The Russell Seal Fitness Centre

As many of you will be aware there are big changes afoot up at the University of Exeter’s Sports Park. An £8 million redevelopment, which began in May 2012, is set to make our sports facilities one of the very best in the country and hopefully cement Exeter’s place as one of the world’s top universities. The project covers a range of improvements, some of which have already been completed, but by far the most ambitious and exciting aspect of the development is the construction of the state-of-the-art Russell Seal Fitness Centre. Boasting a whole host of new equipment and facilities the centre will have something for everyone from the most hardened gym-bunny to the casual exercise fan, so what can you expect to find there? HCX has talked to the people in the know and is here to provide you with the most up-to-date information and statistics on Exeter’s newest addition.

·         The Gym

Over twice the size of Streatham’s current gym, the centre is set over two storeys promising something for all athletic abilities. Over £600,000 has been invested in Life Fitness technology, populating the 200 station gym with the very best equipment.

(Upper Level)

Upstairs there will be over 100 pieces of interactive cardio and resistance weights equipment such as bikes, treadmills and cross trainers.  Alongside this will be the new Synrgy™ space, a 360° workout experience which offers ViPRs, a punching bag, bars, and medicine balls allowing individuals and groups to really push themselves.

(Synrgy Space)

Downstairs a large free weights area will provide lifting stations, benches and presses with plenty of space and equipment for optimal weight-training.

(Lower Level)

The new centre will also feature a large airy reception space as well as new changing and shower facilities on-site.

·         Training

The Russell Seal Fitness Centre will not just offer new equipment, it will also provide a whole range of programs, classes and features to help improve your training regime and reach your goals. You will be able to download training plans and interactive workout programmes will be available to tailor your exercise to your needs and targets at all levels.

The Sports Office’s already popular fitness class timetable will be improved and expanded thanks to new dedicated consultation rooms and a spacious studio with wall mirrors and a sprung floor. High quality one-to-one training, advice and personal assistance will also be available to those who are looking for that extra bit of help.

·         Technology

Throughout the centre built-in entertainment systems will help users stay motivated allowing them to watch, listen and browse. The Cardio Theatre on the upper level lets students plug-in to large wall-mounted televisions to watch their favourite shows to make workouts speed by whilst running or biking. Other equipment will boast touch screen interfaces, internet access, cloud technology and LifeScape™  televisions with built-in, interactive, high-definition hikes, runs and bikes through famous locations around the world alongside on-demand videos and music. 

·         Pricing

Working closely with student representatives and the Athletic Union, prices were set to offer the fairest deal possible. Standard membership has been reduced to £22 for the year and Gold and Platinum membership will cost £240 and £300 respectively for students.

HCX asked Director of Sport Phil Atwell for his view on the development, here’s what he had to say:

“We have worked closely with student representatives to ensure that we will provide the best possible facility to fit their needs. It is a hugely exciting development for everyone involved in Sport at the University but we also aim to provide a space for the more casual user who simply wants to keep fit.

Health and Fitness has long been an incredibly important part of what we do and we want to increase opportunities for the whole student body to relax and enjoy the gym. We understand that gyms can be a daunting place for new users, so have aimed to create a light, airy and friendly environment so that everyone can attain their goals with the best possible support, and the best possible equipment.

Essentially we want to reduce the barriers to people "having a go" but also want to offer a fair price and exceptional experience for those who want to become regular users.”

(What the development currently looks like, and what it should look like in a few months time)

Here at HCX we could not be more excited to see the finished Russell Seal Fitness Centre, we’ve been told it’s going to be one of the best all round gym experiences in the country. So make sure to check it out when it’s finished in September.

Sources: Toby Crewes (Marketing and Communications Officer for University of Exeter Sport),,

Photo credits: Toby Crewes,