Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Hoppity Hop-Frog to Habit Vero

 Hidden in the bottom corner of the Vero building, Habit is a convenient little find if you happen to work close by.
I tried to be present during their busiest times to see how the fight for machines went….however there never seemed to be more than a few people scattered throughout the space! Joy!
The classes were relatively small in numbers also, with the after work sessions averaging 3-4 attendees and the lunch time classes only a little busier.
The space is very light with windows down one side, it is laid out over a large enough area to make it feel spacious and not cramped.
The first room you enter as you pass reception and the physio rooms, is the weights room. This area contains ample machines and free weights, along with a stretching space, all gloriously lit by natural light from the windows.
The next area is the cardio room with the usual offerings of a few of everything. Rowers, cross-trainers, treadmills and bikes.
The space beyond this is used for circuit, H.I.T training, boxing classes and the like. The space is available for anyone to use when classes are not in progress. It has one wall completely open to the outdoors And covered only by mesh, which gives it a liberated feeling and some air flow, it is large and the boxing bags and other cross-training equipment is varied and laid out well. For an inner-city gym to have an outdoor feel, I thought this was pretty special.
The other room used for classes is indoors and smaller. This is used for yoga, pilates, power, spinning and barre. Is is well air conditioned and has lighting which can be adjusted to fit the mood of the class. The trainers were all very sweet and helpful. Classes are mostly kept to 45 minutes and are run on a regular schedule of 8am, 12.15pm, 1pm and 5.30pm on weekdays.
I gave the power, barre and yoga classes a go during my free week trial! Barre was a fun way for someone with very poor coordination skills (me) to feel mildly graceful whilst still getting a good cardio workout with some familiar moves. It could be likened to pump style classes with repeated lunges/lifts but all with a focus on the bar and a little rhythmic dance inspiration. The power class was very similar to other pump classes. Yoga was a lovely treat for someone who lacks flexibility like myself! The class, being only 45 minutes, did not repeat or hold poses but moved fluidly and slowly through a range of motions only once. This meant that feeling of dread when you know you have to downward dog another 5 times before child’s pose didn’t feature, and there was no room for boredom due to repeating sequences many times. The end of this class featured a long meditation which was the perfect way to end a productive yet relaxing class.
The entire space is very well air-conditioned and is cleaned regularly throughout the day.
The opening hours of Habit are relatively restricted, 6am-8pm Monday-Thursday, 6am-7pm Friday and 8am-2pm weekends.
Membership prices are around the $22.50/week mark, with an extra for towel service.

Overall, a very pleasant environment to be in!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Bali Baby

Whilst I was lucky enough to get to travel to this beautiful place in 2016, I only used one Gym!
Running outdoors in Bali is difficult due to the heat and the crowded narrow streets, BUT there are plenty of gyms about so that you can workout in air conditioned comfort during your trip.
Check out the facilities at or near your accommodation, the friendly locals will no doubt help you out too!

The only Gym I used here was at Legian Beach Hotel.
It was very small but VERY cool, the air con was a dream!
It had a couple of treadmills, some free weights and a bike, plenty for a little mid-holiday fitness session :)
The view out the window was of the pool which made being indoors and away from the action a little more bearable too!

Again, be conscious of hydration needs in hotter climates, not just with water intake but with electrolyte intake too.

Cruise Life

Ahoy from the ocean!!!
In 2016 I went on two cruises with P&O and aside from them being WONDERFUL I managed to keep my fitness up for upcoming races whilst I cruised my little heart out.
I cruised on the Pacific Pearl to some Pacific Islands and also the Pacific Jewel to the Whitsundays.
Both had gyms down on a lower deck and both provided everything I needed, however the Pacific Pearl's gym was superior.

Pacific Pearl:
This gym was very spacious for what I expected of a cruise ship gym!
It was also very well air conditioned which was essential in the climate we were travelling in.
The gym had a line of about 4 treadmills against some mirrors which proved useful for stabilising whilst the boat moved- instead of staring at a static point in this situation it pays to simply gaze at your moving legs in the mirror. This allows your brain to compensate for the movement of the belt from left to right and up and down as it can see where you need to land after you have been suspended in the air.
There were also a couple of cross trainers, bikes and rowing machines along with a separate little level for free-weights, weights machines and stretching.
There was a toilet right next to the gym for convenience.

Pacific Jewel
The gym was smaller than the Pearl's, it still had 4 treadmills (one was out of order) and a cross trainer, a bike and a small space for weights.
The air conditioning however was completely insufficient.
I asked for the temperature to be turned down on two occasions but this did not happen and unfortunately I suffered a severe electrolyte imbalance due to the excessive sweating and had to be hospitalised on the ship.
Thankfully I received great care there!
If the climate wasn't so hot outside this gym may have been suitable but unfortunately it was not so great for this trip. Thankfully it was a short trip!

