Kings Gym - Croydon
Having eventually abandoned my car on the industrial park, I wandered through past the other units of varying use to the one I had passed earlier. It's black roller door with white spray paint and distinctive style standing out amongst the standard grey units, as I started to get closer I could start to hear the rumble of bass music. Walking up to the door I could hear the crash of steel on steel slamming down and as I open the door I was greeted with X Gon' Give it to Ya, booming in my face as I entered a little metal moving mecha just south of London.
Let's be clear to start this review, this is not a fitness centre, this is a gym, I mean the sort of gym that has a Peugeot 206 in the corner for people to deadlift. This is a gym for people who want to move a lot of metal and grow big in the process. And this is the view I will be taking in the review.
The facility is spread out over one floor in a warehouse, with a reception a small pair of changing rooms that do the job and phone lockers (not big enough for bags but racks are provided for these to be left on in the changing room). The main weights area is spread out with the cardio equipment to the far right and a dynamic/AstroTurf area to the far left.
There is a free weights area to the front right and then the rest of the floor space is a mix of cable and weight machines, with most of the cable being at the back but with plate loading or plate assisted cable machines spread throughout, the area is really just used for "weights".
The free weights area has dumbbells up to… I think 50 or 60? They are a mix of age, shape and style which made it hard to check total weights to be honest, but there are plenty of them but only 3 free benches so there was a bit of competition. With only 1 flat, 1 incline and 1 decline bench as well the functional free weights area was probably the busiest bit but the rest of the gym has so much to offer its not too much of a challenge.
The plate loading machines had a huge range, 2 chest press, 3 shoulder I think? 3 hack squat, 2 leg press, 3 different calf raise. And more, there was such a range of this kit it was amazing to just walk around and at one point I ended up like a kid in a candy shop doing laps planning how to train my calves!
The cable machines are also equally varied with some nice variants you don't often see in commercial gyms like side raise, standing calf raise, peck deck with angled handles.
Again there was even more of this than the plate load so there was no contention to get onto any of this and with 2 smith machines as well, they really do have a huge range of equipment to isolate here.
Outside of this the other areas of the gym as expected in this style are marginalised, with a few pieces of cardio equipment to one side mainly treadmills and cross trainers, these weren't too busy so not an issue. A functional area had a sled which was a nice touch along with a few pieces of other kit like parallel bars which were good to use. All up these areas are not the focus here but they are presented and usable.
Other facilities are pretty sparse though there is a car that you can deadlift if you feel so inclined! There is a changing room with showers which not all gyms of this style offer and a front desk to buy various protein rich snacks which I loved.
Overall the equipment has been hard used, as you would expect. If you are a neat freak this place is not for you, it felt a little on the grubby side but that again to me built the atmosphere, it’s a "spit n sawdust" gym, if having a bench repaired with ductape isn't for you this gym really isn't. That all said there were a couple of bits of kit where new pads wouldn’t have gone a miss and a couple of wobbly bits.
Any other points would be that the mirrors are on point all around the gym, the lighting was fantastic and I felt amazing, this is the sort of gym you could do a photo shoot or film yourself and not feel out of place. I just loved it here, it is the sort of gym as someone who lifts heavy that you dream of finding to grind the work out at every day.
The atmosphere though… if you are training somewhere like this, it's because you aren't going to a gym to use a steam room after, you are coming here to develop yourself and the focus, the people, the atmosphere with the music and the metal clanking was just amazing.
In summary.. I am in love with this gym, for someone looking for a gym where you and everyone there are trying to train hard and improve yourself. This is the gym to go to, it’s a little metal moving mecha in the middle of Croydon that stands out from the clean cut chain gyms with a real personality and I cannot wait to come back and train here again.
Given the price and the kit, as busy as you would expect. But given the opening time during the week of 5:30 it was pretty empty by about 7am. It was never too busy to not get on kit given the range but I did have to change training order a few times to work around people.
Could be very busy in the evenings so I would check this out
This list doesn’t do this gyms kit justice
Free weights area
3 squat racks (3 with deadlift platforms)
1 flat bench, 1 incline, 1 decline
3 free benches
Dumbells up to 50kg
Set of plate machines including
Shoulder press x3
Cable machines including
Standard isolation/chest etc
Cable cross over x2
One car to be lifted by the brave
Free weights area
Really reasonable! A guest pass was £5
At £30 a month I think that with a 5:30 opening time this place really is a bargain
Parking first thing really was a fuss, I ended up parked a minor narnia distance down the road next to a terrifying large road for lorries. I would suggest early doors or later as during both the parking was totally empty on the road
This is an amazing gym for a specific type of person, if you are a nervous gym goer still try it, the atmosphere and support network you can build in a place like this can be life changing
No wifi! Not a big deal and not the style of gym for it but my cardio was dull and given how cheap this is I think it could be a nice touch for them to add