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    (Original post by ThePope117)
    As a powerlifter (who has no knowledge of Manchester and wants to go to UoM), I would love it if there's a gym close by with stuff like deadlift platforms with hooks for bands/a set of chains/ a variation of bars/ some strongman stuff like farmers walk bars/ and all the obvious stuff of course like multiple bench presses/power racks ect. Generally a gym with that warehouse feel to it (like metroflex).
    (The kind of gym where i wouldn't look silly doing floor press)

    I was hoping to stay in Fallowfields but I would stay somewhere else if there was a gym like that close by. Anyone got any suggestions?

    Btw this is a great thread, really useful believe it or not.
    Olympic Strength Gym in Ashton is what you're after. I'm more fond of Ashton than most people are but I don't think I'd live there. I think when I next move I'll be looking for somewhere between it and the city centre so OSG is fairly nearby but the area is a bit better.

    But if you don't want to be going there all the time I think Lifestyle Fitness is the next best- not at all a warehouse gym but the best general gym I've been in, even lots of elieko bars. Then you still have the option of going to OSG once a week or something.

    Lifestyle Fitness does have it flaws. Mostly that it's so bro-tastic you can't get a decent spot. But it's entirely sufficient.
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    (Original post by BKS)
    Olympic Strength Gym in Ashton is what you're after. I'm more fond of Ashton than most people are but I don't think I'd live there. I think when I next move I'll be looking for somewhere between it and the city centre so OSG is fairly nearby but the area is a bit better.

    But if you don't want to be going there all the time I think Lifestyle Fitness is the next best- not at all a warehouse gym but the best general gym I've been in, even lots of elieko bars. Then you still have the option of going to OSG once a week or something.

    Lifestyle Fitness does have it flaws. Mostly that it's so bro-tastic you can't get a decent spot. But it's entirely sufficient.
    Lol, my current gym in Leicester is Lifestyle Fitness. I agree its good, but its such a bodybuilder's gym with all that hammer strength stuff, and idc for cadio equipment and saunas. Although, if the bench and squat racks are always free, as they are in Leicester, then it will do just fine.

    But still id love to go to try a warehouse style gym, there's one in Leicester but its two buses away.
    I would love to go to OSG but its also two buses from the uni according to google maps, is it near Fallowfields(where i intend to stay)?And what do you think to salford gym, apparently its a strength trainers wet dream.

    It sad how im so much into lifting that im already looking into gyms 6 months before going to uni lol.
    THanks for your advice its really helpful, this thread is gold.
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    (Original post by ThePope117)
    Lol, my current gym in Leicester is Lifestyle Fitness. I agree its good, but its such a bodybuilder's gym with all that hammer strength stuff, and idc for cadio equipment and saunas. Although, if the bench and squat racks are always free, as they are in Leicester, then it will do just fine.

    But still id love to go to try a warehouse style gym, there's one in Leicester but its two buses away.
    I would love to go to OSG but its also two buses from the uni according to google maps, is it near Fallowfields(where i intend to stay)?And what do you think to salford gym, apparently its a strength trainers wet dream.

    It sad how im so much into lifting that im already looking into gyms 6 months before going to uni lol.
    THanks for your advice its really helpful, this thread is gold.
    Manchester Lifestyle Fitness is busy but reasonably so. I'm usually there about 7.30pm and I get a rack or bench without waiting 90% of the time but finding the right plates can involve a bit of hunting around.

    I've never checked but I think to get to it from Fallowfields you would need to go into the city centre then out to Ashton, changing bus or trains in the city. So google sounds like it's about right.

    I've heard of a Salford gym in terms of bodybuilding. Not been to the Salford one or even seriously consider going given it's no easier for me to get to than OSG and OSG is considered one of the best for strength in the country. I think it'd only be marginally easier for you to get to.

    I was looking at gyms as soon as I new I'd be moving to Manchester and will plan where I stay next with a lot of consideration given to gym location so I can't judge you for being sad :lol:
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    (Original post by BKS)
    Manchester Lifestyle Fitness is busy but reasonably so. I'm usually there about 7.30pm and I get a rack or bench without waiting 90% of the time but finding the right plates can involve a bit of hunting around.

