Natural Fit spa in Hove
Natural Fit Spa

Day in the Life as a Member at Natural Fit

Not too far from Hove Park is the ultimate innovative space and haven for any health, fitness and wellbeing fanatic. It has everything you could want or imagine from a members club which promises to look after your mind and body. I was fortunate enough to be invited along to Natural Fit to make full use of their facilities and participate in one of their totally unique virtual personal training sessions. 

What makes Natural Fit particularly advanced is the fact that it is an entirely personalised experience to ensure you get the most out of your memberships for your body and your needs. Using the latest technology and equipment, the lovely staff are trained to provide members with exercise and nutritional advice catered especially for you, something only top athletes and gymnasts have availability to. In order to provide this advice, the enrolment process involves a movement screening to analyse bodily movement which provides an exercise level. Each acquired level then allows specially tailored workouts and exercises. It is all very scientific, but makes sure you reap the most benefits from your membership programme. The screening can be repeated too to measure improvements to mobility and balance as you spend more time at Natural Fit. 

On the ground floor of the five-story renovated church is the front desk and cafe. First, you pass plenty of sofa and cushioned seating space to get your work done, make some business calls, or simply tuck into a salad. This front area is completely flooded with natural light, even while today was quite dark and cloudy with rain drops spilling down the sky lights. The exposed brick creates a cosy atmosphere while the navy paint work and library of coffee table books and novels keeps it studious. It is a space I found that I wanted to work in, as well as workout. Apart from this main seating area, there are also lounges upstairs which would be ideal for quiet meetings, or for tucking yourself away on a sofa with a book or laptop. 

The café rotates its salad selection: today was a choice of courgette and walnut, rocket and pumpkin, or kale and sweet potato, each full of nutrients and can be topped with a protein of choice. Also on the menu are sandwiches, energising smoothies, hot drinks and cake – because pastries can make you feel just as good as a revitalising juice! 

Upstairs is the most attractive gym. All of the equipment is imported from Germany, and quite like nothing I have ever seen before. The stand out feature in the room is the intimidating ‘Natural Movement Frame’. The exercise ethos of this particular piece of equipment came about from co-found Shaun Harris’ extensive background in rehabilitation and functional movement at clinic level. Natural Fit now provides a class (‘Frame and Core’) and the freedom for members to move around the frame to integrate functional movement techniques to workouts. While all the equipment appears too aesthetically pleasing to get sweaty on, it is designed to encourage members to want to workout and enjoy their fitness journey. There are QR codes scattered around the gym too which can be scanned on the Natural Fit app, and link to instructional videos for technique and exercises. Further timetabled classes include TRX circuit weight training and pilates, all available to view also via the app, enhancing the technological interactivity of this truly unique club. 

If following an instructor-led class is not for you, up another set of stairs are virtual personal trainer sessions which run every half an hour for members to independently power through. There is a choice between a rowers session, or cycle session, and all that is left to do is follow your very own PT on the screen presented in front of your exercise bike or rowing machine. Again, the app becomes handy to book these sessions and to make sure they are at an appropriate level. All the equipment needed for each workout is stacked on your own personal station including a bosu ball (I had no idea what this was at first either). I participated in the cycle session, and naively went into it thinking it could not be as difficult as the weights or barre classes I had earlier witnessed; oh I was so wrong. I was dripping with sweat after the half an hour time slot, proving that a virtual PT can work you just as hard as a real human personal trainer! 

The top floor was possibly my favourite. Dark wooden arches over a large mirrored studio, complete with stained glass windows at the end of the hall, telling you that you are in a church conversion. I can only imagine this as the perfect ambience for a yoga class. It epitomises looking after both the body and the mind, literally and physically above the rush of day to day life. 

As if five floors of this fitness retreat is not enough, behind the front desk on the ground floor is the pool and spa. The final escape. There is a sauna, steam room, hydro-jets, and plenty of sun loungers scattered around the edge of the pool to rest on and tuck into a book. Tiny touches like the provided robe and towels in the changing rooms, showers complete with complimentary shampoo and body wash, and magazines to help yourself to in the pool area make the Natural Fitness spa feel like a real resort. The stained glass window commission in the corner of the pool room not only has a nod to the health club logo, but depicts a seagull over the sea. It is a stunning, pictorial slice of Brighton to remind us that we can have daily escapes within our own city. Through my day at Natural Fit, I was reminded that I can do things I love – an exercise class, eat a delicious lunch with a warm cup of tea, or even have a dip in the pool – to prioritise both my health and wellness. Natural Fit allows members to do it all under one steeple roof.

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