Our new state-of-the-art Cycle Studio, Yoga Studio and The Box are ready for 2020. As we leap into a new decade, our purpose built boutique spaces will showcase the best of what the Club already offers, alongside our new Les Mills exercise provision. We get the latest from YMCA Club Programme Manager, Adrian Walters and Head of Estates, Alun Wood….
Alun, you project managed the refurb, are you pleased with how it’s gone?
(Alun) It was a very challenging operation before the New Year, but the studios are finally here! We had custom built items installed in a complicated building, in a very short time frame. Our audio visual equipment is not off the shelf. Our new bespoke spaces are fantastic and have taken some workmanship to put together.
Before the refurb, we delivered a good stand-alone cycling class, but now we have the same excellent instructors delivering the largest immersive cycling experience in central London, with full audio and visual support (The Trip).
Last year, we had a multi –functional studio used for a variety of disciplines. Now, we have a custom designed space that’s more conducive to yoga and relaxation. It’s a warmer environment thanks to the adaptable lighting and softer colours and structure.
In terms of our HIIT offer, we’ve turned a functional space into a more fit for purpose studio. The Box is like a workout nightclub – an amazing audio visual light experience.
Adrian, you oversee the Club’s group exercise programme, how has the refurb transformed our classes?
(Adrian) You’re not just attending a class - it’s an experience. The Yoga Studio is now a fully integrated, holistic, sound proofed space. It’s a quiet, safe space with heating capability, so now, we offer warm yoga. We’ve not had that before.
We’ve also got The Box for all of your HIIT needs including our new Les Mills offering such as Bodypump, Bodycombat, Grit Strength and Grit Cardio. The Box has state -of -the -art lighting and sound systems with top of the range instructors as always.
With cycling (The Trip), the instructor only teaches around 20%. The cinematography on the massive cinema screen will lead the session. We all face the same direction and take a trip together. We go as a pack - a team.
The instructor doesn’t tell you how hard you should work - you go at your own pace. It’s your journey - we’re just going with you. The cinematography is quite futuristic with different landscapes. Soon they’ll be trips to Santorini, space and the desert!
How does what we offer now compare to our competitors?
(Adrian) Boutique gyms tend to offer one fitness discipline like yoga, HIIT or cycling in a beautiful space, but we’ve brought together a number of boutiques into one space. We’ve now got The Box for our high intensity classes, the Yoga Studio solely for our holistic provision and our fully immersive Cycle Studio all in one space. Nobody else is doing that in central London.
Can I still do my favourite classes?
(Adrian) Your favourite classes are still there - we haven’t dropped them! The YMCA Club has become a partnership between the new Les Mills pre-choreographed exercise provision and our well-loved YMCA heritage freestyle instruction. Very few gyms marry those two things together.
At the YMCA Club, you now have more choice – what do you want to do and how can we help you? You can try the Les Mills experience, keep it traditional, do a bit of both or just use the gym if you don’t like group exercise. We’re offering members more than ever before.
What do you like most about the new Les Mills exercise provision?
(Adrian) The Trip is absolutely amazing! The screen makes you forget where you are - you get lost in the journey. You get feedback along the way and everyone’s working together. There’s a real sense of camaraderie. I’m now instructing this class, which I thoroughly enjoy.
How have we made the Club more disability friendly?
(Alun) All of the corridors leading to the studios and toilets are now step free and have been replaced by ramps. We’ve enlarged the doors and made them more lightweight. They are easier to open and stay open for longer. The corridors are much brighter. The studios have become more accessible to groups who may have struggled before.
We’ve also got clearer signage around the Club and crystal clear studio sound to hear our instructors.
Is there anything outstanding?
(Alun) The air conditioning (mechanical services) is one of the last jobs to be completed. The infrastructure is now in place for the condensers, which provide heating and cooling services. These condensers will be installed within the next three weeks, so air conditioning will be fully functional by the end of January.
Both the male and female toilets also need to be completed, plus the accessible toilet comprising of the baby changing area. These will be ready in February.
What do members think of their new experience?
(Alun) Initial response: “Wow - these spaces are amazing!”
(Adrian) “10 out of 10!”
What can the uninitiated expect?
Ultimately, we’re offering purpose built, state-of-the-art studios – an all-inclusive, multi -sensory experience under one roof. If you want immersive cycling, warm yoga, high impact classes, swimming or gym facilities, you can do it all here! I’m not aware of any other club in central London that has all of these things under one roof.
If you’re looking for a club that can do everything and has fantastic facilities, the YMCA Club is the place to be.
*********PILOT GROUP – WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK*********
Now that our new studios are open and our new timetable has launched, we’d love to know what you think. We rely on your feedback so that we can deliver a range of quality services for our members. Your thoughts are vital to the Club’s planning and future development.
We have more planned improvements in the pipeline. We’re currently recruiting a diverse pilot group of 15 volunteer members - on behalf of the wider membership - to help us test new ideas and new technology. This pilot group will help us to further refine the Club’s services.
If you want to be part of this pilot group, please contact email@example.com by Mon 20th Jan.