Before I joined Fitness First I had actually paid for a years membership at Holmes Place and they recommend I join Fitness First on a month to month basis until they opened. I also looked around most other gyms in Nottingham including the YMCA, Ice Stadium, Village Leisure Club, and LivingWell. I have also tried the new Hoofers gym at the Victoria Centre. None of them could beat the excellent price of Fitness First and the range of equipment, plus the little details that often go unnoticed. I have an off peak membership which costs £24 per month. I can use the gym any weekday before 4pm or after 2pm on weekends. ======== The gym is split into three main sections: FREE WEIGHTS There are ample benches, but only one of each set of dumbell weight. They do have barbells as well which other gyms like Hoofers lack. There is also an EZ-Curl bar, and two cable machines. CV MACHINES Not the type that you give your prospective employer! Im talking about cardiovascular excercise. There are plenty of running and rowing machines, excellent eliptical excercise machines (two types), and climbing machines. There are about ten different TV screens you can watch while training using Cardo Theatre headphone sockets on the machines. You cant see the TV if rowing though, only yourself in the mirror! I thought that most gyms had TV's you can watch until I tried the new Hoofers gym! RESISTANCE MACHINES There is a good range of other machines based on resistance training and muscle isolation. There is only one smith machine though (for chest excercise) which can cause problems if the gym is busy and everyone is waiting for it. All the weights are now in Kg(except for the new CV machines which are in Lbs). There is enough weight on all the machines even for someone who has been weight training a long time. ======== As well as the main gym, there is
also a smaller gym downstairs. This also has the only military press machine so if you want to use that you need to go downstairs, unless you want to use free weights. The members of the gym are 60% male I would say. The vasy majority are not super-fit, just normal types. You will find most of the time there are only a handful of other people there, which is good if you want some privacy. All the members are friendly and will help you out if you need any help with a machine, or you need someone to spot you. Regulars will get to know your face and say hello to you. Its a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. There is also a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. These are mixed facilities for men and women. To get to them you walk through the appropriate changing room's showers. The Jacuzzi has got an aweful lot of chlorine in the water. Its very difficult to wash off your skin and very drying. I dont go in there myself. The steam room smells very fusty too. The sauna is your only choice really if you want to wind down after a hard gym session, and it is a very good sauna. When I joined the showers had Nutralia shower gel, but then they started using a cheaper alternative. I complained that they were putting cheap shower gel in a Nutralia dispenser and recently they changed all the dispensers. They say its dermatologically approved but I dont think its good for people with sensitive skin or eczema. My skin is certainly worse since they changed to this bright orange shower gel. I now use it in moderation. * Free Juice Bar * Upstairs near the reception there is a drinks area where you can get free soft drinks and coffee, when it isnt out of order. The coffee is OK but the softdrinks are of the very cheap variety - but hey it is free! * Free newspapers and videos * You can also hire free videos, DVDs, and get a free Daily Mirror each day when you visit! Oh incase you wondered, I cancelled
my Holmes Place membership because it was so pretentious - they dont even allow men to wear sleeveless tops incase their muscles scare the girls there! Pathetic isnt it? I also tried Hoofers in Nottingham, and the Virgin Fitness gym. I was not impressed with either of them.