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Angel Gyms Spotlighted in The Sunday Times for Empowering Confidence and Mental Health in the Gym

The Sunday Times newspaper has featured us in their superb article on Gymtimidation. It discusses how Angel Gyms helps people feel less anxious about their PT experience and our mental health support. Here is an excerpt from their acclaimed journalist Emma Rowley:

“Are you gymtimidated?

Some in the industry are making efforts to change its ways. "I almost want people to think that they're walking into their grandma's living room, not a gym," says the Angel Gyms Founder Gabe Saclain, ushering me into his studio in Clapham, south London, which opened last year. With fringed lamps and velvet sofas, a wall covered in fabric roses, and painted dramatically dark (Farrow & Ball's Inchyra Blue, a calming blue-grey), it's a world away from the industrial ambience of commercial gyms, and deliberately so: here, and at its sister gym in Shoreditch, the mission is "to end gym anxiety".

So all the trainers undertake mental health training, and additional support is available from the studio's CBT therapist. As I am talked through the machines, I'm struck by the absence of mirrors, which - while great for checking form - can be a source of paralysing self-consciousness (I once spent a treadmill session at Barry's hypnotised by my bottom, multiplied ad nauseam by wall-to-wall reflections).

Rather than lock clients into never-ending membership, the goal, says the gym's co-founder and trainer Daniel Solbe, is for the studio's PTs to help them achieve "gym independence", meaning that they work up the confidence to go alone. He proudly tells me about one client, four weeks in, who finally took himself off to the leisure centre he'd been a member of for a year.”

Credit to Emma Rowley who wrote this wonderful piece.

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