Written on: 10/05/2011
Having been a Fitness First Member in Europe for several years I thought it would be a good thing to test one of their Clubs over here.
For my experiment I picked one of their newest Clubs on Green Lanes in London which is supposed to be bigger and better equipped than many of the other Clubs.
The Club is located on the first floor of this shopping mall and shares parking facilities with the adjacent stores which makes it very difficult to find a decent spot during the shops trading hours.
The location on the first floor gave hope that the studio would be filled with daylight which seems to be very rare for London gyms in general. Entering the club you will find yourself inside a big low-cost shed that awakens the basement atmosphere of most London gyms. The small reception area will hardly function as the advertised juice bar nor would the lounge invite to socialise after a workout. The staff was reasonably friendly, even though they could not be asked to show me around and introduce me to the facilities. The changing room areas were almost clean and a sufficient amount of lockers were built in. the studio space is rather large and consists of a good number of cross trainers, circle training and weight equipment so that even during primetime one should be able to get hold of any of them quickly. Here the only down point was that I could not see any notes reminding users to disinfect their equipment after use, while that would have been impossible as there was no tissue at any of the cleaning stations.
Whoever enjoys to relax after a hard work out should be warned about the spa facilities though. Those were by far the biggest disappointment! The spa suite consists of one steam room (for approx. 7 People), a small sauna that is literally the size of my closet and can at the max host 5 people, a stand- up tanning booth and a shower. In general the spa area is way too small in comparison to the club, so be prepared to wait for a long time Not only is this area too small, but it also make you wonder how much consideration has been given to the local members - which particularly in this area of London have very diverse cultural backgrounds that would require the facilities being separated by gender. Also, disabled people might have huge difficulties in using the facilities, as doors and hallways are too narrow and the shower is a little step up. I suppose due general space issues in London a quiet room to read newspapers and relax in-between sauna session might be outrageous to ask for, however it should be mentioned that other Fitness First Clubs are able to offer them.
I hope my review will prove being helpful to anyone who is considering becoming a member. I for myself have decided to end my membership as I still believe that there is a minimum standard one can require for approx. £ 500 per year in membership fees