Swindon is a great town and it has already loads of gyms dotted all around the place. PureGym based at Mannington retail park (tucked away between John Lewis and Mama’s and Papa’s) is however something different.
Yes PureGym has a cardio area, weights, changing rooms, parking and all the other stuff (more on all this is a bit) just like any other great gym offers, but it is different because of the staff.
We shall start at the beginning, here at Cave HQ with the looming annual fattening festive period, we found an amazing advert for the Gym on social media advertising a really low rate to join and we wanted to know more.
We went along to take a look. The staff were great, we asked the questions about the safety of the members at night and were told there was always a member of staff there, 24 hours a day (even their cleaners are first aid trained.) It might be a good place to mention that this place never shuts, it is open 24 hours a day, so even shift workers will find a time to get there.
What we saw we were so impressed we wanted to sign up there and then. The shock was that we had to do it all on line, there is no sales team to push anyone into signing up. The nice thing about this place is that there is no contract. We would not be signing away 12 months of hard earned cash whether we used the place or not. The costs were also incredibly low, for the standard of the equipment we saw, the location and the facilities we had little worry about giving it a go.
Returning to the office the laptop was out and within 5 minutes were were members. An email and test message followed giving us our member pin number (the access code needed to get into the gym).
We also had a look at the Bolt-ons, such as – £3 extra a month we can have buddy access. Where a named friend can go to the gym with us up to 4 times a month (once a weekend maybe) and even join in the classes, for less than a pound a week.
There is a PureGym app as well. We took a look and were impressed with the amount of information, from the number of people using the gym and an easy to use class booking system. The best bit was the motivational tool used, telling us how many times we had visited, the last visit and time spent there.
There is loads more to the app, from sales to account info it is all there and controlled from our phone. We love it.
Getting to the place is easy, with ample parking all around the front and rear of the park there should not be a problem. The entrance into the gym is through a set of sliding doors then by using the secure pods. Entering your pin into the keypad by the side of them, opens the outer door. Step inside, the outer door closes and the inner one opens. Completely secure building, ensuring only one member gets in at a time, along with CCTV covering them means less chance of things going missing.
Once inside, the place is spotlessly clean, modern and airy (a bit like the Tardis) for a gym. It has music playing and when we explored all the corners of the place, it had music being pumped into them.
The gym is spread over 2 floors, the upper is accessed by stairs, or if needed a lift. Upstairs, with its high roof, great lighting, motivational slogans and a cool colour scheme makes the area a pleasure to be in.
The main part of the upstairs is dedicated to cardio, with loads of running machines, cross trainers, rowers, cycles and steppers. There are plenty of new things to try, but we love rowing and with 4 bunched together and linked so we were able to have our usual race.
To the side of the cardio area there is a functional studio, where they have a large number of classes on offer. These classes are advertised on a board as we entered but also on the app, where we could see how busy they were and were able to book a place.
At the back of the cardio area was a large matted stretching area and to the side of that, is the lower leg machines. We loved the idea that legs are upstairs and upper body is down. Upstairs they also have the changing rooms with showers, separate toilets, a drinks station and enough lockers (a padlock is required) for everyone.
Once the cardio was done, it was time to get down to the serious business of proving that we belong in a gym. Down to the dreaded free weights and upper body conditioning areas on the lower floor.
Walking in, the way that it was all laid out, it did not feel at all intimidating. Enough light and a limited number of mirrors (only around the dumb bell area) made the area feel inviting.
We checked out all the pieces of equipment, which we then regretted the next day. There was everything we needed to tone, hammer and stretch every limb, joint and muscle of our upper bodies.
Going to the gym is not complete without visiting the free weights area. Here we found a great selection of dumbbells, benches, bars and a deadlift area. Some of these pieces of equipment seemed a little intimidating so we just watched others having a go, determined to give it a bash at some point.
The final part of downstairs is the astro turf area. Where sleds, ropes, medicine balls, bars, rings and all other sorts of free range equipment resides.
Again we watched and were impressed with the area, again determined to give the ropes a go at some point. We watched a personal coach there with 2 members, putting them through their paces and smiled, glad to know it wasn’t us there sweating and panting.
The gym has everything any other gym has, but what we liked was the fact that the staff there actually seemed interested.
We got chatting to one of the trainers. He explained how they work. The gym essentially employs 2 members of staff and the others are all self-employed personal trainers. He explained that they work there for a small number of hours, and in return they do not pay a rent to the gym to be able to be there gaining clients that pay for their personal training sessions.
It explained why all they staff there were helpful, knowledgeable and keen to speak to everyone.
Everything about PureGym Swindon screamed quality, yet the costs are reasonable. The equipment and staff are all first class, with no contract and 24 hour opening times we were struggling to find any fault.
Being the New Year resolutions are around the corner and Gyms around the Country are preparing to get members to sign up and commit for 12 months, PureGym might just have the right approach. We would highly recommend anyone wanting to join a gym to give it a go.
If you do join – please remember to put our referral code in when you sign up. 218P4462.