GYMS IN NORWICH – WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
If you are currently checking out all the gyms in Norwich, to see which one is the best fit for you, then here’s a tonne of useful info to help you make the right decision, the first time around in order to save you time and money.
Whether you are new to gyms and need a helping hand to get you started, or are an experienced gym veteran, then one option available is Phoenix Gym Norwich that offers the best selection of equipment and a truly unique, warm and friendly atmosphere that you won’t find in cold, clinical commercial gyms in Norwich.
That being said, Phoenix Gym may not be the right gym for you. Different strokes for different folks is what makes the world go around.
Regardless of which gym you choose to train at, hopefully the information in this article will help to equip you with the insider knowledge that you need to succeed in making the right choice for you. Enjoy…
3 MAIN TYPES OF GYMS IN NORWICH
Not all gyms provide the same facilities and services, so let’s break them down into 3 simple categories and go through the Pro’s and Cons of each. The 3 categories are:
1/ Health Clubs
2/ Budget Gyms
3/ Independent Gyms
1/ HEALTH CLUBS – WHICH ALSO HAVE GYMS WITHIN THEM IN NORWICH
Health clubs provide lots of different facilities under the one roof. These can include a gym, swimming pool, sauna, spa, cafe, different therapies, exercise classes, racket sports, a children’s creche area and main reception.
Pro’s for Health Clubs in Norwich
These are great for families, due to the creche and they have something for the whole family, so if you are looking for a family membership then this will be a good fit for you. They are also great if you love swimming or chilling in the sauna or jacuzzi. They usually have extensive class timetables with classes on all throughout the day and a choice of racket sports.
So if you will make use of all or a few of these facilities then a health club will be worth paying the extra premium for each month. By mixing up your activities each week, such as gym sessions and racket sports, with a chill in the pool and Jacuzzi afterwards then you will enjoy the many benefits of a health club membership.
Con’s for Health Clubs in Norwich
If you are only interested in going to the gym and don’t want to be paying £60-£80pm for a monthly single membership, then this option likely isn’t for you. If you want to workout before 6am or after 10pm then you will likely need to use an independent or budget gym (more on these in the next categories).
Health clubs often have smaller gym floors due to offering so many different services and are heavily aimed at cardio equipment. As a result, peak times are very crowded and it’s quite difficult to get a good workout in on the resistance equipment because all the equipment is being used. Members are sometimes queuing for over half an hour to use one piece of equipment.
Health clubs are typically contract based for a minimum of 12 months and some do have a monthly option, but a word of warning, this is way over their contract price! This is a really bad thing for some people because if you find you end up not enjoying training there, you can’t simply cancel your membership. These clubs will most certainly chase you into court to claim any contracted, unpaid funds. Unfortunately, many times, they are selling the idea of using the facilities rather than actually selling the facilities used.
They know most people likely won’t use the facilities very often, but will still have to pay the membership. This can then prevent you from using somewhere else (you may feel more motivated to go to) as you will begrudge paying for 2 memberships. This can also then leave a bad test in your mouth for the industry as a whole. This system of tying people into contracts is one of the reasons that low cost budget gyms took the industry by storm as a low cost, no contract based alternative, back in the financial crises of 2008.
So, the common industry trap here, is that these behemoth clubs snag inexperienced or well intentioned customers with the the classic old 12 month contract strategy. At the point of joining (with a little affirming nudge from a sales rep) people tend to think to themselves “well If i’m paying for 12 months then that will motivate me to use it” but an external financial motivator like this has been shown to be a poor motivator for consistency. It may make you use it now and again (if you are lucky) but if you are one of these people, then you most likely won’t get what you joined for.
Health clubs in Norwich include Bannatyne, Nuffield Health and David Lloyd. There are some smaller gyms within golf clubs and hotels also.
2/ CHEAP BUDGET GYMS IN NORWICH
Cheap Budget Gyms typically only offer a gym facility along with a basic class timetable, but without all the expensive additions of a swimming pool, spa and other facilities that cost a tonne of money to run. They offer a much cheaper gym membership price (usually £15-£20pm), along with no contracts and have no reception desk or staff.
You have to press a buzzer and wait a while for someone to let you in during their staffed hours, if you are wanting to take a look around for the first time. If you want to take a look around, do so when they have staff on otherwise you won’t be able to enter the club.