    I've never checked but I think to get to it from Fallowfields you would need to go into the city centre then out to Ashton, changing bus or trains in the city. So google sounds like it's about right.

    I've heard of a Salford gym in terms of bodybuilding. Not been to the Salford one or even seriously consider going given it's no easier for me to get to than OSG and OSG is considered one of the best for strength in the country. I think it'd only be marginally easier for you to get to.

    I was looking at gyms as soon as I new I'd be moving to Manchester and will plan where I stay next with a lot of consideration given to gym location so I can't judge you for being sad :lol:
    I really appreciate the advice. Do you compete?
    The reason i want to switch to a powerlifters gym is because im gonna be subjunior till 2016, so i think il have a good chance of winning some meets. even though my total is only around 400(ipf rules imposed).
    its also nice to know that there are serious lifters who are also smart enough to get into manchester, people laugh when i tell them im going to study maths at manchester.
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    (Original post by ThePope117)
    I really appreciate the advice. Do you compete?
    The reason i want to switch to a powerlifters gym is because im gonna be subjunior till 2016, so i think il have a good chance of winning some meets. even though my total is only around 400(ipf rules imposed).
    its also nice to know that there are serious lifters who are also smart enough to get into manchester, people laugh when i tell them im going to study maths at manchester.
    No problem.

    I did a little strongman comp once but not really. I plan to start competing in powerlifting later in the year until I get big enough or strongman comps not to almost all be too heavy. So if the logistic would work for me I'd like to switch to a proper gym too

    I went to Edinburgh, I've graduated now and work in Manchester.
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    (Original post by BKS)
    I've done a bit of looking around so in case it's useful to anyone:

    Armitage is currently not taking any new memberships for peak time (can still get off peak), they will reconsider in Jan. I didn't bother looking because of that, I assume it means it's rammed.

    Aquatics is weird, obviously focused on cardio with strength stuff tucked away in a little room. Equipment is as listed before. Doesn't seem to get horribly busy but not quiet either. Has been suggested it might see some re-development in the not too distant future with new company taking it over and wanting to compete with other gyms better.

    Sudgen is better for equipment but it was too crowded for me. I don't want to feel like someone's going to curl a DB up my arse whilst I'm squatting- really it's that busy.

    My overall conclusion was Manchester seriously needs to invest in it's gym provision, it's obviously not up to demand.

    Virgin at Great Northern is now Lifestyle Fitness. It's got DBs up to 60, plenty utility benches, fixed incline and decline benches, 4 flat benches, 3 3D smiths (to keep stupid out the racks), 4 half racks with platforms in front of them plus a built in stand thing in the crossfit-ish area, weird combination of very good and very bad bars.
    That sounds like a good gym. I did my research for some decent gyms in Manchester, but I only found bad commercial ones.

    The best one I found, that was not too busy, is SoHo Gym with 1 squat rack, 2 fixed benches and 4 adjustable benches.

    Does the gym offer any student deals?
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    (Original post by kingquang)
    That sounds like a good gym. I did my research for some decent gyms in Manchester, but I only found bad commercial ones.

    The best one I found, that was not too busy, is SoHo Gym with 1 squat rack, 2 fixed benches and 4 adjustable benches.

    Does the gym offer any student deals?
    Lifestyle Fitness? Not that I'm aware of but check their website. Pretty sure it's only £20/month though- access all the time, classes included, 12 months contract. I'm currently paying £25 for no fixed contract.

    I didn't bother going to look at SoHO because on goggle it looks too small a weights area, only light DBs and there's bosu balls and that sort of nonsense in the weights area. And those always make me suspect **** bars and managers crying if you deadlift, especially with chalk. Did I judge it wrong? I guess size would be fine if it is really quiet
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    (Original post by BKS)
    Lifestyle Fitness? Not that I'm aware of but check their website. Pretty sure it's only £20/month though- access all the time, classes included, 12 months contract. I'm currently paying £25 for no fixed contract.

    I didn't bother going to look at SoHO because on goggle it looks too small a weights area, only light DBs and there's bosu balls and that sort of nonsense in the weights area. And those always make me suspect **** bars and managers crying if you deadlift, especially with chalk. Did I judge it wrong? I guess size would be fine if it is really quiet
    Is it possible to freeze the memberships for the holidays and such?

