After several months of waiting my gym finally reopened this week after its refurbishment. Previously it was a LA Fitness gym but now it has reopened as one of the increasing number of gyms owned by the no frills chain Puregym.
I was curious to find out what a Puregym would be like and what a 'no frills' gym experience was going to be all about.
The build up to the opening of the gym this week has been pretty impressive and hard to ignore, Great Portland street tube entrance has been plastered in advertising, there have been people distributing leaflets right, left and centre and mobile adverts going around being pulled by bikes.
And thats on top of the regular emails I have been receiving bigging up how great the reopening is going to be.
A new gym boasting 220 shiny new bits of kit in brand new fully refurbished premises, it was hard not to be excited to come and check it out.
Giving it ago
I decided to ignore the opening evening as I thought it might be a bit too busy full of eager beaver types so I popped in for an early morning session on the second day after opening. I wasn't really looking for a hard gym session as I was meant to be on a rest day but I thought it would be a good opportunity to just check out the new gym and to see what was like, heres how I got on...
The gym is certainly impressive, its new, fresh and shiny which makes a change from the usual drab and dirty central London gym experience.
The first noticeable change with the gym experience I am used to is the entrance, no reception, no receptionist, no membership card but instead a pin number pad and some weird Dr Who type capsules that you enter the gym through.
To be fair the process is simple, each member has a PIN number which they enter onto the number pad, the capsule door then enters, you step in, the door behind you closes and when its closed the door in front of you opens and off you go.
I liked the experience, not just because it felt like being in a sci fi film but there was no fake customer service from a disinterested receptionist and no having to remember your membership card!
On entering the gym its clear to see a good job has been done on the refurbishment as everything is clean and crisp.
I like the motivational sayings plastered over some of the walls, especially this one:
The only slight glitch I encountered wondering round with another first time gym user looking for the changing rooms as there were no signs to point anything out, a minor issue which I am sure will be rectified soon.
As for the gym itself its pretty impressive, well set out with plenty of kit without everything being crowded on top of itself.
You forget about the 'no frills' aspect as everything is so impressive and it feels the same as any other gym chain with the usual kind of up tempo music and people sweating and gurning in every corner.
Its only when you get to the changing room that you realise the effects of the no frills aspect as the little things like no shower gel and no plastic bag to put your sweaty kit in are a bit of an annoyance, and thats on top of having to bring your own towel.
For £29.99 on a flexible no contract membership though you cant really argue with the service being provided for the modest amount being charged.
I look forward to being a regular visitor in the coming months and incorporating some gym work into my routine can only help my running.
And I cant wait to knock out a few miles on these bad boys!