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Gym Modernisation

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    I think the current gyms suits a user that is targetting lower impact training and general health, which is brilliant.

    However, it is failing to provide for a younger and growing group using free weights and focusing on compound lifts. The area is small, despite some sessions, the majority of people are wanting to use this area.

    I know a number of people are using second gyms, due to the current one not having the appropriate equipment and quantity of equipment (i.e. one standard barbell and rack for the whole gym). The PTs are aware of the issues and have apparently corroborated this point!

    I think if you could increase the free weights area (significantly), and add some additional supplementary machines it would be a massive boost to the gym and start to bridge the gap with more contemporary gyms!

    Secondly, a small point but the speakers are in the circuit area, and not in the weights area and they are usually turned to a minimum since this is more of a coaching area. This means the atmosphere is more sterile than most gyms! It would be great to create a bit more of an atmosphere and excitement in the gym!


    There seems to be plenty of room when I use the gym usually in mornings and I have never seen any queues, but must admit to not having checked at other times.


    I shared these comments with our Sports Executive Danny Sitton who said ‘Thank you for your comments – all very valid. We are aware that more space is required for free weights and this is very much in mind with the North Wing options which could go a long way to addressing this. Once options have been firmed up, we will look at other ways to create a more vibrant atmosphere such as ensuring speakers are more evenly distributed.’

    If any other members have thoughts about the North Wing options of developing the Gym, studios and changing rooms, please share them here.


    I am a regular user of the gym and think that the overall set up is pretty good given the confines of the space. Compared to some gyms I’ve visited we are lucky to have so much natural light and views from the windows. While it’s not the reason for being there, I feel these aspects help sustain your continuing interest in using the gym.
    It would be a retrograde step to move the gym to a larger area but lose the natural benefits of light from both sides of the building.


    I would wholeheartedly agree with all of Lachie’s comments. I, like many other members I know in their 20s have opted to sign up to a commercial gym over the past few years due to the very limited selection of free weights + machines which focus on isolated muscle groups.
    The machines in the middle of the downstairs area, whilst being user friendly and cater to certain individuals who want to keep active and lightly train different muscle groups, are not fit for purpose for individuals who are focused in gaining muscle mass.
    An extension to the gym would therefore be the most logical solution to keep all members happy in my opinion.


    Fully supportive of Lachie’s comments as well, as a younger member using the gym specifically for the free weights section it is currently a game of odds of whether you are going to be able to turn up and do your planned session due to other members using the sole free weights section. So effectively just an echo of Lachie’s comments. Otherwise, the gym staff are always fantastic, welcoming, and helpful, the quality of the equipment is fantastic.


    I too think the weights area is too restricted the answer might be to use more of the downstairs space.
    I’m a great lover of natural light and would hate it if we had to move. I also agree about that the atmosphere could be greatly improved by louder music. At certain times of the day the fitness centre needs a boost!


    To echo Lachie’s comments, there certainly needs to be at least one more squat / bench press rack. I’m sure you could fit one in opposite the current rack.


    Totally agree with Lachie’s comments. The ratio of “machine” equipment to free weights/racks is out of sync with most modern gyms.
    More racks and free weights needed. I have spent over 30 mins queuing for the one squat rack many times.


    I have not used the gym since Covid struck – and may not return to it! I dislike the crowded line of machines on the upper floor. It is quite unimaginatively laid out. Hurlingham is about the overall experience (for me) and I look forward to a bit more space and fresh air. We need to keep windows open when we can ( Covid/ general infection precaution). If members only want a production line they might just as well go conveniently closer to home – I seek an enjoyable and worthwhile visit.
    I visit at off peak times so have not experienced crowds. We might expand the area but surely that would only benefit a few members for peak times – thus not the highest priority perhaps


    I strongly support Lachie’s feedback to consider the types of users the gym is serving, and reflect this in the allocation of space and resources.

    For example: Is there demand for all upstairs cardio machines that reflects their current [generous] space allocation?
    What might a 10-15% cardio machine reduction look like upstairs – and what space could we re-assign to other gym functions?

    In the interest of cost efficiency and speed, we might yield some gains (pun intended) from auditing our current layout and it’s reflection of user demand.

    In the longer term, if Hurlingham’s population evolves as predicted (and health trends continue to emphasise strength and functional training), I support reflecting this in our use of space and spending on free weights.

    Horizon Project

    Strongly support Lachie’s comments. A further upgrade would be great, personally I would opt for a track and sled, in addition to more free weight space.
    On the whole though, I really like the H gym and staff do a great job.
    Very confused in the development plans why we feel the need for more changing room space on the gym side. Any real issues with crossing the car park? Pre-workout jog if it is grim and raining, bit otherwise it works.


    Danny Sitton, our Sports Executive has read everyone’s comments with interest, and asked me to post this response ‘Further to my comment of 5th August, we recently commissioned a week-long data gathering exercise through a specialist company that uses a combination of sensor technology and surveys with users – they then provide advice to the gym on how best to improve efficiency and make the best use of their floor space. In keeping with many of the comments on this thread, they highlighted that while our gym meets the needs of older age groups reasonably well, it underserves our younger age groups in terms of the equipment they want to use. They determined exactly which pieces of equipment are very heavily used by different age groups and which pieces of equipment are redundant where we have excess capacity. For example, where the average piece of equipment was used for 10.6 hours per week, the half-rack platform was used over 40 hours per week. By contrast, of our 6 cross trainers, 4 were used less than 1 hour a week. This has certainly provided the Swimming & Fitness Committee with some excellent data and a more concrete rationale for making the decisions about the specific changes that are needed to improve the gym experience for all rather than relying on purely anecdotal evidence. We will also be looking to act on some of their recommendations as quickly as we can in the short term. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the only way to way accommodate the latest fitness trends and meet the wishes of gym users in to increase the floor space in the gym.’

