We’re ridiculously rich as a uni so why is our gym so rubbish?
£160 a year for what
Whether it’s regular training with a sports team or a desperate yearning for cardio after a messy one, the trek to the top of 15 Gordon Street is familiar to many.
But I know I’m not alone when I say Bloomsbury Fitness is unequivocally crap. Not only is it massively oversubscribed and understocked, it’s also full of people who make you wish you could drop a dumbbell on your own face.
The most pressing issue with Bloomsbury Fitness is the simple lack of space in the gym, given the amount of members. No gym expects to have every single member arrive at the doors the second they open, but for a gym that caters to a university with a student population of over 26,000, a miserable two power racks is ridiculous.
The same goes for the lack of incline/decline benches in the free weights area. The last time I was there, there were only four benches. If you’re going to push for your sports teams to win varsity every year and consistently finish in the top halves of the BUCS league tables, then you should probably consider more space than will cater for a single rowers team.
It’s the same with the cardio equipment too. The generally accepted rule of “no more than half an hour on one machine” is consistently ignored, and there is honestly nothing more frustrating than watching someone walk on a treadmill for an hour looking at their phone.
Unless you schlep down to Bloomsbury at 8:30am on a Monday morning, you’re going to have to fight tooth and nail to reach anything, though that’s probably a better workout than the phones n’ flex crew are getting.
A trip down to Bloomsbury Fitness isn’t a harrowing experience just because of the ersatz equipment, it also seems to be full of people who make you wish forced exile was still a thing. Mostly these are the people who are at the gym not to exercise, but to be seen.
The gym is small enough as it is, so when you see someone flexing for a full five minutes and taking up valuable lifting room, it would send even the most chilled students borderline insane. In a similar vein, the people who stretch for 20 minutes while texting/tindering/snapchatting, also have a special place reserved for them in gym-hell.
Nobody cares how good you look in your new Adidas leggings, if you want to show off your new sportswear, don your waviest garms at Dance Tunnel or Village Underground or just go to Leeds. In fact, I’m pretty convinced if these people left, there would definitely be less of a wait to get to the bloody kettlebells.
The only saving grace is the staff, who have all been uniformly decent and are no doubt just as bored of this bullshit as the rest of us. The fact is, members are paying at least £160 a year to go to a gym where you have to morph in to Rhonda Rousey to fight your way through the crowds.
For the standard of facilities, it’s not surprising plenty of students are willing to shell out an extra £80 for the gym at ULU, which – primarily – doesn’t require a rucking and mauling experience to reach the treadmill, but also has a swimming pool.
I guess the only solution now is to become one of those noobs who run through flocks of tourists on the South Bank.