I’ve been talking about
JIM quite bit haven’t I? Oh goodness, I don’t mean to… It’s just all I’ve
been thinking about these last few weeks.  No, no don’t worry I’ve not
ditched my fiancé for a guy in Loughborough called JIM…. JIM is actually the
name of an exciting new gym in Loughborough I’ve just tested out.

I’m an active person and
I love doing exercise but since doing Blenheim Triathlon in June, I’ve kind of
stopped doing anything. I’ve eaten far more than I’m burning and quite frankly
feel a right lump who is significantly unfit.  I could list a number of
excuses as to why but I’d have to say the main reason is because I feel totally
uninspired and frankly quite bored with how I was training. 

JIM gym Loughborough review

Training solo for
something can be hard and when you’re pulling yourself out of bed to swim a
certain amount of lengths, or run a specific amount of miles, you sort of start
to vex about training and it can become stagnant and boring.  I was
getting bored, but being bored isn’t going to help me lose weight and tone up
is it? So I needed to kick myself up the bum and find something to fill that

I’ve been a member of
the large chain gyms before and enjoyed group exercise classes from Les Mills
and so forth, but even after trying that again I just lost interested, I even
tried out for another Cheerleading squad but regardless it didn’t feel

JIM in Loughborough


A new gym, called JIM
was opening in Loughborough situated where an old nightclub was. I was really
interested to see what was going on in there after seeing some pictures on
Facebook and I was then invited to try out what they had to offer.  On
initial impressions, I won’t lie I was intimidated, it’s quite dark, very
‘trendy’ interior wise and the equipment looked somewhat daunting.  I’m
not really making this sound good here but trust me I was so in need of
something new I kept thinking this could be what I was looking for. I just
needed the confidence to get past the feeling of ‘I don’t fit in here’, or ‘I’m
not good enough’, a feeling many of us are regularly faced with when we’re out
of our comfort zones. 

Personal Training Session

Firstly I was going to
be having a personal training session with Antoine, who I discovered loved to
play tennis and was French.  He wasn’t intimating at all which made me
feel quite relaxed…good start.  We had a chat about my fitness
background with me explaining my current fitness problems, so he took that into
account whilst planning our session.  Don’t get me wrong I was nervous as
even though I’ve drilled into myself ‘sweat is fat crying’, if I do sweat
straight away I feel really embarrassed and unfit, even though I know part of
that is adrenaline and nerves. 

JIM isn’t like normal gyms
it has very few cardio equipment which I was confused by, but after quizzing my
PT, I was told it’s because they like you to challenge your cardio abilities in
other ways by using other tools available. We started off on what I can only
describe as a cross trainer, but instead of just scooting away as you do,
Antoine challenged me to a boxing setting.  This had short sharp bursts of
doing a punching motion as fast as I could and then would return to a normal
speed for a number of sets. Well, I was sweating after the second session
finished and slightly out of breathe… All I kept thinking was what had I let
myself in for! 

We next moved onto a the
ski pull where it was warming upper body by pulling weights down as if I was
doing downhill skiing.  It was here I confessed I had very little upper
body strength, but to be honest I think it was looking quite obvious!  I
felt the burn very quickly and it started to dawn on me how much I hadn’t been
doing fitness wise, but regardless of me feeling like I was struggling I was
constantly being reassured I was doing a good job and to keep pushing on.

JIM has astro turf in two
spots in the gym and we moved across to the area filled with free weights,
suspension ropes, battle ropes, etc.  I was really interested to what we
would be doing and we went straight to work on some core bits by using the suspension
ropes.  We hooked my feet up and I rested my arms on a cushion  on
top of a wooden box you’d use whilst doing plank.  Antoine organised me to
do sets where I’d pull my legs up towards my chest so I’d work my obliques and
my abs.  This was a real challenge but felt very rewarding.   We
tried out using a weighted ball and throwing it has hard as I could on the
floor, then picking it back up as quick as possible before throwing it
again.  They were all simple yet demanding activities but I’d of never
considered doing them before.

 I was
really impressed with the variety of plans and exercises I could do, as by
looking at it there appears to be lots of equipment but you don’t always know
what you can do with it.  Overall this was a hard and challenging work out
because of it’s diversity to what you’d consider a ‘normal’ training session.

Once I’d
finished my session I questioned the staff about those who want to attend the
gym, want to learn things but not have to pay for a PT session, I was told
staff are there on hand to help whoever in order to achieve their fitness
goals.  It’s quite refreshing to hear a gym to have that approachable


I have previously been
to a specific bootcamp in Norfolk (see here) and loved it, so I was really
excited to join in with a 10 week programme at JIM. I was only taking
part in one session  of the course with a bunch of people who had been
following their fitness journey.  Haider was our fitness instructor who
was leading the session and had been throughout the course, from the start it
seemed like a close net of people and initially I thought they knew each other
before, but turns out each had bonded over the course.  Going through
something like this together had helped create friendships through coping which
I guess is an added bonus of such a thing!

We kicked off in a
circle to warm up followed by team exercises.  We had weighted ball work
and dead lifts with different weights that  we alternated with.  I
was surprised how hard this was but Haider was encouraging each of us to keep
pushing.  It really helped me try harder.

I chatted to some of the
members at the end and they said they’d loved the experience, well, not the
hard fitness paces they were challenged to but the whole concept and the
results they were seeing.  Unlike other gyms, bootcampers don’t have a
before and after image, they do a weigh in and measurements at the start of the
course then will see what happens at the end.  Even going for one season I
could see straight away how good this was and I was almost jealous I hadn’t
been there throughout.  There were so many fun ways used during the
session where we’d use some of the exciting equipment in JIM, which made me
feel confident to come back and do it off my own back. 

It was clear that JIM
was giving a new twist on ‘group exercise’ and this was certainly something
I’d never have found boring if I’d been doing the full course. 


After trying out these
two different services from JIM, I’d certainly say that I’m excited
about learning more and about challenging my body further.  Personally I
love the team encouragement I saw with bootcamp so for someone like me that’d
be something I’d be straight onto, but saying that when I just want to get on
and get my head down, I now could do that after the personal training
session.  Memberships are £28.90 a month which you can cancel at anytime – handy if you hate those silly contracts. After visiting twice I’ve already stamped on my preconception of
not being good enough, because this is a gym with all shapes, ages and sizes,
but also an eclectic mix of exciting ways to train.

Big thumbs up… now
back to tackle those battle ropes!