Last summer's complete upgrade of the gym led to all new equipment, weights, etc, but could do nothing about the main problem the gym already had - the small size. With a whole university of students wanting to use the gym it really should be twice as big, but unfortunately real estate in South Kensington is at such a premium there's no possible way to make it any bigger. That said, Ethos has done a good job with what space they have. Early in the semester on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5pm you'll have to wait up to an hour to get into the gym (which I've never bothered to do), but as the semester heats up it's not as much of a problem. I usually go in the mornings before work anyway, and it's relatively empty then, so you rarely wait for any equipment (and can usually have your pick of whatever you want!).
Other quick notes:
1) I haven't taken any of the classes, but I know several people who swear by them.
2) The climbing wall is small, but you just want to try it out it's great - any other climbing gym in London is going to be better, but if you're an Imperial student/employee it's good enough.
I used to come here 4-5 times a week for 12 months, when I was studying at Imperial College in 2009/10. It was completely free for students, which it's unbelievable, giving the facilities available. I only used the Energia gym and tried some spinning classes (which I didn't like at all, they were much better in my previous, small gym). At peak hours you may have to wait to use some of the equipment and there was only a pair of 3kg weights, that kept disappearing. Apparently the gym has been recently refurbished so probably they have new weights now. Showers and changing rooms are very good, and not too crowded even at peak times.
I don't think this sport centre is a good choice for someone who is not part of Imperial (staff/student), not even for alumni. It may be good just for the climbing membership they offer.
Imperial college gym, aka "ethos" is okay but very small compared to other gyms I've been to. There are about 4 elliptical machines, maybe 6 treadmills, some bike machines, etc. I always tried to go during off hours cause I can imagine the queue with such a small number of machines! They brag about how high tech the machines are.. you can technically watch tv and listen to the radio by plugging in your earphones to the machine. But as I went off peak, I never really found anything interesting to watch during the day time. And I never took advantage of asking them to play any DVD's cause I was too lazy and never had any DVD's with me anyway.. maybe this is worth trying though.
The locker rooms are really nice- very spacious and clean. Not sure how much regular membership is, for students it was only £25 for a one-off "induction" session which you have to schedule with a trainer in advance. Doesn't take too long, just a formality and after that you're free to go as you please. The gym area is free, but if you want to take a class, you have to pay for those separately!
This gym is part of Imperial College's sports facilities but open to non students. The big draw card here is the indoor climbing wall, they run a range of courses and have open sessions throughout the week for those who have their beginners accreditation. This wall is perfect for beginners with a number of routes of differing severity so you can build up your skills over the weeks. The climbing facility are very active and run weekends away to climb outside for those interested. In addition to the climbing wall there are squash courts a swimming pool and a well equipped gym.
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