(Original post by Isometrix)
I've been a regular member of the Edge since it opened in the summer of 2010 so i've a pretty good idea of how busy it is.
There are times where the entire fitness suite is packed, to the point where you'll sometimes need to wait a few minutes for a treadmill or weights machine of your choice. This is particularly common in first term, cos all freshers get free membership if they stay in university accommodation. The weights section is more packed, and i've found there's more queuing for equipment in this area. Second term was still busy, as people make new years resolutions and want to look good for summer. Third term gets a lot better as most people tend to want to be outside in the sun.
The gym normally becomes more free during the holidays and especially during exam seasons, i.e. just before and after christmas holidays and just after easter holidays. At this time you can easily use any machine without waiting.
Ok, so now you know when during the year it's most packed. Now for specific times. It opens at about 6am, so anytime between 6am and 10am is free. Between 10am and 12pm is busy because people tend to go to the gym after their morning lecture. From 12-2 is relatively free because most people have lunch. Then probably the busiest time of day is from 3-6pm. People have finished their day and its jam packed. Anytime after 6pm should be fine though. I normally go at about 8pm cos it's just more relaxing when it's not crowded.
Alternatives to the Edge include Virgin active (which is about 10mins by walk from uni towards town, but theres another one in Kirkstall which is more past the Hyde park area). There are some other gyms in town too. Some accomodations have their own gym. I think Oxley does (but no idea how good it is, can't imagine its very big), and plaza and sky plaza. In terms of how far it is from accomodations...when I was at devonshire it took my about 20-25 minutes to walk. So i can imagine accomodations further away from Dev, towards Headingley like Bodington, Lupton, Oxley, you'll need to take a bus or bike. Those who live on campus will find it very convenient though. From places like Concept and Tannery it would take about 10-15 mins by walk.
There you have it, any other questions then feel free to ask. btw the swimming pool also reflects the same times as the gym as to when its busy.
It's still worth the money. £240 for a whole year for the top end membership which lets you use it at any time, as well as the swimming pool and sports halls. Good location too, and free parking in the evenings.