    The gym is at the same size of the Aquatics centre (the cardio room + strength room), but not busy at all. There are usually less than 6 people at the freeweight area during the lunch times. People DL, OHP and squat everywhere and the manager seems to not mind that and I have seen some traces of chalk on the barbell so I guess it is allowed. However, you have to wear shoes when squatting/DL, which kinda sucks if you don't have weightlifting shoes.

    The Bosu balls are in the 1st floor where people do BW exercises and where PTs train their clients, so it doesn't affect me at all.
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    I went passed SoHo the other day around 9pm, from the window it does look much quieter than Lifestyle Fitness around the same time


    Went to OSG in Ashton today. It's good though very much in the rough around the edges, warehouse way. Good, no brand, bars. 6 benches one of which is a properly adjustable comp one, few platforms, loads of DB benches, enough racks that I don't know how many there is cause I did make the effort to count. Two logs, one of which is absurdly big, I think I saw an axle bar and I think there might be more strongman stuff hiding somewhere.

    It's a git to find though if you use the address on their website.Go to the North end of Wellbeck Street South instead
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    I appreciate the list and was really eager to investigate the gym at Salford Uni.

    Buit after enquiring I've been told that they have no facilities for Olympic weightlifting. I think the image in the first post is a room in the Alerton building, but possibly only available to Strength and Conditioning students.

    On that note can anybody recommend a gym around Salford/Manchester which allows for Olympic Weightlifting?
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    Just realised before Salford gym meant the uni one, I meant Flex n Tone, bit of a brain fail.

    I've been doing some strongman gym hunting too though not been to any yet:

    Good few cross fits with good kit, will charge you like £50/month plus make you do their silly "foundations" course
    Barbarian in Bolton looks like it has a few bits of kit
    Mo Power seems to have good kit, give Mo a shout on facebook before going because it's not a full on commercial gym so it's not open as much
    Fitness Exchange in Atherton has good kit but can mostly only be used outside so weather dependant
    Mill Gyn in Darwen is supposed to be decent but may or may not still be open


    (Original post by acerboni)
    I appreciate the list and was really eager to investigate the gym at Salford Uni.

    Buit after enquiring I've been told that they have no facilities for Olympic weightlifting. I think the image in the first post is a room in the Alerton building, but possibly only available to Strength and Conditioning students.

    On that note can anybody recommend a gym around Salford/Manchester which allows for Olympic Weightlifting?
    Lifestyle Fitness has 4 platforms, they're not great but they're platforms. I've seen power cleans done though never proper oly lifting. I think it'd be fine so go look and ask. The bars are eleiko weightlifting bars so it'd be a hell of a shame if they didn't.

    OSG in Ashton doesn't exactly have platforms, they have like mini-platforms. Facebook them and they'll say for sure. The amount of space isn't great but I feel like they should allow it.

    I've not trained at any others so couldn't say for sure but can''t imagine it'd go well in Sugden or Aquatics which are the only other ones I've been in.
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    Thanks for the reply. I'll investigate Lifestyle Fitness as its closer.
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    (Original post by BKS)
    Lifestyle Fitness has 4 platforms, they're not great but they're platforms. I've seen power cleans done though never proper oly lifting. I think it'd be fine so go look and ask. The bars are eleiko weightlifting bars so it'd be a hell of a shame if they didn't.
    Sorry forgot to ask but is that Lyfestyle Fitness in central Manchester?

    I would have liked to join the crossfit gym but don't fancy the price or getting involve in their classes. I just want to use the equipment.
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    (Original post by acerboni)
    Sorry forgot to ask but is that Lyfestyle Fitness in central Manchester?

    I would have liked to join the crossfit gym but don't fancy the price or getting involve in their classes. I just want to use the equipment.
    Yeah city centre. Maybe 10mins walk from the uni area.

