Treatment review: the Biofit workout concept

Nora Elias discovers a sustainable workout environment that brings the outside in during a Biofit nature gym session in London

The story: Fitness concept Biofit creates nature-inspired workout environments in city locations where this element is normally missing. Only using equipment made from natural materials and complemented by biophilic (in connection with nature) design, Biofit classes focus on Movement & Mobility, Strength & Stamina, and Play & Fight. When the company hosted a pop-up showroom in London earlier this year, World Spa & Wellness was invited to try one of its sessions.

The experience: The pop-up was a generous 1,200sq m with four-metre ceilings and large windows along one wall. A second wall was covered by a forest scene mural and the entire space decorated with air-purifying plants. Workout pieces in upcycled wood were placed around the room (other materials used by Biofit include leather, cotton, cork and natural fibre ropes).

The space was divided into three zones, for strength, movement and stretching respectively. I had registered for Movement & Mobility, one of six classes, and the flooring in the workout area was soft artificial grass that was pleasant to walk on (we were asked to take our shoes off before the session). Refreshingly, the studio had none of the features you’d find as standard in most other gyms, such as mirrors and digital equipment.

Biofit training is offered in small groups and there were no more than six of us in my session, which was ideal as it meant Biofit founder Matt Morley, who led the class, could give individual assistance when needed.

The idea is for Biofit workouts to be playful and fun and during the 60-minute session, which focused on balance, flexibility, body control and coordination, we were mostly on the floor; jumping, stretching and at one point almost crawling (that last part wasn’t nearly as absurd as it sounds, once you were doing it).

A low/mid tempo class, Movement & Mobility was enjoyable and unpretentious, Morley a patient and pedagogical instructor and the green, nature-themed environment much more uplifting than your average dark and window-less gym.

Business boost: Fitness is a bigger part of wellness than ever and offering an unusual concept like Biofit, developed to work within a wide range of sites – including hotels – provides a competitive advantage. And with biophilic design being a growing wellness focus, this aspect of the company ethos is also highly topical.

Classes at the London pop-up started at £10. In September, Biofit opened its first permanent space in Calgary, Canada.