We’ve all trained in our local leisure centre or even pushed the boat out and took a membership at the health club. The nice changing rooms, the complimentary toiletries and towels, the great smoothie bar - All the nice added extras that surround the real reason behind why you went to the gym in the first place.

Take one step into the gym itself and it’s a very different story… That workout you’d planned is now tasked around finding some premium floor space to warm up in amongst the jungle of CV equipment and isolated weights machines. Your 45-minute workout has grown to 1hour 30mins through queuing for that piece of equipment you really need.

These spaces have often been planned and designed by businessmen, who more than likely have never personally stepped foot into that gym, hasn’t exercised since their late teens / early twenties and who’s concepts of fitness is 15 to 20 years out of date.

The indulgences shouldn’t overrule your workout space and more importantly your quality of training.

At the other end of the spectrum, the advancements in Strength and Conditioning Training over the past 10 – 15 years has seen a new breed of gyms evolve from disused industrial units and warehouses, spaces that we’re redundant to any positive use. They may not have the luxuries of the health club, but the concepts of how to train and take care of both physical and mental well being far surpasses those of the ‘health’ club.

So does this pose the question - should someone take the qualities of both concepts and merge them, would this be the blueprint for the mainstream?

Could it break the mould of out of date fitness spaces being delivered in health clubs and replace them with training plans, nutritional plans and equipment that’s fit for purpose, whilst still retaining the creature comforts we all desire?

Step forward Fit Missions… Located in Bakewell, the heart of the Peak District.

You have to admit, its not the first place you’d think of when you hear of pioneering concepts for the fitness industry, but what they’ve created is a space which encompasses all the qualities when health club meets functional fitness.

Lucy Denver – Commercial Director tells us more about the concept, how it works and what their plans for the future are…

“When we decided to set up Fit Missions, we wanted to create a welcoming and inclusive studio with high quality equipment, coaches, classes and support. We had seen a lot of different boutique, mainstream and specialist gyms – many of which had a great atmosphere, class structure or training space but most of which seemed to be in London or urban areas. With Fit Missions we wanted to bring that same quality of service and fit-out to the Peak District where the choice of where to train or find practical nutrition advice is far more limited.
We went for a two-roomed set up with a large open plan training area where we hold our Fit Missions classes, Personal Training, HIIT, Fight Club and Open Gym, with a separate studio for our Spin and Yoga classes. Alongside our training we also offer a nutrition service with the Fuel Station (our café) overlooking the main gym space. The whole feel is slightly industrial with a high quality finish – clients feel confident they can get stuck into some hard work in their sessions, followed by a freshly made smoothie or a shower and pamper with Neom and Cloud Nine products. It’s a total package: professionally-programmed, scalable training; nutrition products, bespoke support and community detoxes; and a friendly, refined atmosphere in which to train.
Although we offer excellent value for money, we’re a million miles away from the cheap, often intimidating ‘globo gyms’ popping up in every city: I would describe us as halfway between a CrossFit box and a boutique personal training studio. Our focus is on free weights for strength; rowing, spinning, running and bodyweight movements for metabolic conditioning; and we love our Bulldog Gear rig which we use for gymnastic movements such as pull ups and toes to bar which really improve core strength.
We chose Bulldog Gear as our equipment provider having used their kit in competitions such as the BodyPower Games and The Rainhill Trials and knowing it was capable of the demands we would be throwing at it! Being a British company, we were also keen to support another British Brand making British made product. The whole team has been great and really supported us in our journey, and the equipment has been faultless from day one.
The next step for Fit Missions is to affiliate as a CrossFit box, which is currently in progress. Following that we are looking forward to investing in a few new bits of kit like a second Bulldog Gear AirBike and maybe a Ski-Erg or two!’

So what did we supply Fit Missions with?

A full facility outfitting, everything you could possibly need for a Strength and Conditioning facility - Rig / Bars / Bumpers / Wallballs / Sleds / Battle Ropes / Airbikes / Rowers.

The centrepiece of the gym, the Rig - A BS420 - Bulldog Series – Free Standing. One of the main reasons behind our British made Rigs being so popular is their versatility. Its an investment that needs to grow with the gym, so what is right for the gym now may not be suitable 2 / 3 years down the line. Our rigs are designed to accommodate that increased capacity by simply adding more sections to it or changing components such as braces to incorporate higher skilled work as your members become more competent. With Fit Missions, the only obstruction was a low ceiling, so we retained the standard 2.85m Uprights, but upgraded our 1770 Pull Up Braces with Single Pull Up Bars for Bar Muscle Up Work. In between the squat stations they utilise the cross members with our Wooden Gymnastic Rings, great for ring dips or ring rows.

Moving into the gym and into a large open floor space, they use a variety of kit for all their different types of classes. As with most strength and conditioning programmes barbell work is essential, the guys chose our Box Bars and Hybrid Bumpers – Durable and hard wearing workhorses that stand the test of time.

When not in use the barbells are neatly stored away on the wall next to the rig using our vertical gun racks. Floor space is a premium, so utilising dead space is something we strongly recommend - especially when it comes to storage.

The Wallballs, Airbikes and Battle Ropes are all great low skilled conditioning tools that can really help in adding variety to classes.

We are of the opinion that Fit Missions is the blueprint for how to set up a mainstream gym. When you take the Health Club extras – Like the good amenities and the café and supplement these with functional fitness, great equipment, variety in classes and guidance from coaches, you really do have the winning formula.  

Fit Missions – The Blueprint