Clubhouse Gyms: Inside the Toon's new gyms started by Newcastle grads

The Newcastle alumnus behind the new gyms popping up across the Toon talks to The Courier

Arthur Ferridge
16th April 2022
Photo: Arthur Ferridge
Newcastle University graduate Jack Gibbs founded Clubhouse Gyms in November of 2019 with an aim to focus on creating an affordable and appealing personal training environment for students.

Gibbs began his personal training career while studying at Newcastle University. Forced to retire from varsity rugby through injury, he began training to fund his degree, working out of a purpose-built student accommodation. Unimpressed with the quality of equipment, he vowed to try to change the personal training industry for the better, placing an emphasis on top-of-the-line kit and support for his staff.

Reminiscing on his earliest training gigs, Gibbs remembers a sparsely equipped and rarely used gym.

“Compared to the rest of the building… the gym was of quite a low spec, so my concept with Clubhouse was to go into those unused, kind of wasted spaces, completely renovate them, then input personal trainers into those spaces.”

Clubhouse have now opened three locations in student residences across Newcastle, offering discounted personal training and free use of the facilities to residents. Plans are also in place to expand across Tyneside and to more student cities across the UK.

Gibbs is also looking forward to expanding Clubhouse online, with a plan to begin online coaching programs alongside their public gyms.

He holds his trainers to a very standard, employing multiple Newcastle University graduates alongside other local trainers, as well as placing an emphasis on providing them with the best working environment possible.

“In big commercial gyms there will be 15 other personal trainers… with a bit of a dog-eat-dog culture. It’s not the best working environment, so we only have two PTs per gym, and we really try to look after them.”

Gibbs offers his trainers a development coach to help nurture not only their training but also their business and marketing, an area Gibb’s feels he lacked support in as a trainer.

“I want Clubhouse to be seen as the brand within the industry that really looks after their coaches.”

While writing this article, Harry Dovey, a trainer at Clubhouse Tyne Bridge, was kind enough to invite me to sit in on one of his sessions.

The gym is kitted out with brand-new Bulldog Gear equipment, two squat racks, a wide selection of free weights, an attack treadmill, rowing machine, and more. It is spacious, clean, and well equipped for a wide range of uses.

Photo: Arthur Ferridge

As a trainer, Dovey was knowledgeable and amicable, getting on naturally with his client while taking him through a comprehensive upper body workout. His experience and expertise were clear as he gave his client constructive and encouraging feedback.

He has been training for Clubhouse since January, and despite focusing on primarily corporate clients thus far, looks forward to taking on more students, particularly with sports clubs, societies, and other groups.

The experience was both professional and comfortable, and I’d recommend it for any student regardless of experience level.

Students looking to learn more about Clubhouse Gyms or interested in signing up for personal training can do so at clubhousegyms.co.uk, or find them on Instagram @clubhousegyms.

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