    I'm the same with cross fit, they always have such good equipment but the business model is to not let you use it without paying a fortune
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    Depends what you want Lifestlye Fitness for. For Olympic Weightlifting, they have the right bars (Eleiko) but they've been so abused that the grip on them is non-existant.
    Poor quality platforms that set the bar & plates lower than the platform you're on, but unless you're willing to fork out £50 minimum at one of the Crossfit gyms, it's the only option for Manchester students.
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    Never had a problem with the grip on the eleiko bars, the cheap ones have no knurling at all though. 2 Platforms are ****ed enough you'd near enough have to count it as lifting from a deficit, the other two are ok
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    (Original post by BKS)
    Never had a problem with the grip on the eleiko bars, the cheap ones have no knurling at all though. 2 Platforms are ****ed enough you'd near enough have to count it as lifting from a deficit, the other two are ok
    I signed up just to post in this thread - I found it very useful a while back and since then I've done a lot of research and trained a few places.

    I'm a BJJ competitor and former MMA fighter so all my traiing is absed around S&C for my sport, but I'm also studying for my UKSCA accreditation and focus on powerlifting style training because it's the best S&C you can do for anything. As such I've been round the houses trying to find a good gym with good bars, good platforms that's flexible enough to support a proper training regime.

    I started off at Pure Gym in Spinningfields in 2011. This was adequate for a while but the bars are 30mm cheapies, DB's up to 34kg only and 2 squat racks. Was hideously crowded at peak too. Very cheap and 24 hours so you could make it work, but the equipment will hold you back. Same story at The Gym.

    I then looked at the Aquatics, it seemed OK - horse stall mats on the floor and decent equipment, but seemed like it would get rammed easily. Pricing not available monthly either - they want students to pay a lump out of their loan and then never turn up to train, clever.

    Sugden I've not trained at but I've competed there a few times and snuck into the barbell area to scope it out. Obviously this gym is rammed but again, if you were to go at odd times you might get away with it and it's got solid equipment.

    Flex and Tone in Salford is an honest to goodness bodybuilding gym, can't go far wrong, but it's a trek from the Fallowfield corridor where most halls/student flats are. Similar story with Olympic Gym in Eccles. Both of these gyms have some really strong people and good gear (in both senses of the word).

    Salford Uni gym is an odd one. The S&C department has an amazing facility, that is student only! I would totally pay them a retainer for access but insurance requires lecturers to be there. The leisure centre at Salford is open to Salford students and alumni, it's similar to the aquatics but with odler gear. Not sure how busy it gets but it's a bit grotty.

    However two MSc S&C students from Salford rent a back room in the leisure centre that has 3 Hammer Strength rigs and a load of top grade S&C equipment. They will let you train there if you sort it with them, but it isn't an all access facility. It would be good if you went over after lectures of an evening - quiet, next to Salford Crescent station too (trains from Oxford Road). They have a sign up on the door in the centre, go down if it interests you.

    Now, Lifestyle Fitness. I've trained here since it opened and was a building site, I pay £16 a month. This was a Virgin Active, it's in the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate under the AMC cinema. It's near Revolucion de Cuba and Almost Famous, so location wise couldn't be much better.

    It's a huge gym, rafts of cardio and honestly quite good strength training equipment. It's bodybuilder focused, but DB's up to 60kg, about a dozen free benches in the DB area, loads of cable stations (around 8) and a massive area of Gym80 fixed weight rubbish.

    The "barbell area" is opposite the DB area, it has 3 fixed benches, 4 smiths, a leg press, hack squat, incline and decline fixed benches, 2 squat racks with oak platforms and a couple of chest & shoulder press fixed machines. Yes, there are 4 smiths and 2 racks - why they've bloody done this I don't know, you could get 4 racks in this area alone against the back wall. Idiots. There's also a T-bar row, calf raise and seated row machine here.

    Back at the other end of the gym there's a "PT" area, which honestly is supposed to be more private but if you're using these racks the PT's can't ask you to move. These are sturdy racks, floor mounted, but aren't half racks like the other two they just have safeties. There are Exigo platforms here and another fixed bench, and the dip station.

    All bars are Eleiko except 2, which are terrible black Escape Fitness bars that have no knurling and bend under 140kg.

    So, I bet you're thinking that for £20 all this is good? Well yeah, but there are flaws.

