RAW PHYSIQUE REVIEWED
In the next instalment of gym reviews, The Tab brings you the lowdown on Raw Physique Gymnasium, Fitness and Martial Arts Suite.
You can find Raw behind Tesco Express on Castle Boulevard (just round the bend at the end of Lenton Boulevard) so is easy to get to for you second and third years in houses, especially those down Derby Road from Sainsbury’s.
Even if you’re further up the hill than that, though, it shouldn’t take any longer than ten minutes to walk. However, it’s obviously a bit more complicated for those in Halls – you’d probably be best off getting a bus from Uni to Lenton Boulevard and walking from there.
At £16 a month or £6 a week, Raw is good value for money – having monthly and weekly rates means you can choose not to pay if you’ve got deadlines coming up or are going home for the week.
It also means that, unlike annual memberships, you won’t be paying for the months when you’re not at Uni. If you reckon you’ll be going consistently throughout the year though, students can buy an annual membership for £120.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
If benching big-ass weights and dabbling in martial arts is your cup of tea, then Raw Physique is for you. With a massive selection of dumbbells, countless weights machines, a boxing ring and a designated punch-bag area, this is not the place to go for a casual jog.
In fact, the Raw website proudly claims to have the “Biggest Range of Dumbbells in Nottingham!” and there is certainly more than enough muscle-building equipment to fulfil all your bodybuilding desires. However much of the weights equipment is dated, with machines needing to be replaced and it can often get cramped at peak times.
On the other hand, there isn’t a big selection of cardio machines. Some gyms have rows and rows of state-of-the-art treadmills and cross-trainers; Raw has about one or two of each cardio machine so you won’t get much done if other people are using them.
For those of you interested in trying some kind of martial art this is a good place to start, but you may be better off looking at what official societies and clubs that you can access at Uni first. Steve Papp, who trains UFC fighter Dan Hardy, is renowned for his coaching abilities in a variety of disciplines and is the coach of the NU MMA club, for example.
IS IT BUSY?
Since Raw isn’t an entirely student gym, the majority of members are locals. This means that in the days it is relatively easy to use whatever gear you want to use. In the evenings, though, more and more members will start to file in and you may find yourself waiting for one or two pieces of equipment while a 20-stone bouncer cranks out his last steroid-fuelled set.
Another disadvantage of Raw is the opening hours: 7-9 from Monday to Thursday and 7-8 on Fridays is pretty standard but 9-5 on Saturday and only 10-2 on Sundays might make it difficult for you to fit a weekend workout around your hangover.
Whether Raw is right for you depends on what you want from a Gym. If you’re looking for a heavy, muscle-based workout then you should find that Raw fits the bill in terms of convenience and price. But if you want to trim some weight and tone up, then it’s unlikely that this is the right place for you.