So- for those cruiselings planning a holiday on the ocean- check out the facilities with your cruise company before you leave and be conscious of your hydration and differing needs with a change of both climate and diet on-board your holiday!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Mighty USA

Unfortunately on my recent trip to the USA I was mostly confined to Hotel gyms.
I tried to go to Gold's Gym in L.A but did not have my photo I.D on me when I arrived and was going to have to go back and get it then return which was going to take too long (something to keep in mind if you ever visit this gym!).
What I did see however was a large warehouse layout down a fairly modest street in Venice Beach and the entry for a one-off pass was $20 (even though I had seen a deal which I referenced on arrival for a free week's trial).
I felt the young man at the desk was taking advantage of the fact I was clearly a tourist and charging me regardless and I am still unsure as to how necessary the photo I.D was, or whether once again he just was not interested in having tourists in the gym.
A bit of an inconvenient experience and a disappointment considering my excitement at visiting the famous Arnie's training ground!
The other gym I tried to access was in Manhattan and was an 'Equinox' gym.
I was interested in visiting this gym having heard whispers of these very stylish establishments.
Sadly this gym did not allow day passes and to access the facility at all you had to be a member.
I can understand the reasoning for this in trying to maintain an exclusive establishment with an air of the truly VIP- it worked. I felt suitably intrigued and unreasonably drawn to becoming a member of such a glamorous club.
Alas, from what I saw of the reception all my dreams would have been realised had I made it inside!
A beautiful layout, spacious, clean, crisp white floors and wooden desks with well presented and ever-polite American staff.
The people entering an exiting the club appeared to be equally well presented and seemed to be embarking upon a mixture of individual training and group sport/classes.

The gyms I did make it into however included the below:

San Francisco's 'Good Hotel' had a gym facility across the road within their partner Hotel's grounds.
This was a standard hotel gym with two walls being glass providing a less claustrophobic feeling and a view to an outside courtyard on the second floor.
Equipped with a treadmill, cross trainer, bike, free weights and a couple of weights machines, this gym provided all I needed for maintaining holiday fitness before a half marathon race.
There was very efficient air conditioning within this gym which was essential for working out in the summer heat.
The equipment was basic but perfectly functional. There was a T.V monitor on the treadmill for example, not top of the line but still superior to a range of equipment found in low budget gyms.
On the floor above was a rooftop pool which was heated to a very pleasant 38 degrees I would say- a little too warm for during the hot summer days but lovely in the evening. Deep enough to immerse but not long enough for laps. Definitely more of a leisure pool.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas had a beautiful gym facility to match it's beautiful setting.
This gym hosted two rows of treadmills about 5 abreast, a row of cross trainers and a row of bikes, along with an alcove for free weight use.
The air conditioning was exceptionally crisp and cool- a must when working up a sweat in the middle of the desert!
The equipment was top of the line, as is to be expected in the lush resorts of Vegas!
Sweat towels (and laundry bins) and bottled water were provided in a neat stack on the desk in the gym- a convenient and pleasant touch I thought.

The Warwick Allerton on the Magnificent Mile in the center of Chicago had a comfortable gym on it's 25th floor.
With two more basic tread mills, a couple of bikes and a cross trainer in the cardio area and free weights and benches in the weights area, this gym again proved sufficient for post-race holiday training.
I found the air conditioning cool enough, however the elevated location of the gym and the somewhat stuffy feeling up there seemed to affect oxygen supply and the level of perceived effort a little.
There were towels and cooled water provided along with a laundry basket for ease of use which was useful.
The view out over the city from the treadmill certainly assisted time in going a little faster!

My last port of call was Hawaii-the island of O'Ahu and staying in the Coconut Waikiki specifically.
This hotel had a small gym on the bottom level which was very well air conditioned and small but functional.
There were two basic treadmills, some free weights, three swiss balls and a bike.
Again, towels and chilled water were provided inside and this basic 24/7 gym proved just fine for my use.

Overall my experience of facilities in the USA proved entirely sufficient and the staff at every place I frequented were outstandingly helpful, friendly and hospitable which made for a truly enjoyable time away whilst keeping fit :)

Until the next adventure!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Anytime Fitness Christchurch (Riccarton)

All Anytime Fitness Gyms seem to be pretty standard and this one was no exception.
Refer to my earlier post for Anytime Hamilton for all the details!!
Otherwise a great handy location in central Riccarton.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Mystery Gym- Mangawhai

This gym most certainly is a well kept secret!!
Whilst holidaying in the area, I had enquired about town as to whether there was a gym nearby. There were subtle murmurings about a mysterious gym which could only be located by asking the staff at a local surf-wear shop- 'Banmers'.
After locating this shop we were told that they only do 3 month memberships for $50 and no trials, but that we could 'go and have a look' with a sly smile.
We dutifully took the key to a local school and found the gym located above the sports hall.
It was small, with cardio equipment- one or two of each of the usual items- in one room and a weights room adjacent. The weights room was also fairly small but housed the usual free weights and machines and the boys in attendance seemed quite content with the equipment provided.
The aircon was just fans.
For the price (free on this occasion) and the convenience of having somewhere in such a small town it was plenty sufficient for the needs of holiday makers and longer term residents alike.
It could also be accessed 24 hours via the use of personal keys.

Studio Fit- Balclutha

After finding the pools in Balclutha not open until 1pm on a Saturday, I wound up working out at Studio Fit!
The gym is in an old church with all the original trappings still in tact- original carpet, one toilet and shower and a small changing room next to the gym space.
The gym has no reception and is accessed by client keys so can be used 24 hours a day.
The owner of the gym was utterly delightful, she let me pay later online and was extremely friendly, it was evident she personally knew all of her clients who were in the gym with me.
The other members were all also exceptionally welcoming :)
The equipment was a collection of various brands, old and new, it was a small space and relatively cramped but there was everything one would require for a workout and plenty of space to get it done.
For such a small town it was certainly adequate and I had a thoroughly enjoyable workout for $7!