Gym Review: The Gym, Swansea
| Reviewed By Joe Tobin |
As a 31-year-old who keeps relatively fit, I have used several different gyms around Swansea over the past fifteen years.
I would describe myself as having a moderate interest in health and fitness, with my focus generally on cardio machines while I train for 10Ks and half marathons. For the past five years I have been a member of The Gym, Swansea at the top of Princess Way in the city centre.
The single-floor gym has a large, open-plan layout. The decor is generally no-frills although a recent refurbishment saw a vibrant lick of paint added to the walls. I always feel entry to the gym floor is a bit like being in a sci-fi movie, as an 8-digit code grants access to an ‘entry pod’.
All the equipment you would expect from a modern gym can be found, such as treadmills which overlook Princess Way. An amusing aspect of this is watching pedestrians below looking up in fascination at the gym above. I also like the the ‘Myride’ bikes, which play video footage on screen as if to imitate a ride around various locations such as woodland, the coast, and even Seattle!
Of course, there are also rowing machines, a variety of weights equipment, and a free weights area which is not my area of expertise but always seems popular. Importantly there is more than sufficient quantity of equipment that means you will rarely be kept waiting, even during busy periods.
While The Gym, Swansea is budget in price, this is certainly not reflected in the facilities on offer. TV screens dotted around play music videos. There are no news or sports channels showing but I don’t mind this at all, as I like to visit the gym to ‘escape’ for an hour or so!
A handy feature on the gym’s website are videos demonstrating how to use the equipment. This is useful for beginners and those, like myself, who perhaps aren’t 100% confident using certain machines.
Staff are available most of the time, and I’m sure they are happy to help, although I’ve had limited interaction with them myself. Note that they also double up as personal trainers who are available to hire.
There is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere here, and the clientele is a mixture of all ages and abilities. In some gyms, I’ve sensed a little cliquishness among members using the weights equipment, but I have never felt that to be the case here.
Because the gym is open 24 hours, on several occasions I have visited after 10pm. Despite the late time, everything still feels safe. The entry system helps the gym feel secure and the relaxed atmosphere is maintained. People simply get on with their own thing. I have also found that, while it is not that busy late at night, there are still enough people around that the place doesn’t feel too eerie!
The changing rooms and showers are clean, with more than enough lockers available. However, it is with the lockers that we find one of the more unusual aspects of the gym. Instead of popping in a £1 coin to operate the locker, you must use your own padlock. If you don’t already happen to own one, you can buy one from a vending machine for £5.
This might irritate some people, but then I would argue that you are already getting excellent value for money with the membership itself. I also find that the locks themselves feel a little temperamental, as the catch sometimes doesn’t move properly when turning it.
It’s a budget gym with a price of £13.99 a month to new members (plus the £20 ‘joining fee’). There’s no contract to tie you down either – you can stop your membership at any time. For this, The Gym is great value for money!
Locks and lockers aside, my five years as a member of The Gym, Swansea has been a largely positive experience. Until other gyms lower their prices and offer the same membership flexibility, I have no reason to consider changing. For the bargain price, you really can’t go wrong.
Check out the website for The Gym, Swansea for more details on pricing, times and equipment.
And you can check out more Fitness Swansea gym reviews here.