The Secret Boxing Gym can be found underneath the south side of London Bridge on Montague Close. They opened in April 2019 and have brought authentic boxing, HIIT and Yoga classes to SE1 in an uber-cool, ultra-friendly riverside location.
The business is built on the values of Richard "The Secret" Williams, former twice Commonwealth and IBO light-middleweight champion. They welcome all-comers – whatever their fitness or level of boxing skill – and make it accessible to all.
Oh – and if you want a coffee, protein shake or smoothie – you can grab one of those too while you take a look at the classes….
Lockdown for a new business
One of the first signs that indicated the seriousness of the pandemic for the business was in early March when the team noticed the volume of commuters coming through London Bridge was decreasing daily. Many of their clients are City workers who travel through the station and falling numbers began to make an impact.
Despite signs that the City was slowing down, they took the approach to stay open as long as they were allowed, making sure that the clients who wanted to come in and train were able to do so. As the crisis worsened, the team grew ever more concerned about their clients' safety and on the Friday that the Government announcement was made about the closure of gyms, they had already decided that they needed to be a responsible business and close their doors.
It was a tough day for the business, who after being open for only 11 months, and had started to see the business build, felt like they had to shut shop just as they were on the brink of really taking off.
The need for change
In spite of the gym closing its physical doors, their virtual doors remained open as trainers offered free virtual classes throughout lockdown. They made the decision not to charge anyone, but gave those attending the classes the option to donate straight to the trainers who were giving their time for free. They also built a library of YouTube videos called "The Secret Syllabus" - a bite-sized toolkit of punching techniques and footwork tips to help people practise at home.
Before reopening, the Secret Boxing Gym reconfigured their space to create even more training area. They took out the main café and replaced it with a smaller coffee bar and a grab-and-go fridge to enable better social distancing and more floorspace to do what they do best.
As the safety and confidence of customers is paramount, the gym has halved class sizes and is following Government recommendations to the letter - minimising contact with surfaces where possible, taking temperatures on entry and sanitising and deep-cleaning at every possible stage. However, this comes with challenges, as their operating costs remain the same.
The team are hopeful that with the help of their amazing customers, and the community they have built, the next six months won't be as challenging as the last.
As well as having built their own community, they have also come to know the local community around them during lockdown. From the postman and regular police patrols, to neighbouring businesses and local residents, they believe the area is an inspiring, cool and a welcoming place to be. Boxing is all about community – and they feel a real part of it.
While class sizes have reduced, The Secret Boxing Gym remains open for business and offers a full range of classes. Why not try their introductory offer of your first class for just a fiver – less than your morning coffee and croissant, and much better for you!