I’m one of those cool kids (read: weirdos) who loves nothing more than checking out a new gym (or supermarket, for that matter). No two gyms are created equal. Some have machines for Africa, while others have none. Some have nil staff, while others offer buddy systems.
The Exercise Room is at the top end of the scale—as far as gyms go, it’s the crème de la crème. So, when Aaron Boslem (aka the club manager) invited us along to check it out, I eagerly put my hand up.
When I rocked up to the Parnell gym on a recent Wednesday arvo, Aaron greeted me with a big grin and gave me the grand tour.
The first thing to notice is how tiny (yet mighty) the space is. There were no torture chamber-esque machines in sight. Just the essentials: a squat rack, bench press, TRX trainers and a handful of treadmills. There were also plenty of dumbbells, kettle bells and Swiss balls—indicating they’re all about using the ol’ body (opposed to machines) to get your sweat on.
I popped my gear in a locker and Aaron got me on the treadmill for a warm-up and a yarn. He explained what makes The Exercise Room unique is the fact they have limited memberships to keep the masses away. This means their staff really know their clients and will be there to cheer you on. You can expect to be on first-name basis here—something unheard of at most other gyms.
With my body warmed up and good to go, Aaron got me on the TRX suspension trainers. After a quick debrief, he got me doing sets of squats, rows, push-ups and lunges. With my foot strapped in the TRX belt, the lunges were the hardest of the lot. Hellooo booty burn!
It was then on to the Swiss ball where I wobbled my way through sets of pikes. I never use Swiss balls in my own training, so this was unfamiliar territory. However, I liked the challenge it provided—my core thanked me for it later, too!
Aaron then got me back on the treadmill to superset my strength training with some cardio. Even though I was only on the machine for four minutes, the level 15 incline got my heart rate back up.
I was far from done with the Swiss ball, though! This time Aaron got me laying on my back with my feet planted on the ball to complete sets of hip thrusts. He then upped the ante by getting me to complete the sets with just one foot on the ball. Despite being a wobbly mess, he cheered me on and made me feel like a champ.
After one final hurrah on the treadmill, I headed to the showers. My body felt like it had worked hard—I was one sweaty, hot body. I was impressed to see there were individual bathrooms—each boasting fresh towels, hairdryers and organic skin and hair care. Was this a gym or a five-star hotel?
Showered and refreshed, it was time to sadly say goodbye to the Aaron and the team at The Exercise Room. After a gruelling (yet awesome) sweat-sesh, I can confirm the rumours are true: The Exercise Room is truly one of the best gyms in Auckland.
Want to know the location, opening hours and all the deets? Find The Exercise Room in the Directory.
Image credit: The Exercise Room