I’m the type of guy that before I make any purchase, big or small, will spend a good couple hours researching it and reading every review I can get my hands (or eyes) on. Gyms however, never seem to have any good reviews, and by good I mean detailed. They normally consist of a few sentences stating how good the gym is and how friendly the staff are, but never going into any real detail and certainly not showing pictures of the gym (you would think all gyms would want this displayed). So given no one else is doing is, probably because no one actually wants it, I though I’d start reviewing my local gyms at least. A proper independent review for anyone interested.
Unsurprisingly the first gym I have chosen to review is the gym I personally am a member, it’s the easiest one to do so it makes sense. Now lets address the elephant in the room. Being a member of Kinesis means that yes my review may be slightly bias (it won’t, honest) but more importantly I will have more information on this gym than any other I review. Why? Because I’ve been a member for over 3 years so I’m somewhat of a Kinesis connoisseur.
Kinesis Gym and Fitness Centre Review
A Brief History
Let’s start by covering a brief history of the place. The gym is housed in what was previously the old Odeon, the cinema I saw my first ever film, Space Jam. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the cinema closed down and must have been left derelict for at least 10 years (I don’t know the actual number of years) before the Suggar family decided they would turn it into a gym. They certainly had their work cut out for them. The building is a listed so any work had to abide by certain rules to protect the heritage of the site itself. Why am I telling you this? Well, I’m not sure actually but they did an incredible job. Everything in this place is brand new, and I mean everything, minus the bricks obviously. Plus there’s something really nice about the fact it’s not another chain, rather family owned and run (by Dan).
One of the biggest deciding factors for someone joining a new gym is the equipment. Does this gym offer the tools I need to sculpt the physique I so dream to have? In a word, probably. What I like about Kinesis is it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. At it’s core it’s an old school no frills bodybuilders gym boasting brand new equipment, all for an extremely reasonable membership fee (more on that later). What’s more is every year, for the past 3 years at least, they have improved the facilities further by adding extra equipment, opening up new rooms, and ultimately giving their customers what the want.
The gym spans an impressive 4 floors accommodating resistance machines, free weights, cardio equipment, boxing bags, calisthenics equipment and studio space for classes (included in membership).
On entering the building via the ground floor you step into the foyer where lies reception and the cafe. Since I’ve been a member I cannot recall anyone being served food in this area, although the PT’s do use the kitchen to prepare their own meals, so I guess it serves more of a protein bar than cafe. You can buy, for a couple quid, a number of ready to consume protein treats including mass gainers, shakes, and protein bars. In addition they sell water, Lucozade, energy drinks, protein shake bottles and I’m sure a few other items, like padlocks (for the lockers obviously). Wifi is provided free here and there’s plenty of seats to relax (and enjoy your beverage) either before or after your workout.
Before you can access the actual gym you are greeted with a finger print scanner. This confirms the validity of your membership but also logs you into the building, for fire safety (I assume). This might sound an unusual way to gain access but I assure you it’s the best method available. As long as your finger remains firmly attached to your hand you’ll never need to worry about leaving your membership card at home or forgetting your pin.
Downstairs is all about resistance training. The ground floor room consists of a large free weights area, bench press zone, dead lift platform, cable cross overs and various other machines. The large free weights area fits 5 or so benches and comes complete with two complete sets of dumbbells ranging from 5kg all the way upto 60kg. Incline, decline and flat barbell benches are also on this floor in addition to the seated row, peck deck, assisted pull ups and more cables. The gallery below will do a better explanation than my words.
The first floor is the hub for cardio but also contains a number of resistance machines, more cables, kettle bells, a large matted area and the power-plate. The gallery below should show most of what is available:
The Leg Room
For me this room is what makes this gym so special. Squat rack, hack squats, leg press, hamstring curls and calf raises can all be found here, in addition to a stiff legged dead lift lever machine (I’m guessing that’s the name of it). Be warned however, this room gets sweaty fast. It does have two air con units installed but they are never switch on, instead they use a fancy venetlation system which does very little.
A small room with a couple boxing bags and a speed ball bag too. No ring but this isn’t a sparring gym anyway.
Additional Free Weights Room
This was originally a large studio designed for classes but was converted to another free weight room to serve more people. Classes have not been affected and take place in the calesthetics/terrace room. I suspect this additional weights room will fill up with more new equipment as time passes.
The purpose of this floor is in the title. They have kettle bells, Vipr’s, medicine balls, soft matts and those battle ropes; yes, now you can do the workout you keep seeing on Instagram. Whilst this floor isn’t quite a studio (they got rid of that) it is where the classes take place so it serves that purpose. Classes in general tend to be small and focused.
Toilets, Showers and Changing Rooms
As unusual as it sounds I’ve always judged a place not by the appearance of their front of house facilities but by the state of their toilets. Kinesis excels in this department and I’m delighted to say toilets, showers and changing rooms are always kept clean. The showers are individual cubicles (not the communal type) but they do not come with shampoo or body gel, so remember to pack your own. Locker space is plentiful and like most gyms you are expected to bring your own padlock, or buy from reception.
Men’s changing rooms and toilets are found on the ground floor whilst women’s facilities are on the first floor at the top of the steps.
All gyms have the standard peak time from approx 5.30pm – 8pm (Mon-Fri) and I, for the most part, try to schedule my sessions outside this period. Although I personally have never had problems with parking I could see how at busy periods this may be a problem for some. Fortunately as of August 2016 the entire parking area outside has been redone by Greenwich council creating more than doubling it’s previous capacity. Even if the spaces directly outside the gym are taken there is plenty of space to park on the surrounding streets, no more than a 3 minute walk away (this has never been full).
Membership & Peak Time Capacity
Membership options are very reasonable and start from as little as £22.99 per month,with a small joining fee, on a 12 month direct debit payment. Daily, weekly and monthly rolling options are also available. Occasionally they do run zero joining fee offers so be on the look out. To view their current membership fees we suggest you visit their website or speak to one of their friendly staff.
“If you train at peak times I suggest you allow more flexibility in your training routine but you should manage just fine”
With such attractive membership fees it’s hardly surprising they have a flock of loyal customers. At peak times (between 5.30pm – 8pm) this could be a problem for some. I’ve trained here around 7pm on a few occasions and whilst it has been busy I haven’t had to wait too long to use a piece of equipment. Most members would happily let you jump on between their sets and something else is always available. If you train at peak times I suggest you allow more flexibility in your training routine but you should manage just fine. Those dedicated few who train early morning (from 6am) will have no issues.
Overall I really like this gym and if your in the locality I suggest you check it out, you will not be disappointed. They have all the equipment you need to sculpt the body of your dreams, but, if I were being picky I wish they had a standing hamstring curl machine (maybe they’ll add one in the future).
Staff are friendly and depending on your fitness goals there is a broad range of qualified personal trainers, with different styles and backgrounds, to get you there.
My only issue with this gym is the music. If you like to listen to pop music whilst you train, or in general, then you will love it. If however, if like me, your more of a house head, or real hip-hop fan, or just can’t stand to listen to mainstream radio, I suggest you get yourself a pair of noise cancelling headphones and put the volume up.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why Noise Cancelling Headphones are a Must at the Gym
Kinesis Gym & Fitness Centre
Monday – Friday 06:00 – 22:00
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If your looking for an affordable no frills bodybuilding gym equipped with new, well maintained equipment and a large free weights area (this has gym has two), this gym is for you. Join NOW. Membership starts from as little as £22.99 per month and for what you get in return, it's a bargain.
Peak Time Usability7