    Horizon Project

    Hi All,

    Just read back through the comments and awesome to see corroboration and people getting involved in the discussion – Danny / Rosie thanks for the Comments/swift action regarding tracking the usage! Quantitative evidence certainly makes the conversation more practical.


    Reading the above comments makes me suspect we have a unique opportunity post lockdown, and alongside the Horizon project to adapt/upgrade the facilities and support the cultural change occurring at the gym to make sure it is one that’s diverse, inclusive and just fun to be in.


    In the past few weeks, far more of a community within the gym and the “younger generation” appears to be growing, and to be candid it is the first time I’ve experienced this at the club. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays, thanks to Colin we are trialling a weightlifting club, focusing on building a safe space to learn and push on, but also incorporating a social aspect where people who see each other most days anyway, actually get to know each other (and their names!). However, we’ve immediately run into the issue that there’s one bar, which is sub-optimal for 8 or so people in each group!

    Like others have vocalised, the staff are awesome and try to be proactive with clearly differing priorities within the gym. For instance, I saw one PTI try to work out an amicable solution for the music the other day since one gentleman requested there be no music in the gym. As a result of the music being culled, people I feel resort back to headphones and this new culture and energy the gyms gaining wanes.

    I’d like to be clear I’m not suggesting we lose the light or the space. Equally, I’m not suggesting we make the place unviable for other generations, or equally for people like Hugh who may one day want to come again or come on the odd occasion. I agree aesthetically the gym is lovely and we’d be bonkers to lose that, however, it is failing to be functional. Like others have highlighted, there are massive changes within sports culture and training currently, with people training consistently and expecting facilities that are functional and progressive.

    Furthermore, over the last year, I think more than ever we are starting to appreciate the benefits of training on mental health, therefore, the conversation becomes one that is far greater than just physical health. Importantly, considering inclusivity, far more women appear to be getting into strength training, which is awesome. As a result, this means more people are vying for space, therefore, the facilities need to adapt to support this change and be a positive driver for this cultural change/diversity! Therefore, facility modernisation isn’t just a necessity for practicality or functionality, it’s a priority for inclusivity.


    I’d add (not that anyone asked for my opinion!), that like the contributers above, I can’t personally understand how new changing rooms would be a useful investment in the grand scheme of things.


    Perhaps moving the circuit / E-Gym upstairs (where there’s plenty of light!) with a small reduction in cardio equipment, and then downstairs focusing on an atmosphere conducive free-weights area with some additional functionality added in (say specific machines and sleds etc…) could work until there are relevant discussions around extensions and its future!

    It would be interesting to hear what the Horizon team see as viable in terms of expansion in the coming years and whether it is realistically on the table! I’ve heard there may be talk of pushing the back wall/mirrored wall into the space behind, thus expanding without hampering any of the light/aesthetics etc…it would be interesting to hear if that is true!



    Please look at the “North Wing” alternative proposals from the Horizon Project. They are on the website, on the displays in the clubhouse and explained in the videos of the open meetings – and there will be another open meeting in the clubhouse next week, on Wednesday 29th. Pushing back the wall to create more space is one option – I believe that adds about 30% more gym space. Another option is to do that but also push the wall out into the Four-in-Hand yard. That would create a lot more space – and we would be able to devote it to a mix of gym and studio space. All these proposals are entirely realistic – provided members express their support for them and the related subscription increases. Substantial changes are unlikely to be affordable based on current subscription levels.

    The changing room proposals reflect several factors:
    1. Improving changing rooms was the no 1 sports-related area for improvement from the satisfaction survey; and that is key guidance for what is and is not included in the Horizon proposals
    2. There have been complaints about the separation of dry changing from the gym
    3. We need to release space in the West Wing for facilities that can only be there, notably an expansion of the cafe and a second indoor pool; and moving changing rooms and studio space to an expanded North Wing is a practical way of doing that and frees up considerable space in the West Wing. It is a very practical plan for the cafe to expand on the ground floor into the current dry changing area in the West Wing. Improving F&B and esp more space for the Cafe was a top priority for members, from the survey and other feedback, and it needs more ground floor space in the West Wing. That is really the decisive factor in moving the dry changing to the East Wing.

    All these proposals will require positive support from members to go forward, but I suggest members look at the proposals as packages – and any package will include some things that any individual member very much wants and others that perhaps they don’t want, but others do. Based on results from the next survey tat will come in a few weeks, we hope we can come up with a package that will command substantial majority support, with everyone accepting some compromise, and the financial implications that will follow. If not, we will stick to maintaining current facilities and will have to accept higher levels of utilisation / crowding, as member numbers slowly increase, our demographics change and (we expect) usage increases. But subscriptions would be lower than they would otherwise be (but will still increase above RPI, to cover loss of events income) and we would avoid the temporary disruption that making the improvements will entail.

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