Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for a gin and tonic. I’ll admit that I’m trying to cut down on the drinking as I begin the torturous process of dissertation writing but even then, we all need those supportive words: ‘gin up, it will be okay’.
But if first year taught me anything, it’s that you can’t continue to drink treb after treb after treb without noticing a slight change in your weight.
By Christmas, I returned home a more well-rounded person – physically as well as metaphorically.
There was only one thing for it – time to pick up the weights, pound it out on the treadmill and prioritise a healthy lifestyle over excessive shots.
Luckily, there was a gym in my student halls so I didn’t even have to face the lengthy membership application form and avoided gym fees. I really had no excuse. Now in third year, I’ve joined many gyms in Newcastle (and subsequently terminated many memberships). Below I’ve distilled into a handy list the different gyms, the types of people you will encounter there and an overall rating for each one.
Verde Accomodation Student Gym:
Albeit small, this ticked a lot of boxes. Forget the joining fee – there’s really no fee at all. Treadmills, cross-trainers, rowing machines alongside free weights, smith machine and back machines line the confines of this room. Although I can only speak for the environment two years ago, it was generally never too busy or intimidating – which I know is what put me off gyms for a long time. Yes, there were the occasional buff big muscles prancing about, but really it was too cramped to be showy in there. Your main issue to contend with was the sweat levels.
Just a word of warning – it closed around 11pm so be careful not to get locked in!
Verde accommodation may be expensive, but with gym costs included in the price (as well as the cinema room) it seems as though your money isn’t completely going to waste…
Overall rating: 4/5
Located in Jesmond, this gym boasts lots of cardio equipment, leg equipment for endless leg days and a large space for free weights. You also get gym classes included – anything from spin to yoga. I’d be lying if I said the sauna and steam room didn’t convince me to pay the pricey fees. That said, my flatmate and I only over used these facilities once on her birthday, so I’m not sure our decision was outright justified. They do have a student membership although the contract has a minimum timeframe. I recall Wednesday afternoons being hectic – and full of Rahs.
I also overheard boys saying they were planning on joining this gym because of ‘all the fit girls’. Not overly enticing…
Overall rating 3/5
Your classic student deal - £15 a month and you can quit whenever you want. Sounds ideal, right? I ended up quitting after just a month, having felt completely flustered every time I went. Remembering your pin-code as you entered the bubble was always a stress, having to buy a lock for your locker seemed ridiculous and amount of protein shakes lying round made me feel scrawny and unimportant.
Perhaps I just missed the quiet time, but I always felt the girls were confined to the cardio floor and the boys dominated the weights section.
Jesmond Pool and Gym:
This is my most recent gym experience – one that I’ve actually stuck with. £20 for a month, no contract and just around the corner from my house is ideal for me. It’s very small and has limited equipment, but your basic treadmill and weights are there to greet you in a non-menacing manner. Plus, it’s rarely busy – so the room is your oyster.
Really though, gyms are a point of personal preference – so shopping around until you find one that caters to your needs is necessary.