Last year I was given a month’s access to the new Viva Gym in Rosebank. Now, if anyone knows me at all, they know that I’m not really into the whole exercise thing. But I thought I should give it a go and see if it’s something I could maybe grow to like. Between the hi-tech equipment and the variety of studio classes there’s something for everyone. Except for me. Trust me. I tried a yoga class (and nearly died), then took to reading on the stationary bikes and couldn’t be bothered. But honestly, this is not due to any failure of the gym. I just don’t like exercising (ask the eliptical in my flat that doubles as a clothes horse). I’ll tell you who does love it though. Binwe and Lungi.
By now readers will be familiar with Lungi, who carries her positive energy like a halo. She’s all about the classes – kickboxing, spinning, cardio dance – you name it, she’ll give it a go. So I asked for her thoughts.
I’ve been going to Viva Gym religiously every week day (and most weekends) since the Rosebank branch opened on 5 October 2015. Before I go on, I just want to clarify that I’m not a fitness junkie but I enjoy gym.
There’s a refreshing sense of calm when I’m at the gym, and no matter what I’m asked to try at a class, I feel like I can handle it and I’m willing to push myself. I don’t feel like someone’s watching me and I never have to wait to work on a machine. The instructors and other gym goers are friendly. Plus it’s not intrusive.
There’s a really good feeling of individuals just sharing a common space. There’s freedom to stay in your lane, as well as being totally social. You get there and just find your groove.
Binwe is bright, sassy, and has a touch of ADHD, so she prefers to find a place of focus to zone out a bit. This is her take on “running for dummies”.
There’s something about the treadmill, which is unlike anything else for me. No awkward muscle spasms like I often get when going to yoga; no inferiority complex like I get trying to master the weights section. Just the feeling of achieving a 5 km run without the awkward glances, unsavoury road conditions, and that oh-so-sexy wedgie.
When I was younger, my mom (the smallest 49 year old around), would plug in her Walkman and hit the treadmill. Juggling a job, an eccentric husband and two young kids, it was often the only place where she looked totally serene – so call me sentimental, but unlike most others, I have some pretty good memories surrounding the treadmill.
There are a couple of different treadmill experiences. There’s the 6 am before work power walk which helps to inject a little energy into the day (somehow that awkward argument over images and the right copy just doesn’t matter). There’s the Saturday morning hangover jog (because you know, running till you nearly throw up is better than actually throwing up). And of course, there’s the mid-afternoon run (I’m gross, I’m sweaty and I’m rapping along to Kanye West: it feels fucking great).
Sure I try my luck on the spinning machines, dabble on the elliptical and bring along an Instagram kettlebell workout when I’m feeling experimental. But like my mom, I realised that on the treadmill, it’s just you, your body and the feeling of going nowhere, but getting there fast.
There you have it.
I’m not here to sell you on Viva Gym, but they do offer no-contract membership (bonus). On the other hand, to keep costs and membership fees down, there are no pools, saunas, etc.
Wanna know more? Check out their website to find out if there’s a branch near you.