#HoBFitness: Fitness First

Wednesday 20 January 2016 by

Fitness First, Gym, Health, Sport, London, HIIT, The Body Coach

There are a lot of gyms out there, with varying degrees of inclusion on the offer. As a long distance runner, I didn’t really have the time or patience for gyms – treadmills are not only boring but can be detrimental to training. And often, forking out £40 or more a month seems pointless when you can do workouts in the comfort of your own home, or go running along pavements.

But I’m a convert. What a surprise. After lots of deliberation between gyms (there are hundreds in London), I picked Fitness First. I’ve been to Fitness First gyms before – when I was at university in Bath – and knew them to be good. There is one just 15 minutes from my house, and there is several spread across the city and the UK. The advantage? Membership buys entry to more than one club.

There are six tiers, which mean you can choose your membership according to price, and according to which clubs you want. Tier one means entry to all of them, but is at the pricier end, and so down the tiers. My local club is tier five, at a more affordable £47 a month, which means I can get in to tier five and six clubs, including several London clubs and the Fitness First near my parent’s house. Even better? I also get access to most of the classes, and the swimming pool (if there is one). It’s an all-round win.

With membership comes two free personal training sessions. These are designed to create a fitness workout to help with your new regime; introduce you to the machines and get to know your body. I’m aiming for toning up, and alongside the plan from The Body Coach, I’ve managed to create some great High Intensity Interval Training sessions to get me going.

Open from 6am, my gym doesn’t have a swimming pool, but it’s large and clean, with friendly, knowledgeable staff. A telling sign is the quality of the changing rooms – which are high-end and include showers and hairdryers. Get there early enough, and the machines are mostly empty, allowing you to take your pick. There are also classes throughout the day – some you do have to pay for, but the majority you don’t. I have to bow down to the staff – who offer expertise at any point, and are enthusiastic and motivating enough to keep you there for hours.

Still not convinced? They also have an app. Customfit gives you the chance to track your workouts (it even syncs with the Health app on the iPhone), plus create your own, with how-to videos to use as guidance. It’s free with membership, and you can adapt it to your own needs. Pick your favourite clubs for timetables of all their classes and details about opening times and offers. You don’t even have to leave your bed to find out if it’s worth the trip!

There is something brilliant about getting up and going to the gym first thing. Loud music and half an hour of hard work before half the city is awake, and you’re allowed to feel smug. Besides, there is something much more motivating about doing it in a gym than on your own in the house. I recommend Fitness First – affordable and high quality.

Do you use a gym? Which club and why?

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