It's fun to work out at the YMCA

This week I'm going to big up the gym I talked about signing up to last week. Having moved quite a lot in the last few years I have been to quite a number of gyms. I have to say though that I have never been quite as impressed as I am with my new one.

It is a YMCA gym and so far beats all the university, hotel and leisure centre gyms I have ever been a member of. Why? Because it didn't patronize me with an induction ("So stand on the treadmill, press menu..." - purrlease), but instead they spent two hours devising me a personlised programme at no extra cost.

Before we signed up to this gym myself and the boy went round a few to price them up. This was the only one that didn't want a joining fee, would allow us to leave whenever we wanted without charging us and that offered a free programme on top of all of this. Fitness First wanted a huge £50 a month and a £70 joining fee if you wanted a programme. 70 whole pounds! And we would have had to have signed up for a minimum of 12 months.

YMCA spent an hour doing various tests including peak flow, stretch tests, cardiovascular tests and then made a note of all my measurements. A few days later my instructor called me back in to take me through the programme she had written for me, with my running in mind. At the end of the month she'll reassess my goals and then in two months she'll do all the tests again to see how I'm progressing.

If there is a YMCA gym near you I strongly advise checking it out. The decor and gimicks may not be as snazzy as at some other well-known chain gyms, but that is made up for with specific advice more than makes up for it. Who really wants to pay an extra £15 a month for the occasional glass of orange squash anyway?

Image by The Duke of URL

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