    First, Virgin Active was a sted head gym, and there are still a lot of roided up BB'ers here with bad attitudes (bad attitude is a problem in any cheap city centre gym, you aren't pricing out the scum at £20/month), so the vibe can be bad. These guys often tag team the equipment and spend ages on it, and also treat it badly - shrugs in the power rack with 220kg, dropping the bar on the safeties. One of the Eleiko bars got bent this way, it was heartbreaking.

    There is also a large Polish contingent as a lot of the PT's are Eastern Europeans and their mates train here. They have their clients doing Oly lifts, but there are no bumpers. All the plates are Escape Fitness plastic coated, so can be dropped for deadlifts and rows, but these cretins drop snatches from head height to the ground with 40kg.

    This has caused the floors in the PT area racks to be basically deficit platforms - deadlifts roll around here. There are also loads of British guys wearing Adipowers doing this type of nonsense, I think the PT's must sell them the shoes as an extra income line, because they're always the same colour. No one is wearing Romaleo's in this gym. he other two racks have OK floors as BKS has said.

    There is this big Queenax "functional training rig" which is essentially a big climbing frame that cost £1million. No one uses it except for pullups, there is a set of catches here you can squat or do OHP in though. This is such a waste of money, you could literally fit 8 full size monolifts in this area. This is near the entrance and next to the warm up area which has ab stuff, foam rollers and bands for rehab. Even though this floor is concrete, you can't deadlift here - I think they might be scared you damage the hopscotch markings!

    The gym has a sauna which is good for making weight and the changing rooms are nice. Loads of cardio and the treadmills are really good. Banks of LCD screens to watch TV while you incline walk your gains away. They also have a spin studio, a yoga studio with hardwood floor and mats so you can do kickboxing or yoga, and all the classes are included in the price. Also have a women's only fitness area, where I can only assume ladies have pillow fights while wearing Ann Summer's lingerie and giggling about boys (I've never seen the inside).

    All in all, for the money I can't think of anywhere better to train right now. If you don't start training between 6am-8am and 5-8pm then you're fine on the crowds and will stroll onto your equipment. The location is great too. The PT's will aggressively pursue you at first and give you unwanted feedback to try and win business from you by undermining what you're doing, just smile and nod and keep going. Essentially it's a standard commercial gym, but the good bits are better (equipment, space) and the bad bits are about the same (crowding, idiots training badly, mean-mugging).

    Sorry for the long post but there it is!
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    (Original post by danthegrappler)
    . All the plates are Escape Fitness plastic coated, so can be dropped for deadlifts and rows, but these cretins drop snatches from head height to the ground with 40kg.

    This has caused the floors in the PT area racks to be basically deficit platforms - deadlifts roll around here.
    Escape sell them as bumper plates, they bounce so I'd say they are though perhaps of questionable quality. TBH I'd not blame anyone for doing oly lifts with them on what is a platform. I do it myself when it's too busy to get anywhere else. I'd blame the platform obviously not being good quality to start with given the others have held up fine.

    changing rooms are nice.
    If you factor in the toilets then you can't say that overall they are seriously grim by the evening


    The PT's will aggressively pursue you at first and give you unwanted feedback to try and win business from you by undermining what you're doing, just smile and nod and keep going
    They've only ever said hello to me. One gave me really useful advice on my sumo deadlift with no suggestion of trying to get money out of me



    Otherwise I'd agree with everything you've said
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    Thanks for the really good write-up!

    So if I had to pick a standard gym, no Olympic training, just needing barbells, plates and enough squat racks to not have to wait 30 minutes every session for one, would Aquatic do the trick or should I head somewhere different? Squatting maximum 150kg and dead-lifting 130kg.

    Apart from the above being a massive priority, I'll be a dirt-poor student so that's in my mind too. Thanks.
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    (Original post by c3ntury)
    Thanks for the really good write-up!

    So if I had to pick a standard gym, no Olympic training, just needing barbells, plates and enough squat racks to not have to wait 30 minutes every session for one, would Aquatic do the trick or should I head somewhere different? Squatting maximum 150kg and dead-lifting 130kg.

    Apart from the above being a massive priority, I'll be a dirt-poor student so that's in my mind too. Thanks.
    I'd say yes, not trained there so not 100% sure but has decent equipment and I can't imagine waiting that long. Go check it out at times you'd be likely to train though
 
 
 
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