Pro’s for Low Cost Budget Gyms in Norwich
With budget gyms popping up all over the place, one good thing they have done for the industry is provide convenience for more people to access gym facilities within a busy lifestyle. Stat’s do show that more people have been exercising in correlation to more facilities opening up around the country. This is obviously a good thing. It also shows that many people don’t want to be paying higher prices for facilities they won’t be using (such as more expensive health clubs) and that price for a lot of people is a genuine concern.
People often feel quite intimidated walking into a gym for the first time. Therefore, the thought of a clean, professional looking facility with brand recognition can be extremely appealing to beginners just starting out. It can basically help overcome that initial barrier to walk through the door. Thumbs up there for beginners, to get over that initial milestone!
Not having to sign a 12 month contract is also more appealing for beginners or less committed members who may have been burnt by health clubs contracts or are not sure if they will stick to it. The cheap price, no contracts with a reasonable class timetable is more than enough of an allure to get people to sign up in droves, and that they do…
For people that do actually attend and enjoy budget gyms regularly, the low cost membership is a bonus and even if they only use it very occasionally, then they are still not out of pocket too much. This can provide better value for money compared to expensive health clubs for very infrequent members.
Con’s for Cheap Budget Gyms in Norwich
Due to the seductive low cost and huge marketing efforts, budget gyms are typically packed full of people every month. Sometimes with 200-300 people at any one time during peak times. Commercial gyms are firstly and foremost all about the profits and keeping shareholders happy. For this reason, they must keep their gyms maxed out, with a little extra overflow, to out perform their monthly losses, which are also typically high.
This process of maintaining the maximum membership target, often leads to overcrowding on the gym floor, poor customer service and an unpleasant customer experience. This can lead to frustrating interactions between members, competing and queuing for equipment, which isn’t very enjoyable.
Due to their being lot’s of beginners and less committed members (from paying just £15pm), these members typically don’t follow the gym rules very well of putting weights back after use and tend to stand around a lot, hogging equipment, staring at phone screens or chatting for ages with friends in-between sets. The staff are, in some budget gyms, told not to tell members to follow the gym rules, so that they can hit their membership number targets.
Unfortunately, the more people who don’t follow the rules, the more everyone else then doesn’t follow them either (herd mentality) as there is no point and it becomes a frustrating free for all. The name of the game here, isn’t to keep members happy, maximising retention, consistency and value of money for existing members, it’s keeping the membership base maxed out to around 5000 members to hit financial goals, to open more gyms and then eventually sell the company for as much money as possible in as short of time as possible.
The staff are usually worked off their feet, mainly doing classes and a small amount of cleaning, if they can fit it in. This doesn’t leave much time (if any) to help people on the gym floor or ensure the gym rules are being followed. But as mentioned, that’s not the priority.
Staff retention can be a real problem for many budget gyms. This is due to poor job satisfaction and fewer long term staff means less quality, long term relationships between staff and members. Having a regular friendly face providing some encouragement and advice, is worth its weight in gold, but that’s difficult with a high staff turnover.
The equipment is often cheap and basic and not as enjoyable to use as higher quality kit. Cheaper kit means faster expansion and more profits. With the gym being so packed, you are lucky to get on the equipment you need, struggling to complete a full workout and with the members being less experienced, they don’t understand gym etiquette of sharing equipment. Asking “how many sets do you have left” can often be taken the wrong way by less experienced or frustrated members. Not good.
Often, we find that once new members realise what the atmosphere and experience is like in cheaper budget gyms, they look for better alternatives, that are focused on customer experience, retention and satisfaction. Now that they have the confidence to walk into a gym facility then atmosphere, equipment and service to get results are now higher on their list of priority when looking for a new gym upgrade.
Budget gyms in Norwich include but may not be limited to – The Gym Group, Pure Gym and Pump Gyms. All are well established, successful clubs with many thousands of members in all the gyms in Norwich, offering very cheap memberships and are open 24 hours a day with no contracts.
3/ INDEPENDENT GYMS IN NORWICH
Independent clubs are privately owned and as such are all unique. They may be a gym designed for general health and fitness, from beginners to more experienced members and some may specialise in different areas of training such as strength and conditioning for sports or bodybuilding and competing.
