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5 Benefits of working out at an independent gym

The High Street gym is often the first go-to choice when you want to get fit. But is it the best option for you to get results? The humble independent gym often gets overlooked. When in fact, this underdog could give you everything you need to finally achieve success with your health and fitness goals. Read on to consider the benefits an independent gym can offer you.

1. You get to workout without waiting 

It’s been a long day at work and you’ve promised yourself you’ll go to the gym before going home. Today, you’re actually going to do it. You dust off your gym bag from under the desk and proudly march off to your gym. You get there and guess what – 5 million other people have had the exact same idea as you. And they’re all in the gym at the same time. This collective group workout could be fantastic…if there were enough equipment. 

Your enthusiasm to workout wanes as you stand around trying not to be the weirdo people watcher.  You do your best to hang around inconspicuously waiting for equipment to become available to do your workout.

Does this scenario present itself to you time and again? Why not consider joining an independent gym that’s not so crowded? Check it out at a peak time if this is when you workout. This way you can get a real feel for what it’ll be like.

Image of a large crowd - Independent gyms can often be less crowded.


Wouldn’t be nice if every time you went to workout at least just one other person noticed you had kept your promise today?
Wouldn’t it be great that at least one other person noticed (without your incessant advertising) that, despite the crazy day you had at work and the dark cold winter night closing in, you fought your need to immediately snuggle on the sofa.

Instead – You. Worked. Out. 

Staff at independent gyms notice. Yep, they notice when you’re there and also (sometimes annoyingly) when you’re not. Never underestimate the power of accountability. It can make you do weird things. Like working out twice a week on a regular basis (when usually it would be twice a year). When you’re working out consistently you should start to see results. It then becomes a vicious cycle of working out, seeing results and becoming even more motivated to workout. Try it and you’ll see!

Working out at an independent gym where the staff know you and your fitness goals can help provide you with the support you need to succeed.

A women working out at an independent gym and benefitting from the increase accountability


As we’ve already mentioned, regular high street gyms often have gym-goers waiting for equipment at peak times. It can be a tad off-putting going through your workout routine with other gym-goers hovering over you, waiting to jump on the equipment you’re using. If you’re not keen on building an impromptu audience whilst working out, it’s not much fun. Can anything else make you feel more self-conscience? Nope, didn’t think so.

For some, it’s off-putting enough to cut their workout short (or at least the exercises they were doing before a queue seemed to form).

Independent gyms tend to be less crowded, meaning you get to workout at your own pace in a much more relaxed environment.

A women enjoying a workout at a less crowded independent gym

4. You get personalised guidance for you and your goals

Ever get to the gym (once you’ve gotten over the shock that you actually made it there) and wonder what the heck you’re supposed to do now? Do a little jog on the treadmill and then wander around aimlessly glancing at machinery and equipment. Then decide that you’re not going to make a fool of yourself, and you have done a jog, so you’ll call it a day now. 

Or hide at the back of a body pump class hoping no one will notice you and wondering if you’re doing it right?

Neither of these scenarios is encouraging. How on earth can you be expected to know what to do with all this stuff if you’ve never studied it?

Here’s where independent gyms tend to be more helpful. In a relaxed, friendly environment it’s going to be easier to ask for help. It’s likely you know the staff there too, so you won’t feel awkward at all.

If you’re attending the classes, it’s likely you’ll see the same people at the classes each time and get to know them too. This should help with your confidence, so you don’t always feel like hiding at the back.

It’s really important you get the results you want from the precious time you spend working out. Make sure you’re working out in an environment that supports you and your goals.

A lady discussing her personal training goals with her personal trainaer at Fit To Last, an independent gym in Clapham

5. YOU GET TO Invest in your health (not your gym)

A study in 2019 by Fridge Raiders, revealed Brits waste more than £4 billion a year on unused gym memberships; ‘An enormous amount of money is being wasted on gym memberships. People are unsure of what to do and how to use the equipment, or are sick of doing the same things.’

Instead of wasting your money on a gym membership you hardly use, why not join an independent gym you attend regularly and that helps you get the results you want? You may need to invest more, but what’s better: wasting less money or investing more to get the health, fitness and confidence you want?


If you’re self-motivated to get to the gym and workout on a regular basis and have a progressive fitness plan, a regular high street gym may be sufficient for you. Especially if you’re already hitting your fitness goals. However, if (like many of the members here at Fit To Last in Clapham), you need encouragement, motivation and support, you may be pleasantly surprised to find these benefits at an independent gym.


James Staring is an expert personal trainer based in Clapham, London.

James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have been featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.