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Boxing gyms have a reputation for being intimidating, but Marvel Fitness is not your normal boxing gym.
Based at Orchard Industrial Estate in Kingsbridge and run by level one boxing coach Aaron Ryder, Marvel Fitness offers open gym sessions, personal training, boxing classes and High Intensity Interval Training.
“People hear ‘boxing gym’ and think well I don’t want to get punched in the face, I’m not going there!” said Aaron, but there is much more to the sport than that, and that is what Marvel Fitness is all about, being a friendly, community gym that is open to everyone.
Some Marvel Fitness members
Aaron explained: “When you go to a big gym and walk into the weight room, some of these giant guys look down on you, but they all had to start somewhere! Marvel Fitness is a real community gym with a family feel. It's not all muscle heads grunting and shunting.
“We have a zero tolerance policy on bullying and we want everyone to feel welcome and included. We want people to see boxing as a fun way to get fit, and you can do all the skills and training without the contact.
“Boxing is so multifaceted, it's a real all-round sport. It helps your coordination and your reflexes, and also your memory and it makes your brain work. It's about your fists, but also footwork, moving, balance, speed, your head, your hands, and it's really fun too.
“It is also primal, hundreds of thousands of years ago the first argument between two people was settled with fists and there is something very inherent about it. It is also a great way to release stress and tension, even anger management - a great way to point your energy at something in a fun and safe way.”
Aaron fighting in a bout before the pandemic
Aaron has recently brought back the Kingsbridge Amateur Boxing Club, which closed in the 1970s, reviving it in 2019. The pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works but it will soon be back up and running from Marvel Fitness and are looking forward to putting on fights and events.
Aaron is a qualified level three personal trainer and a level one boxing coach. He runs boxing classes that are open to everyone. He said: “I don’t split classes into beginner, advanced etc, we all train together and the more experienced members help the newbies, everyone chips in and helps out.”
Some younger Marvel Fitness members
Aaron found his passion for boxing when he was growing up in Plymouth. “Everyone was boxing when I was young, it was seen as a really gritty and physical sport. My best friend invited me along with him but I was too shy and afraid to take him up on it.
“Later another friend asked me to go with him to a boxing gym in Torbay. I used to get lifts with him and his dad. Then when they stopped going I couldn’t get there any more so I stopped too.
“Then, when I was going through my qualification to be a personal trainer, I got back into it and fell in love with it all over again.”
Aaron Ryder owns Marvel Fitness
Marvel Fitness is open from 6am, meaning you have time to work out and get home to have a shower before work if you want to, and closes at 10pm, giving you plenty of time to work in your fitness session. They offer open gym memberships for the weights room and cardio room, giving you flexibility for your exercise regimes.
Aaron’s classes are open to everyone over the age of six. As lockdown eases, Marvel Fitness will reopen on Monday, 12 April.
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