherwise you would have to pay at the machines when you leave. So I think maybe 7am is the official hours but it must be open earlier for the customers. Or maybe the website hours are now wrong!

  2. I gave up on gyms a year or so ago because I had two options:
    a) mega expensive, not great service but good (busy) classes
    b) mega cheap, not great service and ok (always full) classes
    I know friends that go at non-peak times and absolutely love it, I’m sure if I found somewhere with classes I didn’t have to commit to closeby I’d be very tempted.

  3. I haven’t rejoined a gym since we left Dublin a few years ago- too expensive in London! I sometimes miss the variety, but I prefer to be outside anyway and we have a good amount of strength training gear at home now.

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