By Diana Kiernander
‘I don’t want to die without any scars,’ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I’m happy to say boxing has gone quite boutique since the days of Brad Pitt, toxic masculinity and underground clubs. And I’m pretty sure scars won’t be a problem when you visit Five Gates Fitness Club on Ruthven Lane. Instead, I’m feeling the love and comradeship in a space that’s brilliantly kitted out with kettlebells, Aquabag boxing bags, Venum boxing kits, Bikbox strength and conditioning bars and a chill out coffee and juice bar area that’s scented with fragrant Reed diffusers.
Founder and personal trainer Martin McGinley, who hails from Glasgow originally, has the international sportsman CV you need to kickstart your ‘get fit’ goals. He’s coached at premium sites in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh and also worked seasons at LA Galaxy, the prestigious, David Beckham endorsed soccer club, but it was during lockdown that he found his niche, bringing people (safely) together in an outdoor space in Hyndland.
‘Training in a group at that time highlighted how important social support can be when working out and that’s something we’ve been able to bring indoors since restrictions eased,’ says Martin.
That friendship and banter certainly helps when you are punching, jabbing and swinging your way through your training paces at small group sessions designed to help you build power, strength and muscle.
The club has already got more than 70 members, dedicated to getting their gloves on and their fitness levels up. They are an eager, committed bunch (I know, cause I walk past the studio on my way to work most days and it’s in full swing by 7am) but you can attend a drop in session too or purchase a trial pack.
‘We know people want to make healthy choices and regular training is the best way to start changing up your lifestyle’ says Martin, of the club’s dedication to encouraging lifestyle routines.
The workouts too are tailored to your own, beginner or more advanced level and Martin is keen to stress that no one needs to get fit before joining a session. You can scorch that inner Nicola Adams or Anthony Joshua soul when you find your tribe at the club!
Group training sessions reveal there’s a real equal mix of attendance between the genders, with woman joining in slightly higher numbers just now. But you can go deeper into training too, with tailored personal one to one coaching sessions if you wish.
Five Gates gets it’s name from the (you’ve guessed it!) historic five gates dotted around Glasgow (Trongate, Gallowgate, Brigate, Drygate and Westergait) and that’s kinda the beauty of the club, whatever route you take into fitness, meeting together here is the ultimate goal.