We are opening our own proper gym!! 😱🥳

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that after years of dreaming and lots of hard work by the co-op behind the scenes, we finally have our own permanent home.

Use the links below if you want to skip around:


Where are we moving to?

We will be at St Anne’s House in Brislington, an exciting new creative and community hub run by Bricks.

Our new home is a 10 minute cycle from All Hallows Hall. Click here to see our favourite route.

The number 36 and 513 buses stop right outside and we’re also talking about arranging car shares for anyone driving over from Easton – more info to follow.


Why are we doing this?

We are so grateful to All Hallows Hall for supporting us through our first five years of being open.

We are now at a stage where we’d like to expand what we are doing, so we can offer more classes to our members and welcome more people into our unique way of training.

All Hallows is a wonderful shared space for community use and we didn’t want to hog all the times that were available, so we have been looking for somewhere to move to for the last two years, supported by a grant from Power to Change and invaluable mentoring from the Co-operative Assistance Network.

Because of this move, we can offer more classes for you during busy periods and offer subsidised / free sessions to people who can’t usually access training during quieter daytime periods.

We are also hugely excited by the prospect of being able to design our own gym from scratch – more on this later!


What does this mean for you?

A better gym with better equipment

Because we now have sole use of a space, we can make it exactly how we want. We know how important the training environment is to our experience of exercise and our bodies, so we are going to take this design process very seriously.

Gym design focus groups

We are working with 2A1M to co-design our gym. They will be hosting a series of focus groups with co-op members to draw out our ideas and create a unique space that meets our needs and interests – our dream gym!

The first focus group is on Sunday 19th September at 16:00. To attend, you will need to be a co-op member – why not join?! It costs as little as £6 for membership until April and you’ll be able to make your own bloomin’ gym!!!

Lunchtime talks

Each week, Guy will be interviewing a different person doing brilliant work on the fringes of the fitness industry so we can learn from their experience when designing our own gym.

These half-hour interviews will happen over Zoom on weekday lunchtimes. You can book to attend in your class timetable and we’ll upload recordings to YouTube and a podcast feed afterwards too. The first one is on Thursday at 13:30 and you can book here.


More classes, more coaches, more socials, more variety

We recently invited three guest coaches to cover sessions while Isidora was on holiday. We are excited to expand on this at our new home!

We’ll be able to offer a wider variety of classes at different times, taught by different coaches.

We know that for many of us the social aspect of training is as important as the exercise itself. Now that we have 24/7 access and don’t need to leave immediately after a class finishes, we are excited to be able to hang out before and after classes more.

We are already planning opportunities to get to train and celebrate with each other, as well as potential collaborations with some of the 60 other amazing projects and people we’re sharing the building with – more info to follow!
More opportunities to reach people under-served by the fitness industry

One of our founding principles is to engage people who are excluded from most training facilities.

We now have a great opportunity to expand what we offer and really reach the people we’d like to.

For example, in the new year we will be working with Off the Record to offer an 8-week ‘Weightlifting for Confidence’ short course for some of their young people not in education, employment or training.

This is just the start – please get in touch with us if you’d like to partner and put something on (or join the co-op!).


Timeline

Things are changing quite frequently at the moment but a loose timeline that we’re working on is:

  • September – begin focus groups, move kit to St. Anne’s
  • October – move our indoor sessions to St. Anne’s, conclude first design phase
  • November – run crowdfunder for the renovation
  • December – complete renovation, close for Christmas
  • January – welcome you back to our beautiful new gym!


Clearly, all this is going to take quite a lot of work… So please, if you support what we’re doing, consider joining the co-op!

Read more about what it means to be a voting member of Bristol Co-operative Gym

Changes to sessions and prices

Sessions

We appreciate that this move won’t suit everybody but we really hope you understand our reasons for doing it.

To begin with, we are only going to move our indoor sessions. From October, the Monday and Thursday indoor sessions will be happening at St. Anne’s House instead of All Hallows Hall.

The outdoor sessions will continue as normal at Eastville Park until the weather becomes too crap.

Pricing

We will also be returning to our pre-covid pricing model of tiered memberships. So, from 1st October:

  • Qwop (£15 / month) gives access to the online classes and library of recorded sessions
  • Vulcana (£20 / month) gives 1x session / week
  • Moffat (£34 / month) gives 2x sessions / week
  • Lhakpa (£45 / month) gives 3x sessions / week
  • Lubin (£56 / month) gives unlimited access

Other news and events

Almost there… 😅

  • Guest classes from the gymnast / acrobat / dancer Gabbie CookTuesday and Thursday this week
  • Lunchtime chat with Geraint Harvey about the weird feudal relationship between gyms and fitness workers and what an alternative might look like – Thursday 9th September 13:30-14:00 – book here
  • Foraging for Health workshop – Saturday 11th September 10:00-12:00 – discover edible and medicinal wild foods in Greenbank Cemetery – book here
  • Isidora is back! w/c 13th September
  • Lunchtime chat with Sally Moss from Strength Ambassadors about running large-group, accessible strength training – Thursday 16th September 13:00-13:30 – book here
  • Our 0-5kg running course with Zoe Banks Gross begins – Friday 17th September at 07:15 – book here
  • The first focus group session to design our dream gym – Sunday 19th September at 16:00 – book here
  • Moving day – Sunday 26th September at 10:00 – get in touch if you can help us move our kit from All Hallows to St. Anne’s…
  • AGM – Sunday 3rd October at 10:00 – details and agenda will be shared with co-op members
  • First indoor session at St. Anne’s – Monday 4th October 18:00-19:00 – book here