I’ve noticed a few of you have been commenting asking me about gyms and other ways to keep fit in Manchester…I wish I was as motivated to keep fit as you all are! However, the Olympics has really inspired me to do more fitness and sport, and I’m looking at joining the Velodrome in Manchester to take up cycling. The Velodrome is where Team GB’s cyclists train, so everyone in Manchester is really proud of their success in Rio. It has just been announced that Team GB will be doing a Celebratory Parade through Manchester in October, to celebrate their fantastic achievements at this year’s Olympics. More information is yet to be announced, but it is guaranteed to be an exciting experience!
There’s no shortage of gyms in Manchester, it’s just a case of finding one which suits your budget and fitness requirements. Do you want a facility which offers classes? One with a swimming pool? One near to campus or one nearer to your halls of residence? Below is a compilation of some of the most popular gyms and fitness centres for students.
The aquatics centre is situated right next to main campus, and is only a short walk away from North Campus. It was built in 2002 for the Commonwealth Games, and it is where many local swimmers train to try and get onto the Olympic swimming team. In addition to the pool, there is a gym facility which has recently been renovated. This is the gym which I am a member of, and it’s okay for a basic workout. However, the mats where you do your core workouts is quite small, and when swimming races are on, this area is filled with spectators, which makes it hard to focus.
£130 for 12 months access to the swimming pool only.
Armitage Sports Centre
The Armitage is owned by the university and is in the middle of Fallowfield campus, making it easily accessible for most. Membership is fairly cheap, too, with 12 months access to the gym costing £165. The centre also offers fitness classes, but the price of these is not included in with the price of memebership. There are also large sports fields outside the centre which can be hired out to play tennis, netball, football etc.
Cost – £165 for 12 months of gym.
Sugden Sports Centre
Sugden is also owned by the University, in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University, and is situated halfway between Main and North Campuses. They offer a range of membership options, and have a wide range of gym equipment and fitness classes available.
This gym is fairly close to North Campus, and is a 20 minute walk from main campus. It’s one of the most affordable gyms in the city, and has a jacuzzi and swimming pool, too. They also have a Power Plate, which most gyms in the area don’t have.
Cost – £25 per month, or £230 for an annual membership
Withington Leisure Centre
2 minutes on the bus from Fallowfield, Withington Leisure Centre is home to the only working Edwardian swimming pool in Manchester, which is pretty cool. This leisure centre has a gym, pool and fitness classes, but is sometimes a bit busy, as children under 16 and adults over the age of 65 get free entry. Their 9 month membership is ideal for students, and saves you from buying a 12 month membership as due to summer holidays, most of you won’t actually be in Manchester for 12 months!
Cost – £190 for 9 months of swim, gym and classes.
Lifestyle Fitness is situated in Deansgate, in the Great Northern Warehouse, so is a little out of the way, but is one of the best equipped gyms in the city. As well as standard gym equipment, they also have ropes and monkey bars, and a women’s only workout area. There is also a little café which serves high protein post-workout snacks, such as omelettes.
Cost – £21.99 for 12 months, with an initial joining fee of £25, or £24.99 per month with no contract, with a £20 joining fee.
National Cycling Centre
If cycling is more your thing than the treadmill, the National Cycling Centre (or Velodrome) is a good place to consider! It’s on the other side of the city – next to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium – but the facilities are suitable for cyclists of all levels, from absolute beginners to pros. You can bring your own bike, or borrow one of theirs. In addition to an indoor track cycling circuit, there is also an outdoor BMX course and spaces to play Football or Netball. You need to book at least 7 days in advance for a place on one of their courses/classes.
Cost – prices vary depending on activity and duration. Please phone for more details.
There are also many ways to keep fit in Manchester without joining a gym. Parkrun is an organisation which organises FREE 5km runs every Saturday morning, in local parks. They are a great way to get fit, in a fun and safe environment. You need to register online, but then you can turn up to any runs in the country. Additionally, the Students Union hosts a number of different sporting clubs, from Netball and Ice Hockey through to it’s own running club (Run Wild). Take a look at all the sports and fitness societies on offer at the SU, so you have an idea of which ones to look out for during the Start of Year Fair, which is where you will sign up to them .
I only have 2 weeks left of my internship, so if you have any questions to ask me, or blog requests, get them in as soon as you can! 🙂