Fit, like?

If you’ve spent the past year or so slowly sinking into the sofa, slouching through endless Zoom meetings and bingeing on box sets and biscuits, now’s the time to get back into shape with a local gym. Here’s our guide to the best independent local gyms…

Athletic Edge 
Athletic Edge on Springfield Road offers a large selection of free weights, cardio machines, squat racks and an AstroTurf track. As well as exceptional training and sports coaching, fitness class sizes are limited to just eight people so you get personal attention and lots of help to reach your goals. AE offers a free day pass, so you can discover it for yourself. Find out more at

Garioch Sports Centre
Garioch Sports Centre in Inverurie is very much a community facility, serving all ages. There’s a great gym and an extensive choice of fitness classes. It’s particularly good for families, with lots of kids’ activities and a crèche. They also have lots of seniors’ classes as well as bookable squash courts, badminton, table tennis, indoor football pitches and basketball. Check out the programme at 

The Unit 
The Unit is two time Olympian Ben Kilner’s independent gym in Banchory. As well as the gym and spin class area, there’s an exercise studio with classes covering everything from gentle yoga stretches to full on HIIT or gruelling circuits. They offer great Fundamentals classes which teach good technique with full body non-cardio exercises, helping to build confidence. Get details at 

Banks o’Dee Fitness
Banks of Dee lies to the south of the city in West Tullos and has a great reputation for personal training in groups, pairs or individually. They also offer a fully equipped gym and a full range of exercise classes from 7am to 6pm. You can find out what’s on offer at

Barry Stephen Gym
Based on Ann Street in the Rosemount/Berryden area, Barry Stephen specialises in personal training to help you reach your fitness goals. Numbers are limited and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, but focussed. They also run week long retreats in Spain which are great for jump-starting your journey back to fitness. Check it out at   

Fit and Skin
You can’t get a more central location than Union Street, where Fit and Skin offer exclusive ExoBody600 workouts, which utilise EMS technology for a challenging 25 minute training experience that works 90% of your muscles in one go. They offer individual structured training routines to fit around your lifestyle. Find out more at

The Key
The Key is on Regent Quay, just a few minutes from Union Square. Managing Director Jonny Smith has created a unique venue that combines a fitness studio, personal training, a health clinic offering physio, sports massage and nutritional advice and an amazing health café. It’s like a one-stop shop for a top to toe health overhaul. Discover what’s happening at 

The Sports Village
The Sports Village on Linksfield Road has a fantastic gym with 75 cardiovascular machines and 30 resistance machines as well as the Queenax training kit for dynamic exercises. It’s great for families and offers everything from athletics, racquet and team sports to gymnastics, diving and swimming as well as dozens of exercise classes every week. has all the details. 

AKR Fitness
AKR is the perfect choice if you don’t feel comfortable in most gyms. The South College Street facility is really welcoming and inclusive, with a great sense of belonging. They combine expert coaching and nutritional advice with fitness and yoga classes and great equipment. They offer a 30 day trial, so you can decide if it’s for you before signing up. Find out more at

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