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It is important, as a student, to strike a balance between work and leisure. If one takes priority then an unhealthy lifestyle and work ethic can come as consequence. Many students use the gym as this escape from work and with more and more students finding this ideal balance, membership numbers are only increasing. The old gym facilities had run their course and a breath of fresh air was required to update the space available to us while accommodating for the casual and avid gym-goers.
Over the summer, an exciting and efficiently carried out upgrade of the gym took place to construct a fantastic new Fitness Suite. The fitness upgrade consisted of opening up the space in the building by removing two walls that created the studio, allowing for more equipment and creating a refreshing atmosphere.
Alongside this, new Olympic standard flooring replaced the worn old one providing an excellent environment for lifting and weights. Entirely new Pulse equipment fills the gym floor with a variety of new machines and updated versions of the running, cycling and rowing machines. A highlight for me is the new ski erg which I would recommend testing yourself on, as well as the sled track which can be used for floor work as well as other aerobic exercises.
The second significant part of this upgrade is the utilisation of Jane Holloway Hall (JHH), reinventing its space into the perfect area for group exercise classes ranging from studio cycling to yoga. Similar to the Fitness Suite, the floor has been replaced and the air exchange system upgraded, as well as the installation of an improved surround sound system and lighting rig to create an immense and motivational atmosphere which will improve your overall experience of group exercise classes.
It was made clear in the planning of the project that the location of the Hall must be properly signposted and accessible, which is especially important for the winter months where the evenings are dark. To combat this, there will be lighting outside the building and in the surrounding area to ensure that members feel safe on their way to and leaving their classes.
One aim of the fitness upgrade was to make the space feel like a new gym. Of course with this brings a breath of fresh air and improved quality, however, I am very aware that this then effects the way people use the space to begin with. Members will take a few weeks to understand how to use the space to its fullest capacity, such as utilising all eight squat racks and using the sled track for floor work.
To give you a tip, I would advise you to watch what other people do, include this into your workout routine, and never be afraid to use any machine or weight as everyone was new to the gym at one point and you should always be confident within yourself. Also, never hesitate to ask a member of staff how to use a machine or how to do something correctly, all staff are trained instructors and will be more than happy to help.
Whether you are about to attend your first gym or exercise class, or have been a frequent member for years, we want to take your feedback into consideration. As part of the project board that I sat on for this upgrade, I wanted to make sure that the key issues from the previous setup were assessed and improved.
An example of this is the quality of the air-conditioning and air exchange systems which are installed in the Fitness Suite and Jane Holloway Hall. My role on the project board was to ensure that your voices are heard and taken into consideration when constructing these improved spaces. The project is not finished, and the fitness upgrade will continue to be improved as a result of usage and student feedback.
So how do you get involved? Well at any stage in the year you can buy a fitness membership. There are three different tiers of membership, Gold, Silver and Bronze, with the most expensive still working out as less than £19 per month, which also gives you access to social sport and Active sessions.
If you need any more information then visit the helpdesk down at the Sports Centre, or if you want to give any feedback, positive or constructive, then get in contact with the SU and Royal Holloway Sport or get in contact with me! We are incredibly proud of both of these fitness space upgrades and we look forward to continuing with these improvements.
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