Refurbishment follows member consultation and includes new HIIT and strength training equipment plus larger free weights and functional training areas
Tuesday 07 August, 2018 – Ainslie Park Leisure Centre in Edinburgh underwent a £500,000 gym refurbishment last month as part of the facility’s dedication to inspiring active and healthy lifestyles.
The 350m² gym re-opened with a range of new equipment from across the Life Fitness brand portfolio and marks a 10-year partnership between the equipment supplier and site operator, Edinburgh Leisure, the city’s largest physical activity provider.
The upgrade was in response to a recent survey of its members, who requested new equipment to support high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and more functional training space. The feedback also highlighted the demand for a larger free weights area, particularly from the gym’s female members aged 20 – 45 years old. This is in line with an industry-wide trend which has seen a greater awareness of the benefits of strength training for women, and consequently an increasing number incorporating the discipline into their workouts.
Ainslie Park is the fifth gym renovation for the charity in the last 12 months, as part of its commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals within the city and surrounding area, as David McLean, Group Fitness Manager at Edinburgh Leisure explains: “Our remit spans our entire community - we want everyone to get active and stay active and our facilities need to reflect that.
“Listening to our members and staying up-to-date with industry trends has been central in keeping users engaged and active. By working with Life Fitness, we’ve also seen our member retention increase significantly, with the average time a member stays with one of our gyms more than doubling over the last 10 years.”
In response to member demand at Ainslie Park, a larger range of dumbbells with weights from 2kg up to 50kg have been introduced, alongside a new Hammer Strength leg press, Cybex plate loaded smith press and Life Fitness’ Signature Series multi-station Multi-Jungle.
To boost the gym’s functional training areas and HIIT offering, the self-power resisted cardio SPARC Trainer, UpperCycle GX and ICG® IC8 Power Trainer indoor cycle were installed. The gym’s cardio equipment has also been replaced with Life Fitness Elevation Series cross trainers, treadmills and bikes, fitted with Discover SE3 HD consoles to offer members more entertainment options and interactive features whilst exercising.
Members’ digital experiences have been further enhanced by the introduction of ICG®’s IC8 Power Trainer with Myride® VX Personal, an immersive video-based virtual platform displayed on a console fitted to the bike, offering users on-demand instructor-led training.
As part of the renovation, the gym floor was remodelled to create a more accessible and inclusive training space: “We have such a diverse membership at Ainslie Park, including first-time gym goers, and it’s our responsibility to help build their confidence and ensure they’re getting the most out of their time spent in the gym,” says David.
“To address this, we’ve designed a more unified layout with less of a focus on defined training areas; strength equipment sits alongside cardio, and members are training different disciplines in the same space. This takes away the concern that some members had about being in a traditional strength training area but importantly, doesn’t impact on our offering, and it’s been really well received.”
Training was delivered by Life Fitness Academy (LFA) – the global training and education arm of Life Fitness – for staff to not only build their knowledge and understanding of the new equipment, but to also demonstrate how it can be incorporated into programmes for members of varying ages, ability levels and goals to help users get the best results from their workouts.
“Our inclusive demographic means we could have members using the same piece of equipment for different outcomes, from high performance training to injury rehab,” says David. “So the support from LFA is really important, as it ensures our staff know how to help our members get the most out of each and every piece of equipment, regardless of training interest or ability.”
Commenting on the longstanding partnership with Edinburgh Leisure, Life Fitness Account Manager, Ross Nixon, said: “We’ve experienced huge change in the fitness industry over the past 10 years and Edinburgh Leisure has remained at the forefront of trends, continuing to deliver outstanding facilities that not only keep existing members engaged, but also appeal to a wide range of new users.
“We’re incredibly proud to play our part in Edinburgh Leisure’s continued efforts to make a positive difference to the lives of many people through health and fitness.”