The UK’S #1 Pilates Classes

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Why, if I teach Pilates, would I be interested in Exeter gyms? The answer is fairly simple. Whilst Pilates caters for a big part of your health; it doesn’t make you sweat!  Not unless of course, I’m in a particularly sweaty mood, but to be fair that happens rarely.  I make it a point to ‘glow’ rather than sweat even on my 10-mile runs! The point is that the cardio effect is missing from your Pilates sessions.  And as I have taught and worked in most of the gyms, in and around, Exeter over the last 20 years I am in a good position to know what my clients are looking for in a gym.  My Pilates clients are always asking me to recommend gyms and workouts; so I thought it would be easier to write a blog.

Being healthy and fit for life has always been my number one priority and ensuring that my clients reach their full potential, greatest fitness and optimum energy levels are what I care about most.  Whatever method you choose to get healthier and fitter I want to help you get there.   So whether I am talking about a gym membership, yoga, CrossFit or Pilates classes, your best health is what matters.  Whilst Pilates covers the strength and mind-body stretching aspect, cardio is not something that Pilates focuses on and therefore finding the best gym in Exeter to help with this level of fitness supplements my client’s journey into health and wellbeing which is why I put together this post to find the 3 best gyms in Exeter.

The 3 types of exercises that are needed to have a good level of overall fitness: cardio, strength and stretch. When participants stick to their favoured exercise whether that is yoga, cycling, tennis, running etc they will get strong in one area. This is not advantageous for overall health, fitness or flexibility. Focusing on one sports discipline means you get strong and powerful in one area, not all three.


What are the 3 types of exercise needed for great health?

For the best levels of fitness, exercise needs to work across 3 different disciplines – cardio, strength, and Pilates mind-body stretching.

  • Cardiovascular aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and requires you to use more oxygen. It is referred to as aerobic exercise or cardio for short.
  • Strength or resistance training is where you build and maintain muscles with the use of either weights or resistance bands as we do in Pilates. Strength training is incredibly important for maintaining muscle mass throughout your life, plus it helps to keep your bones robust, and in good health.
  • Stretching, lengthening and aligning your muscles will create a limber, more flexible body which will make your daily life easier. Plus improving your flexibility will prevent injuries, reduces muscle tension, increases circulation, and improve your posture. This often the element of fitness that is ignored and which Pilates caters for the most.

These three elements are required in every ‘body’s fitness regime, which is why talking about Exeter’s best gyms will help to give you a range of alternatives and accompaniments to your Pilates workouts.


Why are the benefits of using a gym?

The benefits of using a gym can range from ease of use, flexibility and accessibility plus like you would in a Pilates class, that strong feeling of community.  Having access to a wide range of fitness equipment; varies your workouts.  Plus if you also invest in a personal trainer you’ll be using these sophisticated machines safely and more efficiently. You’ll be able to get the results you want quicker.

Here are my top 3 best gyms in Exeter, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts and experiences, feel free to leave feedback in the comment box below.

What are the best gyms in Exeter?

Fitness First Exeter Gym

Fitness First has been in Exeter for a number of years; when it opened directly across the road from the well established Riverside Leisure Centre the fitness community was surprised, but it soon took off. In the early day’s instructors, like myself, were carefully vetted and asked to audition to be on the class timetable.  The standards were incredibly high.  The gym is very well equipped, the temperature is just right and the staff are friendly with a great mix of personal trainers to fit every pocket and requirement. The trainers offer one-to-one guidance and will keep you focused and help you get the most out of your time in Exeter gym.

Feedback from clients include:

The staff at Fitness First in Exeter are extremely friendly, helpful and supportive. The gym it’s self is kept in good condition, any problems have been sorted reasonably quickly if you need anything just ask and there will be someone on hand to help..the atmosphere is great.

