“Fat-friendly” gyms?


Hello, new to the mix here. Ollie in East London. Wondering if anyone has any gyms that are more welcoming to bigger guys?

It may just be my confidence but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being judged when I go to the gym and leave somehow feeling worse than when I went in.


It’s a mind-set really. I spent months plucking up the courage to go, before deciding that if anyone had a problem with me it was their problem, not mine. As often happens, when I went, those fears were unfounded.

I felt as if I was being judged when I went, but in reality, most people are just doing their own thing and not worrying about others. The vast majority of people have lumps and bumps in the ‘wrong’ places if you look. Virtually everyone I have come across in gyms has been supportive and acknowledges that overweight people in the gym deserve credit as at least they are trying to do something about it, rather than burying their head in the sand.

I suspect many will be offering free trial sessions in the next few weeks. why not take advantage of a few of those and see how you go?

Good luck!


I go 2 an ex council one. They tend 2 b better then the body builder type ones probs. U get every1 from the oldies on the healthy hearts class to younguns doin classes to ppl on the exercise on prescription. Allsorts

I agree with @JIL its a mindset i kno its hard when u feel self concious but i must say i been goin 2 the gym over 3yrs an always in that time been obese. I think thers only been like 2 times or whatevr some1 EVER said nething. An thats just life u get the odd idiot
Ppl are friendly if anything at all. Mainly they just concentrate on there own thing


You should join MvF Leyton, mate! Great group of lads over here and the new season starts towards the end of January!

As for gyms, put your headphones in and look at the machine/TV. The less you look at others, who mostly won’t care about you being there, the less you’ll notice if they look at you.

The more you concern yourself with how others perceive you, the longer it’ll take for you to actually do something about your weight and the more it’ll manifest in your mind.

I think @choco_bear_strem is joining a gym in Hackney soon, he might be able to help you out. He’s also on my team in Leyton, top lad!


This is my dream to open one of these :slight_smile:


Thanks @atb88 I just checked out MvF Leyton but I’ve got class on Tuesday nights so I can’t make it.

The responses here have given me a bit of relief so I’ve gotten a trial at PureGym as they had a good offer. Gonna just dive in. Hopefully between that and concentrating more on my food I’ll get somewhere.


Yeah just dive in. Put yourself in a zone and don’t think about those around you. The same
people will be watching when you do so well for yourself


Cheers @Greenballs. I got in today and was able to kick off my couch to 5k programme. As most of you have said, no one really gives a crap. Helps that I am able to go during off peak times so pleased to say I’ll keep it up.


Nice 1 mate. 1st time gona b the hardest n thats out the way, sure u will feel more+more comfortable there everytime. Havin a focus on the couch to 5k will keep ur mind off them worrys an all hopefully


I have also found that the really fit guys at the gym are often the most willing to help. If I see someone doing an exercise thats new, I often just ask what muscle group it works and that leads to a decent conversation and a connection at the gym/known and friendly face.

Planet Fitness in the US offers a ‘No judgement zone’, but I tell my kids and wife that any gym can have a no judgement zone if you can control what your brain says to you! I know I am definitely the loudest judge of myself when I’m at the gym and I have to work to shut me up and let me get my workout done :slight_smile:

Good on you for joining up. You won’t regret it!