Gym Review: Wilmslow – CheshireReview by Helen Clark
Gym Name: Total Fitness
Free weights: 4/5 (sometimes you have to go looking for them)
CV: 4//5 (great, except the rowers)
Resistance Machines: 5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5 (buzzing at night but bit quiet in the day due to the fact it’s so big!)
Overall: 27/30 (pretty good!)
I’ve been a member of Total Fitness for over 5 years now, so as you can imagine I’m pretty happy there. It’s a very big place, which I like as it means you don’t get bored as there’s always something new to try.
First let me bore you with some facts, detailing some of their features:
A 25 metre, 8 lane swimming pool, a 14.5 metre aerobic & family pool, hydrotherapy spa, foot spas, sauna, steam room, samarium, hydrotherapy pool for rehabilitation. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more than that as I don’t tend to go near water (can’t be bothered with all that smelly chlorine and silly swimming caps) but if it’s your thing there’s plenty to do plus aqua fit classes.
Moving on to the gym floor: There’s a cardiovascular area above the gym floor (great view if you want to see who’s in!) and there’s also a separate ladies only gym on the ground floor (great if you don’t want to see who’s in!). There’s also a 200m four lane running track around the perimeter of the gym, 2 aerobic studios, spinning studio, mind and body studio and 3 squash courts… well, 2 actually, as one is full of old equipment. Talking of equipment, there’s pretty much everything – over 250 pieces of cardio vascular and resistance equipment. I can never remember the names of them all so you’ll just have to trust me on that one.
Outside there are 3 tennis courts, though I can’t say I’ve seen them (I always seem to be running through the rain in order to get inside) and 2 floodlit 5-a-side football pitches.
In terms of ‘extras’ Total Fitness have improved in this area considerably in the last year or so. They now have a juice and snack bar, hair and beauty salon, health shop (snaxs, sportswear etc) and a lounge area with internet access and play stations, flat screen TV, table football and table tennis.
The gym is far more family friendly than they were a few years ago. They have opened a family zone area within the main gym with equipment especially designed for children under 15. They also have some kid’s classes, though not many I don’t think. There’s also a small ball/activity area for little kids with tables in front so parents can have a coffee while keeping an eye on the little horrors. Alternatively if you want to get away from them for a while then there is crèche/nursery facilities for them while you grab some ‘me time’.
The services are good too. Sports and spinal physiotherapy, personal trainers and there’s always someone advertising their services with regards diet, fitness, rehabilitation (lots of people come with sports injuries). Other services include conference rooms and facilities for children’s parties.
They have a great laser clinic as part of the medical area. So anyone out there with more than their fair share of body hair then now’s your chance to get it all lasered off! You’ve heard of sack, back and crack well this is permanent removal I’m talking about!! They’ve also just installed skin rejuvenation laser treatment – one of the only machines in the country. If you want to look ten years younger then here’s your chance!! Alternatively you could try the thread vein laser treatment. I feel a bit sick now, so I think I’ll stop it there…
Classes include rowing, circuit, yoga, step, salsa, pilates, street dance, karate, spinning, boxercise, bodymax, combat plus the usual aerobic/toning type classes. I usually go three times a week to one or more classes plus time in the gym using free weights (only small ones…I don’t want to end up looking like a bloke…).
I’m able to have a fitness review every 4-6 weeks (though I hardly ever do!) from one of the staff members. This can be useful, especially if you’re new to the gym as they set you up a written programme with encouraging comments.
Price wise I don’t think it’s too bad. At the time of writing this I pay £404 a year (I got a £68 reduction for renewing straight away). Youth membership (15-17 years) is £20 month or £220 annually and under 15 is £10 month.
So, as you can see I’m a big fan! Any criticisms? Well the rowers are all a bit duff at the moment (the resistance is poor and some of the screens aren’t working properly). But apart from that… no. I know big gyms aren’t for everyone and some people might not like the idea that they can be seen by the people above. However, I like the fact that you can loose yourself. There are little corners where you can hide away and not too many mirrors so not too many posers! It’s friendly – I’ve got to know and/or recognise quite a few people now but if you don’t want to talk then that’s fine too… just don’t give eye contact.