At this time of year Londoners pour into gyms in huge numbers, aiming to trim down the worst excesses of a Christmas blowout. But finding time to maintain the fitness habit is tough, so most good intentions fall by the wayside before the year is through. And that can leave an expensive gym membership ticking away, draining valuable cash month after month, as inescapable contracts take their toll.
So what you need this January is Tubegym, the unique commuter fitness solution.
Tubegym takes advantage of exercise apparatus freely available across the Underground network, specifically the existence of extremely long spiral staircases. These helical treadmills can be used as part of your everyday commute simply by diverting slightly out of your way on journeys across the capital. Pick your station carefully and just one ascent can reap rewards equivalent to climbing a 15 storey building!
Tubegym is available in two easy-to-follow formats, either our popular Personal Trainer Package or as a standalone app. Select the method which best suits your busy lifestyle and you could soon be on the way to removing your "mince pie paunch".
The epicentre of Tubegym's virtual gymnasium is Covent Garden station. This Leslie Green oxblood classic boasts the longest tube staircase in central London, 193 steps in total, and is freely available to all those with a Tubegym subscription. Simply pound repeatedly up the steps from platform level, ignoring all the warning notices, and you too could emerge with thighs to die for.
A Tubegym Personal Trainer is regularly positioned partway up the staircase at Covent Garden to offer encouraging words and help drive you further towards your goal. They will also point out if you've accidentally gone the wrong way, because running down the staircase is considerably less beneficial than running up. We strongly recommend this premium subscription option as the best way to enhance motivational resilience and maximise emotional engagement.
At times when the Personal Trainer is not available, or if you choose to buy into our cheaper in-app solution, Tubegym's unique TreadCounter system takes centre stage. Customised green panels have been installed at regular intervals around the rising spiral, informing runners precisely how many steps remain to the top of the flight. As the numbers tick by... 193... 176... 159... 142... 125... 108... 91... 74... 57... 35...
you can literally feel the pounds shedding from your waist.
At the top of the stairs, so as not to raise the suspicions of station staff, we urge you to exit via the barriers rather than running straight back down or taking the lift. But worry not, this is all part of your pre-planned Tubegym experience, because the street-level distance to Leicester Square is the shortest on the entire network. Simply jog 250m down Long Acre to this adjacent station, catch the Piccadilly line back in mere seconds, and you'll be ready to tackle the mountainshaft at Covent Garden all over again.
We calculate that each circuit round our Covent Garden/Leicester Square combo should take no more than nine minutes, so you can easily cram five or even six stairpumps into your lunchtime schedule. Even better, it only takes three circuits for your contactless card to hit the zone 1 daily cap, and after that you're quids in!
Other Tubegym locations are available. Join us at Russell Square for a 171 step workout, or Goodge Street for a punishing 136. Those based further out of town should consider tackling the 134 steps at Caledonian Road or all 116 at Tufnell Park. South Londoners, we haven't forgotten you, the emergency stairs at Lambeth North offer an optimal 78 step climb. Or for our toughest challenge head to Hampstead, the Underground's deepest station, whose 320 step ascent will have you breathless well before you reach the ticket hall.
A monthly Tubegym subscription costs only £25, or £45 with the addition of our premium Personal Trainer surcharge. Even better quote #DIAMONDGEEZER18 at the checkout to earn an extra 10% off your first payment, terms and conditions apply, subscription numbers limited, not available on Android, joining fees non-refundable, Direct Debits must be honoured in full or face an administration charge, cancellation fee applies, we may sell on your personal details to third parties, this offer available 11th January 2018 only.
So what are you waiting for? Download the Tubegym app today, make Covent Garden your one-stop portal to January rejuvenation, and 'take steps' to meet your New Year wellness resolution!