Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m not exactly Little Miss Exercise, so when Total Fitness asked if we’d like to try out their facilities for 12 days, I wasn’t really sure if we should. I’m not one to turn down a challenge though so we accepted, and I planned to use the gym every day.
There are 17 Total Fitness clubs in the North West, and my nearest is Whitefield. I went along on day one to meet manager Helena, and to have a chat about the club. Helena really couldn’t have been any more helpful. She was friendly, enthusiastic and professional and I warmed to her immediately. A great first impression of what Total Fitness is all about. I got signed up on the 12 days for £12 offer, then we ran through the timetable and discussed what I’d like to do, and off I went to my first class.
What I wanted to do with the 12 days was try and showcase everything Total Fitness has to offer. So here are 12 things you can do at Total Fitness…
Mum’s Fitness Bootcamp
Well, this was certainly a jump into the deep end for me. Squidge is 14 weeks old and I haven’t exercised at all during my pregnancy, so when Tanya put me through my paces at Mum’s Fitness Boot Camp I certainly knew about it! I absolutely loved this class though. I find it so difficult to get motivated when I’m at home with a small baby, and there aren’t many places that’ll allow you to take your child to a class with you. After this workout though, I ached before I even went to bed that night and wondered if this 12 days thing was a good idea after all…
Undeterred by the previous day’s
torture workout, I decided that an Aqua class would be good for my achy body. I was right – it got me moving again and wasn’t nearly as difficult as the previous day’s class. I must admit, I was starting to feel a bit smug about myself – going to the gym twice in two days and not needing medical assistance was something of an achievement for me! The thing that struck me about the Aqua class was that I was the youngest in there by a long way. Ladies old enough to be my grandma were getting their exercise, socialising and having fun. Many of them clearly knew one another and there was a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Hydrotherapy, Steam room and Sauna
Ted and I went to use the hydrotherapy pool and facilities at around 5pm on a Saturday. I was surprised at how many people were there! We used the sauna and solarium, and the brilliant hydrotherapy pool. I talked to a lady in the steam room too who said she goes in to fully relax before getting ready for a big night out – I thought that was a great idea, and it was the perfect prompt for Ted to suggest going out for a meal that night. Win!
Okay, three days was enough and I had a day off. Seriously, who’s idea was it to go every day? There are still plenty of people using the gym on a Sunday though, and one of the available classes at Whitefield is Spin. I’ve heard great things about this class. It’ll give you amazing results, but it’s really hard work. I think I’d have to have done more than a couple of days exercise over the previous 12 months to attempt this!
Fit Kids Circuit
I took the boys to a kids class – Fit Kids Circuit. There were only three kids there and the class almost didn’t run as the instructor said she wouldn’t be able to do the activities she’d planned. Fortunately though, she decided to go ahead. The boys made their own circuits and played some games to fill the hour, and came out happy and rosy-cheeked. Both said they’d enjoyed themselves. The kids classes are designed to coincide with adult classes so parents and kids can exercise at the same time.
One of the popular classes on a Tuesday is Metafit, a 30 minute bodyweight only HIIT workout. This kind of workout is designed to achieve maximum results in minimum time and is hard work but very effective.
A brand new class, Pound looks great fun. I wasn’t able to make it to any of these classes but Helena really rated them highly. Involving two drum sticks (not the Bernard Matthews variety) and a heck of a lot of noise, this is certainly something a bit different.
We couldn’t join in with the Water Babies class because it’s run separately by Water Babies themselves. These classes are specifically aimed at very young babies – perfect for Squidge! Total Fitness host these classes across their 17 clubs, though the classes aren’t included in the membership price and need to be booked through the Water Babies website. Total Fitness do offer their own swimming lessons for older children, but again these incur an additional charge.
You can take your children swimming yourself though of course, and Squidge enjoyed his first trip to the pool during our trial. I’m not sure he loved it, but he didn’t cry so I’m taking that as a good sign! The pool is clean, and warm enough for babies. There is even a splash session on a Friday and Sunday where bigger kids can play on pool equipment.
Total Fitness is also home to Beth Tweddle’s Twinkle Stars, Bright Stars and Shooting Stars, which are gymnastics classes. Robot, my middle son, has been asking for a while to go to a gymnastics class. Unfortunately, these are also only available to book via a third party and when I tried, I discover they were fully booked for the foreseeable future.
One thing I certainly didn’t expect to see on the timetable was any kind of martial arts class. There are classes available for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, and these are included in the membership fee. Adults and children can join in with all classes, so it makes for a great family activity.
Total Fitness isn’t all about training hard, it’s about your whole well-being. There are two types of yoga class available; Yoga and Hatha Yoga. I would like to have tried either one of them but couldn’t squeeze them into my busy day within my trial period.
This one is last on my list but was definitely one of the more memorable classes! I have never done anything so fast paced in my life! Everyone was having fun, not many were co-ordinated but they didn’t care, and the instructor was the most energetic person I’ve ever met. Definitely a pick-me-up if you’re in a slump. I can’t say I’m a fan to be honest – I think I like the repetition of aerobics or step, but I can certainly see the attraction.
So there you have it. Twelve days of Total Fitness – and I didn’t even get around to trying the state-of-the-art gym equipment, the adults only swimming pool, the kids’ football or the whole host of other classes on offer.
Total Fitness 12 days for £12 offer is still available to all – just as long as your trial finishes before Jannuary 8th 2017.
Disclosure: Total Fitness gave us access for the family for 12 days in order to try the facilities. Opinions (and achy legs) are my own.