When a budget gym was scheduled to arrive in Leeds, it bridged a gap for me. It was offering an alternative to paying upwards of £40 a month in other city centre gyms, whilst also eliminating the possibility of failing my personal fitness quest by going running independently. At £9.99 per month, I was impressed at the value of my contract, but reserved judgement on the quality of the gym, as it had not yet opened. The chain is able to offer such a price because it provides a 'no frills' gym, with no pool, sauna or steam room. It is staffed from 8am-8pm, with CCTV monitoring the place 24-hours a day. Six other friends had joined at the same time and we hoped that a pact-like agreement would apply positive peer pressure to our motivation! Plus, anything to prevent me from having to hear Davina McCall's not-so-dulcet tones on her fitness DVD was a welcome addition to my life. During opening week, Friend #1 was our pioneer in testing out the gym. On his much anticipated return, his report was not entirely satisfactory. "It's quite good, but it does have the feel of a correctional facility." Not a great account, but I remained hopeful. Perhaps this merely revealed more about Friend #1's chequered past rather than the quality of Pure Gym. Nevertheless, this intrigued Friend #3, Friend #5 and myself into going later that day. On entering the gym, I saw that the previous description was a pessimistic one. Although the space has a functional appearance, there is an impressive array of exercise machines. As well as the usual suspects of running machines, bikes and rowing machines for cardiovascular training; there are also some great strengthening machines, both individual and multi-station. A circuit training area, a space to use medicine balls and a free weights area complete the layout. Of course, the gym does get extremely busy at peak times, but as a 24-hour gym, you can plan your visits to avoid this. This serves as proof of the great value and variety of machines. A timetable of classes are available which range from Circuits to Spinning, and Kettle Bells to the ominously titled Military Body Blast. They are very accessible to view and reserve places on, as each member has their own account on the Pure Gym website. The classes are priced from £1 to £3 and there are up to 10 places available for each class. The smug sense of superiority when booking a 7:30am class is unbeatable. The reality of shivering down to the gym on a dark Winters' morning with a make-up free face and exchanging morning pleasantries with the milkman, is another matter entirely. Needless to say, I only attempted this once and will perhaps try it again in the Summer months. As well as the classes, there is also a small fee for the use of their sunbeds. It is these extra charges that suggests Pure Gym is to other gyms, what Ryanair is to other airlines. At such a cheap rate however, I see this as no hardship. With fairly spacious showers and changing room facilities, Pure Gym more than fulfils my fitness needs. To summarise, if you are at the gym to actually do some physical exercise on a budget, rather than pose in the steam room and chat to friends, then I would highly recommend Pure Gym.
I'm pretty new to gyms, and well still slightly scared by the whole thing. But this place had a pretty relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the staff are really nice. There is a great selection of equipment and a lot of each machine, so even at the busiest of times you're pretty much sure to get on what you want to use. Being open 24hrs is great too as it makes avoiding the busiest times pretty easy. The price is excellent too, £17.99 per month at the moment. The only drawback is, with being the but cheaper there aren't paper towel machines about to wipe down machines after use, and for a pretty big gym it only has 1 drinking fountain and so queues can be a bit annoying when youre a knackered and parched it feels like hours!
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What was once a friendly and organised gym has turned into a miserable experience since pure gym took over from soho gym in Lewisham. They released nearly all the instructors, some of whom had been working there for 20+ years and had built up a loyal clientele. No notice, no suitable replacements and now most classes are taken by PTs who have had little or no training. It's a joke and dangerous to train with instructors who do not appear to be qualified to teach group classes. The entire atmosphere has changed and loyal gym members have left in their droves. The low prices are not an incentive to stay. I'd rather pay more and have the excellent Les Mills classes taught by proper Les Mills instuctors thanks... just as they were before.
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Great no fuss gym, very affordable at only £18.99. Although I do like this gym, I have stopped going for the reasons below. I feel the need to note my reasons so you know what you're getting for the cheap price. Most of my issues with this gym are with the people who visit and not so much the facilities itself. The gym itself is great. As a person that isn't overly into my fitness the price is great. The layout of the gym makes it easy to navigate, there is a bit of running between stairs to get to equipment, but most of what I would use is on the same floor. The classes are easy to book with the app and are plentiful. Issues. They are very busy in the evenings, which is the best time for me, and clearly everyone else to go. This often leads to long waits for machines and equipment, also for the showers. As someone that doesn't gym often, I find gyms intimidating, with no staff to turn to for help, pure gym can be a little scary and confusing if you haven't planed what you are there to do in advance. Also some of the clientele can be boisterous, especially if you look a little lost! There is often issues with things being stolen in the locker rooms, I would advise keeping all your belongings locked up and out of sight just to be safe. If you aren't intimated by these issues, then pure gym is a great gym.