New Gymnasium Review – Sanctuary Lakes Resort Recreation Centre

SL pool

For those of you that don’t know, my wife, 3 kids and I live at Sanctuary Lakes. We moved from the CBD/Essendon over 7 years ago when we decided to build our own home and start our family. We wanted a safe and spacious house, land and a community for them to grow up in and thus far we have found that. I proudly manage my very own “mobile” Personal Training company – Just In Time Personal Training and I have been involved in the fitness/PT and workplace health industry as a PT Operations Manager for 15 years prior to this.

Whilst we specialise in the provision of Personal Training services, I also in my time have provided reviews for certain apartment and commercial gyms, provided video gym inductions for residential apartment complexes (such as Freshwater Place, Southbank) and helped design the floor layout and select equipment for apartment residential apartment gyms (such as the Eureka Tower, Southbank).

So here is my FINAL review of the now all-but complete Sanctuary Lakes Resort Recreation Centre gymnasium which I assume Dan and his staff will move around and set-up things as he and his team are given feedback from members/residents as it is all new and will take time for all to adjust to the environment.

Please note that I write this as a resident with years of experience and as with everything we all have different views and opinions on everything and yours may vary accordingly depending on your needs and previous experiences and with gyms over the years.

First and foremost may I say that given the fact that to join a gym for the average adult alone in Melbourne and you are looking at $500-$1000 a year. For residents of Sanctuary Lakes your body corporate fee of roughly $2500 covers for example 2 adults (or more and/or kids) free access to a fully equipped gym, pool, spa, $6 gym classes, tennis courts and 24/7 security – there is not a lot to complain about. We are very lucky. In essence you have a FREE gym membership and let’s remember that there are budgetary restraints when putting together a gym. Many for example may not know that (for just two examples) a Concept 2 rower costs around $1500, a Stairmaster Stepmill $3500… You add that to all the other equipment and you will soon see the enormity of what it costs to set up a gym!!

SL gym 2

May I say that the revamp and renovation to the entire recreation centre is fantastic! It is (for it’s size), very spacious, allows much light and all new equipment. We all may have different needs and goals when using a gym/pool/spa but on face value it is brilliant and ticks all boxes for my liking.

In saying that, many will complain because water temperature is 1 degree too high or low, the floor is no longer carpeted, the gym locker doesn’t allow me to fit my suit-case into it, etc… These are by-products of whingeing for whinge-sake. The gym caters for everyone’s general health and fitness needs and for that fact alone I rate it as an 8 out of 10.

The staff are at the end of the day going to be great or horrible based on the way you view the world and how you approach things generally in life. If you have a problem with something or someone you will likely project them on the poor staff member. For me as he always has been, Dan (the Manager) is a very nice, approachable and credentialed gym manager and he and his team are very well presented in their new uniforms and are more than helpful and respectful. They will meet most peoples needs but exceed many and fall short for some – that’s life and you can’t please everyone.

The fresh feel of the entrance, pool, spa and change rooms is first class and really makes for a pleasant and welcoming feel to the gym and then of course a great view over the Lake whilst working out. The change rooms themselves one could say feel a bit cramped but that again is being picky – to me they are great.

There has been the addition of a room for classes (namely spin) at the West end of the gym that is closed off from the gym itself which is great and helps keeps classes separate from the gym itself and there is more actual cardio equipment than previously.

SL gym

Negatives – For the ‘meat-head’ or person that sees a gym as a place to dump weights, make noise, grunt and often perform exercises terribly, you will be disappointed. The gym is ‘softer’ and has less ability to do “your thing”, so for that fact alone you will not like it.

The floor is matted at the entry end which makes for a cleaner and rubbery feel where there is no longer a stench of in-grained sweat in the carpet (which is surely a good thing?) and the cardiovascular machine area now ventures into the gym floor area as it was before, so this will disappoint some (not me – it is progressive and the way of the modern gym).

The main shortfall for me is that there is not enough floor space allocated in the weighted area to enable enough space for the swissballs to be housed in that area to utilise incorporating DB’s as well as some in between the weights exercises – core exercises such as – DB SB Flyes or SB Pike. Ideally there would be more floor space in and around the entry end of the gym but granted the original floor space it is well enough placed to allow for these sorts of exercises to be conducted but will require some common-sense and respect shown from all gym-users in allowing people of various gym backgrounds, gym experiences and abilities to move around and perform their exercises and not “hog” or domineer areas of space or pieces/items of equipment.

For mine in summary, it is a great gym layout, feel and adds an element of class not seen before with the old gym and this will satisfy the majority and will disappoint others that don’t like change and prefer the old school. At the end of the day we have been very lucky and you should all be very happy with the result and it was definitely worth the wait!

Be mindful that Dan and his team have to deal with all sorts of attitudes, individuals and situations but they are there for us, they are there to help and they are not the policy makers with respect to card access. Treat them all as you would like to be treated yourself, have fun, get active and make the most of this really good facility at your door-step 🙂

Let us all please look after the equipment, the facility as a whole and take pride in keeping it looking first class. If you see poor behaviour or someone not treating the place with the respect it deserves perhaps go direct to staff or speak up to the person/people in question on the spot in a polite and respectful manner. Remember that is your gym as well as everyone else’s and I am sure we would like to keep it looking as good as we can for as long as we can.

One last thing – All of the equipment is new, please see the staff for instruction on how to safely and effectively use the equipment and don’t just watch others. Perhaps it is time that you have a new and up-to-date program designed specifically for you and your needs. Please also refrain from dropping weights (plates, DB’s and BB’s) as this is not a sign of being tough or strong but actually the complete opposite. If you can’t control it, chances are it is too heavy for you in the first place.

It is a major issue in all that I see on a daily basis whereby probably close to 80% of gym users perform weights exercises poorly. Feel free to check out my YouTube Channel where there are heaps of videos on how best to perform exercises and use machines/equipment and be safe when working out. Here is one such example on how to perform the Lat Pulldown correctly and another with a general gym safety message.

If looking for a Personal Trainer – please refer to my 12 point checklist when helping you decide on one that is right for you 🙂

FINAL RATING OF OUR “NEW” GYM = 8 out of 10.

P.S. I reside in Sanctuary Lakes and frequent the gym myself. So if you would like a comprehensive gym program designed that includes a posture assessment and body composition analysis, please get in touch as my team and I can come to you!

Kind regards,

Justin Moran

Personal Training Managing Director

Just In Time Personal Training

0411 798 934