This year has been all about fitness. After making a New Years resolution at the beginning of the year to run five half marathons, and then completing said challenge… It has all made me hungry for much, much more. Although running is my go to exercise, it becomes a little, shall we say, monotomous. I will never give up my favourite sport, however I wanted to mix things up a bit. I was on the look out to try out new ways of working out. I am in need of a new challenge.
Although I live and work within Manchester, I am in London a lot. Because, why the hell not? It is a FANTASTIC city with so much to offer. I come here to do the things that Manchester can not give me… Yet. London has always seemed to have had my heart. Sop over.
So when my blogger friend Hannah Tink over at AllAboutTink (who has also done a fair bit of running herself) asked if I wanted to join her at the new Tottenham Court Road gym with Fitness First, I was more than game.
When we first arrived at Fitness First, we were introduced to Connor, a personal trainer. He was quick to show us around the building (and there were so many rooms!) Along the way, we had a chat about our own personal fitness goals. Manovering upstairs where the classes were taken, we could see that it was a very popular venue. At the time a Pilates class was taking place, but after looking through the timetable, I saw that they also did body combat, body balance and core strength workout classes throughout the day.
But now. It was time. Time to have a taste of our own personal training session with Connor. Eeek!! So we headed over to the free style room where most people ‘hung out’ to do their own workouts.
Looking at the room, there were so many things I wanted to try out. The gyms I had been to before didn’t look half as exciting as this, therefore I wanted to have a go at everything. But first, we had to do some core stretch work. Had to. Obviously.
I reguarly do the plank however, Connor showed us different ways to get the most out of our planking sessions. We did the superman plank, some side planks and some still planks. Also promising that I would do these everyday for some of those washboard abs! Afterwards, we wanted to do some full body workouts, so Connor showed us a routine that would get us moving.
As a little bit of a fitness freak, I thought I would have this down to a tee… But even trying out a small part of Connors regime had me break into a sweat (and this was 5 minutes in!) I was enjoying every second of this, but that wasn’t it. Oh no. Next we were to try out the Battling Ropes, something I had never seen before in my LIFE. A new form of exercising, which involved you holding two (very heavy) ropes that you would whip up and down in a boot camp style motion to get yourself in better physical condition.
You may think it looks easy, but you are mistaken… This was incredibly difficult – yet so much fun. Being as competitive with myself as ever, I wanted to go for at least 30 seconds continuously, as Connor had advised. Boy, it was hard, but that’s the motivation you needed here. You need to work hard to get the results you want!
The PT session finished up with a chat and a push to try out the pool beneath the gym, so off we went back to their incredible changing rooms to grab our swimming cossies. Walking through the shower rooms, they had everything you needed. Towel racks, shower gel dispensers, open and closed shower rooms that you could use before and after your swim… This place was something else!
When arriving at the pool, I had to take a step back to take in what I was seeing. This place was heaven. Everything a pool room should be. With calming dark blue lighting, it was a place to feel comfortable in. This place is very different to the leisure centre pool that I had been training in back home. We were keen to get in and have a swim around. The pool was big enough for everyone to do their bit in and before we knew it, we had done well over twenty laps! I could feel how easy it would be to come here and get in some ‘me time’ whilst building some strength.
After a swim, I usually have ten minutes within the steam room, so this is what I wanted to check out before leaving. It was hot, very hot, (oofff!) but relaxing with the same lighting as the pool area which again, gave off that calming feel. I was truly at home with what I saw.
Whilst changing back into my every day clothes, I thought about my experience with Fitness First. There is absolutely nothing to dislike about the place. I had so much fun and the gym is to be considered most people’s worst nightmare, which it was anything but.
I believe this place would encourage the people that are scared of fitness into signing up. I felt great – motivated, yet feeling a little sad that I would have to return to Manchester without my very own Fitness First gym.
For anyone questioning on joining a gym should definitely have an induction here at Fitness First. Not only do they have clubs in 16 different countries, but there are many gyms across London and its surrounding areas. They have also teamed up with Team GB Athletes to create three different fitness programmes for all levels of fitness. So even ‘the afraid’ and the ‘considered unfit’ will feel right at home here. Also for the people (like myself) wanting to explore the world of fitness and are looking for new ways to challenge ones body, this is the big boss of all gyms. There is something for everyone.
I will most definitely be returning when I am next wondering the city of dreams, or maybe I will be hearing of one opening up here in the great north sometime soon? After all, Manchester has plenty more room for greater things.
On that note, time to get the trainers on. I feel pumped!
Check out Fitness First for what packages they have to offer.
Want to check out Connors Instagram page? Head over to – Connor PT