The pricing of independent clubs is usually in between that of budget gyms and health clubs, typically from £25-£40pm and they vary in size, anywhere from 3,500 square foot, all the way up to 30,000 square foot, so each club is very different from the next.
They usually have a reception desk and speed gate, so you are dealing with a real person rather than an automated entrance pod like in 24hr budget gyms. Some clubs may have a contract model and others have no contracts. Most have some sort of free parking available along with member apps for gym entry. Some have fitness classes and others do not. Some clubs also offer other services such as sports therapy, massage and nearly all will have personal trainers.
Independent gyms do not rely on sleeping members (members who pay but don’t actually go), like their budget and health club cousins. They instead, must focus on customer satisfaction and retention, to build and maintain their membership numbers and are not solely focused on fully maximising their clubs membership, every single month to hip corporate financial targets.
Independent gym owners usually have a love for training themselves and take a lot of pride in the gym and facilities. They want their members to enjoy their workouts like they do and enjoy genuine social interactions with their members.
Pro’s for Independent Gyms in Norwich
Some people have the impression that independent clubs are more intimidating to walk into, but the truth is often that you will feel more welcomed and appreciated in an independent club and experience a warmer and friendlier vibe. Independant clubs rely on members retention, which is obviously brilliant when you want to feel like a happy member.
One of the biggest benefits of independent gyms is that the gyms won’t be over crowded, with long queues for kit and members are usually more respectful of the equipment and other members. The staff are often genuinely happier with greater job satisfaction within independent clubs. This means staff staying in those jobs for longer and having more enjoyable, long term relationships with members. This creates a better atmosphere within the gym and a healthy sense of camaraderie.
Private clubs can also typically change with the times much quicker than their commercial gym competitors. They can think of a change and just make it, where as commercial gyms have to jump through a lot of hoops and have a lot of restrictions on what they can and can’t do. As a result independent gyms can keep one step ahead of the competition.
Many times, paying the extra £1.25+ per week is more than made up for by getting a more enjoyable experience, leading to working out more often and then achieving the results you joined the gym for in the first place. There is no point paying £15pm for a membership that you are not motivated or encouraged and supported to use.
The equipment can be of a higher quality, often times with a better selection, because the kit is hand picked rather than generic equipment thrown in to tick a box. Customer feedback from members is usually well listened to and acted upon, in order to continuously make improvements. This can mean that the longer a club has been established, the better the equipment and gym floor layout is.
The personal trainers are usually more experienced in independent clubs as they want to use better equipped facilities themselves and with their clients. Because independent gyms are not packed full to the brim, personal training clients feel more relaxed and enjoy getting on their favourite kit.
As a result, personal trainers provide a much better service within the given time. Most experienced personal trainers, when they get to a certain level, do not enjoy working from within a commercial gym and certainly don’t want to pay extortionate rents for no good reason.
Con’s for Independent Gyms in Norwich
Because there can be such big differences from one club to the next, you never quite know what to expect until you walk through the door. This can in some cases make it harder to get the confidence to try it out.
Some gyms still use contracts, which not everyone wants these days (for the reasons already mentioned) and some gyms don’t have any PT’s on the gym floor to help members. Some gyms may specialise in certain areas like strength and condition or bodybuilding and although these clubs are certainly much better for those niche members, other people may not feel like they “fit in” and feel uncomfortable.
These gym facilities may also charge a higher membership price because they do provide a better facility for their specialist members. For this reason, check out independent clubs websites, watch any video’s, social media posts and read any testimonials or accreditations, where possible. This helps you get an idea of the type of gym it is. Referrals and word of mouth from your friends and family or people similar to you will always be king though.
Some private gyms can be run more like a hobby and the atmosphere, equipment and customer service can reflect this. This can actually be a positive thing for some people but not so much for others, so this really is just a personal preference.
Some smaller gyms have really old equipment and don’t earn enough profits to reinvest into the business. These clubs may not listen to feedback from members as they can’t afford to act on it anyway. You can usually tell these clubs apart from their professional counterparts pretty quickly though, by your experience and what you see on your first session.
If you are unsure about a gym by checking online, it may be beneficial to test a club out first with a day pass, so that you can see if it’s the right fit for you or not. Once session is usually enough to get a feel for the club and make your decision.
