I joined Energize Health Club just over a year ago, after being referred to see an Exercise Physiologist by my Physiotherapist. I had sustained a neck and back injury in a workplace assault four years previously. I had seen numerous doctors, six physiotherapists and an osteopath, with little result. Quite frankly, I didn’t care how the name of the place was spelt. I just wanted to be pain free and healthy again.
I went into the gym full of trepidation. I was unfit, had over 30% body fat and hated myself. I could not lift my groceries, doing my ironing hurt, and for the past four years I had flinched if my kids hugged me too hard and I had lived off painkillers. Even though the last physio had helped my pain, I still thought ‘What the hell is an Exercise Physiologist and what am I doing in a gym when I can’t even carry my own groceries?’
Along came the Exercise Physiologist (Andrew) and all the other wonderful staff at Energize Health Club… and changed my life.
I expected to be looked down on because I was over forty, unfit and fat… but nothing could be further from the truth. From the moment I entered the place I was made to feel welcome. Receptionists were always friendly and helpful. Creche staff were lovely to my kids. Andrew, the Exercise Physiologist I saw, was amazing. While I had lost faith in my ability to heal and get fit, he had not. He was so encouraging and never critical. No matter what I did, as long as I tried my best, he made me feel that it was great. He always explained why he wanted to do a certain program and engaged me in the decisions.
The environment was relaxed, friendly and most importantly I saw a community of people I felt comfortable with. Old people, young people, mums, dads, grandparents, teenagers all working out together. Everyone from the super-fit down to people like … ummm … ME, exercised side by side in a friendly, accepting atmosphere.
I first went to a gym 25 years ago and without a doubt this is the friendliest, most encouraging gym I have ever been to. In fact I drive past five gyms/fitness studios to get to Energize. It is small enough that people get to know each other, but big enough to have all the services you need.
I work rotating shifts and I am well qualified to comment on the crowding of the gym as I use it at different hours of the day and different days each week. Sure there are times when the gym is more crowded, just like there are times when it is quiet. Overall, there are very few problems with overcrowding. It is worst around 9 am and 6 pm, but even then, with a little patience, you can always get your workstation. Heck, you can even make a few friends as you share the chin up machine. In the middle of the day it is an oasis of peace.
I don’t do group classes, so can’t personally comment, but everyone I know there speaks highly of them. There’s a great variety and they are spaced across the day. I never have trouble accessing cardio machines and I love the weights room.
Now, over a year down the track at Energize I am completely off painkillers. My kids can hug me however they like. I can carry a whole pile of grocery bags and the ironing is easy. (Just don’t tell my husband that last bit, as he’s so good at helping me!)
But there’s more. I have lost over 10% body fat. My stress levels are down. My energy is super-high. I can rock climb and kayak again. I can do push ups on a bosu ball and pilates ball and even a few (very few!) body weight chin ups. I still see Andrew as a Personal Trainer, but now I see him for fitness, not for injury rehabilitation.
To me that’s the real test of a Health Club – can they provide just as good a service to an unfit rehab client as they can to a fit client desiring to push even further? I have been at both ends of the spectrum and my answer has to be the Energize Health Club can do it all!
There are only two small suggestions that I could make. I vote that they trade in the Smith Machine for another Squat Rack and the gym should hurry up and go 24 hour. (This is in the plans). But really, even without these things, I think this gym is head and shoulders above some of the bigger competitors I’ve seen.