Interview with NG-Up
The checkfit team where invited down to take part in a class with NG-Up. The class was on a wednesday morning starting at 6:30. The class was full, there was over 40 people in which we did not expect at that time in the morning! The atmosphere and energy in the room was brilliant. The circuit we took part in was challenging, but we left feeling great and ready to take on the rest of the day.
After we took part in the class, we sat down with Grant and Barry, the two owners of NG-UP. We wanted to know more about them and their journey to where they are today.
The Atmosphere Is NG-UP Is Very Energetic Is That Something You Worked On To Have From The Start?
Barry - We thought about a lot of things before we started, we planned to have it like this. I have been in this game for over 40 years and grant has been working in it for 20-25 years. So being around all of the different gyms we have picked up little things from that. I have been around a lot of gyms and I don’t like the way some of them are very clicky. If I’m in the gym and I see someone who looks like they won’t let on to anyone, I will go over and start a conversation with them to help create a friendly atmosphere. This is something I make sure all of my gyms have had. This is what it’s like here at NG-UP, as soon as anyone walks in no-one judges them, every one speaks to each other.
Grant - We want people to feel comfy as soon as they walk through the door and that’s what we have achieved now. We understand that it can be intimidating walking into a gym for the first time, especially if you get people looking at you like, who is this, but no one does that here.
When Did NG-Up Open?
Grant - We opened 2nd of April last year. Barry has been in the gym game for over 40 years, he’s had his own place, pro flex, for about 15 years. I started taking classes in there on a Saturday morning, then we moved to two classes on a Saturday, then a Tuesday night, then we just kept adding more. The demand for strength and conditioning classes was big, we seen the numbers growing.
But we wanted more of an athletic look rather than the big heavy body building look. Barry said he’ll come together and work with me. We looked for premises for ages then we found this place. At the time we thought we would get thirty in which would be ideal for the classes, but now we are getting fifty-five in.
How Did You Get Into Training?
Barry - When I was about six I used to do gymnastics, and I was obsessed with training from then on. When I got older I started going to all the backstreet gyms and it’s just went on from there. I have trained right through my life. I have trained in a lot of different places too with a lot of different people, and picked up a experience form that.
Grant - My journey is totally opposite to Barry. Going through school I would play football and didn’t really touch the weights. Then I joined the royal navy when I was 16, after two years I changed branch to physical trainer and done that for seven years. I would do personal training sessions on board ships or in other establishments.
Our different experiences are what help make this place work. We bounce of each other with our ideas, I learn a lot of stuff from Barry’s sessions and exercises and he learns from me. This is the beauty of it, if we were both the same this place wouldn’t work. Where I am more vocal, Barry is more focused on technique and correcting it.
How Long Did It Take To Get The Classes As Busy As They Are Now?
Grant - I’d say it took about 2-3 months to get them the way they are now. Before we set up we had a good following, so once we started the classes where pretty full. We both always put ideas to each other, we are always looking to try something new and it helps us to keep fresh and stop the classes going stale.
I think because of the timetable and variety we have at the minute it helps. We have spinning on a Monday morning, which is half spin half conditioning. We have boxing on a Wednesday morning. We have yoga on a Thursday night. We have just started boxing club for kids and adults on a Sunday. So it is just about having that variety.
What Classes Do You Offer?
Grant - The newest class we offer is the boxing which is on at quarter to 10 until half 10 on a Sunday morning, This is for families. We have four coaches who take this class, two of the coaches will take the adults and the other two will take the children. It’s not like a boxercise class because they actually learn techniques, footwork and pad work. You don’t have to bring your children to this class though. The key thing for us is for the children to be leaving with a smile on their face and knowing that they have learnt something new.
We have a yoga class on a Thursday, this class has been going on now for over a year. What we decided to do with this class was to have it free, and the participants can just make a small donation in our bucket for one of the local charities. We done this because our yoga instructor told us the philosophy behind yoga is always about giving. So people can put in whatever they want in the bucket for the class.
Which Class Would You Recommend?
Grant - We don’t have a class that stands out to be our main one, I would say whatever class you come into it wouldn’t matter. The intensity is the exact same in every class. You will be looked after, everyone’s first time, whether that be my class or Barry’s class, we always pay attention to them and help guide them round the class. At the end of the day we want them leaving knowing they enjoyed it, knowing we looked after them and hopefully they will come back.
What Are The Benefits From Your Classes?
Grant - I think each client you have to treat them on an individual basis. Some might walk through the door and say they need to put weight on so we would go through a strength program with them and show them exactly what they need to do. If someone came in and wanted to lose a couple of stone, then we would go through the conditioning side with them and give them a diet to follow. Going back to where we mentioned about having three different weights at each station, if someone came in and wanted to tone then we would say use the low weight and do more reps, if someone wanted to put weight on we would say use the higher weight but slow the reps down.
What Memberships Do You Have?
Barry - We have no joining or membership fee. You can come in and have your first class half price, £2.50. A normal class is £5. We have the unlimited morning sessions package which is £45 per month. You can get a card of 10 classes which is £50, with that you get two classes free so it works out as 12 classes. We also have £150 card where you get 38 classes.
Do You Offer Nutritional Advice?
Grant - Yes, so if someone wanted to come in then all nutritional advice would be free, we will give them diets to go through. We will take time out to give our members this advice and write out the plans.
We have just linked in with the nutrition bar. We know that everyone here trains hard but 75% of your results come from your food intake. So we now get food delivered on a Monday and a Thursday. Now people can grab one of these meals after one of the classes.
What Is The Adventure Weekend?
Grant - It is open to everyone who comes to NG-UP. We go up to the lakes on the Friday night, do a bit of fitness and walks on the Saturday, then have a drink on the Saturday night. Then on the Sunday we will do the abseiling.
Do You Do Things Like This Often With Your Members?
Barry - Yes! We did a 24 hour charity event for Marie Curie, we set ourselves a massive challenge, we had treadmills on for 24 hours, we also had weights going. We set ourselves a target, on the bench press we had to lift the equivalent of a jumbo jet and other challenges. This was amazing, people where coming in at 2 o’clock in the morning just to do an hour and do their bit. We raised around £3,000 off that event. Sometimes we have had some local night club dj’s play while one of our classes where on, and they too have been blown away by how busy our classes are and what the atmosphere is like.
Grant - Over the past few weeks we have been doing something called the 21day challenge, its£70 per person, you have unlimited classed for the three weeks. You will have your body fat and all other measurements taken We also give people a food plan to follow. The results we have had off this have been amazing.. We do things like this every now and then just to help push people more.
What’s Next For NG-Up?
Grant - The next thing for NG-UP is to maybe expand on the kids fitness. I think if you can capture kids at an early age it can help install that little bit of self-discipline, listening and understanding and loads more of skills. Also if we can help by giving the kids just little bits of nutritional advice, things like eat an apple a day or try and reduce their sugar intake.
If you are interested in trying out one of these fantastic classes for yourself then contact them here.