CONVENIENT GYMS FOR YOU IN NORWICH
Once you know which of the 3 types of gyms that you are looking for, your next consideration will be where it’s based and how convenient it is to get to at the times of day you will be training.
Having a gym that is convenient to get to important because you have to be able to fit your exercise regularly into a busy lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that the closest gym to your house or work commute is necessarily the best option for you though.
If you’re not motivated to go to that gym, then it doesn’t matter if it’s right next door to your house. You still won’t use it when the excuses and rationalisations kick in. That being said, it needs to be close enough to make it work.
Some people like to workout at a gym near their home, others near their workplace, so they can go straight after work and more and more people now have 2 gym memberships, so that they can have the best of both gyms.
One gym may be for during the week and then another at the weekends, either closer to home or one that’s a bit further and more enjoyable to use, like a treat. Another option some members use is to have a gym membership for during the week then do day passes at another club at the weekends.
With workout time being “me time” many more people also prefer to travel that little further to get the service and experience that that they desire. The good thing about having so much choice is that there is something for everyone.
People can also use different clubs for different reasons. For example, you may wish to train in a better equipped gym during the week to get a decent workout in and then go for a nice swim and sit in a sauna at the local gym near your home, at the weekends. Different strokes…
Some of Phoenix Gym’s more casual members come to Phoenix at the weekends to do their more enjoyable or toughest workouts, such as leg day, where they can then take their time doing so. A lot of gyms have a poor selection of leg equipment meaning people just don’t train their legs very often or very well, which is not good for many reasons.
Some of our more regular members do prefer to travel just that little bit further, to train at phoenix, sometimes adding an extra 10-20 minutes onto their travel time, as they are just not motivated to go to a local gym that’s closer.
PRICE OF GYMS IN NORWICH
Understanding the importance of equipment, atmosphere and location, it helps you see through price as the primary motivator for choosing a fitness club. Cheap gyms in Norwich can mean you get exactly what you have paid for. What good is a really cheap gym membership at £15 to £20pm, if you never use it and when you occasionally do, then you can’t get on any of the equipment!?
The same goes for a health club. If you are not using the swimming pool and spa often enough to justify the cost, then why pay a premium?
Having a better equipped gym facility, at half the price (or less) of a health club, that you actually use is of course way better value. The same goes for budget gyms. Paying the extra £1.50-£2.50 or so per week, would be a no brainer if you actually us it.
Nobody wants to waste time and money on a gym membership that they don’t even use, especially if it also means you’re not getting your well intentioned results. Rather than blaming yourself for not going, maybe you need to see if it’s actually your gym choice not aligning with your motivations, rather than just you being lazy.
A COMMERCIAL GYMS ALTERNATIVE IN NORWICH
If you are wanting a top quality “gym only” facility, that is aimed at something for everyone, from beginners to experienced and you actually feel motivated to go to, then Phoenix Gym is a great local option for you in Norwich. This way you are choosing the best value gym, rather than just the cheapest or closest gym to you in Norwich!
Phoenix Gym is Norwich’s largest independent gym facility, that’s been consistently rated “Best Gyms in Norwich” for the last 7 years.
There is no expensive swimming pool to pay for, no large areas taken up with class studio’s or excessive rows of “too much” cardio kit. As a result, you get way more actual gym floor space, more money spent on top quality gym equipment, that is more enjoyable to use and less standing around queuing for equipment, so you can get in, get your workout done, then get out to enjoy the rest of your day.
Phoenix Gym staff are not rushed off their feet doing multiple classes, so they are always on the gym floor, ensuring help is at hand when needed and that the gym rules are being followed so everything is tidy, organised and enjoyable to use.
WHY PHOENIX IS REPEATEDLY RATED BEST NORWICH GYMS
1/ Best Gyms for Equipment in Norwich
Phoenix has 5 different training zones, spread over 12,000 square foot of just pure gym equipment, providing a spacious array and variety of kit. This allows for a selection of different brands of equipment to suit all individual preferences, body height, shapes and sizes. We also provide multiple stations for all the most used equipment to reduce queuing times. This allows for faster, more convenient and more enjoyable workouts.
