I have been a member of the Flitwick Lifestyles gym for almost a year and I thought it was about time I blogged about it. This isn’t really a review as such, moreover a few reflections. Before I leap in, let me tell you the facility is less than one year old and the result of some clever funding, architecture and design.
The facilities include a decent swimming pool, a climbing wall, facilities for trampolining, badminton, and studios for various classes such as martial arts, keep fit, yoga, spinning and so on. And there’s the gym itself, which I’ll cover here.
The nice bits
- Everything is new, clean and shiny
- There’s a decent number of machines. These include cardio, resistance, power plates and some strange torture/rack like stretching machines
- The fitness staff are always keen to help, advise and so on
- While there a lot of seriously fit people there, I don’t think newbies should feel out of place
- The music volume has been reduced of late and switched off from the changing room completely (it was ridiculously loud) and I wonder if this is the result of feedback?
- I like having a structure training plan which is put together for you, according to where you’re at and what you want to achieve. It is all free for members and you can have a free review at any time.
- I like being able to get emailed updates on the number of visits, achievements and the total number of “moves” I’ve completed in the previous week. Sometimes this can be very encouraging.
- Great “people watching” to be done – more to follow later on. All about the texters, the posers, the newbies, the inseparable pairs, the chunky body builders, the aggressive weightlifters, the inked and so on. I even thought I spotted Slobusfaticus there.
- All kinds of free exercise kit; everything from skipping ropes to medicine balls and many more. I like to have some variety and this certainly meets the challenge.
The not-so-good bits
- I don’t understand why a female member of staff sometimes goes into the men’s changing room to do routine cleaning (accompanied by a male colleague). Could be awkward and embarrassing on both sides. Why does this happen? Does this mean a male member of staff goes into the women’s changing rom? I hope not, it is simply not appropriate.
- The Technogym TGS tokens are issued to all members and I think they’re tricky to use. I had to specifically ask about this as this wasn’t explained in my induction. Sometimes machines don’t recognise mine and sometimes all my programmed weight settings have reset themselves. Also the treadmill sometimes switches from metric to imperial settings at random times (mph to kph) and they mysteriously goes back the following day. An explanatory sheet would be helpful.
- Some people sit on machines doing nothing apart from texting on their phones. If you ask to use their machine, they sometimes say “oh I’ll be finished soon” and carry on texting, instead of freeing the machine up. This is poor form and not right. I think I’ll be blogging further about this!
- Security. There’s a door to the gym which is meant to be locked and members get in using the membership card barcode. Often I see the door propped open and people wonder in. Others seem to let their friends in and I could suspect these friends aren’t members by the way they act inside.
- Sometimes there’s a shortage of lockers. In fact there are sometimes more [men’s] lockers in use than men in the gym. There’s a couple of possible reasons but either way it is an area for improvement.
- Men use their mobile phones in the changing rooms. One was even pointing it at me while I was getting dressed and quickly looked away when he realised I’d noticed him
Gyms are want you make them
No matter how good (or bad) a gym is, you’ll only benefit if you put the effort in. They are what you make them. Flitwick Lifestyles is very well equipped and I only wish I had more time to make the most of it!