I've decided to do a few more gym reviews, as I have finally realised how rare it is to find an amazing gym. Plus this is research I enjoy doing and I can benefit from. I guess I grew up lucky, as the gym back in my hometown (Stratford-upon-Avon Leisure Centre) is absolutely perfect. Following their revamp in December 2010, they have 3 PowerPlates for free unlimited use, and the best machine ever called the 'AMT' - Adaptive Motion Trainer Precor.com/AMT. All their machines have been fitted with TVs conected to a hoard of tv and radio stations, plus the layout of the gym is fantastic... I really can't fault it.
As a student, I decided to hold fire on the gym membership (despite impulsively signing up to two gym memberships during Freshers' Week...), which means I can try out ALL the gyms in Brighton and play about with free trials and online offers.
Anyway, by total luck, next door to my student house is a small gym. 'Alive Fitness' boasts of being 'Brighton's friendliest gym' with a fully equipped studio, so I decided to check it out, and put it to the test! An instant pro-point is that they offer a free gym session for newbies, which is extremely easy to acquire. However, the gym was pokey, and crammed into a tiny room upstairs, resulting in quite a claustrophobic feeling. It felt more like being in someone's 'home gym' than an independent fitness centre. The layout deters women in particular from venturing into the weights room, and the atmosphere was more 'surgery waiting room' (complete with weekly magazines) than 'spring into fitness!' The place was certainly lacking in motivational quotes and cheesy tag lines claiming that this gym could change your life.
On the plus side, it was quiet, and the gym-users were adults who actually wanted to exercise - not girls in see-through leggings and bikini halter-neck tops (WHO DOES THAT?) who go to the gym purely to exercise their thumbs through the exercise of texting for the duration. The final major blow though was when they practically kicked me out half an hour before closing time. Their site says the gym is open until 9.30, but by 9pm they'd turned half the lights off, the TV screens off, and switched off the machines. WOW. [Big mistake] I don't care if I was there for free (they didn't know that anyway), but I'm there for my money's worth whether or not I'm the last person in the gym! I stoically stayed until about 9.10 until they asked how long I'd got left in an 'upbeat and friendly' way. Major minus points there. To add insult to injury, for a normal pay-as-you-go session, they charge £10 which I felt wasn't in balance with the 'goods'.
Scoring: 1/5. The gym was small, although adequate, yet their enthusiasm to go home early punctured their motto of 'Brighton's friendliest gym'. There were no wipes to clean the machines after and I got a very strong impression that the gym staff weren't into cleaning the machines either. GYM HYGIENE MATTERS, PEOPLE!