Phoenix members do not have to wait around for long to use the gym equipment and also enjoy using great quality equipment. Budget and basic kit just doesn’t quite hit the spot. Phoenix also has heavier weight stacks for progression. This means that both the pin loaded machines as well as plate loaded equipment can keep the stronger members happy, also helping to prevent queues for certain kit.
All the equipment is laid out spaciously, into different zones, so that there is something for all training preferences. Phoenix is home to Norwich’s largest functional training rig, a dedicated boxing zone with 5 punch bag stations, a large leg section with everything you need plus more (you will actually want to train legs!), 2 large dumbbell sections, one with steel dumbbells up to 70kg and the other with two sets of polyurethane dumbbells up to 50kg. Both DB sections have multiple benches. There are 6 stations to squat and 4 deadlift platforms available to use.
There is a private cardio zone with all the usual suspect machines, plus extra HIIT machines and a large generic upper body, abbs and stretching zone, full of cables, different types of machines, 5 abb stations, plus foam rollers, bands and belts.
The little things can be the big things, so Phoenix has been making kit upgrades every year for the last 10 years, listening to members feedback and swapping out any kit that doesn’t make the grade.
2/ Best Gyms for Atmosphere in Norwich
Because Phoenix doesn’t pack the gym full with crazy cheap gym memberships, the average gym member is more committed to their training experience. Phoenix members are of all different ages and abilities, but one thing that they all have in common, is a desire to enjoy their workouts in a relaxed, comfortable and positive environment. Phoenix members understand gym etiquette to put weights away, sharing kit and working in, where appropriate and not to sit on kit for hours staring at a phone screen.
Rather than a cold, clinical, easy to maintain corporate design, with open plan rooms, Phoenix prioritises how the gym feels, so that’s it’s warm and inviting, motivational and exciting to train within and instead of having large open floor plans, the rooms are intentionally broken up into more intimate training zones. Each with a slightly different feel, dependent on its purpose.
So, Phoenix has more gym space, more gym equipment and less total members in at any one time, providing a much more enjoyable atmosphere to immerse yourself in. There is no competing for equipment and more confident and genuinely passionate staff, who love working at Phoenix. Members love the old school design that feels like a gym, with relaxed lighting and modern decor, plus all the little details that go into a more enjoyable selection of kit and well thought gym floor layout.
Phoenix members, say it’s a refreshing, unique change to workout somewhere with such a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. At Phoenix Gym, atmosphere is everything, as without that there is no enjoyment or consistency to achieve longer term body composition or lifestyle goals. As a result, Phoenix members are like minded and everyone keeps the rewards of the benefits.
3/ Best Gyms for Beginners in Norwich
When people first start going to the gym, they need a lot more help than they first realise. There is a lot more to working out than walking on a treadmill or spending half hour on a cross trainer. Numerous studies show that it’s the resistance training where the magic is. Both in terms of improving health and losing excess body fat. Even reducing stress levels and limiting the affects of aging are better improved through resistance training than just cardiovascular exercise.
That’s not to say that cardio exercise isn’t beneficial, as it certainly is, but’s it’s a smaller overall component and shouldn’t be used as the primary strategy of an exercise programme for most people. The trouble is, cardio exercise is easier, requires less knowledge and experience and is an easy way to feel better without actually achieving desired best results.
Because of this, we get a lot of members move over to Phoenix from commercial gyms, once they realise that the business model is not what they really need to move forwards.
Because Phoenix staff are not spending their shift providing lots of classes, it means they are available to help members on the gym floor when they need it. Classes are fun and can be very complimentary to a workout programme, but on their own, they are not specific to the individuals goals for most people.
Phoenix members know that they need to raise their game and learn how to workout properly in order to get better, lasting physical, psychological and emotional results. For this reason, Phoenix provides 2 x FREE 60 minute personal training sessions to get a proper “Phoenix specific” workout routine set up. Our team are always more than happy to help you whilst you train and provide free tips n tricks also.
Because the gym is not overcrowded and is broken up into more intimate zones, beginners feel more relaxed and less self conscious. Plus, having a proper workout to focus on on the gym floor, rather than having to keep within a comfort zone on the cardio or just classes, usually means less anxiety and focusing on what other people are doing or thinking. Focus, helps you keep your mind in your own lane, providing more of a sense of achievement and satisfaction as you walk out the door.
