Join the gym for a cut-price £0 per month.

Here at the Sheffield Vibe we have been searching high and low to find ways of saving you money and keeping you fit. We think we have the solution.

Four of the eight pieces of equipment you will find at Charnock Park outside gym

Many of you like the idea of going to the gym, whether it is for keeping fit, toning up or bulking up. Like us, you won’t like the idea of shelling out £25-45 per month for the privilege. Nobody wants to pay that price, in fact, if we had the choice, we would pay nothing at all. That may seem unrealistic, but we have found an alternative to the typical gym, for no cost at all.

The TGOGC (The Great Outdoor Gym Company) have set up outdoor gyms all around the country and there are three around the more student-populated areas of Sheffield. I have decided to take a look at Charnock Park as it boasts the biggest range of equipment.

Although it is only 4.7 miles away from Sheffield Hallam University, it takes 57 minutes to get to by bus so getting there and back is the first obstacle you have to overcome. However, if you want to use the gym to improve your cardio, I advise you jog there anyway. In terms of cardio equipment on offer once you eventually arrive at the gym, there is a fitness bike, ski machine (bottom left of picture), cross trainer (top left), recumbent bike (top right) and a treadmill. Using this run-of-the-mill equipment requires no instruction so don’t worry if you have never been to a gym before.

There is also a leg press and double oblique machine. The oblique machine barely serves its purpose and there are numerous exercises you can do at home. Literally stand on anything that’s hard to balance on, hold onto the wall and twist and you will achieve the same outcome. The leg press machine is worth using if you have particularly weak legs, but the comparisons with the resistance problems of the chest/lat machine are all too similar. You simply will not improve your strength, and toning is the best possible outcome.

Penistone outdoor gym is a perfect alternative if you live nearby.

All in all this outdoor gym offers an adequate solution to the regular commercial gyms, but does not surpass any regular expectations. My advice would be to join the university gym for a very reasonable £15 a month, or £9 if you can handle the off peak hours (7am-3pm  at City and Collegiate campuses). The equipment there is slightly less than you would expect from Total Fitness or Pure Gym but that is to be expected for the cut-price.

The outdoor gym at Charnock Park is a last resort, but a resort nonetheless if the student loan has well and truly been exhausted.


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