Martinborough Community Gym

Great – I can finally get a proper week of exercise and who knows, I might get slimmer and trimmer. Why? There’s now a community gym in a huge new tin shed at the Martinborough Rugby club grounds.


I’m a member of the big flash Bodyworks gym in Wellington, but often I can’t get there enough during the working week to have any chance of getting fitter and losing weight. Now I can do catch-up exercise in Martinborough, where we live at weekends.

It’s unsophisticated compared with Bodyworks, but it’s OK. The aerobics machines – stepper, treadmills, stationary bicycles and rowing machine – are modern and I suspect they came from a short-lived gym set up in Jellicoe Street by the Au Spa Belge health spa. The weights machines look third-hand, but they’re functional and there are the usual hand weights, Swiss balls etc.

The gym is non-profit, mostly run by dedicated volunteers and  helped by sponsorship from local businesses. All power to them all.

One of the best things about the gym compared with Bodyworks is the lack of ear-splitting music from an aerobics floor. There are no aerobics group classes. There’s a ghetto-blaster for people who want music, but it’s relatively puny and I can easily hear my MP3 player over it. Sometimes the gym is completely silent and that’s just great.

Update: I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote the paragraph above about the volume levels at the gym. Maybe back then people were being very timid with the volume control. That changed, and as I now live in Martinbrough all week, I have to put up with it all the time. The problem is not so much the overall volume, though that is often too loud. No, it’s the unbalanced sound spectrum. It’s very bass-heavy – to the extent that much of the rest of the instruments and vocals get drowned out. The louder the overall volume, the worse the problem is. The bass imbalance also gets worse the further you are away from the speakers.

Still, if BOOMP-BOOMP-BOOMP-BOOMP is your thing and you don’t care much about music, there’s nothing to complain about.

Another update: these days the gym has a really excellent resident trainer: Kev. To his credit, he helped reduce the high music levels a while ago, but he was up against it with an apalling Sony ghetto blaster sound system that has no bass control.

Update: in June 2010 a ceiling was installed, making the gym cosier:


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5 Responses to Martinborough Community Gym

  1. Alan Vallis says:

    What a great facility! 10 Brownie Points for Martinborough’s community spirit.
    A side issue — losing weight. My GP growled at me about high cholesterol levels recently. As a result I cut most — not all — fat out of my diet and gave up on chocolate cake with my long blacks.
    Along with my 2 or 3 gym visits a week and no other special changes this was enough to melt about a kilogram a week off my spare tyre.
    I wasn’t trying to lose weight and was so surprised that I thought I must have had some ghastly degenerative dreaded lurgi.
    As it happened, I found that my 20 years as an engineer in the Navy have left me with asbestosis, but that was not relevant to the weight loss. It was just the fat intake drop. 🙂

  2. Moon Over Martinborough says:

    I love the Martinborough Gym. But since it’s basically a hayshed, it’s COLD at 5:30 am in the winter!

  3. Shiree hart says:

    Gidday came across your blog trying to find out how to join, we too cone over from Wellington in the weekends and like the idea of a quieter gym! Can you tell me how to join up. Cheers

  4. Contact Mel O’Neale: 306 9796; 027-323 6035; PO Box 35

  5. Dave Rower says:

    Nice article. I’ve used a ton of exercise equipment and always found that a rowing machine was best – low impact and gives a full body workout, plus they pack away nice and small!

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