â€œI want to be the first to deadlift.â€
The quiet atmosphere of the Northwest Wing of Bush House was turned on its heels with the new opening of the Strand Gym on Friday, October 12. Dozens of students lined up outside the gymâ€™s entrance right before opening: some wanted to be one of the first 100 members through to win a free bag and water bottle; others were just there to get a quick view or tour; the dedicated were dressed for athletic action, desperate to be the first one to run on the treadmill, bike, or, apparently, deadlift.
Located on the ground and lower ground floors of the Northwest wing, the gym boasts sleek versions of conventional gym equipment: treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowing machines, and free weights, for starters. Cardio machines are equipped with individual screens, complete with their own Internet and data access: perfect for watching reality television, jamming out, or even listening to a lecture capture (if youâ€™d like both an athletic and academic workout).
The high tech options donâ€™t stop there. Perhaps the most compelling component is the gymâ€™s bike room, located next to the entrance of the lower ground floor. Set up like a SoulCycle class, the dark room holds numerous bikes lined up in front of a large screen. Streaks of colorful light and blasting bass-heavy music create the ambiance of intense workouts yet to come.
If hardcore stationary biking isnâ€™t your thing, the gym also includes three other studios on the ground floor, set to open on Monday, October 15. The first of three is a general studio, offering a range of classes similar to those held at Waterloo and London Bridge. The other two provide options for students on both ends of the workout scale: a high interval training room, and a body and mind studio, meant for more â€œchill and relaxingâ€ workouts.
Classes at the studios are free for members, with detailed timetables and booking requests available online. As a part of Wellbeing week, the gym is also offering a few workshops this upcoming week: the benefits of exercise on wellbeing and studies (October 22), the benefits of pilates (October 23), mindfulness morning (October 24), and nutrition. All sessions are free to attend and can be found on the KCL website.
From classes to bike sessions, the Strand gym hopes to offer something for every fitness level and every student â€“ all in a area central to Kingâ€™s student life. Yet despite the new gymâ€™s convenient location, the Kingâ€™s Sport team is determined to increase gym accessibility to all Kingâ€™s students, regardless of where they live and study. Andy Allford, Head of Sport, Health and Wellbeing at Kingâ€™s, says he hopes to see gyms on all of the Kingâ€™s campuses.
Until then, Kingâ€™s students near and far can travel to the Strand gym for all of their exercise needs: Monday-Friday from 7:00-22:00 and weekends from 10:00-18:00.