Spotlight On…HG3 Fitness

Located on a no-frills business park on the edge of Harrogate, HG3 Fitness is a far cry from a stereotypical gym. For a start, it’s not about a mirror-lined room crammed with rows of shiny exercise bikes, treadmills and big screen TVs to help you through the pain.

In a building with enough room to accommodate a small airplane, there’s a noticeable lack of fancy equipment. Instead, a metal structure – like the adult version of a playground climbing frame – stands towards the back of the space and a cluster of kettlebells and other pieces of kit are ranged on metal shelves, ready and waiting.

HG3 Fitness Harrogate

And in the world of the 21st century gym, who talks about “form and function”? Well, HG3 Fitness head coach and co-owner Pete Davis does, because studying and understanding people’s shape and how they move is key to how he, fellow co-owner Sarah Brooks, and their team of qualified coaches work.

Their focus is on the individual, which means tailoring the programme to his or her own health and fitness needs, wants and desires. Three areas are covered: strength and conditioning, strength and power, and conditioning in its own right. All three sets of activity address physical challenges such as building muscle, preventing injury and better general fitness. Ultimately, there’s a mental health benefit too as members get to feel an improvement in their self-confidence.

HG3 Fitness, based in Harrogate

Pete explains: “We start by making sure people are moving well, that their bodies are working correctly and their muscle action is right and then we give them a strict programme. It’s not like, ‘here’s a tape, press play and get on with it’ or some worldwide standardised programme, we use a template specific to that person.”

Potential members can register for a free trial week and if they like what they see and do, they become members and start exercises suitable for them at their stage of fitness. Progress is reviewed every 13 weeks so they have the tangible evidence of getting fitter. Pete explains the buzz phrase around HG3 Fitness is ‘you do you’.

He says; “We are all individuals with different forms of movement and different weights. There’s no place for holiday fitness, there’s a longevity to health.”

Interestingly, he says many members are people who want to learn how to move well and feel fitter and stronger but weight loss is not the primary motivation. “That’s a by-product,” he adds.

HG3 Fitness Harrogate

Membership currently stands at 200, which is “beyond expectations” and ranges in age from 6 to 67. “We have no avatar,” says Pete, adding “We want to, and we can, work for everybody.”

He continues: “We got into the business to help people so they have somewhere where they can come and exercise well and get results.” He adds tellingly that making money was also just a “by-product”. Membership therefore is not a numbers game.

Pete says: “We don’t want to overfill. Sweat (the HG3 Fitness conditioning programme) is open to being built up but we’re not in the business to overfill the gym. Quality is the key. Members are not just a payment and a name on a list.”

He adds: “If you’re here and I don’t know your name that that’s too many members for me. We know every member by name and what they are doing so we can build that relationship with them.”

There’s another consequence of the way HG3 Fitness works. Pete highlights the sense of shared community between members and he includes himself and the other coaches in that.

That last point is particularly personal as he casually mentions that he was overweight and bullied at school and, in his own words: “intimidated”. Consequently, he wanted to create a place where people who are interested in their own health and fitness don’t feel that way. Given membership numbers are beyond expectations, it seems he may have done just that.

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