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Sweats in the City

29 January 2016
Sweats in the City
It’s a cliché that everyone vows to be fitter and leaner after Christmas but a resolution we make every year nevertheless. If you’ve lost the plot with exercise or want get out of the treadmill rut that you’ve already found yourself in, we’ve taken a look at several alternative approaches to exercise. Working out needn’t be a chore you dread three times a week though: Leeds has much to offer in the way of alternative gyms with a slightly different approach to exercise. So grab your trainers, don your lycra and give one of these a go!

Primal Gym

Primal Gym is designed to battle exercise boredom and make working out more dynamic - ditching the rows of treadmills, they have equipment such as pro-lifting platforms, squatracks, a boxing ring, sprint tracks, a combat training area, a slam wall, monkey bars, climbing ropes, sled pulls and a whole load more. They even take it up a notch with frequent boot camps and challenge days

Trailblazer Bootcamps

Not technically a gym but these outdoor, interactional group sessions are perfect for the warmer months (so maybe take note for when spring comes!) with the added benefi t of fresh air instead of that eau de socks that often seems to linger in a gym hall. The latest session that runs is Boxing Bootcamps at Hanover Square on Fridays 6:30pm-7:30pm; and don’t worry, sessions are taken indoors if it’s too hideous for even northerners to bear!


Sweats in the City - Article 2Photography provided by Mark Wheelwright

With a motto of ‘be more human’, this Crossfit-inspired, brand spanking new gym in Holbeck Urban Village, Form is aiming to create a real community feel around exercise. We visited before their grand opening this January and saw various multi-skilled gym members, including a carpenter and a graphic designer, pitching in to complete the warehouse-like gym settings like a modern day barn raising. Complete with steel containers for changing rooms, and gym floor dominated by a large pull-up bar contraption, this gym gets back to basics, with no mirrors or screens to boot. Exercise is always group-led, the team element of which owner Andre emphasises greatly. The gym’s schema is based around three main elements: gymnastics, Olympic weight training techniques and circuit-style training, such as pull-ups, kettle bells and rope climbing. To combat the tougher style of exercise, which is also based around efficiency and high intensity training, there is a dedicated recovery space upstairs including massage therapy and chiropractic services.


At Speedflex on Wellington Street, they operate to offer workouts that have low impact on your body but maximum results, using technology that creates a personalised resistance according to your body weight and strength. Anyone from a professional athlete to those in their twilight years can use the equipment for an effective workout, which has no shortage of celebrity endorsements. Hey, if it’s good enough for Alan Shearer it’s good enough for you right?

Virgin Active at The Light

Get your workout in and then relax and unwind in the in-house pool and spa. With adults only membership, this is the kind of gym where you can completely unwind after work or exercise.

Northern Monk Run the North

Set up in collaboration with neighbours Northern Monk Brew Co and Motive8 North, comes Northern Monk runs, designed to create a community from outdoor running, Combining road, trail, mountain and fell running, this group celebrates the northern outdoors with fitness in mind.

Motive8 North

Sweats in the City - Article 1Photography provided by motive8 North

Motive8 North is a Personal Training company based in Holbeck Urban Village. At Motive8 North it’s all about the personal touch and exercise community, creating a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable exercising. Personal training is focused on the client’s journey, right from the initial consultation stage to the support clients are given outside of their sessions. At Motive8 it’s about a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. The trainers at motive8 appreciate it’s not a one glove fits all approach and takes each individual and their goals into account. For those who are not interested in personal training, Motive8 also offers conventional gym membership and classes. Whilst the gym is small, it offers all of the equipment you need whilst being less intimidating than larger commercial gyms. Classes are held outdoors and are based on fat burning, fitness and fun…forget about your stereotypical Zumba class, motive8’s classes are based on exercises such as flipping tractor tyres, sledgehammer hits, using battle ropes, boxing and piggy back races…and are guaranteed to be a great way to let off steam after a hard day in the office.

Pure Gym North

For a really great value membership, Pure Gym North offers a whole range of free classes ranging from specific training sessions for abs, legs and posteriors to intense spinning classes and relaxing yoga sessions. Pure Gym also offers personal training style direction within a group environment if you’re more efficient with someone yelling motivational instructions at you.

Bpm Bike Training

Love cycling but not the elements? Try various cycling and spinning classes at this bike specific gym. Move to the beat in group spinning sessions or take a solo virtual trip across any terrain you’d like on the Virtual Bike. Specialist technology analyses your power input, and is designed to maximise your workout. They also offer classes specific to those who need an extra level of physiotherapy training for sore or recovering muscles.


Led by the collaborative efforts of Yoga Hero studio and Leeds fitness bloggers Veggie Runners, designed to - you’ve possibly guessed it - combine the equally fit forces of yoga and running (along with fitness drills and practising mindfulness) to create a new, dynamic form of excercise. Designed to engage both the body and mind, Roga will appeal to gym bunnies and those looking for a bit more peace and calm. The combination also tackles a lot of problems with injury that runners often combat. The first course launches on the 10th of January and runs for 8 weeks.

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.