How one business has kept York fit during lockdown – by taking the gym outside!

Taking a spin in the sunshine… A CycleBeats York outdoor class. Photographs: Tom Richardson
13 Oct 2020 @ 3.12 pm
| Health & fitness

CycleBeats York had only just moved into their new home when the pandemic took hold.

The fitness class provider, which has been running for two years, relocated to the York RI Sports Club in Acomb in February.

Then… lockdown.

Rope work

“During the Covid time, it’s been testing,” said CycleBeats’ David Skaith.

“We knew we had to do something, because we couldn’t open the gym.

“We adapted from having a small studio by going outside – and we created a friendly, easy place to train.”

CycleBeats York started running outdoor classes on the York RI Rugby Club pitch, where they was plenty of room for groups of six to get involved while maintaining plenty of social distance.

With lots of different equipment, from medicine balls and kettlebells to spin bikes and rowing machines, there was plenty to get stuck into.

And participants only use the equipment in their lane – which is thoroughly cleaned before the next class.

Children joined in

It’s proved popular with people of all ages and abilities

Outdoor exercise has proved a great way for people to blow away the lockdown cobwebs.

“One day we said we might go inside because it was raining – and a lot of people said ‘I’m not going to come then’,” David said. “So we purchased a couple of big gazebos so we could do things outside where possible.

“With more people working at home, people will want to get out and exercise. The beauty of the classes is they’re just half an hour. Get a bit of fresh air, a chance of scenery, and feel good.”

Plenty of space for exercise

Get in touch with CycleBeats York


They run about 40 classes a week. An individual class costs £6, or you can buy multiple packages which reduces the price.

And this way of exercising has appealed to all ages. “It’s very family friendly, so parents have been coming and bringing the kids down.

“Classes are normally only 30 minutes, so it’s short, sharp, very easy to get into. All the classes are pay-as-you-go too, so you don’t have to commit to monthly payments.”

So who is a typical CycleBeats participant?

“Everyone comes. Young, old, men, women, people of all different levels. Because you have your own equipment, you can work at your pace and to your ability.

“So there’s no pressure that you have to do the same as everyone else.”

Resistance is useless

Now the autumn weather is back with us, CycleBeats York is staging indoor classes as well as the outdoor gym.

David, a former personal trainer who also runs fashion shop Winstons Of York on Swinegate, said: “During the sunshine it was fantastic. But in the winter months we can go inside.

“People really enjoy it.”