Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Berkshire Fitness Scene

I’m feeling a bit left out. It’s not my normal FOMO though. It’s been brought on by my twitter and RSS feeds being made up of a large proportion of London-based people. Specifically London-based people who are into fitness. As such I hear LOADS about lots of fancy-sounding London-based studios and classes. Now being based in Berkshire and able to get into Waterloo in around an hour means I’m quite happy to head into “town” for an evening’s theatre, social event or somesuch, but classes… not so much, especially with the train fares as they are.

It seems as though Londoners have all the fun when it comes to funky classes… BOOM, Sweaty Betty, Fitness Playground for a while… all these things I am unlikely to ever get a chance to do properly. Even getting to class seems easier when you’re in London; just a short hop on the tube or a bus journey, or even a bike ride or a run and you’re at your class. Unless you live in a largish town it’s unlikely to be quite as easy. Or at least on the face of it.

I belong to a gym. It’s in a neighbouring town and takes about 8 minutes in the car down some dark and windy roads. I chose it because of their facilities, price and proximity (there’s a closer one but it’s not quite as nice). I tried to find a circuits class once but got lost on a new housing estate. My nearest parkrun is 10 miles or 20 minutes drive away.

My point is that there *appears* to be a dearth of exciting classes near to me. My gym offers the standard Les Mills selection, Pilates, Zumba and Spin but I’m curious about other activities. So I’ve decided to do a bit of research and try to uncover the lesser-known fitness scene where I live. I figure spending more time travelling than exercising is a waste of time, money and fuel so I’m looking in a 20 minute-ish radius. This includes Wokingham, Bracknell, some of Reading… that sort of area. I’ve already found a crossfit box I didn’t know about and some kettlebell and pole dancing classes, all available on a PAYG basis. I might uncover a parkour training group, some HIIT classes perhaps. Who knows!

I’d like to try a couple of new classes or activities a month and hopefully uncover a thriving and interesting fitness scene just to prove that it isn’t all London centric. I’m taking my initial leads from internet searches but hope to find out more via word of mouth, posters, fliers and from you, if you have local knowledge. Maybe I can build up a little resource in the process. So here’s to a new ongoing project, wish me luck!


  1. That's an exciting challenge - and a good way to turn things around from feeling like you are missing out. I bet you discover all sorts of gems (and probably WAY cheaper than London too!). Even though I live in London, I still get FOMO - I work long hours and often can't get to events or classes in time - plus you can also spend an hour just getting across this huge city (never mind getting home at the end) - so sometimes I am jealous of people who live in smaller towns where they can just jump in the car! Grass is always greener right? haha!

    1. I'm hoping it'll be fun! I didn't even think about the travel time involved with getting to London classes… so yes I guess the grass does always seem greener :)