Phoenix also has one of the most dedicated and experienced teams of personal trainers in Norwich to provide the best advice and coaching possible.
4/ Best Gyms for Experienced Norwich Members
When you know your way around a gym, then you know what you like and don’t like. You generally know the difference between cheap equipment, that just doesn’t feel right and good quality kit that works smoothly and has the little details that make a difference. It’s simply a pleasure to use.
You also understand gym etiquette and what a positive atmosphere should feel like, having standards and respect for what feels like your second home. By being around other like minded members, you get to just focus on your workout, get in the zone and if you choose to, enjoy some respectful banter and camaraderie.
A workout isn’t just a workout, it’s an important part of your lifestyle. It’s your “me time” and a miserable workout can influence your mood afterwards for the rest of the day or two. Sometimes longer…
An experienced gym veteran can train and make the best of anywhere, but hell it’s not as enjoyable and enjoyment can mean the difference between doing that extra 20 mins or putting in that extra 20% effort. The more you put into your workout, the better you feel about yourself and can then put that energy into your “to do” list and get stuff done. You are also less cranky to be around and have the extra energy to make things happen.
Great quality equipment, with a functional, convenient and motivational layout, spread over 5 different training zones, with good experienced staff, relaxed but motivational decor and lighting and like minded members are what make Phoenix perfect for any level of experience.
5/ Best Gyms for Students in Norwich
Phoenix provides the perfect Student Gym Membership in Norwich. There is no £15 joining fee and the monthly dd is around 20% cheaper at just £21.99pm. All new DD and annual memberships also receive an impressive 2 x free 60 minute personal training sessions worth £70, to help design you a phoenix specific programme!
Working out should be fun and a well designed and kitted out gym like Phoenix, feels like candy land to young, keen, ambitious newbies, because it not only has such a huge selection of great quality equipment, it has a unique and genuinely motivational atmosphere, that no commercial gym can manifest, with role models and like minded members who all want the same thing as you.
More and more students are now chasing the results they see on social media, which means training properly and being focused on building muscles in all the right places. This means doing the right exercises for you and your body type over time, to see and feel results. Seeing results and getting compliments is encouraging and brings out the best in people, not to mention looks cool in gym selfies to share the hard earned results with friends.
Whether you are studying at the university or one of the colleges in the city, Phoenix is conveniently situated, just off the inner ring road, 10 minutes walk from the city centre or 10 minutes on the bus from the university.
6/ Best Gyms for Personal Trainers
Phoenix Gym has some of the most experienced Personal Trainers in Norwich and is one of the reasons why Phoenix has been independently rated best gyms in Norwich for so many years. We appreciate our personal trainers and treat them well, providing great business systems and 1-2-1 training to help them build and enjoy their businesses.
This is because our retention based business model requires great customer service and a positive experience, rather than just relying on big marketing budgets and a low price or spa’s to fill a gym.
All new gym DD and Annual members receive 2 x free 60 minute personal training sessions to help them get a Phoenix Gym specific workout. Rather than taking classes, our staff trainers are on the gym floor and available to help.
Having the best selection of kit in Norwich, without the gym floor being over crowded, means that Phoenix personal trainers in Norwich are able to provide much more enjoyable workouts, than their commercial gym counterparts, who struggle to even get on the kit they want. They always have to come up with secondary strategies instead of doing the best option for their clients.
Phoenix is set up to help both personal trainers and members to get the most enjoyable workouts possible in the shortest amount of time.
7/ Best Gym Membership Options in Norwich
Phoenix Gym offers 2 x monthly DD option memberships and 2 x Annual membership options, as well as day passes and a 14 day membership. Both the DD and annual options provide 2 x free introductory personal training sessions and free guest passes each month. Day passes and 14 day memberships do not get these perks.
Training with others can be great fun to share the love, so both membership options provide free guest passes to bring along a friend or family member to train with them. Standard memberships provide 1 x FREE guest pass and Premium memberships provide 4 per month. Each guest pass is worth £6.99 so is a little bonus for being a member.
Results matter, so Phoenix Gym provides Norwich’s only FIT3D body scanner, so that our members can measure body composition and postural changes, along with virtual 3D body imaging. Scans are £20 to non members, £10 to Standard and FREE to Premium Members.