The Alternative Gym Guide
We take a look at the best alternatives to the campus gym
While struggling to comprehend the decision to close the campus sport’s centre, students have looked elsewhere for their fitness needs.
The new ‘Lifestyle Gym’ has opened, but memories of overcrowding, out of order signs, and the inexplicable lack of a water fountain suggest there might not be much cause for excitement. If the new gym fails to live up to the hype, here’s a quick review of the most popular alternatives:
1. The Workout Mill:
‘The Mill’ has a legendary reputation among rugby players and steroid abusers. Just off the southern end of the parade, it’s run by bodybuilders for bodybuilders. Be prepared to retreat if a knuckle-dragging muscle monster grunts in your direction. We’re talking Ronnie Coleman-type specimen. But as most of the regulars spend the day beating their wives, an early hour visit to the Mill almost guarantees an empty, extremely well-equipped gym.
Verdict: Easily the best weightlifting gym, just be prepared to feel very small. It’s not expensive with a £25 monthly student price.
What to Expect: Loud ‘cycle’ discussions (nothing to do with bikes), Waka Flocka Flame on repeat.
What not to Expect: Studio rooms, women in general.
2. Simply Gym:
Situated in Cannon Park, Simply Gym suits campus inhabitants. It’s the cheapest option at £16.99 a month (cheeky £20 quid joining fee though). The cardio equipment outstrips anything in their weight lifting department and it’s even better if you have a vagina: there’s a separate cardio room. According to the manager this makes women less self-conscious. Despite the convenient location, many students haven’t discovered this place yet – making it a hidden gem.
Verdict: You can’t argue with the convenient location and low price. However, if you want to lift big then you’re not going to be too satisfied. Then again why aren’t you in the Mill?
What to expect: Old people, teenagers
What not to expect: Bodybuilders, embarrassed women.
3. Bizz Fitness:
Next time you’re in the Evolve queue pondering the effort you’ve put in for a shit night out, look up and you’ll see the entrance to Bizz! It’s good for those in the middle zone between iron pumper and pavement pounder. The weights wouldn’t please the strongest claimers out there, but the cardio is decent and there’s even a sunbed for that elusive Essex look. They’ve also responded to this female embarrassment epidemic with a girls-only studio. Their schedule is packed with pilates, spin and zumba classes, all included in a price designed with our 10 week terms in mind – £50.
Verdict: Especially good for girls, but definitely has everything the average student would need. Apart from the tanning (which I tested and is awesome), the equipment and facilities aren’t special.
What to expect: Lots of girls
What not to expect: Anyone actually buying anything from the supplement shelf.
4. Pure Health Club:
This is the gym you’re going to join when you’re middle aged and fat. There’s a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and even a beautician. The equipment gleams like Madame Tussaud’s waxworks. The weights section doesn’t have anything in it while the treadmills look too pretty for your sweat. It’s pricey: £100 a term and you need a ‘Splat’ card (don’t ask me) to prove you’re a student.
Verdict: It’s really nice and really expensive. Solution: live the high life for a day on a free taster session.
What to expect: People lounging about the pool, testing which bank notes float best.
What not to expect: Any student who speaks English as a first language.