Just when you thought there were enough flash gyms in our capital to quench the fitness thirst, boom! along comes another space to make us salivate with delight. Today, Virgin Active’s latest addition, the Virgin Active Health Club, opens its doors at 200 Aldersgate, and trust us when we say hearts and brows will be beating/sweating at their maximum capacity as soon as you enter the golden fitness gates.
Gymwatch! were kindly invited to take a look around, and we took advantage of the opportunity. Often, fancy gyms – especially in the city – can be full of poncy gits and intimidating to hang about in, but this was a nice surprise. With its slick Italian-inspired design, the gym is spacious and across one floor with a warm and friendly atmosphere which adds more value to a gym ethos than any fancy pieces of kit exported from who-cares-where.
Saying that, we were impressed by the kit they had parachuted in from LA and elsewhere. For those into gadgets and fitness innovation, then this will be like a den of tech geek iniquity. Highlights for us were the Freedom Climber – a rotating climbing wall (pictured above), which although looks like some toy is definitely no kids play – it’s a proper challenging anaerobic workout. You might look like a bit of a wally at first, but grin and bear it for a full body tone-up. Then there’s the Swimtag, brand new science heaven for the serious swimmers amongst you, a wrist tag which charts all your intimate data (well, not all of it, shame) which uploads to a cloud style data chart. The most useful aspect of this is that it records every lap, so no worries if you start day-dreaming about your latest conquest or what colour socks you’re going to wear to work the next day (hope not the latter, dull bastards). Then there’s the fitness play den/mini assault course Queenax (pictured below), which looks a little too intimidating for us at Gymwatch! at the moment, until we man the sod up and take the plunge.
Of course, like all quality fodder, membership to a gaff like this doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. £99 a month isn’t that pricey considering what most of us spunk our money on. Simply sack off your Net-a-Porter addiction (cough) and pints and god-knows-what-else down the pub and invest in a space where fitness meets the social, and where you can tinker about with fancy gadgets and improve your health at the same time. And if we haven’t given you motivation enough – the trainers are pretty hot too.