State of the art equipment and other facilities include:

  • Resistance weights
  • Personal training – big list on the wall with their cards so you can select the one that suits you
  • free weights
  • Group exercise – HIIT, Vibe Cycle class, Boxercise, Self defence, Sparr Boxing, Pilates, Hatha YogaShred, Bootcamp, Reps, conditioning classes. All BTS including BodyPump, BodyBalance, BodyAttack, BodyCombat, RPM Spin
  • Spin Studio
  • Sauna and steam room
  • Physio on site – not included in the membership

Venue: Tudor St, Exeter EX4 3BR

Prices: Start-up fee which is around £50 and then 12-18 month contracts, £35 a month with a longer 12-month contract – all classes are included in this cost

PT sessions range from £30-£50

Tel: 01392 908142


CrossFit Exe

CrossFit Exe is a fitness training club; its vision is to enhance lives in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere through physical exercise. They have a fitness schedule with the intention of preparing the customer for all of life’s physical challenges. They cater to all levels of health, from untrained seniors to an elite professional sportsman, and all in between. The definitive goal of service is to reach your full potential and give customer fitness confidence.

Client comments include:

A fantastic, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team of coaches led by head coach Jaime. I cannot recommend this gym highly enough. The excellent programming has helped me achieve strength and conditioning goals I never could have achieved on my own. The support and camaraderie from the community of members are unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere, it has to be experienced to be believed. I feel I’ve finally found my ‘fitness tribe’!

CrossFit Exeter cater for all levels of fitness, from retiree with no training experience to the professional athlete, and everything in between.  It is a very down to earth approach to functional fitness and is very focused on the fun of ‘functional’ fitness.

In full disclosure I have to be honest my teenage kids love this gym – the WODs are carefully selected for them and the team environment carries them through.  There is a whole new level of fitness terminology including

Terminology :

WOD = Workout of the Day. This is the workout you’ll get when you attend a CrossFit class.

Functional fitness: Base your training on what you are going to be done doing in everyday life. Training for everyday tasks.

Broten – protein for boys!

Training and exercises:

  • Personal Training,
  • Personal Coaching
  • Teen workouts
  • Group Classes

Specialities: Dumb Bells, Barbells, Kettle Bells, Group Classes, Bench Press & Weight Lifting

Tel: 07805 194263

Venue: Unit 3 Tan Lane, Exeter EX2 8EG

Costs: £65 a month for three sessions a week or £75 a month for unlimited sessions per week

Drop-in fee £10/session

Snap Fitness Exeter

Snap Fitness provides practical coaching material that focuses on fitness activities. The Snap Fitness heart rate monitor helps the customer to see what zone they are working in. They use a lot of equipment so the customer will work effectively without any disturbance.

Customers have said:

The staff are really friendly and welcoming every single time you visit. Good range of equipment and able to use your phone to track your progress which is great. The range of cardio equipment is fit with social media and YouTube so you can plug in your headphones while going for a run. It’s not intimidating to go in the weights area either like it is with some gyms, other members are nice and friendly or just getting on with their own thing. It’s never overcrowded and you never have to wait for a machine. 

Boxing, TRX, Fitness Studio, Strength Training, Functional Training, Free Weights Area, Fitness On Demand, Personal Training, Cardio Equipment, Dumb Bells, Pull Up Bar, Cable Biceps Bar, Barbells, Olympic Lifting Racks & Group Training

Facilities: 24-hour access, cardio equipment, fitness on demand, free weights, personal trainers, group classes and private showers (always a benefit!)

Venue: Unit 3, Ashton Road, Marsh Barton Trade Estate, Exeter EX2 8LN

Pricing: Month to month membership £32.95

Tel: 01392 249 446

How do Exeter Gyms and Adele’s Pilates work together?

Full functional fitness requires an all-rounded fitness regime.  Full fitness requires cardio, strength and stretching.

Pilates will give you a quiet time, the reflection that comes with a mind/body discipline.  Exeter Gyms focus on more powerful strength training and cardio workouts in a way that is accessible.

Many of the clients I work with – visit an Exeter gym and come to my Pilates classes too!

I teach Pilates in and around Exeter for over 20 years, highly qualified and highly experienced. If you are looking to join a friendly Exeter Pilates class feel free to contact me either here a the bottom of the blog or drop me a line via my website

Combining gym work with Pilates work will give you the best level of fitness.


Best gyms
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