Ghouls, Ghosts and Gyms

Ghouls, Ghosts and Gyms

Henry Hill enters his worst nightmare… The gym.

I find Halloween and the gym have much in common – they are both awful. And it just so happens that Halloween coincides with the last day that you can get cut price deals to join Bloomsbury Fitness or Energybase, UCL’s gyms. I have therefore taken it upon myself to confront my demons and give an account of what life can be like inside the gyms of UCL.

If there is one thing I have learnt since coming to university, it’s that Halloween is a big deal for students. Now that might not sound like a great reflection on my degree, but choosing up to three Halloween costumes for consecutive parties can be tedious business. I have also discovered that everyone seems to go to the gym. Whilst my lanky, tennis and cross country orientated stick of a body doesn’t necessarily require me to go to the gym, there can sometimes be an underlying pressure to sign up and do away with the Netflix subscription.

But why does this clearly athletic, outgoing and excellent sports writer dislike the gym and Halloween, I hear you ask? The truth is, people like me see much of Halloween in the gym. In one corner, you have the spooky female zombies on the cross-trainer. Disturb them at your peril! In the other, the ghostly figures on the rowing machines, for whom sharing is certainly not caring. And worst of all, the ogres and trolls stuck in their dreary caves at the weight sections. Here I feel like a scrawny snack to satisfy their insatiable appetite for dumbbells and bench press. In terms of Halloween itself, perhaps it was the fact trick-or-treating was met with blunt rejection from the Surrey pensioners of my home town. Deprivation to the extreme.

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Not my kind of guy

This is quite a ghoulish description of the gym, but in truth the facilities available at UCL are not that bad. Bloomsbury Fitness is the obvious choice for many. Located on the third floor of the Bloomsbury Theatre, it offers everything one could want from a gym. Once joining, classes range from Zumba to Boxaerobics, and Spin (of course). The website is also encouraging, claiming to be “perfect for beginners” whilst offering “a comprehensive exercise educational service.” I did actually join Bloomsbury Fitness last year, though more for the free squash courts than the actual gym. Booking these often has to be done a week or so in advance, so no spontaneous squash games unfortunately. Shocking I know.

For £160 you can join for a year and be privilege to these activities. It is worth buying now, as I bought mine in January last year at a cost of £100 for a 6 month membership. The fact I only went 4 times is an economic nightmare I wish to forget.

The other UCL gym available is Energybase, found in Student Central. Truth be told, it is more expensive, with membership £240 for 12 months, and £125 for 6. However, it does have a swimming pool, which is a big draw for many. Furthermore, you can choose the months your membership applies for. This way, you freeze your membership during months you are not there, meaning 6 months can be closer to 9 months. It is smaller than Bloomsbury, meaning at peak times it can be a touch claustrophobic, but still has all the equipment and classes one could want.

Maybe I was not the best person to evaluate the pros and cons of Energybase and Bloomsbury fitness. Especially on the week that Halloween brings out my inner pessimistic were-wolf. But if you are looking to get in shape, definitely sign up now. When you consider the prices of private gyms in Central London, UCL students are on to a good thing. Speaking to a fellow neutral, they are not as spooky as they may seem!

Image sources: Pixabay

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