Just lauched this month, January 2011, is a new company that arranges pay as you go gym passes for a range of gyms and health clubs in and around London.
The company in question is PayAsUGym. It was founded by a few friends who felt that there were no longer enough opportunities for people to gain access to high quality fitness equipment without agreeing to an annual membership at a health club.
Currently the service covers London and the surrounding counties, but they are planning to expand to the rest of the UK over the next year. They have already received a lot of good press for their innovative idea that will help people workout without the expensive commitment which puts most people off.
How Does It Work?
It is simple. You register on their website, then find a gym and purchase an ePass. the ePasses are valid for 30 days, and can be printed off, sent by SMS to your phone, or just can just write the pass code down on a scrap of paper. You will need to take ID with you to prove you have purchased the ePass.
They also offer eWallets, so you can buy several ePasses as once. Really it is a bit like an Oyster Card, but for gyms!
Which Areas In London Are Covered By Pay As U Gym?
All of London. Here is a list from their website of all the London towns and districts that have gyms that are part of the PayAsUGym network.
- Central London
- South-East London
- South-West London
- East London
- North London
- North-West London
- West London
There are also gyms outside London that are on the scheme. You can use their gym search top find them: http://www.payasugym.com/search/gymfinder/
How Much Does It Cost?
Entance fees vary from each gym. The cheapest we have seen is a £5 pass, some charge a lot more.
What Facilities Are On Offer At The Gyms?
It depends on the gyms. You can search for specific facilities though, for example you can filter for gyms that have free weights, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi, swimming pool or creche.
If you want a creche option please check with the gym first, as these often have limited places and require booking in advance. They may give preference to gym members. Will will try to get more information on this soon.
Example of the Gym Search
I just searched for gyms in London that have free weights and a creche – I like weight lifting and have a 3 year old to care for too, so this is vital. These results came up:
- 1 Spa At 51 0.4 miles not yet rated £13.50
- 2 Jubilee Hall 0.8 miles not yet rated £8.50
- 3 Pimlico Academy 0.9 miles not yet rated £5.00
- 4 Mayfair Spa 0.9 miles not yet rated £15.00
- 5 Oasis Sports Centre 1.0 mile not yet rated £7.95
- 6 Educogym Harley Street 1.5 miles not yet rated £125.00
- 7 The Landmark Spa And Health Club 2.1 miles not yet rated £35.00
- 8 Mornington Sports And Fitness Centre 2.7 miles not yet rated £7.95
As you can see the prices vary. £7.95 is the cheapest. The Educogym seems extremely expensive, however there is a reason. On viewing the page we see that Educogym is a Harley Street Gym (Harley Street is famous for its premium private doctors). The pass gets you a Consultation and 3 Personal Training sessions, so is really good value for money if you want to start out with some guidance and have a fitness plan made for you. You can always go to a cheaper gym after you have learn how to exercise properly.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. About 20 years ago there were many “walk in” gyms around the country, but these have mostly all been replaced by the expensive corporate style health clubs that set annual contracts for members.
The only option for many years now has been to use the local council facilities, which are often lacking in good quality weight training equipment or the more luxury services, or buy your own equipment. PayAsUGym provides a solution.