Newnham’s New Gym – A Glass Rooftop Space for Fitness and Wellbeing

High above the College gardens, Newnham’s new gym will be a glass-walled building with spectacular views across Cambridge.

The gym will include a cardio line and a strength section, chosen in consultation with students, staff and senior members.

“What we’ve gone for is the staple, versatile machines that support the needs of the majority of people. We really hope that this will get more people into an active lifestyle,” explains Natalie Cotton, JCR Sports Officer.

The equipment was chosen to be good for group sessions as well as people working individually.

The environment will also be appealing, with views across Cambridge as you’re working-out, full-length mirrors so you can check your technique, and – vital for a glass-walled building – excellent air con.

Gym membership is open to all Newnham students, Senior Members and staff who have completed an induction programme. Membership is free to undergraduate and graduate students living in College, and £10 a quarter to students living out. The £10 quarterly membership fee also applies to staff and Senior Members. The gym will be open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week, with daily student-only sessions. For full details of the membership rules, please see the College intranet.

“Exercise can be amazing for mental health, and it’s something that’s helped me a lot. People don’t always realise how powerful it can be. Cardio and strength are very different, so you have to find out what you enjoy. I love strength training, and I have friends who love running, but “you do you”, you do what makes you feel good,” Natalie says. “I’m really keen for beginners to get started. Having access to these facilities could help a lot of people manage their stress levels, as well as improving physical health. I want to offer a range of fitness classes as well, so there’s something for everyone.”

Until they put a gym on the roof of King’s College Chapel, the best treadmill views in Cambridge are going to be from Newnham’s gym.

Equipment in detail

Most of the cardio machines are from Technogym’s Forma line. Every piece of Technogym equipment has a QR code, which you can scan with your phone to view an exercise video tutorial or choose one of the pre-set workouts. You can also connect your iPad to the Forma equipment using Bluetooth, and can track your workout data within the Forma Training app. From the Forma line, there will be two treadmills, two cross trainers and one bike. We will also get two spin bikes, which more closely resemble cycling outdoors.
In consultation with NCBC, we decided to keep the two Concept2 rowing machines that we already have in the old gym, since only being a year old they are in great condition. We will buy two more the same to make a total of four. Concept2 are a reliable brand, being used by most professional rowing teams in the country.

The strength section will also be from Technogym. Dumbbells are probably the most versatile type of strength equipment – our dumbbell rack will go up to 22kg. We will also have a double cable machine with a variety of different attachments. In addition, a Smith machine will allow users to perform heavier movements, including squats, lunges and chest press. This section will also have two benches.