Having scrupulously checked out the other 'health clubs' in Glasgow, i.e. getting free day passes, checking out the subscriptions costs, facilities, I finally settled on Virgin Active.....because er, it was closest to my flat!
But...I maintain this is the greatest gym in our fair city. The place is vast, there are two huge floors of running machines, cross trainers, bikes, rowers and all sorts of new fancy gizmos and crazy fitness tech, this means you will hardly ever have to wait to use a peice of kit. But, if that isn't quite enough for you fitness enthusiasts, there is a CLIMBING WALL for all members to use free of charge.
On top of all this there are two studios offering daily classes from exercise guru Les Mills and in house sessions by the gym team ranging from circuits to yoga!
Staff are fantastically friendly, all facilities including the pool, showers, sauna, steam room are clean and hygienic, so top place all round!
P.S if you have little ones, there is a creche you can dump your child in while you go let off some steam.
I have a lot to say about this gym (95% of it positive)!
Facilities - Gym, two studios for classes, two swimming pools, steam room, sauna, climbing wall, cafe, lounge area, beauty salon, kids creche.
Size - It is big, spacious and very well laid out. A very large ground floor with rows and rows of cardio machines, vibrating exercise plates, suspension core training, weight machines, padded floor space for body exercises, balance bars, etc etc. There is also a climbing wall which is available free of charge for members, which is great fun. The large mezzanine level has yet more cardio machines, and a more serious weight section - almost exclusively filled with beefy men. There is also a boxing section, gloves are available from reception, which is another fun way to mix it up.
Classes - The classes are really great. There is a large 50-person studio for aerobics, Body Pump, yoga etc, and a smaller spin studio. The teachers are very good - very encouraging and understanding of all fitness levels, and they aren't too aggressive with their motivational shout-outs during class! Body Attack and Body Pump are probably the most popular classes, and are very fun. The music gets you focused and in the groove.
Ambience - There's a mix of people that are super serious and just regular people. I'm just a normal person, and I don't find it intimidating at all. I think that's because it's so spacious, so you don't have to run next to Superman on the treadmill! The general ambience is positive, energetic and lively. The only criticism I have is that the general gym staff (reception staff/staff that wander around the gym) aren't very approachable in my opinion. They are a bit aloof and if they do help you they sort of seem a bit scathing, as if you should know what to do, and also like they can't be bothered.
Extras - Beauty salon is reasonably priced and v handy! Cafe does good food and great healthy fruit smoothies. Swimming lessons are available, pool is v clean. The whole gym is very clean and well maintained. Floor-to-ceiling windows line the side of the ground floor, opening up the space and making it feel fresh.
Cons - If they had courts for tennis/badminton/basketball etc, then this gym would be perfect. Staff can be a bit unfriendly. Need more water stations.
I'm rambling on so better stop. All you need to know is that I generally really dislike gyms. And I love this gym. Nuff said.
A gym this nice would activate any Virgin, I'll tell you that for free.
Being comfortable at a gym is key proponent for staying longer and going more often. Not only is everything modern, naturally lit and clean, but the space is cavernous - rather than having equipment stacked upon more equipment, the layout is spread out with two floors of cardio, a dedicated spin room, an additional group exercise room, a massive weight area with both free and fixed weights and a full sized pool. Oh, and there's a giant climbing wall. You know, the usual.
On the down side, I did have to run a mile and a half from the centre of Glasgow to arrive at this industrial epicentre of gymtopia, but that's probably part of their ploy... any gym this nice is worth running out of the way for. Even after my run, I was willing to stay for an hour oohing and ahhing while sweating and straining. The run home was a little less fun. (Likely negative reinforcement for leaving.)
My latest bizarre impulse purchase was a gym membership in here. It's great.
The equipment is as good as you will find anywhere else in town, and has recently been refurbished. There's also a good amount of equipment as well, there's never a queue of people.
As well as that though, and this is the real selling point for me, they have a climbing wall, swimming pool with sauna and steam room. There's also loads of classes on all the time with a good cafe, free wifi and personal fitness programmes built into the membership fee which brings me along to the cost.
There's a ten pounds joining fee, and you only need to sign up for 3 months minimum which is really good. The membership fee really depends on when you want to go and how old you are. If you are between 18 and 25, there's really good memberships, otherwise, it can be quite costly. It really depends on why you're going to the gym and how much you go if you're going to get your moneys worth.
I like the variety here, the location and the approachability of the staff. A rarity.
Definately worth checking out.
Membership here is expensive, but there's no doubt that the facilities are very comprehensive indeed.
The gym is open and airy, which helps detract from the artificial feeling gyms always give off, and the swimming pool is very clean and light, with an excellent area for kids to play in; a splash pool with fountains and huge statues of animals for the babies and a paddling pool for the older kids.
There's a sauna and steam room too, and the main swimming pool is very big.
It's very quiet during the day too, which is always nice - excersing in front of people has never been my forte
Richard Branson is the master of everything these days, to the point where he's planning passenger trips into space. So organising a corporate gym environment is easier than rocket science for him.
I hate to say, but despite the manufactured feeling of Virgin Active, I can't argue with the quality of its facilities. It's fancy, high tech but the machinery is easy to operate. Like Catriona said, it's a spacious arena and pretty relaxed considering those around you are pumping iron at an alarming rate.
It's a popular gym amongst athletes. The former Mr Scotland used to frequent the weight lifting rooms, and you may even see the occasional footballer. That should give you a rough idea of the calibre of the gym and therefore the cost, but with the cutting edge technology, cafe and family friendly vibe, it's not as flashy as the previous information may imply. It opens hella early in the morning and is available all day and into the evening for those who have to work late. With well trained staff and a ton of facilities, you can see why Branson is still top of his game in the business world. Strangely, this gym offers you enough freedom that you don't feel entirely boxed into a simulated environment.
One of the best equipped gyms I know, this Virgin Active club is located adjacent to the SECC, just outside the city centre. The club is set over a few levels and there is a wide variety of both equipment and classes to suit all fitness levels. Membership here also allows you entry to any other Virgin Active clubs across the country. The only downside is that it is quite difficult to get to unless you live nearby or are driving. Membership costs are typical of other gyms.
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