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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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The gym can be a daunting space for lots of people, which is why Gabe Saclain set up Angel Gyms — a fitness center that prioritises the mind as much as the muscle. A gym, but also a safe space.

Tell us a little bit about how Angel Gyms began.

I started Angel Gyms because I experienced quite a few problems in the personal training industry myself and decided to do something about it. I found that gyms were designed in a manner that was not great for people’s mental health — for example, loud music, harsh lighting, a cold, clinical environment, and an often toxic atmosphere. It was already pretty much a given that there was no direct support for mental health.

I wanted to change this industry and over time I met other entrepreneurs in London who had found the same problems.

How is Angel Gyms’ approach different from other gyms?

We hire personal trainers who are empathic, supportive and knowledgeable about mental health. We’ve also built calming environments with natural materials, such as wood, and soft furnishings, like velvet. We introduced Intimate lighting and this is designed to put clients at ease. There’s more chilled music and an LGBT-inclusive atmosphere with none of the competitiveness found in other gyms. We also directly link our clients to health support in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy and other verified therapists. All this and we don’t charge membership fees, either — our rates are always competitive.

What would you say to people who think gyms or PTs aren’t for them?

It’s very understandable to think this considering how intimidating corporate gyms can be. We welcome anyone into our safe space environments with a complimentary session with no purchase necessary to try us out. We have no doubt they will see how our supportive and relaxed environment, along with caring staff, can make all the difference in their fitness and mental health journey.

Is there anything new happening at Angel Gyms over the next few months?

Over the coming months, we are excited to have our personal trainers formally qualified in mental health to be even better able to refer our clients who are suffering in this area.


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