9 years proudly helping you to better health.
The South Hams' Best Classes and Personal Training
Since March 1st 2005 The Fitness Factory has helped over 1800 people in the South Hams achieve much better health and fitness. Please have a look at our testimonials page - every comment is genuine and unedited, and everyone has nice things to say - so come try us out yourself. We are so confident you will love us we are offering your first class free if you live or work in the South Hams.
Why are we such a nice place to exercise?
Fitness for Everybody
We have created a non-intimidating environment where men and women of all ages improve their health through a varied mix of fitness classes and highly focused Personal Training. We are a small family-run business so we know you individually and treat you like a friend.
A Range of Classes to Suit You
We only do classes, so we do them very well. It was proved in 2009 that group exercise is better than solo exercise (see article at the bottom of this page). Our extensive range of classes include Pilates, Spinning (indoor group cycling), Core Toning, All-Body Conditioning and Bodysculpt. You can choose classes to be as easy or as challenging as you want. We train people from 16 to 86, from complete novices to elite athletes.
A Non-Traditional Gym
The "traditional gym" model (i.e. treadmills, weights machines, etc.) works very badly for the vast majority of us; only 8% of the UK population regularly attends a gym. The reason people stop going is because gyms are boring. Exercising alone, on a machine, means you need to motivate yourself - this can be very hard to do, and all too soon terminal boredom sets in. That's why 75% of people who join traditional gyms stop attending within 12 weeks. At The Fitness Factory our instructors keep you motivated and entertained, so you will want to come back regularly.
However traditional gyms nearly always bind you into a 12-month membership contract. The big chains make most of their profits from the 75% of fee-paying members that rarely (or never) attend, but because they have signed a contract, they still have to keep paying their memberships for the rest of the year. We don't do annual contracts; if you want to stop coming, it's OK, you can stop paying. Simple, and fair.
In order to decide how best to improve your fitness, you need to know how fit you are. We offer all members a free initial assessment; essential for creating a tailored exercise plan that will fit in with your lifestyle, and guarantee results. Our assessment includes a 6 minute step test, using a Heart Rate Monitor to keep you safe and measure your performance at rest, during (mild) exercise, and in recovery post-exercise. Then we measure your height and weight, from which we calculate your BMI; we measure your Blood Pressure before and after exercise, perform a stretch test, and calculate your BF%. With this data we can recommend a tailored program and diet for you. This initial free assessment takes about one hour and is a great way to get you going. Traditional gyms cannot offer anywhere near this level of detailed personal attention or specific programme tailoring.
Safety and Motivation
Perhaps most importantly of all, in most gyms the execution of exercises is rarely well taught. As a new member you may get a perfunctory 10-minute "induction" during which you are shown the basics of how to use the equipment, after which you are left entirely on your own. From that moment on your safety is at risk; you may start developing bad habits and there are no instructors to correct you. After a few visits most people begin to lose motivation. What's worse is that in many gyms the machines themselves are badly designed, or poorly adjusted and not maintained: this is in our view quite unacceptable. We believe that exercising with free weights - emphasizing posture and technique - is much safer on your joints and ultimately offers better results. In all our classes you are continually supervised, your technique is always improving, and you are kept motivated. This keeps you coming back.
Well-designed fitness programmes must include progression, since the body rapidly becomes accustomed to any given routine. Maximum benefits accrue by gradually increasing the intensity, and/or the duration of the exercises. Once exercise is established into your weekly routine you can choose to progress through various levels of intensity, in your own time, when you feel ready. Nobody will push you harder than you can safely absorb; this is where the personal touch at the Fitness Factory makes all the difference; traditional gyms don't even know your name, so how can they possibly keep you safe or help you improve? Whatever goals you choose, we have a workout programme to suit your current level of health and fitness.
The rewards are all yours.
Royal Society Journal
Biology Letters - 16 Sep 09
Group Exercise is better than Solo Exercise
A study of Oxford rowers has shown that members of a team who exercised together were able to tolerate twice as much pain as when they trained on their own. In a study published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters researchers from the University of Oxford found the pain threshold of 12 rowers from the Oxford Boat Race squad was greater after group training than after individual training. They conclude that acting as a group and in close synchrony ramps up pain thresholds, as the underlying endorphin release underpins communal-bonding effects that emerge from activities like religious rituals, group exercise and dancing.
The study found there was a significant increase in the rowers’ pain threshold following exercise in both individual and group sessions (a well established response to exercise of any kind). However, after the group training there was a significantly larger increase as compared with training carried out individually. The results prove that endorphin release is significantly greater in group training than in individual training.
Lead author Dr Emma Cohen summarises: “These results suggest that doing a synchronised activity as a group increases the endorphin rush that we get from physical exertion. The study says that since endorphins help to create a sense of bonhomie and positive effect, this effect may underlie the experience of warmth and belonging that we have when we do activities like dancing, sports, religious rituals and other forms of communal exercise together. The results suggest that endorphin release is significantly greater in group training than in individual training even when power output, or physical exertion, remains constant. The exact features of group activity that generate this effect are unknown, but this study contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that synchronised, coordinated physical activity may be responsible.”
Professor Robin Dunbar at Oxford University said: ‘Previous research suggests that synchronised physical activity such as laughter, music and many religious activities makes people happier and is part of the bonding process. We also know that physical exercise creates a natural high through the release of endorphins. What this study shows us is that synchrony alone seems to ramp up the production of endorphins so as to heighten the effect when we do these activities in groups.”